Heather's Pregnancy Compendium: part 2

here we go with more random bits of my personal pregnancy journey...feel free to skip these posts if pregnancy bores you! if not, or if you have anything to add, or questions, or comments i LOVE reading little bits and pieces of your own journeys too. i see motherhood as a big metaphor for creation in general; there are so many ways to open oneself to life and expression and joy. having struggled with infertility for so long like i mentioned last week, i really grew to love the idea of different kinds of mothering and mothers with so many different kinds of stories to tell, whether writers or singers or designers or adoptive mothers or leaders or activists teaching the world. many of my favorite artists never had physical children of their own; but in their varied ways birthed and nurtured the most poignant truths and beauties of the earth and our shared connections and women and nature and music and myth.

and i do feel particularly blessed that at this moment in my life..
it's pregnancy for me!


from the beginning, there were so many things i wondered about my body...not least of which was "when will i start showing?!!" i am now 21 weeks along and my body is changing (externally) much more noticeably these days. people close to me could "tell" even by christmas when I was just a couple months, but most of the earlier changes were internal. I was surprised, first of all, that light cramps have accompanied so much of being pregnant, especially right at first and lasting through the first several weeks. luckily I talked to Ashley, Darin's brother's wife, right away and she was about 8 months pregnant; she goes, "oh yeah, you'll have cramps the whole time. I'm having them right now!" so I never worried about them and they have never been strong. then later, more toward the second trimester, I got these crazy pulling-stretching sensations, mostly low down on the right side. sometimes they wake me up and they appear randomly, and sometimes i am not quite sure what to make of them! when you're with child, it is sometimes a little bit more difficult to know what is going on inside your body, and that has been the most interesting thing to try to get used to. I am accustomed to being able to tell or predict exactly what is going on with my physical self at all times; I am pretty in tune and aware of how I'll feel and how to gauge my body. as soon as I became pregnant, I had to just follow along. my body is the leader and I am learning to trust her deeply.

despite what everyone said, my breasts didn't grow a whole lot during the first trimester although they were extremely sensitive, especially the nipples. it was hardly noticeable, except for a rounded fullness that made them look extra perky. now…different story. I haven't had to change bras or anything, I really just fill the cups out better now, but (this is embarrassing) i love looking in the mirror naked! this body hardly looks like mine to me! these big full boobs right above a full-moon belly, it's crazy and lovely. and speaking of that full moon belly, for me it has grown the most noticeably between weeks 19 to 21 so far. you know how I kept mentioning that it is smaller in the morning? not so much anymore.... have you noticed how I try to mask the belly in my etsy shop? that is getting more and more impossible! speaking of which, you can really check out those boobs here

but oh man I sure love this belly.

you may have heard that you shouldn't change a litter box during pregnancy because cats can carry toxoplasmosis. so many sites give so many mixed messages, although it seems the consensus (from my doctor as well) is have someone else change the litter box if you can avoid it, and wash your hands after you pet your cats. at first, even this worried me. our two cats sleep on the bed with us, and as you guys probably know we love them immensely and pretty much treat them like kids. i kiss their heads and scoop them up into big bear hugs rather frequently. there were a few seconds of trying to dissuade them from sleeping with us, but that didn't last long. i just relaxed about it. i have lived around cats my entire life, so there is a good chance i've been exposed in the past, and it is still highly unlikely because our cats don't hunt or eat raw meat, we change our litter box frequently, and it is extremely rare in this country. 
so i am still loving my whole family whole-heartedly. i really can't imagine it any other way. like i've said before, it is a goal of mine to really work on not being too paranoid and to try to be a down-to-earth and natural mama who trusts her instincts.

this has been really fun. i quickly realized, especially in the awkward "i just look a little bit chubby now" phases, that there are two ways to dress a baby belly...flaunt it or hide it. both are fun and both can be very comfortable. it is very easy for me to dress in a lot of the same clothes i've always worn, because they are flowy dresses with empire waists. and i just realized today (see photos!) that i can still wear a wrap skirt, especially if it has a nice wide, long waistband tie and super soft old cotton fabric like this one. very comfortable tied somewhat loosely just above the belly. 
i did realize early on that things i would never have consider wearing before now look more flattering on me now. now that i don't have as much of a waist,there are new areas i can emphasize. for example, the snug little tight skirt over leggings. i have always had big hips so i would have never purposely drawn attention to that area. but now that there's an even bigger belly, it is kind of fun to wear tighter clothes on the bottom half.
also, i've never worn many of the stretchy jersey-knit fabrics and items that are so widespread now. i find them clingy ,sometimes in all the wrong places, and oftentimes really mass-produced feeling. i'll take a good old-fashioned gingham vintage sundress anyday! well now that i'm pregnant i am seeing a lot more appeal to that stretchy soft tee shirt fabric in its many forms.
i have yet to buy anything new yet which is nice. i have purchased a couple vintage items on etsy, like the hippie tunic i wore here, but so far they are things i can wear after i'm pregnant too. i had some friends give me a whole bunch of maternity stuff, but unfortunately most of it is is a streamlined, very modern pregnant lady look and just not my style. i don't wear pants a lot usually, and i don't think i'll be wearing a lot of pants now. i don't wear solid dark colors much, and i think i'll wear them even less if they are big and baggy. i can't really pull off the blousy blouse with a wide band around the hips. it looks very nice and put-together on so many people, but it is just not my style and i have quickly realized that i have such a versatile wardrobe already that i don't think i'll need to adjust my thrifty-vintagey-colorful style just because i'm pregnant. 

