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.
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!
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