As of this week Thao is beginning her seventh month of pregnancy – which is another way of saying she’s six months pregnant, or 24 weeks pregnant, or 16 more weeks to go, or however you want to look at it.
Everything is continuing to go well. She feels fine. The baby continues to move – every day we are able to feel him/her moving around in there. It’s cool. At night before bed we read to the baby – or really we read to Thao’s big belly. Our doctor told us that the baby can hear sounds now, and that it’s good for the baby’s brain development to read, so we’re trying to give it plenty of material to work with.
Right now we’re reading a baby book called Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever that my mom gave us when I was home in June. It’s a book I had when I was little, and I actually remember some of the pictures in it.
I read it in English and then Thao translates it into Vietnamese, so we’re pushing bilingualism on this kid before it even exits the womb. Not that speaking English and Vietnamese are going to be a problem for it.
Anyway, after four or so months of very little weight gain, Thao has finally started to put on her baby weight. She’s gained about 10 kilograms, which is about 22 pounds, so far. And four months to go!
Most of it is clearly in her stomach, but her face, arms, legs, etc., are all starting to be a little rounder as well. Her feet are fatter and she can no longer put on the New Balance running shoes she usually wears when we go for a walk, etc.
Yesterday (Sunday) morning we somehow started talking about how even her fingers were getting fatter, and I asked her if she could still take her engagement and wedding rings off. I don’t think she’d really thought about it up to that point either, because when she tried to take them off, she couldn’t.
We tried to get the off together – we used soap and water to try to make her finger more slippery and, when that didn’t work, olive oil. We met some friends for lunch Sunday, then went to the jewelry store where we’d bought our wedding rings to see if they had any ideas.
They tried basically the same thing we’d been trying to do – but they used lotion instead of soap and water or olive oil. At first it didn’t look like the wedding ring (which Thao wears on the outside) was going to come off. It just didn’t look like Thao’s sausage finger would make it through that hole. But there was one very tenacious Vietnamese woman working at the jewelry store, and she kept pulling on the ring and kneading Thao’s finger, and finally, somehow, she got the ring off.
The engagement ring is slightly bigger than the wedding ring, so once the wedding ring was off, the engagement ring came off fairly easily. I took Thao’s wedding ring and put it in a zippered compartment in my wallet, and told her to give me the engagement ring too, but she said she’d keep wearing the engagement ring until we got back home. Bad idea.
Last night she tried to take the engagement ring off and couldn’t. We tried again together with some lotion – same result. That thing wasn’t budging. We though her finger might be less swollen in the morning, so we decided to try again then.
Sadly, this morning Thao’s finger was as puffy as ever, and again the engagement ring would not come off. I tried to help her get it off again for about five minutes, but it was hurting her finger so she said she’d just go back to the jewelry store on her lunch break today to see if they could get it off. I said “great” and rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but I could feel the bed moving as Thao continued to wrestle with the damn ring. Finally, after five or ten more minutes, I heard her sigh with relief and she said she’d finally worked it off.
I wasn’t really worried about it. I figured worst-case scenario the jewelry store could just cut the ring in half to get it off. And I didn’t care at all about cutting the wedding ring. I was a little more concerned about cutting the engagement ring because it was my paternal grandmother’s engagement ring and it happened to be the right size for Thao as it was – we didn’t have to have it resized at all. So I didn’t want to cut that one if at all possible, and Thao really didn’t want to have to cut either one.
Anyway, they’re off now, and will remain off until at least sometime in January 2011, I figure. I told Thao I was going to keep an extra sharp eye on her now that she wasn’t going to be wearing her engagement and wedding rings, and she said “Yeah, because so many men are out there looking for six-month pregnant women!” Point taken.