Heather's Pregnancy Compendium: part 3
i am 23 weeks pregnant today: i'm in month six by the obstetric calendar!
i kept waiting for the perfect occasion to wear this adorable, soft little dress that mary sent me with special love for my second trimester :) it was hers during her pregnancy with fern and smells delightfully of herbs and wildflowers.
i finally just had to go ahead and wear it for an ordinary, cozy, rainy, thrifting day. i felt SO cute in it, i love the way the design reaches round the belly. thank you mary!!!
and guess what? i paired it with my brand-new handmade GORGEOUS morrocan boots that i won in this amazing giveaway, feeling like the luckiest girl on earth.
so i figured i'd write a little more on how things are going here in my pregnancy compendium. (sorry about not keeping it on mondays, i'm just terrible at scheduling stuff like that)
here we go:
amber mentioned this in the comments last time, and i realized i had to touch on it! pregnancy dreams are amazing! they are so vivid. a lot of mine just include a bunch of people i actually know getting together for some big conference or festival in a hotel but oftentimes there are exciting adventures or complications involved. for instance, i have to take off flying to escape, (i have flying dreams a lot) with all five of my cats who come along with me in a plastic storage bin.
i have dreamed about the ocean multiple times, waves, whales, sharks, and other sea creatures.
i've had some quite sexy dreams too ;)
i have had a few baby dreams, but nothing too spectacular, usually just a baby along with me on whatever crazy trip i'm on. in one though, i was "pregnant" and it was a girl but she was being carried in a tiny plastic backpack on my back and it fell off me at the airport and i could see inside and look at her face. she was beautiful and looked just like darin. but she was in danger because all the fluid had leaked out of the little backpack so she had to be rushed to the hospital, and then i woke up. i have indeed had several "anxiety" dreams but nothing that puts me in a panic or anything. i feel like the dreams are a good way of processing all my daytime thoughts and emotions.
speaking of which,
ah the emotions of pregnancy. i love it, you are on a wild roller coaster ride and you just flow along with it. during the first trimester i was moody and not feeling so well, so occasionally my household got to deal with my cranky and bossy side. nothing sounded good to eat, i was nervous a lot, wishy washy, stubborn and completely anti-social. very much turning within. but i also had these wonderful crying bouts in which i would just weep, feeling so incredibly blessed and honored to be carrying a child. once it hit me in the car on the way home from the grocery store and i was just gripping the wheel, driving down the neighborhood street all strung with christmas lights, tears flowing down my face, gasping, saying thank you over and over. i love to be overwhelmed passionately like that, and if it's pregnancy hormones i can thank for the feeling, well then thank you.
as for the ambivalence that some women experience during the first trimester, that didn't happen to me, presumably because i've been so sure and confident about wanting a child for so long. however, i was sometimes swept up by this very realistic perspective of life changing in huge ways, and it felt a little scary and overwhelming. already since then, i have become so much more conscious of myself as a mother, with another life inside me, that is mine to protect and cherish forever. it is huge, and the process of adjusting to that idea takes time, patience and care. i feel like it is a flowering. the budding is a bit tight, but now i am in the blossoming and it is open and full of light.
i've never been good at staying on top of regular exercise. i am a very active and energetic person, but it's rare for me to take time for sustained exercise-for-the-sake-of-exercise. i've learned something valuable during pregnancy...because of my gestational diabetes scare (which is over, hurray! i'm no longer in the program since i had "normal" testing results all along) i learned that exercise immediately lowers your blood sugar. in other words, i saw clearly when i'd do my little finger prick blood tests and read the results, how exercise helps you process the sugars in your diet. a brisk walk around the hills of my neighborhood after an ice cream sundae...my blood sugars stayed nice and low! also, like i mentioned back in january, yoga keeps me focused, flexible, and energized. so i try to do some yoga and walking several times a week and i think in the summertime i'll do some swimming too. for me, that's a damn lot of exercise so thanks, baby!
during the first trimester, i was tired a lot. for me it was a different kind of tired than i-need-a-nap tired, or i woke up too early, or i had a long day at work. it was just a lack of energy that meant a lot of cuddling up on the couch with a book or movie. at the very start of the second trimester, i had a turning point. in fact it was on this trip i took to utah to visit my brother and his family. it actually felt like the sun and rocks and red desert and fresh cold air revived me, my body and my baby. we loved it out there! and ever since then i've been bursting with energy.
