20 Weeks of Weirdness


November 27, 2012 by 8junebugs

It’s official: We’ve definitely got a boy in there. (That’s a different picture, but you’ll take my word for it, right?)

Also, yes, my hair is always that curly now. Deva cuts are WIN.

You know, a lot of people — friends, family, WIMMIN OF THE INTERNETZ — have prepared me pretty well for this whole pregnancy thing. I knew a LOT, going in, about what to expect when I’d be expecting. I am so grateful for that.

No, for real — I’m not even being sarcastic. All your scary-ass stories are actually welcome. I’m one of those “Plan for the worst, hope for the best” types, which means anything short of getting air-lifted to a major trauma center and having an emergency c-section followed by brain surgery will feel like a gift. (That was one of my first cousins. She’s much better now, and her twins are freaking adorable.)

But here’s some stuff that’s still surprised me…and how I’m dealing with it, when I can:

  1. My body hates my deodorant. That happened early, actually. No more clinical-strength, powder-scented Dove antiperspirant for me! Instant irritation. Lesser versions of Dove seem to suffice.
  2. Sleeping sucks. I knew about this but didn’t know how early it would hit and how much it would suck. It’s not the potty breaks that bother me — it’s the hip pain. I can sleep for an hour or two on one side or the other, and then I have to switch…and I wake up for the switch, because rolling over ain’t the mindless trick it used to be. A snoogle pillow borrowed from a friend helps a little; a memory foam mattress topper helps more. I also have my OB’s permission to use Tylenol PM or plain old Benadryl to knock me out from time to time — being oblivious to the pain is an acceptable alternative to treating it. (Stupid relaxin.)
  3. Increased blood flow to the reproductive areas of one’s body can lead the occasional blood blister in places where nice girls don’t get blood blisters. Not harmful — just weird and a little gross if you think about it too hard. (Don’t think about it too hard.)
  4. Stretchy Belly Moments. I swear to Maude, there are moments when I seem to feel my belly growing, moments when a deep breath seems to add half an inch that doesn’t retract back in. Which is odd, because I still seem to forget the belly is there rather often, usually when maneuvering a grocery cart. Plus, I am accustomed to using the rounder bits of me to accomplish tasks, like bumping doors closed with my ass. Just try doing that (accidentally) with a pregnant belly and see how people react.
  5. The baby’s movement, the “quickening” flutters before anything is noticeable outside my abdomen are…not particularly cute. They are both cool and terrifying. Every time it happens, and it happens several times a day, I feel like I need to sit down and I have a hard time catching my breath. The first time, I couldn’t describe it very well and Graham freaked out and took my pulse to make sure I wasn’t having some sort of pulmonary episode.I’ve also experienced what feels like repeated jabs to the kidneys, which I would classify as twinges that are just short of cramps. It occurred to me, the second time this happened, that everyone focuses on how cool it is to feel a baby kick by placing a hand on someone’s belly. No one seems to talk about what that feels like from the inside of that belly.
    1. Related: I have to pee even more than I did before. The second trimester typically offers some relief here, but not if your offspring is KICKING YOU IN THE KIDNEYS WHAT THE HELL. (He’s not actually big enough to kick me in the kidney yet, but he’s big enough to kick a fibroid, which will jostle my intestines into my kidney.)
    2. This has led to the first occurrence of the “Do you know what your son just did?!” thing. I though we had at least a year on the outside before that started.

The thing is, I never thought much about being pregnant before I was. I wasn’t even sure I wanted kids until about 12 years ago, and even then I was in no rush and didn’t imagine what it would be like to be pregnant. It’s an odd series of sensations for me, during which I feel simultaneously connected to untold generations of women and bizarrely disconnected from whatever the fuck my body’s doing at any given moment. It’s gone rogue on me…albeit with my enthusiastic consent. And while I trust it to do the thing it has evolved to do, I HAVE VIRTUALLY NO CONTROL HERE.

When people ask how I’m feeling, the most accurate answer these days is “weird.” Because, although I am grateful for the relative ease with which my body is handling most of the making-a-baby stuff (and everything on the latest ultrasounds looks perfectly normal), this is really weird.

Twenty weeks. Halfway there.


