Chapter 7: Halfway (Across the Country and Through This Pregnancy)
Hello friends! It’s been a few weeks…a busy few weeks. Last time I checked in, we had an impending move and were 15 weeks pregnant. Today, we stand on the other side of said move and are 20 weeks! It’s been a VERY full 5 weeks. I have a lot to catch you up on, but I’ll do my best to give the Reader’s Digest version. (Uhhh, yeah right, this post is gonna be LONG.)
The weeks leading up to the move were packed to the brim with “final” coffee dates and dinners with friends and family. My mom graduated from college with her bachelor’s degree four weeks ago. I headed home from there to throw my best friend a baby shower.
Three weeks ago, my best friend and other half graduated from medical school (WHAT WHAT!!! There’s a doctor in my houseeee!).
Monday morning, the day after he graduated (on the other side of the state), we woke up to a team of professional packers; they had everything that would fit into a box in boxes within a matter of hours. They had planned to pack Monday AND Tuesday, so we ended up having Tuesday free, which was really nice. Our truck driver was scheduled to show up on Wednesday morning, but we got a call Tuesday night to let us know he was a day behind schedule. Our option was to either have the company that packed us (a local company) come and load our stuff onto one of their trucks on Wednesday, as scheduled (and then our driver would move it onto his truck at their facility whenever he got into town), OR wait until Thursday for our original driver. We chose to let them come Wednesday.
We left Wichita after they finished loading the truck and we had cleaned the house. We spent the night with friends in KC before heading to Indianapolis on Thursday morning. We still had no arrival date for our shipment, so we felt a bit aimless, although we knew we were heading to Indianapolis to at least spend the night (all of Cowboy’s extended family lives in that area). LOOOOONG story short (seriously, once we finally did hear from the driver, our arrival date changed three times…oh, and they also let us know that they couldn’t fit all of our stuff on their truck, so they left it at the local company’s facility…which we later learned the main office knew nothing about until we called to ask how they would be getting those things to us…argh…), we ended up leaving Friday morning for Michigan because Cowboy’s cousin was getting married that weekend! We wanted to be able to go, so this was exciting. We had to both drive our vehicles across the country (neither are big enough to tow the other) separately, but we both packed into my car (plus Cooper) to make that trip.
We were able to stay in Jackson, MI for THREE nights, which ended up being a bit of a luxury amidst the nightly bed-hopping. It was a beautiful weekend and wedding!
^At the family softball game on Saturday. (I tend to make softball a contact sport, so I did not play.)
^Cracker Barrel for brunch on Sunday (wedding day!) with Cowboy, his dad, two of his brothers and grandma!
^Sunday afternoon, right after the wedding before we headed over to the reception.
Monday afternoon, we left to go back to Indianapolis for what we thought was going to be a couple of days…but right before we got there, our driver called and told us he needed us there a day earlier, so our plans were once again changed! We spent Monday night in Indy with family again, spent Tuesday (day) with Cowboy’s grandma and evening with his mom’s side of the family (where we were staying). Since we had already committed to the dinner Tuesday night, we left after dinner and ended up driving to Charleston, WV that evening. We rolled into a bed somewhere in downtown Charleston (I don’t even remember which hotel) around 1:00 AM and were back up at 7:30 to hit the road. We drove the rest of the way to Portsmouth on Wednesday, stopping along the way to call the utility companies to get everything turned on and in our name. As soon as we got into town, I went to the city hall to sign paperwork to have the water turned on and Cowboy went to the property manager’s office to get the house keys. We got into the house around 4:30 and I started house-cleaning straightaway while Cowboy unloaded both of our cars. We left to get dinner and pick up an air mattress around 7:30 and collapsed onto said air mattress later that night. The next morning, the truck showed up with (most of) our belongings and the unloading began! 10 days later, we are still unpacking boxes and figuring out how to arrange and organize our stuff in this house, but finally have internet!
WHEW! If you follow me on instagram (@AlinaMichele), you got to “experience” this adventure with me! Overall, we drove through 8 states, drove a combined 3,300 miles (not including all of the in-town driving we did in Jackson and Indy), slept in 6 different beds/states, and traveled for a combined 56 hours.
And all the while…I didn’t realize how much this baby was starting to make itself known! Here’s an update from the past few weeks…last time you saw me, I was 15 weeks…
There’s was a significant change from 15 to 16 weeks and boy, was I feeling it. (Again, if you follow on Instagram, you might remember me saying so that week.)