once i do crash, i really crash though. at some point, andrea asked me how i do all the things i do, and if i wasn't exhausted. the truth is, i do a lot less than before! i just show each of those few things i do here ;) i used to do something social several times a week, now it's generally just once. i work 3 days a week, and that is plenty for me; after the third day i'm pretty worn out. i remember plenty of days in december just staying home all day, my dad stopping by to check on me, my sister calling, darin building a fire and making us dinner. the difference between being pregnant and before is that now, when i become exhausted, i totally baby myself :)
feeling the baby move:
i was very excited to experience the quickening, having been an avid reader of natural pregnancy books and especially Spiritual Midwifery for the last ten years or so. it was one of those things i could only imagine with the greatest of glee and reverence. but i have found it is really a more gradual process, at least for me. there was no one particular moment of quickening like i imagined, rather it was a indeterminate sense of fluttering deep within from about sixteen weeks on. women all describe it differently, i have heard goldfish swimming or popcorn popping, both of which ring true. but another aspect i love about it is this vague and intoxicating sense of vertigo. it reminds me of a very gentle roller coaster ride, you know how when you've climbed up, up, up and then you whoosh down?! (i love roller coasters, so for me this is a purely fun sensation) that's kind of what it feels like, but in a very small way isolated in your belly. i think it reminds me of that because of the lack of control of your own bodily sensations. someone else is in there, doing that to you! and ladies, if you are mamas i think you know what i mean: it is the BEST FEELING ON EARTH. i am quite in love with the little hummingbird's flickerings, to the point that sometimes all i want to do is cozy up and feel it. i find this a very grounding experience, pure being in the moment, being truly and utterly with child, and being one with my baby.
i know the kicks and bumps will grow until they maybe even become uncomfortable, and that is fine by me! for now, they are still small and pleasant and gentle. last week i was sitting out in the sun (i miss it already!) i had my belly exposed and i actually saw a little kick from the outside. so far, they are mostly deep within, or they stop when i'm watching. joey says, "she's coy." i am eager for them to be visible and touchable from the outside so darin can partake!
meanwhile, it's kind of like watching for falling stars :)
that's a lot for today, but i will leave you with this:
i love food. it tastes better than ever. i am the hugest dork at mealtimes, going "mmmmmm" with every bite.
the first trimester was the exact opposite. i was queasy all day, every day and nothing sounded good to eat. i would wrack my brain trying to come up with something to eat for lunch so i wouldn't starve my growing baby :) it could never be the same thing twice or too close together. regular hot cooked food mostly sounded gross. there was no rhyme or reason to it, sometimes refried beans sounded great, other times they made me want to gag. same with salad, cheese, avocado, etc. people say eat starchy things when you're nauseous, or crackers, but bread and tortillas sounded disgusting to me. i could barely even drink water, and i am known for drinking a lot of water. i stopped drinking tea because all warm drinks, even the thought of them, made me sick. oh, and andrea asked about how debilitating the nausea was, well it really wasn't too bad in any external way. for me, i never even threw up; i know a lot of people do though. it was more internal, an overall queasiness that affected everything, even where i would sit in my house. smells were horrific. work was never too bad for me, but i did cut back my hours for a little while just because my job is very lenient and i was taking it easy on myself.
then it all changed. now i love all food. i could list you some cravings but i don't even think they are necessarily cravings, just random things that sound so good in the moment. then i eat them, and move on to something else! certain things i've really enjoyed include: cottage cheese, baja style tempeh tacos with vegan slaw (recipe from this book) grapefruit, oranges, grilled cheese sandwiches with jalapenos, falafel with greek yogurt dip, beets, pistachios, strawberries and blueberries, darin's homemade smoothies, almond butter, brussel sprouts, black bean burritos with all the fixings, (especially sour cream lately but just a little bit, i hate a huge mouthful of it). cadbury mini eggs. i eat oatmeal every day, i put nutritional yeast on everything, and i eat more butter on my toast than ever before.
hell, i'm enjoying this thing ;)
if you have any thoughts on pregnancy or childbirth, or anything to add or ask, please do! needless to say, i'm pretty obsessed with this kind of conversation lately :)
so that's about it for today, now i'm going to go cozy up on another rainy afternoon and enjoy being pregnant, organizing and nesting and all that fun stuff (wait till you see what i've been up to in baby's room!)