This week I reached the 20-week milestone, which means I’m officially halfway through my pregnancy. Yay. Of course, the second half will feel longer than the first because a) the first month you don’t even realize you’re pregnant and b) the first 12 weeks I tried to go about my business as though I wasn’t. But now, there’s no denying it: there’s a baby growing inside me and in 20 short weeks there will be a baby outside me. So, here’s some thoughts on being pregnant so far.
The Nesting Myth is Real
You always hear about pregnant women going into nesting mode trying to make their place “baby-ready.” I never thought this would happen to me. If you’ve ever set foot in my house, it’s pretty clear I have no design sense and couldn’t care less about it. And then we got pregnant and suddenly I had a pinterest design board for every room in the house (and yes, including the nursery). Maybe it has something to do with the fact I’m spending a lot more time in the house than I normally would. Or maybe that mama bear instinct to create a cozy loving space for my offspring is kicked in. Either way, it seems crazy to want to spend a ton of money on renovations and home furnishings when I should be saving, and thinking about moving furniture and painting when I should be taking it easy… but it’s happening.
My Personal Space is Sacred
I’ve always been a hugger. I’ve never had a problem with displaying physical affection. But unless you’re my husband or my mom, please don’t touch me right now. My body is changing. I’m super sensitive to smells. And you’re not touching “the baby” you’re touching my ever-expanding stomach. I’m also super uncomfortable all the time (sitting, standing, laying down) and I don’t need another obstacle to that comfort.
I’m Still Waiting for that Second Trimester “Magic”
Everyone says your second trimester is a welcome break from the nausea and tiredness of the first. And for the most part, it is! I’m not throwing up 3-4 times a day; now it’s only once every few days! Woo hoo! But, throwing up anytime still isn’t fun and I’m still tired all the time. And now it’s a different kind of tiredness. It’s the “wow, I just walked up a flight of stairs and I need a break” tiredness. Or the “I have massive insomnia and I’m only sleeping 4 hours a night” tiredness. Bottom line: pregnancy is never easy.
Taking Stock of Everything
At various times, pregnancy has made me take complete stock of everything in my life. Am I making enough money? Is my 60-hour work week viable for when the baby comes along? What about my husband’s freelance schedule? Will my friends still like me when the baby is born? Is our house big enough? There are days when I’m kicking ass at work, my house is clean, I’ve managed to work out and eat right, get some of my own writing done, and catch up with a friend and I feel invincible. And then there are days I’m driving the hour plus commute from my office, puking into a dog bag, stressing about how much money is in our account, pulling over to the nearest Taco Bell for food because I’m so freaking hungry, and wondering how the hell I’m going to be a parent at all. A few years ago when having kids was still a fantasy, I had this vision that I’d be able to do it all. Work the 60-hour job, have an amazing social life, and be an amazing wife and mother. And then the reality sets in and you realize having it all will mean leaving work early and feeling guilty about it; not spending as much time with your husband or your friends as you would like to; not showering (sometimes) and being covered in either your vomit or your dog’s vomit (and probably someday in the near-future, your child’s vomit) as you talk on the phone with a co-worker and try to sound somewhat professional (yes, these things have all happened). It’s a balancing act. And while at the end of the day, I know we’ll be fine, you do have to find ways to compromise and manage it all, and that part isn’t pretty or perfect.
Having Friends Who Have Babies and/or Are Currently Pregnant is Special
Just like with any new life phase (graduating college, finding that awesome set of work peers you can confide in, getting married), having other friends who have been indoctrinated into the world of babies is key. It’s like you’re all part of this little tribe. There’s also a lot of shit to figure out when having a baby, so the more people you can ask about where they got their crib and do we really need to get “sophie the giraffe,” the better? I’m also beyond lucky that I’m pregnant along with a handful of friends right now (a couple of which our due dates are a few days apart!) Sure, that means having to coordinate our showers and not being able to share maternity clothes, but it also means commiserating about all our aches and pains, getting to take prenatal pilates classes together (to help alleviate those aches and pains), stealing nursery lists and pediatricians, getting to go to childbirth classes together, and planning our kids’ future playdates (and weddings). It also makes the idea of actually having this baby less scary because there’s already an amazing support system in place.
Pregnancy Brain is Real
This is another myth that I thought was completely made up and a pregnant woman’s excuse to act all cute and forgetful. It’s not. It’s very real. I forget things all the time and have somehow gotten clumsier in the past 4.5 months. This blog post alone has taken me several days to write because I kept forgetting the points I was trying to make. They say it’ll fade once the baby is born and I hope for all our sake’s that’s true. In the meantime… well, I forget what I was going to say. I’m sure it was going to be awesome.