09 February 2004 by Published in: pregnancy No comments yet

Ok so it’s time for another pregnancy update, since I went to the doctor last week. I realize that I’ve documented this pregnancy in a much more haphazard way than the last one, so here’s one small attempt at rectifying that. This doctor’s visit was the last of my four week visits, and since I’ll be starting week 30 around Valentine’s day, we’ll be moving on to two week visits from here on out. Week 30 feels like the beginning of the end to me. I’m not sure why. Part of it may have to do with the fact that any baby born from here on now has an excellent chance of surviving so some of the premature labor concerns go away. In any other context I think 10 weeks would qualify as forever away, but in terms of delivering a baby it seems nigh instant. There’s a lot that remains undone, despite the fact that there’s a lot less that needs to be done this time around. I think we have all the furniture and accoutrements we need (provided we can get back some of the things we loaned out) for the new baby. I can’t say I’m quite ready for delivery, though. I’m not as eager for the time of birth to hurry up and get here for various reasons. One is I’m not ready yet. Another is that I know this is the last time I’ll ever be pregnant. Not that it’s anyone’s business, but Kurt and I have pretty much decided that we’re done after this one. Granted we may change our minds and granted things don’t always work out as you plan them, but our current position is that we’re not having any more kids, so I’m strangely relishing having a huge belly and waddling around. I’m not in a hurry for it to end, not just because being pregnant is kind of cool, but because the end of this process is necessarily stressful and dangerous. Labor and delivery is a pretty traumatizing process, and not just physically. I don’t care what anyone says about how beautiful and wonderful it is, it’s also difficult, scary and harsh. It’s not a barrel of laughs or a nice relaxing night out, regardless of how you frame it or how badly you want the outcome of the ordeal. Of course I have found that besides being painful and frightening in a thousand different ways it’s also completely worthwhile in a way few other things in life are, but that truth doesn’t make any of the other less true. At any rate, I’m comfortable with being in the last stages without being in a hurry to get the baby out already, which is a marked difference from the first time around. I started to be anxious and in a hurry when I got to this point with Sophia, if I recall correctly. Part of my reluctance to see time go any faster is knowing how horrible the aftermath of birth really is. I keep remembering about never getting to sleep and feeling grateful if I got a shower every three days. I remember exhaustion and confusion and pain going on for a lot longer than I thought myself capable of bearing. I keep thinking of our family harmony being completely shattered and having to work a new, uncompromising, demanding and uncommunicative being into what is generally a settled routine at our household. I spend a lot of time holding Sophia, afraid that in a couple of months I will always have my arms taken up by the new baby and be unable to cuddle her close without interference. I’m not totally convinced there’s enough of me to go around. On the other hand, I also spend a lot of time imagining myself holding a small baby in one arm and Sophia’s hand in the other, and how nice that will be. I look forward to their interactions and their differences. Will the new baby be physically precocious instead of mentally and verbally so, as Sophia is? They will have so much to teach each other about being in the world. When asked whether she will be a big sister, Sophia now answers with a simple, “Yes,” instead of wailing that she doesn’t want a new baby brother or sister like she did a few months ago. We are all slowly getting ready. I am grateful that there’s still time, as there’s still much mental and physical preparation required of all of us.

So the doctor said my weight gain was good (6 pounds) and the results of the glucose test came back ok, and my iron levels are acceptable. Everything’s fine. I asked her about the groin pains and she said that was a pretty common second pregnancy thing. She said my body’s just a little more tired and a little less strong than it was last time, and there’s less support for my burgeoning belly. She didn’t say I have been eating too much chocolate, although I know that I have. I have not been as good about my diet this pregnancy as I was with Sophia. I have been careful, but I have allowed myself to eat as I want to, and not let myself be ruled by what experts have proclaimed I should and should not eat. Outside the fact that the experts contradict themselves, I feel as though the whole thing is going to be hard enough as it is, without further complicating it by denying myself things I really want which won’t truly make a difference to my baby’s development. Maybe when my second child is emancipated he or she can sue me for what I ate while it was in my womb. On that day, I’ll sue back for lost sleep and I imagine we’ll probably call it even.

I think I’ve attained maximum “pregnant glow”. About two weeks ago I was flooded with compliments about how pregnancy suited me and how good I looked from all kinds of people. It’s really nothing I did, I guess my circulatory system finally opened throttle and gave me that flush people instinctively mistake for good health and good looks. My hair is looking great, but of course it’s been doing that for a while. I wear it down a lot, and luxuriate in the fullness and shine. I also feel, and I’m not sure how to describe this without making people feel uncomfortable, ripe in a way I don’t remember feeling last time around. My breasts are huge (far larger than they were last time at this point – I’m already wearing my nursing bras and have been for a month) and just last week I lost my belly button so my lower half is bulging out fully, and my genitalia is really, well, pronounced. I’m all kinds of fruit hanging off the vine waiting to be eaten metaphors. It seems strange, if my biological urges and hormones are all tied into reproduction of the species, and that’s pretty much already happened, why am I feeling so sexual and sexualized by my body’s transformations? I don’t remember this at all last time, but maybe it’s because I was so anxious and uncertain about everything that was happening to me and nothing shuts of my sex drive quicker than stress. Or maybe it’s that all pregnancies are different. Or maybe it’s just that I understand now about creating life on a level I didn’t understand before. Whatever the reasons might be, I’m absolutely in love with my body and completely ready to enjoy it (and sex) right now in a way I had not expected to be. It’s odd, but it’s not bad, and I hate to fall into mother goddess cliches here, but it’s strangely empowering. Maybe there’s a reason all the ancient fertility goddess images look distinctly pregnant.

As for other effects of pregnancy, there’s a marked increase in my distractability, too. In the time it takes me to open a new tab for a URL I forget where I was intending to go or what I was going to look at. I feel as though I should write everything down, just in case. However, when I do write things down the notes are cryptic and unhelpful. They say things like “dreams” or “nov. 5” or “Suite 405” and I have no idea what they mean. I stare at them for a bit and try to remember what they can possibly relate to, then throw them away. I can walk from my cubicle to the water cooler with nothing but an empty cup in my hand, and when I get there, I’m not sure why I left my cubicle. I retrace my steps and start to sit in my chair, remember I’m thirsty and raise my cup to my lips. Oh yeah. Cup’s empty, need water. So that’s what I was doing over at the water cooler. It’s amazing I can get anything done at all, really.

This child is different from Sophia. For one thing, it moves around all the time, way more than she did. For another it doesn’t seem to constantly get the hiccups the way she did. Its movements are more abrupt, too. It comes much closer to hurting me more often than Sophia ever did.


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