There wasn’t as much of a change from 16 to 17 weeks, but I do sure look gross! (This was the day they were loading the truck [Wednesday]….so, I was a few days behind on getting a picture.)
Another big change from 17 to 18 weeks and I didn’t even realize it (I was essentially living in a car–see above!). This is actually 18 weeks + 5 days, so there’s a 9-day difference between the 17 & 18 week pictures. (YIKES…look gross again in the 18-week picture…stopped to snap a picture in the middle of unpacking! At least I have the pictures. )
My 18-week picture is probably more like a 19-week picture and there’s only 4 days between these two, so not as much of a change.
And here we are at 20 weeks!
I’m not typically a fan of bare-belly pics (for myself, that is…I do not mind at all if others have them done), but I did want to be able to remember this 20-week belly…when I only thought I felt big and had no idea what was coming. I think I have an outtie belly button headed my way.
I honestly can’t believe we’re halfway done. Four weeks ago, I was hanging out with my mom the night before her graduation and she said, “wow, can you believe you’ll be halfway done in four weeks?” And I couldn’t. I’m in even more disbelief that it’s already been four weeks since then! I’m so grateful that this pregnancy has been problem-free and [mostly] comfortable. I’ve had a lot on my plate and don’t know what I would have done had I needed to stay down–whether by dr’s orders or because my body demanded it. Sure, there have been uncomfortable nights, aches, pains and annoyances, but they haven’t been anything I can’t get past mentally. We’ll see how the second half goes.
There are a few noteworthy things that I’d like to remember from the past week:
- A week ago today, at exactly 19 weeks, Cowboy and I had taken a break from unpacking to have a date night. We went to a dinner theatre in downtown Portsmouth to see Iron Man 3. I had been feeling flutters of movement on the inside for about 4 weeks (which is a bit surprising considering I have an anterior placenta), but during the movie, I received some of the biggest kicks to date. Startled, I quickly placed my hand where they were and realized they were strong enough to feel on the outside. I quickly told Jonathan and after a few tries and I’m-not-sure-if-that-was-it faces, he felt it for sure. The kicking went on for a solid three hours, so he had plenty of opportunities to feel again and confirm later that evening. And THEN, I was laying in bed and realized I could SEE them! It was a crazy evening full of exciting firsts. The karate kicks have pretty much been consistent for the past week and have moved from right below my belly button area to right above it. It’s so encouraging to feel the baby move “up” and know that it’s growing.
- This week, Braxton-Hicks became very apparent to me (did you know that they actually start at 6 weeks?!). My whole lower abdomen will harden and while it isn’t painful, it is a bit uncomfortable, especially if I attempt to pull my knees toward my chest (i.e. to stand up from the floor) or put pressure on it at all.
- My abs are streeeeetching right now and that, my friends, is quite achy and painful. Stretching abs and round ligament pain was pretty obvious between 15 and 16 weeks (when I said I could “feel” growth that week, that’s what I was talking about) and that’s what I’m feeling again this week, only a great deal more painful since we’re talking about growth on a bigger scale now. None of the pain is the concerning kind–rather the necessary kind, considering every day my abdomen and uterus are bigger than they’ve ever been–it makes sense for it to ache and feel uncomfortable.
- Three brave souls have asked me this week if I’m pregnant/when I’m due (and two of them were men!), so I take that as a sign that I might actually look pregnant to other people besides me now. Haha!
- Baby’s starting to get all up in my innards…eating has become a bit of a chore in that I get really full really fast…and then am hungry again shortly! Pressure on my stomach is making things a bit tight.
- We’re touring a local birthing center tomorrow night–I’m really praying that it will be a good fit, as our options here are a bit limited. I last saw my doctor in Wichita at 17 weeks and would prefer for there to not be more than 4-5 weeks between appointments, so I feel a bit of pressure to get settled with a doctor or midwife here. At least baby is actively letting me know he/she is alive and well in there!
I feel like there was more, so I may be adding to this as things come to mind, but I’ll stop here. I highly doubt that anyone who is not my mom read every single word in this post, and that’s OK! It’s mostly for my own record so that I can look back and remember the details of these past few weeks. I thank you for bearing with me.
I hope to be back within a week or two with an introduction to our new house! I’d love to photograph the area, the neighborhood and the places we discover, too. Oh, and I guess, at some point, I should start thinking about a nursery…but not yet. I still have boxes to unpack! Babies don’t NEED nurseries anyway, right? Food, a place to sleep and clothing will be provided, regardless of what they look like.