this is one that andrea has asked me about before, and definitely something that worried me before getting pregnant. i LOVE my coffee! i love the way it makes me feel, the taste, and the ritual of it in the morning. i have always had at least two, and many times three or four, cups a day. for the first few weeks i drank a cup or two of coffee like normal, but around six or seven weeks pregnant, i not only stopped wanting it, it grossed me out. the smell, the sight of the grounds on the counter, the sound of the grinder, everything about it. i tried Pero, a coffee substitute made of barley, which tasted good the first time i tried it but after that it made me want to vomit just to think about it. not only that, teas of all kinds and all hot drinks in general made me sick! i have never been more picky about what i would drink. sometimes ginger ale or lemonade sounded good, other times these sounded horrid. i am a huge water-drinker usually, and i could barely even stomach my nice filtered water! those first couple months are crazy. i will talk more about this topic later, but whooooeee, let me tell you it was nice to get past that first trimester. and i never even puked. in a way it was worse, i was just constantly and completely queasy all day long, affecting every aspect of life. anyway, back to the coffee....after i lost my queasiness about it, my doctor had also said a cup a day would be absolutely fine, but i still just didn't want it. this actually made me sad. my household shares coffee in the morning as a sweet ritual and one i've always loved. i had heard about friends who started drinking coffee after four months or so and that just wasn't happening for me...well guess what?! just yesterday i woke up, smelled coffee brewing in the kitchen and for the first time in months, i craved a cup! and i had it, with a bit of brown sugar and cream, and it was delicious, and one cup was more than plenty. i didn't have any today, but at least now i know i'm on the road back to normal :)

as you can tell, i'm loving to discover each little aspect of this journey. 
i hope that you'll add bits and pieces of your own thoughts on the subject!
and i'm super excited to write about FOOD next week, and also emotions, exercise, and exhaustion.
fun stuff! 
happy monday!

by the way, we are having an ultrasound this THURSDAY and finding out the sex of the baby, so if you want to place your bets do it now! i'm so excited!

outfit deets:
white cotton top: free from a clothing exchange w/ friends
wrap skirt: gifted from my boss Celia at the bookstore
boots: just gifted to me today from my wonderful friend carolann
white feather earrings: made for me and gifted from em
leather beaded necklace with buffalo tooth: handmade exchanged with laura of velvet leaf fame


Still Blooming said…
These posts are just wonderful! How your little one will enjoy to know the journey one day. (a time I wish I had kept journal) You are blooming beautifully beyond words. in your 'beach bums' post how the sun is shining on your baby...breathtaking. Perhaps its a son/sun? Are you going to find out,did I miss that part, or are you going to keep it a surprise? sending LOVE your way, Sheri
sheri, yes we are finding out! i had forgotten to mention, so thank you for reminding me, i added it to the end of the post. yep, we find out on thursday. i always thought that i'd wait and be surprised but now that it's really happening i just couldn't wait, this will be an extra surprise right now halfway through :)

