How far along: Week 17 completed on May 1st. According to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” that means I am done with month 4. Month 5, here I come baby!
Weight gain: Zero! Not what I was expecting. And I’m not thrilled about this either, as the picture below may lead you to believe:
In fact, that was the mad smile of someone who was feeling completely deranged at the time (more on that shortly).
However, as the midwife said, “don’t worry, you have plenty of time.” And it’s been hitting me–pregnancy is a looooong journey. I’ve been pregnant since January, and I’m still 3 full weeks from being halfway there. And nobody who looks at me could even tell there’s a baby in there at this point. It’s a little crazy.
Clothes: I actually returned to wearing some of my skinny pants this week. My stomach has become much less sensitive, and for this I am soooo grateful. Thank you, stomach.
Purchases: No baby-related purchases! But you all know by now what is seriously right around the corner (next week!), so beware . . .
Body: Less bloating and discomfort–it’s truly fab. I can lie on my stomach at night comfortably, and I’m not constantly thinking about my belly.
On the weirder side, I am still experiencing the no-belly-in-the-morning-but-big-belly-at-night thing, which is a little strange. Even my husband gave me a look of utter confusion when one minute my stomach looked completely flat (I was lying down and tensing my abs) and the next (when I sat up and leaned over) it was a huge round globe. “What . . . what is going on there?” he asked, perplexed.
I only wish I had answers, baby. This same question plagues me daily.
I also had a really hard time during yoga on Monday–which is weird, because it wasn’t a particularly hard class compared to the past couple weeks. I have my suspicions as to why I was having difficulties: I hear there’s a hormone called ‘relaxin’ which loosens the joints during pregnancy. We were doing a lot of fast-moving stretches from side to side, up and down and all around, and I just couldn’t seem to move as fast or as comfortably as I normally do. I think that relaxin stuff has made my joints less ‘stable’ and less able to support those quick movements between stretches. I was embarrassed by my own amount of huffing and puffing.
Sleep: It’s mahvellous, dahling. I’m still falling asleep quickly, sleeping great, and (as I mentioned) able to sleep on my stomach. Though in the news this week: I managed to stay awake for an entire story of Sherlock Holmes! My husband was amazed. “Are you still awake?” he asked in wonder at the end of the story, looking at my supine (and seemingly passed out) form. “Yes!” I exclaimed, popping up from my pillow.
What can I say–the story of the hydraulics engineer who almost got murdered by an evil mechanical pressing device was riveting. So my husband decided to start the next story since I appeared to be fully awake, and guess what–I don’t remember a thing about it. Not the cast of characters, not the opening sentence, not the premise of the crime-solving-to-come–nada. Sleep hit me like a sledgehammer, so hard and fast I didn’t even feel it.
Best moment(s) of the week: Hearing that heartbeat at my appointment! For about 10 seconds the midwife couldn’t find it and the worst case scenario flashed through my brain, but it turns out that it’s because I was clenching my abs in an effort to curl my head up and watch what she was doing. “Just lie back and relax,” she said, and immediately we found it. Strong, fast, and steady.
Movement: A little, I think–when I went to bed Sunday night, I felt that feeling that some people describe as popcorn popping. But it’s not a regular occurrence . . . yet.
Food cravings/aversions: I only had fries once! It seems like I’m getting that part of my life back under control. And I also looked Thai noodles in the face and survived to tell the tale–not only survived, but enjoyed every bite (especially that nicely browned tofu). Looks like Pad Thai is back on the menu, baby. Next week maybe I’ll try to gauge my stomach’s feelings on fried eggs . . .
Symptoms: The midwife went over my blood/urine test results from last month, and apparently all is good except for the old Vitamin D. So I’ll be picking up a prescription and wolfing that stuff down asap since apparently a Vitamin D deficiency somehow increases your chances of having a C-section. As for the rest of it, I’m generally feeling great.
Now–isn’t my skin supposed to start glowing soon?? And where’s this shiny hair I keep hearing about?
