pregnancy

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i’ve been trying to record a video of poko-chan in action inside me. every time i feel some movements, i grab the camcorder. but as soon as i start aiming the camcorder toward my belly, poko-chan stops moving. it looks like this person is like his/her mother — a bit shy. i’ve been trying to trick poko-chan by playing music with a good dance beat (that usually starts the womb dancing) and grabbing the camera secretly, but i still haven’t caught the best kicks and dance moves.

anyway, here’s a video of the “top 10 kicking babies” that i found on videosift.

one thing i was surprised about with my pregnancy was that my belly button got stretched out flat. i knew my belly would get big but i didn’t expect that. this pregnant woman found a way to use her belly button to make a music video.

this is the world’s fastest pregnancy: 20 seconds long.

here’s what usually happens at the end of pregnancy. the cello music is relaxing — i hope i can hear cello in my head when i’m delivering poko-chan.

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since i’m feeling milky these days, here are 3 milky videos for you:

japanese ad for “jersey milk” cookies.
i think beethoven would be proud…

american ad for “milky the marvelous milking cow”, 1978.
don’t drink the milk, kids…

milk, milk, miiiiiiilllllk.
beautiful and hypnotic song from sesame street, 1970s.
teaching kids without talking…

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i can’t wait to breastfeed poko-chan. i hope my milk is as tasty as a fresh apple.

i spend most of my waking time thinking about poko-chan and our life together as a family of three. i’m really looking forward to meeting poko-chan in seven weeks. people like to tell us horrible stories about giving birth or bringing up children. but i listen to them with a grain of salt. of course it will be difficult because we are new parents and poko-chan is new to the world, but i think our effort will be nothing compared to poko-chan trying to live.

like my dad always says, “you’ll forget about all the hard things that happened when you look at the angel face of your child”.

you can view the progress of this drawing here:

art recipe 1
art recipe 2
art recipe 3

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i’m starting my 33rd week today, and my belly is very big. my waist is now 94 cm. i have to support my belly with my arm when i get myself up, in order to keep my balance. i can’t button up my spring jackets. with this big belly, i walk like a penguin — not that different from usual, unfortunately. people tell me my belly is going to get even bigger in the next two months, but i think it’s just a rumor. my skin is hitting its limit already.

even though my belly is getting bigger, my weight hasn’t changed over the last month. i gained about 15 pounds (7 kg) during the first 28 weeks, but since then it’s the same. i have a humongous appetite, i’m eating all the time, and i’m eating a lot at every meal. i even eat beef, which i didn’t care for before. in fact, i want to eat burgers all the time…

i feel like i’m getting bigger and bigger, but i was worried that i may not be taking enough nutrients to help poko-chan grow. i got an ultrasound two weeks ago and they estimated poko-chan’s current weight at 4.5 pounds (2 kg) already. this was even bigger than average at 32 weeks. my doctor assured me not to worry, so it’s probably okay.

i think poko-chan has grown even bigger since that ultrasound. poko-chan continues to kick and punch with no mercy. i can clearly see waves and bulges on my belly as s/he moves. i like watching and feeling those movements, even though i get kicked so hard sometimes i can’t sleep.

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(paul took these photos)

having this huge appetite reminded me of the opposite problem i had in early pregnancy – morning sickness.

i started getting morning sickness around 7 weeks. at first, i was happy to experience it. since i couldn’t feel any movement of the baby yet, it was the only sign i had that i was pregnant. but it soon turned into a not-so-pleasant experience.

my morning sickness was more like “evening sickness”. i was fine in the morning, but later in the day, i started to feel unwell — no appetite, headache and nausea. i guess my body is still in japan time — it was morning-in-japan sickness in the evening here in canada. anyway, this soon became all-day sickness.

i felt like i was having hungover all the time. food smelled weird. all kinds of food i used to like turned into a nightmare. i couldn’t eat, look at, or think about:

  • any vegetables, especially leafy ones and potatoes – tasted strange.
  • tomato-related food – i couldn’t understand why tomatoes exist on the planet.
  • crackers – some people suggested i eat crackers, but for me, they tasted like sawdust.
  • milk products: yogurt, milk, ice cream – usually i love ice cream, but i felt sick when i thought about it.
  • meat in general, especially beef. tasted odd, even though now this is my favorite food.

the food i could eat:

  • udon, soba or rice
  • fruit, especially oranges
  • apple sauce
  • potato chips (plain, salt flavour)
  • sweet potato
  • bread (only white part)

it was really hard to go grocery shopping because i couldn’t look at food. so i kept my head straight all the time and when i saw what i wanted in my peripheral vision, i grabbed it.