10 thoughts on “20 Weeks of Weirdness

  1. Gloria says:

    If you are not already doing so, place that snoogle or another pillow between your knees for relief of hip pain.❤congrats on a little boy. XO

    • 8junebugs says:

      That’s how I was getting through an hour or two, Gloria. 😉 With the mattress topper, I seem to sleep longer, even without the pillow. It does help when I’m awake and reclining, though.

  2. Amy says:

    Gloria is right! Pillow between knees helped me. Also, you reminded me of just how sharp Ella’s ankle was in utero. I swear I could feel it trying to tear my organs….as soon as she was out, Hung was all “I feel the culprit….”

  3. Alicia says:

    I can’t even count the number of times I said “Do you know what YOUR child did to me?” before she arrived. Also, at three times in the hospital.
    In the third trimester Amelia used to kick her foot and run it across the top of my belly and you could see the shape of her foot. Used to freak out the guys in my office. I may have started sitting in strategically across from certain people during staff meetings. But it definitely would make it difficult to breathe until she moved.

    Congratulations on the boy, but if you use an ultrasound picture in a holiday card I will throw up on it. 🙂

    • 8junebugs says:

      Heh…I remember you doing that.

      And I’m totally willing to take the chance on the holiday card, mostly because we’re short of pictures for this year anyway. ;P

  4. abriley says:

    I tried a Snoogle first and hated the “C” shape – what is the point if I can’t switch sides without needing to switch the whole pillow over to be able to prop my legs. Much better for me was the “Comfort U” pillow. I used it for Caitlin and then bought a new one for Benjamin. It was full body on both sides and open at the bottom. As your belly gets bigger, you’ll be grateful not only for the hip/leg support but also for the belly support because it starts to hurt your back even more to try to rest all that weight on the bed. Also the mattress topper – I desperately needed it for Ben.

    How exciting that you are feeling the baby! It is totally surreal, but after you get used to it, it feels sort of like a divine privilege – that you can feel and be one with this life growing inside of you.

    • 8junebugs says:

      “after you get used to it, it feels sort of like a divine privilege – that you can feel and be one with this life growing inside of you.”

      This. This right here is why this feels like the most publicly personal thing I have EVER done. Well put, lady.

  5. Statia says:

    First of all, amidst dying dogs and two kids who seem to mess up my house faster than I can clean it (which I’ll be honest, isn’t as often as I probably should), I never congratulated you on your gravidness. So congratulations!!

    Second, I’m never one to sugar coat anything, however, while, I’m very open and honest, I will also be quick to follow up with, “but that may or may not happen to you, because I’m sure you’ve probably realized by now, being an adult and all, that everyone is different. And both of my pregnancies were as different as night and day. With him, I was uncomfortable from the minute I saw a belly. My son was one who loved to reside up near my neck somewhere, leaving me with bruised ribs and a lot of discomfort. Heartburn to the point of Protonix, and a larger lack of sleep than I already suffer from. I had the snoogle and while it helped support my belly, it gave me the worst neck ache. I actually altered it by cutting the top off, so I could use my own pillow. Not that it helped much. I will say that for all of that discomfort, I kept my stomach in tact.

    With her, everything that could happen the opposite of him, did. I slept awesome. I had virtually no nausea, and I actually put a lot less weight on. I got pretty sick with her a couple of times (of the cold variety), never with him. She rode much lower, leaving me with a lot more comfort for a lot longer. But with her, one of my colds turned horribly wrong, and I ended up pulling ligaments. And because she rode lower, I have a lovely pituitary apron, which makes me feel like Peter Griffin.

    And with both of them, I swelled so badly, that the tops of my feet wiggled. It was gross. And I cringe just thinking about it.

    Pregnancy is definitely a wild ride, but you really do forget a lot of the hairier details.

    • 8junebugs says:

      Ahhh…Gromit. He was such an awesome dog, Statia. I didn’t exactly get it when I first started reading your blog…what, a hundred years ago? Now that I’m tripping over my own dog–and treating his diabetes daily–I get it like WHOA. 😦

      The heartburn. Holy freaking hell, the HEARTBURN. IT BURNS. And I’m prone to it sans gravidness. I really ought to email my doctor and ask how many TUMS is too many…

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