Emotions: I’ve been really emotional this week, starting Sunday at church, but I chalked it up to the normal ebb and flow of the female heart. However, the past two days I have been insanely emotional and insanely sensitive. No more “normal ebb and flow” explanations even start to make sense of what I’ve been feeling.
I shall now elaborate:
After 2 1/2 years in the big city (and growing up in the city!), you’d think I’d have a thick skin by now. But after watching how people pushed ahead of a lady with the stroller to get on the Belmont bus, proceeding to occupy the seats that fold up (where she could have put her stroller) as quickly as possible, I had an internal meltdown. Which–as soon as I got home–externalized itself into a regular old cryfest. “Why are people so meeeaaaaan,” I wailed. “Nobody cares about anybody else!” At that moment, friends, I despised Chicago. Humanity depressed me. I wanted out of the whole deal, and I wanted out fast.
Then I realized that we had to take some pictures of my belly for this post. I pressed the camera into my husband’s hands and figured that after our photographic challenges of the previous week, this little session was bound to be waaaay easier. “This is going to go so fast!” I assured him with great optimism.
I was wrong.
After scrolling through about a dozen pictures, all of which featured my blurry mug looking blurrier than ever, I faced the facts: my husband was having some serious challenges focusing the camera. And these challenges didn’t seem to be going away. He practiced focusing on my hand . . .
. . . it just wasn’t happening.
I turned the camera on myself and showed him how easy it can be to focus:
Then I turned the camera on him . . .
(and you can see here that his blessed, blessed sense of humor was still going strong)
. . . and back on myself.
“See?” I said, “just press halfway down on the shutter release, hold the focus/exposure lock down with your thumb, reframe the picture, and it’s so easy!”
We now think that maybe it’s because of his glasses. He has really poor eyesight, so he can’t press his actual eye up to the viewfinder, and it’s quite likely that that’s really hurting his chances of seeing what’s going on in the little black box.
But regardless of his goodwill, it was still a painful experience for me (in which I felt like a failure as a teacher since I couldn’t figure out how to help him, a nagging autocrat, an obsessed maniac since I couldn’t just let it go and post a blurry picture, a demanding jerk of fascist proportions, and a number of other unpleasant things) and this sent me into another avalanche of emotions and tears.
Then I checked my email and broke down into tears again over a quite normal series of messages attempting to schedule a music rehearsal for Wednesday. When these plans started to shift yesterday afternoon, I had another crying breakdown at my desk at work. Which went on for about an hour.
What the heck is going on in here???? Why does everything feel like the end of the world? It’s not pretty, and if I were you . . . I’d keep my distance from the crazy crying lady with the insane smile.
Hopes and dreams: Sometimes I’ll be sitting on the couch or in bed with my husband, and suddenly I’ll think “in a few months we’ll be sitting on this same couch–but with a little baby between us.” My heart skips a beat and I get a rush of hormones/adrenaline/whoknowswhat that gives me the tinglies in my belly.
I also had a really, really sad dream Monday night that my dad died before the baby was born. I kept thinking “Dad will never get to hold his little grandbaby. We got so close . . . but now it won’t happen.” Saddest dream ever. I don’t know what it is about grandpas holding their tiny grandbabies, but it gets me like a punch in the heart.
What I miss: Being able to keep it together emotionally. I don’t remember the last time I cried so much over completely normal, daily things.
What I’m looking forward to: Finding out the gender at my next appointment, on Wednesday May 23rd.
Husband update: I love this man.
We were walking to the El last Wednesday morning, and I was kind of dragging my feet. I just felt tired, like I didn’t have enough energy–emotional or physical–to face the day. “Well,” he said, “you know you’re burning more calories resting than a guy burns working out at the gym. Making that baby is taking a lot of energy.” He had read this in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” the previous evening. I coulda kissed him right there.
And he’s making such an effort with this photography thing–resulting (by the end of our little session) in a perfectly focused picture of my face!!
Great job, baby. And thanks for loving this nagging autocrat despite my nagging autocratic ways (at least when it comes to photography).
For next week, I’m hoping for normal emotional reactions to normal daily events. We’ll see . . .
Have a great weekend, friends!