thanks for your sweet sweet words!
Still Blooming said…
Oh goodie!!!! Then we can all start to bombard you with cute boy/girl baby vintage?? Can't wait to find out! XOxo
Celynne said…
I'm absolutely loving that you're sharing this all with us! You look beautiful and wild, as usual. You shouldn't be embarrassed about enjoying looking at yourself in the mirror, I do it all the time, and I don't have a baby in my belly as a good excuse hah. It's just nice to see yourself as a whole from another view, all our bodies are just so beautiful and unique and miraculous, it's really a shame we don't remind ourselves that more often. That's interesting about the coffee, I'd feel so strange not having my cup in the morning. I think your belly has a pretty little girl in it, that's my guess :)
ooh you are so beautiful! that belly is gorgeous. i had really bad round ligament pain with both my pregnancies. so bad the second time i went to the emergency room at 2 am because i thought i had an ectopic. that shit hurts, dude. stretchy stretchy stretchy. those poor little muscles are working so hard. i am so excited to find out what you ar ehaving. i never guess right, and i have no idea what you are having. can't wait to find out! good idea on the embracing the variety of styles of parenting. when i had my first i got really, really steeped in parenting woo. AVOID MOTHERING.COM at all costs. they are psychos. PSYCHOS dude. some of those parenting philosophies are a recipe for post partum depression. play it by ear, do what feels right. you are such a nurturing and kind spirit, you don't need to read a book to find out how to be a mom, you'll know. i love these pregnancy posts.
on a differnt note, i am struggling withreading your posts with your new background on you rpage. i have bad eyes, so it might be just me, but it hurts my poor eyes and if i didn't love you as much as i did and you were some other blog i'd likely just give up on reading it.
Heather said…
I am so enjoying reading your journey it brings me back to my pregnancies it is such an amazing time I think it is great that your keeping track of it all on your blog. I love your skirt it is gorgeous....and I think it is fantastic that you just keep on keepin on wearing what you like I never cared for the normal maternity stuff either. With my first son I did not find out what we were having but an older women in the grocery store who was behind me tapped me on the shoulder when I was pregnant and said your having a boy. And I said how do you know? and she said I have 11 children and 9 grandchildren trust me your having a boy. And guess what I did have a boy ;) .....How exciting can't wait to hear the news ~Love Heather
Teeny said…
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY so glad you're finding out, it will give me something to plan towards in regards to baby stuff making. If you have heaps of pain in your hips I'd say a boy! If you are showing out front alot i'd say a girl! So hard to tell. With my first pregnancy I had those pulling pains you're talking of, but didn't get them with my second so much. I think it's your body being pulled into shape huh. I felt revolting the whole time of my first pregnancy (with my boy) but then incredibly sexy mama with my second (a girl). I loved dressing up in boots and stretchy stripey knits because I had this amazing curvy, booby, hippy body that is so different to my normally quite boyish frame. i loved it.You are looking so romantic and pretty in the white lace edged tank and gorgeous blue and white skirt. Also - coffee - i went off it for both of my pregs too. Have you had headaches? I got them alot in my gestations. I thought I had toxoplasmosis (a bit paranoid) - but - uh - it was just pregnancy headaches. Love your kitty kats, you'll be spending so much time cuddling baby when he/she arrives that the kitties will need extra loving now!
Andrea said…
Heather, you are just too cute :) I really enjoyed reading this. You raise several points I had never even heard of. Cramps? Cats? pretty crazy things... I am enjoying your posts because I've never really spent time around a pregnant friend. I have had pregnant friends, but usually we are not in the same city by the time they are preggers... so your posts are like a big huge heads up. I'm really excited for some boob growth-- that part must be fun! ha ha!

I have a kind of sort of question... one of my biggest concerns is being a full-time working person while i'm pregnant. Do you think that (especially during your first trimester) it would have been hard to stand up and teach for several hours a day given how queasy you always felt? Or, was it the sort of mild, i can deal queasy? Of course I'm sure it varies with each person but just curious about how it affected other parts of your daily life. It did not come across at all in your posts btw.

Also, have you noticed any back pain in your lower back now that you are getting bigger? This is also something I'm kind of scared about since I had a back injury once before.

Love these posts! Can't wait to read & see more of your glowy self :)
fatmoss said…
aaa you are too cute, that last picture is so warm and loving.
Missa said…
LOVE the wrap skirt over the belly. Those are some mighty perfect boots too mama. Thursday! So excited for you guys!!! I can't wait to hear the news!
Violet Folklore said…
Eeeeeeeeeee! I can't wait to find out the sex! You MUST post it on facebook (and here too) the minute you walk outta there. PLEASE. I'm going to be so antsy all day. Oh my god I'm almost crying right now thinking about it.

I loved looking at my naked pregnant self too. I took some pictures that I look back on fondly. Maybe I've told you that Carabeth said she used to photograph her cleavage during the baby time because, like me and maybe you, it was the only time she'd ever have any :-)

I love these posts Heather. They're so personal and true to life. How about touching on dreams?? Pregnancy dreams are crazy!
ashley said…
Oh, how I am crying right now, seeing your sweet pregnant belly! The beauty in it all- Im slayed!I am really enjoying reading these posts, and have always appreciated how open and honest you are.

Cheers to all sorts of full cups- coffee and breasteses!

PS- my mama (an old wife)always said if you are carrying low, its a boy, and high, its a girl. Its looking more low to me...! Also, some say certain things you crave are an indication to the sex of the little babe. Any strange cravings?

Love to you and the family xoxo
mo marie said…
Tomorrow is the day! I can only imagine how excited you and Darin must be to find out. Looking forward to hearing the news! You look so radiant and I love your skirt in this post. Oh yeah and those cute boots too!
Jacqueline said…
As a new mama myself, I am loving these posts! Can't wait to find out the sex...I'm sure you will feel blessed either way! My husband & I didn't find out and *everyone* thought we were having a boy for one reason or another...but, it was a girl. After she was born we just looked st each other like "Duhh, it's a girl!" We knew in our hearts all along.

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