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:
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.