***Disclaimer: There is a small portion of this post that is slightly graphic, but it makes this experience all the more awkward so I just can't leave it out.
Have you ever had a prenatal massage or heard of them? I have always heard how amazing it is to receive one while pregnant, so of course I volunteered immediately when my friend asked if there were any pregnant women out there wanting a free prenatal massage at a school for massage therapy. I assumed a student would be giving the massage, but I had no idea what all this "free" massage included.
I walked in to the academy and joined 7 other pregnant ladies all seated with papers and a bottle of water in hand. We all filled out our paper work together, and those of us who have had a previous baby talked about our birth stories and encouraged 1st time mommies. It was a nice wait with these cordial ladies. In my mind, I imagined we would be escorted to individual rooms accompanied by 1 or 2 students and possibly an instructor. I was so wrong.
The instructor announced that it was time, and one by one they called our names off to join the 1 or 2 students that would be our individual masseuse. My name was called close to the end, and I was ushered in to what looked like a large classroom with a whiteboard at the front of the room. The room was filled with 8 massage tables all covered in different colored and patterned linens. The walls were lined with backpacks, extra pillows, notebooks, and suitcases. I felt like I was joining a glorified sleep over especially when I saw one of the tables had Star Wars sheets.
Heat ran through my cheeks as I realized we were all getting our free massage and we were getting it all together... in the same room at the same time. I only had one student assigned to me. She sat me down opposite her and nervously asked me some questions. Since my "problems" list was short and only included "pregnant with occasional lower back or shoulder soreness," she didn't know what to ask me other than how often I had lower back pain and if I was going to have a girl or boy. This part wasn't too bad and I offered help when she was finished interviewing me, but the rest of her class was chatting away.
The next part was...just the best. The instructor cued the students to wrap up the interview and leave the room for us to get undressed. As soon as all the students left, only one instructor stayed and gave us the go ahead to "just undress and get under the sheets on table." Did I mention there were 7 other pregnant ladies in this large room with me with no dividers? These are strangers. We are not besties. We all looked at each other and just started laughing as I am sure we were all thinking, 'are you serious?'
One girl, trying to lighten the mood I'm sure, said, "let's have a competition to see who has the darkest nipples! I bet I'll win." Although there were a few laughs throughout the room, it made things go from awkward to a little strange. We basically agreed to just take our clothes off and not look at each other. The instructor did sweetly offer to "tent" us and hold up a blanket for us to change, but knowing that would take forever for us all to be "tented," we just went for it.
Now the massage in itself was AMAAAAAZING. I didn't get a prenatal massage with Shepherd, and now I regret it. I am considering getting another one in a couple weeks before my due date. BUT next time I'll just pay for that individual private room! (; This massage will easily be the most memorable though.
How far along? 35 weeks
Baby is the size of a: Honeydew
Total weight gain: Back up to 32 pounds.
Waist Measurement: 40.5 inches
Maternity clothes? I am almost exclusively wearing maternity shirts now that I have more, but I just wear larger dresses or maxi skirts
Stretch marks? YES!! I am so sad, but Josh likes them. There are only a few developing just under my belly button. They are small and about half an inch. I did not get these with Shep.
Sleep: Well sleep has not been great since Shep has decided to get up at 5:30am EVERY MORNING. We've been putting him back down, but he doesn't stay "down" for much later than 6:20am.
Best moment this week: I mean... getting a prenatal massage! Hello!
Movement: I am surprised this week at how much I have felt baby 2.0 up higher! I feel movement all the time above my belly button.
Food cravings: Sour Punch Straws... I've had way too many to even tell you how many I have had. I am such a child.
Miss Anything? I miss walking and not being able to catch my breath. Seriously though, walking is serious business!
Gender: Okay I am back to thinking it is a girl, but maybe that is because I perused through all the little girl clothes in a couple stores this week.
Symptoms: I have felt the baby a few times move lower making it hard to walk, but I don't feel like this all the time. I still have the itchy/burning belly feeling every once in a while from the stretch marks, but I have started carrying around my belly butter all the time.
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?:Just a little stressed. I definitely over committed to several things this week and I am ready for a break.