State of the Pregnancy Address
Movement: Almost every day now, I feel what I am more and
more sure is fetal movement! So far the only times I feel it are when I am quietly
lying down or (once or twice) sitting down. When I do feel it, it feels like
small bubble pops and (sometimes) small flutters. It's amazing and strange and
Belly: Growing by leaps and bounds, getting bigger all the time. I still have one denim skirt that was apparently made for a woman with a really pooched out belly, because as of last week, it still fits - but just barely. I may or may not be able to get it on this week. If I can, I bet this week will be the last one. Also, I hadn't realized just how incredibly hard a pregnant woman's belly is, having not ever really poked and prodded at a pregnant woman's belly until recently. Now, though, nestled just below the protective layer of fat that covers my belly, is a super hard thing that is, if everything is going as it should be around there, my uterus. Also, my belly is often really damn itchy. I spend a lot of time every day idly scratching at it. I'm using some of that anti-stretch mark cream (both Laurie and Kerry gave me some), which seems to help some, but doesn't completely get rid of the itching. Itch itch!
Belly button: On its way out. Literally. I have always had a very deep belly button, and it's still there, but now, suddenly, I see the bottom of it! It freaks me out. My very deep belly button was also always very very ticklish, but lately Geoff has taken to testing for ticklishness, or something, by putting his hand over my belly while we are watching tv in bed or going to sleep, and it's not until many seconds later that I notice that he has a finger resting in my belly button! Agh! He is amazed that not only does it no longer tickle, but I can barely feel it.
Nausea and vomiting: Not over with. In fact, starting with last Saturday (not a couple of days ago, but the one before that), I had 4 days in a row of straight puking. Then two days off. Then two days on. Then yesterday and today I am (so far) puke-free. I don't even want to talk about it anymore, and it is of no comfort to me when people ask me if that nausea is all gone and then say "well, it should be gone sometime soon!" when I tell them no, because they have been saying the same thing for MONTHS now, at this point, and I think I just don't need to get my hopes up anymore. I have confidence that some day, even if it is not until some non-pregnant day, the nausea and puking will be but a distant memory. If I didn't have confidence in that, I would be pretty depressed, because feeling this way this often sucks. Since I do have confidence that this will be done with someday (at least by somewhere around 4 1/2 months from now), I am relatively ok with it.
Acne: Still sticking around, but better than it was during the first trimester. I still hate it, and there's still not much I can do about it.
Nose: Did you know that pregnant women often bleed from the nose? It's true. I knew this from other pregnant friends, and I've sort of been keeping an eye out for this to happen, but until recently, it didn't. Then last week, every time I blew my nose, my Kleenex looked like it had been used to clean up stab wounds or something. (Apparently, the nasal membranes get all swollen during pregnancy, which often causes stuffiness and also bleeding.) So far, though, I haven't yet had any sudden unexpected nosebleeds, for which I am grateful.
Gums: Did you know that pregnant women often bleed from their gums? It's true. The pregnancy websites and books like to refer to this as the "pink toothbrush" syndrome, like for some reason it's ok to talk about a pink toothbrush but not a bloody one. Whatever. I hadn't really had any bleeding gums until last night. Last night, though, I was brushing my teeth, and then I started to floss, and the amount of bleeding was so impressive that I went out to the living room to show Geoff the gore. His response, a day after we saw Kill Bill, was that my mouth looked like, "Uma Thurman's mouth after she bit that guy's lip off," a comparison which I think translates even if you haven't seen Kill Bill.
Heartburn: I am pretty sure that by now, I have eaten the baby's weight in Tums. I am almost done with my third bottle (72 tablets each) of Tums. I will have to get more today, because heartburn is uncomfortable enough, but it's so much worse if there is not immediate relief at hand. I only have seven more tablets right now, and I don't think that will last me through the rest of the day. (It's only 12:30 right now, and I've already eaten 4 tablets today.)
Fingernails: Really white, strong, and impressive, overall, especially considering what sad shape they were in before I got pregnant. All of a sudden, they grow without me even trying to get them to! I keep thinking that I need to take advantage of these nice nails by going and getting them manicured, but so far I haven't done it. Geoff bought me a gift certificate for a neighborhood salon months ago, though, so I really should go use it.
Gracefulness: Honestly, I haven't noticed a big difference in my grace or lack thereof. I bet that I probably seem less graceful, though, at least at home with Geoff, because I'm a lot more likely to make little sounds when I need to get up or sit down or bend over. Bending over to put on tights, for instance, is already no fun. I'm not really sure I want to think about how much more difficult that's going to get.
Breasts: They haven't really grown any bigger lately, but they are now doing this weird thing (that is probably really none of your business, but it is super strange, and really, why should I be embarrassed by this? I can't help it)! On their own, out of nowhere, a nipple and the corresponding aereola will get all clenched up (and really, that's what it feels like, like it's clenched). Sometimes the left breast will get so tightly clenched up in the middle of the night while I'm sleeping (and so far, it's always the left one - is this because I'm left-handed?) that the slight pain of it wakes me up. That's just (like so many of these other things) freaky and weird.
Emotions: Really good, overall. I have mostly felt pretty good during this pregnancy, but at any given moment my emotions could plummet for a small reason or no reason at all. Lately I feel less needy and less on the edge. Lately I feel more secure and more stable. I think these feelings go along with feeling the baby move, growing a pregnant-looking belly, and being at the halfway point in the pregnancy - this pregnancy is real! Also, it's amazing how easy (relatively speaking) it is to put up with all of these relatively minor discomforts when you know why you are suffering from them. A few weeks ago, the pastor at the church was talking about Job, and talking about suffering, and about how difficult it is to suffer when you don't understand why you are suffering, or when (if ever) it will end, or what you have done to deserve it, and how it can possibly result in anything that's going to bring something good into your life. And I thought that this is why pregnancy is usually relatively easy to bear - because we understand why these things are happening, and when (approximately) they will end, and what the amazingly wonderful result of all of this discomfort will be. So even when I feel bad, I don't feel despairing, and I don't wonder, "why me?" and I don't wish that this were happening to somebody else. (I do, on occasion, wish for an end to the puking, I admit.) Instead, I feel lucky to get to go through this.
Baby: I still don't know very much about this baby, which, now that I think about it, is strange, considering that it's been living inside my body for several months now. The baby is alive, and its heart is beating, and he or she will someday be Geoff’s child and mine. Even only knowing that much, I think I probably love it already.