It still feels like a dream. Even now, while I am heading into my 27th week, and starting to feel those little kicks on a regular basis. It still feels like a dream, an amazing, wonderful dream; a dream that I am going to be a mother in just a few more months. That we have created this little girl who is growing inside of me and who I am going to love and be responsible for for the rest of my life and beyond that. How incredible is all of this? And yes, I know that millions and millions of women have done the same thing since the beginning of time, but it’s all such a new and wonderful feeling that I can’t get enough of it. Every day I wake up knowing that I am carrying the being that I will love more than anything I have ever loved in my life, and that I am responsible for bringing her into this world and making sure she is as healthy and happy as possible. Everything else seems just so ephemeral, but this is real, however much it may feel like a dream.
I feel like I am lucky as I am having a relatively good pregnancy – although I don’t really have anything to compare it to, so I am just assuming that it is. I’m still working 55-60 hours a week, maybe a little bit slower and clumsier than before, but I’m still able to do it. Yes, I get aching feet and my ankles sometimes double in size, but it’s nothing physically crippling. The back ache that I get on the cold days when I have been standing for too long is definitely annoying and the days when I get the indigestion/backache/feet ache/headache/tummy ache all combined together are the worst, but I’m mainly at the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. That might come from the fact that for the past 6 months I have been thinking that one glass of water is the equivalent of a pint of water and I have been trying to down 8 of them a day. I only learnt last week that one glass is the equivalent of 8 fl oz, and therefore half of a small bottle of water. Not feeling as much of a water drinking failure anymore!
I think for me the worst symptom of all is one that I just cannot manage, and one that I have had from the moment I got pregnant: the tears. I literally can cry at the drop of the hat and there is no stopping it whatsoever. Something makes me angry: I burst into tears. Something makes me sad: I burst into tears. Something makes me happy: I burst into tears. That cute little doggie that needs a home? I cry. Don’t even get me started on reports of starving children, bombs and civil wars… I don’t mind crying, it’s a good release and it helps get rid of some pent up emotions. But it’s really, really annoying when you are trying to manage a restaurant and the basement starts leaking at 2am when you are about to go home and instead of formulating a plan of action to make sure it doesn’t flood the basement all you can do is burst into tears. Or when someone annoys you and you try to explain to them in a decent manner why they are wrong, but all you can do is lock yourself in the bathroom and hope that ice cold water will make the redness in your eyes disappear so that you don’t appear to be some kind of pregnant maniac who can’t keep her emotions at bay.
Or you just go with it and just hope that being pregnant will give you some kind of VIP pass to be able to cry in public without anyone batting an eyelid. I mean there are much worse things that I could do in public in my condition apparently, things that I may experience once the baby is bigger and heavier…
Talking about being big… One thing that has been bothering me is the weight gain. Actually lets reword that, the weight gain itself isn’t really bothering me at all, it’s on par with the course and I expected it. It’s the talk about weight gain that bothers me. I never expected to be one of those women who only gain a few pounds with a large tummy and stick-like limbs. I know what the other women in my family looked like pregnant, and I also know that they naturally went back to their pre-pregnancy weight afterwards. I also know that doctors recommend a weight gain of 25-35 pounds on average while pregnant. And I also know that they monitor your weight gain every time you go to the doctor and talk to you about it. Yes, I am eating more than I did before I was pregnant. But yes, I was on the low end of what is considered normal for my height and build. Yes, I am eating healthy, with some exceptions, but I naturally crave veggies and healthy carbs and protein. I do eat chocolate and crisps and cheese, but I don’t eat more than I did before I was pregnant. I don’t drink soda or anything other than water, tea and the occasional fruit juice. And no, I am not going to cut down! I’m enjoying food! Although nowadays I have to start eating smaller portions as I feel like my stomach is beginning to get slightly squished… Actually, as a piece of advice to anyone: don’t look at a picture of what your insides look like at the end of the second trimester… Who would have thought that your stomach would start getting squished into your lungs?! Then again where on earth did I think all my organs were going to go?! So yes, I have gained quite a bit of weight, and yes, I will be going over the high end of the recommended average. But I am still on the slim side… Apart from the belly which is growing very, very fast now.
This brings me to the next subject: people and their words. In normal circumstances one would never tell anyone else that they are “huge” or “enormous”, would they? So what makes it OK to tell a pregnant woman these things? Weight gain is always going to be a sensitive issue for women, so telling anyone, especially a pregnant woman who is probably hiding her feelings about her weight gain, that she is enormous, is never an acceptable thing to do! Just like the woman who asked me if I was having twins and if I was sure I wasn’t… Yes, lady, I am very sure I am having one child. Everyone is different, some people show fast, some don’t show for months, in the end the most important part is that we are healthy and doing our best to ensure that our babies are growing correctly and in a healthy manner. And yes, I am going to have fries with that because they are absolutely delicious and I don’t feel like restricting myself! I really hope that I was never one of those people who mentioned the words “huge” or “enormous” inadvertently to a pregnant woman in the past, because if I did I apologise profusely!
I have a feeling that these next 3 months are going to fly by, as my movements get slower, time is just going to get faster. There is so much to prepare for, and so many things that I still need to learn and I know that there is not enough time left to do it all. That’s all right, I am sure that I will learn as I go, as will C. There is only so much you can prepare for, and the rest is just going to happen anyway. I’m so excited about it all (and I little scared too, I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting that), and wondering if this will still feel like a dream when the belly gets even bigger and the kicks harder. Those little kicks are pretty amazing too, and I am so glad that I am feeling them all the time now – I was getting a little worried that I wasn’t feeling enough movement. All I needed was to voice my concerns to the doctor last week and little Munchie decided it was time to step up her movements in the womb. I guess it’s true what they say about the baby being able to hear now!
2014 is going to be such an amazing year.