I haven’t written much on this blog about our pregnancy. Well at least I don’t think I’ve mentioned it much but it’s possible I’m becoming one of those people who is oblivious to any conversation that doesn’t involve pregnancy. I hope not, but the bigger my stomach gets and the harder and more frequent Toro’s kicks get, the more it becomes the focus.
Truly, at times I feel that we haven’t been able to concentrate on this pregnancy enough. Nate and I have thrown ourselves into so many changes, unknowns, and lots of extra work that most days we don’t get to sit and spend a minute talking about baby names or dreaming about a year from now or watching him kick. The fact that I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy has been a God-send with all the other balls we are juggling, yet sometimes I feel a little bad that we aren’t able to focus on this unique time as much as I’d like.
So far pregnancy has included many of the clichés: at just two weeks pregnant I started waking up 4-5 times a night to go to the bathroom (didn’t even know the cause!). At about 7 weeks I started to wake up with a funny feeling in my tummy and feel the need to eat a continual stream of bland carbohydrates until noon. Chicken and other meat became highly unpalatable except on rare occasions and if I pulled pork chops out of the freezer in the morning to make Rosemary Brined Pork Chops for dinner, that was a sure-fire guarantee that by nightfall I wouldn’t be able to even think about pork chops for a month. At the beginning all I could think about was spicy, Mexican food. I couldn’t get enough of it and Nate was in heaven with all of the tacos, gorditas, and chimichangas coming out of our kitchen.
One weekend I discovered that the Slurpee was the ultimate solution to an upset stomach. We quickly identified two 7-11s within 3 blocks of our house for frequent Slurpee runs. Fortunately for all of the people against Red Dye Number 40 or whatever it is, I didn’t discover this until shortly before my stomach settled down for the most part. At somewhere around 14 weeks I spent 5 days thinking about nothing but Lay’s barbeque potato chips … despite my life-long hatred of anything barbeque flavored. After five days I finally gave in and ate the whole big bag of chips in two days. Now the idea of barbeque chips as delicious seems like it came from someone else’s brain.
I’ve always had a sensitive nose, and being pregnant didn’t help that at all. Entering my work building felt like torture as I have to walk through the line of smokers right outside the door without vomiting from the smell. I couldn’t use the A/C in my car because it just smelled wrong to me. And my poor husband, who I have always given positive reinforcement for good breath and dental hygiene, was suddenly pushed away at the slightest hint of toothpaste smell. It turns out that mint does NOT cure every type of upset stomach. Fortunately my first trimester symptoms were light. I experienced some of what pregnant women go through without being on the horrifying end of the spectrum, and for that I am very glad!
Now I’m in the second trimester (nearing the beginning of the third) and that comes with a whole other set of symptoms. Figuring out what to wear to work has some days become a 15-minute process of putting a shirt or pair of pants on, throwing it off, and scrambling through 5 more wardrobe changes for something that works on this changing body. Leggings became my new best friend before the maternity pants started fitting. For the longest time the most frequent comment I got was, “You’re not showing at all. You’re really small.” That has now subsided. I believe it was right at the halfway mark, week 20, when Nate officially announced that my stomach was sticking out further than anything else, ahem, on my profile.
Standing and walking for long periods has been the biggest challenge of this trimester … and that’s just set to get worse. I’ve had the energy to just keep going, pushing, getting as much done as possible in a day but my body isn’t cooperating. A stiff pelvis and achy legs and back are always the result of a full day. My sister got to experience this firsthand when she came for Thanksgiving and by the end of the weekend I was hobbling around like an old woman. She also got to experience the decreased bladder of her sister who was once famous for “holding it” for 3 days on a trip to the jungle. There was one painful walk from the restaurant where a stop off at McDonalds for the bathroom was a necessity and made me find my pregnant friend completely normal when she told me she had peed in a cup a few days prior because it had gotten “that bad.”
My newest symptom as of the last two weeks is that I’ve become a “snorer.” Yes, apparently this happens to 25% of pregnant women as all of the tendons and ligaments in their body relax. It’s been bad enough that Nate has bought me breathe right strips and spent a number of nights in the other bedroom. Please someone tell me that this goes away when I give birth. Oh and please someone also tell me that the slight waddle in my walk that I am beginning to develop will also go away after I give birth. I mean, do I need to relearn to walk when this is over?
Other than my own symptomatology, there are the responses of people around you. I have been asked if I’m getting fat and told that I’m glowing. I’ve been chastised for wearing heels and for walking too fast or carrying a box. No one cares that I’ve looked this stuff up and I’m supposed to be wearing 1.5 -2 inch heels as opposed to flats or high heels … or that I’m allowed to lift up to 30 lbs. I’ve been told I’m carrying a boy by everyone and their mother for reasons such as craving salt instead of sweets or what my stomach looks like or the fact that I’m looking good and therefore I do not have a little girl inside sucking out all my beauty. Turns out they were all right as Baby Toro is decidedly male, but I’m still not giving credence to the reasoning.
Possibly one of the more surprising aspects of pregnancy has been my husband. Who knew that he would become an absolute fount of knowledge about what is going on with my body? I’m constantly saying, “Why is this happening …” or “Can I do this …” and he most often has the answer that he just read in his “Dad” book or heard on a Pea in the Podcast. Oh yes, this podcast exists and it is perfect for my husband who loves podcasts of any kind. And it’s perfect for me because he has saved me a lot of time doing my own research. That hasn’t come without side effects, such as a sense of overprotectiveness that we’ve had to negotiate. Everything from being banned from bleu cheese to insisting I hold his arm while walking to constant admonitions to get up slowly or sit down and relax. I appreciate his willingness to be as involved as he can.
I meant to take a monthly picture to catalogue my growing body but it turns out I haven’t taken one since 20 weeks and I’m not just shy of 26 weeks. I’ll try to add one soon to this post. Watching my body grow and change has been a constant challenge. Last night I dreamed I had gained 11 pounds in one night. I woke with this thought in my head several times throughout the night, telling myself it was just a dream and I couldn’t possibly have gained 11 pounds … only to fall back into sleep and jump back awake thinking , “I gained 11 pounds last night.” When I finally woke, I weighed myself to ease my mind and found out I’d lost a pound since yesterday. Clearly packing on pounds has been one of the harder adjustments!
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