So, when last I did a true pregnancy update post, I had just come out of the first trimester. The first trimester is an interesting combination of not feeling well, not telling people you’re pregnant, and being generally nervous that something might go wrong. As I near the end of my second trimester, it’s a pretty different view. I feel generally great, I tell everyone and their brother that I’m expecting, and while the nerves never completely subside, I’ve found that I’ve stopped white-knuckling everything.
So, as I near the end of T-2, some general things I’ve noticed about pregnancy:
1. Pregnancy is a weird mix of joy and anxiety. Particularly in the first trimester, there is so much that can just not work out. You’re excited about being pregnant, but you’re not telling everyone because, well, something could go wrong. Even now, there was a moment when we hit the viability marker and were excited because if something went wrong, it wouldn’t be as bad. The worry never goes away totally, but for me, the second trimester has been learning how to manage it better and to allow the joy to overtake the anxiety more often than not.
2. You want to look pregnant, but you don’t want to look pregnant. I didn’t want to look like I simply ate one too many tacos at Taco Tuesday, but when people started telling me that I looked pregnant, I swore I would never wear that particular outfit again. It’s a double-edged sword, particularly for anyone who struggles with body issues. I take a lot of comfort in the fact that I’m healthy and my doctor is happy with our collective progress. In the end, that’s what really matters.
3. Having a doctor you like, nay love, has never been more important. I switched doctors early in my first trimester and it was the best thing I could have done. My old doctor was fine, but the bedside manner was not for me. My current doctor makes me feel so comfortable, like I can ask anything, and is (for me) the perfect mix of serious advice and humor. If you’re in the market, message me directly and I’d be happy to tell you who my doc is.
4. Pregnancy urban legends really do happen. Someone in the grocery store randomly congratulated me on my pregnancy (thank goodness I am pregnant, right?). I have had unauthorized belly touching. People just generally comment on everything from your size to your lunch to your bathroom habits to how to raise the tiny human. Accepting that my body is sort of communal property for comment and contact is a process. Because everyone means so well, it’s easier to take with a smile.
5. Registering goes from overwhelming to amazing very quickly. I mean, sure, I need changing pad covers and bottles. But I can also register for booties and mittens and a baby fedora, for goodness sake. I can live without getting the bottles. The fedora I must have.
6. Alcohol is the easiest and hardest thing to give up. Why the easiest? Because no one questions you about it. Other food/drink items can bring up debates about pasteurization, cooking temperatures, or the relative safety of nitrates. Everyone is on-board with the fact that I don’t have a martini in my hand, though. Also, it’s nice when any fun you have, any awkward social situation you glide through, or any rough day you survive is done solely because of you and the people around you, with no extra social crutch. But it’s also probably the hardest. I know exactly what I want once I can drink again: a big, bold, club-you-over-the-head red. Alcohol is one of the most “common” (in frequency) things to give up. It may be the thing-I-gave-up that I miss the most, but I’ll acknowledge it’s tied with power vinyasa yoga because, well, balance in life is important.
7. Feeling the baby kick is so cool. Having Matthew feel the baby kick is even better. Kiddo and I have been having our own private conversations through kicks for weeks now. I sing “Call Me Maybe” and he throws up his arms in wild abandon. I’m on a conference call and my bladder becomes his own personal hacky sack. It never stops being fun and I never stop being awe-struck by it, but the first time Matthew felt him kick was hands-down one of the best moments of the pregnancy. He said hi to his dad! And Matthew finally got to connect with him like I get to all the time. I’m seriously mushy just thinking about it.
8. The grandparents’ excitement is contagious and amazing. I am truly overwhelmed at how our parents have responded to the pregnancy and how excited they are for this baby. He will have such an awesome support system and such great role models.
9. Everyone’s excitement is contagious and amazing. From friends to coworkers to social media acquaintances and readers, the amount of love and positive energy that comes from a baby on the way is so cool. Honestly, that’s been so much of what has made this second trimester so enjoyable. That and the ability to be in the presence of chicken without wanting to yak.
Bottom line is, this is a ride like no other, and I’m trying to take in and appreciate every moment, from the ridiculous to the sublime.