it was probably not a good time for paul either, because i couldn’t taste the food i was making for him. one time, i was trying to make a pasta dish for supper. i started sauteeing mushrooms and spinach. it didn’t look good, so i added a can of tomatoes. it didn’t look good so i added more herbs and spices. somehow this combination just didn’t work — it was really awful pasta. of course i couldn’t taste it, but paul did. he was very kind to say just, “mmm…. (silent)”. but i could tell it was awful. so i asked him how the taste was. he said with the most agonized face, “not very good…”. i should probably note he was kind enough to eat most of it. we started buying frozen food soon after that.

around my 14th week, i started to feel much better and have more appetite. i broke off my morning sickness period by wanting to eat MEAT. one day in the 14th week, i had a huge craving for beef. so paul and i went to a restaurant and i ordered a hamburger. it was a big hamburger, but i ate it all. people who know me are often surprised to see me eating meat since i’ve never been a big meat eater. but now i love it. i didn’t know cows and pigs are so tasty.

my appetite has just grown and grown now, and so has my belly. now that i see poko-chan getting bigger and moving so wild, i feel much better. s/he makes a big wave on my belly by stretching and pushing. it looks like an effortless belly dance.

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i knew this stage would come sooner or later. i’m extremely hungry all the time. and when i say “all the time”, i mean it literally. i’ve been waking up at 5:30am (3 hours early for me), because my stomach is growling. i’ve been eating something almost every hour some days. i start planning what to eat next while i’m still eating. it’s that wild.

i feel like i”m eating all the time. in addition to my three meals, i snack a lot. i can’t eat too much at once, because i feel uncomfortably full, so i eat until i’m 80% full then snack on fruit, dried fruit, seaweed, dried fish, onigiri or a small cookie.

i try not to eat too much sugar and junk food. but once awhile i get a huge craving for something sweet, which is very hard to resist. i went to a coffee shop yesterday and my eyes were locked in on the delicious-looking cheesecakes. somehow i managed not to buy any (yet). i did treat myself to a cup of ice cream a few weeks ago, and i think i can live on that memory for another week or so. maybe i’ll have a piece of cheesecake next month — something to look forward to. when i finally eat it, i’ll be in heaven (if there’s such a thing).

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i’m just starting my 21st week. it’s our first baby.

my belly has really started getting bigger recently, so i’m visibly pregnant as well. the baby is already quite active. it started moving in my belly around 17 weeks. at first, it felt like bubbles popping. some pregnancy books describe this as “butterfly flapping”, but i’ve never eaten any live butterflies, so how would i know?

more recently, i can really feel the baby kicking. this involuntary movement (on my end) is absolutely amazing. sometimes, when i feel its kicks, i tap it back around the same area. a few seconds later, it kicks back :) i’m enjoying this non-verbal communication so much. the kicking feels like “poko-poko” to me (the japanese language has lots more sounds to describe things than english does), so i gave the baby a nickname: “poko-chan”.

yesterday morning, i could feel the baby pushing out against my left and right sides at the same time — like stretching out, slowly. the baby is building a new body, and it’s going to be crowded inside me.

just before i found out i was pregnant, i started drawing the baby in my drawing “numb“. after i found out, i went to the doctor and saw the heart beating on the ultrasound, and heard the heartbeat sound with the fetal doppler. i did another drawing: “new heartbeat“.

paul and i went to get an ultrasound last week. the radiologist gave us a 3D image of one of the photos, which shows our baby’s face, with the right hand held up shyly in front of it.

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mmm~~ good looking. as you can tell, i’m already starting my “oya-baka” (foolish parents) plan (親ばか実行計画). :D

during the ultrasound, we saw our baby open its mouth and wave its hands around. the baby got much bigger since the last ultrasound. now it actually looks more like a human. it’s got fingers, toes, ears, eyes, and a cute bum. at first, i thought i might give birth to some sort of animal, but now officially it’s a human. :)

i knew something was living inside of me… no wonder my belly is getting so much bigger. i’ve never experienced this type of rapid physical transformation before, except in my mind. it’s interesting — all the changes seem to happen according to a schedule. it’s like my body is a machine. but i’ve never felt so human before.

some other time, i’ll post about my early pregnancy experience, and my weird “morning sickness” behaviour, which lasted about 8 weeks.

in a meantime, this is me with our baby inside. :)

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16 weeks 2 days

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20 weeks 1 day

(paul took the photos of me)

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