I am over the half way mark, by 6 days. Tomorrow I am officially 21 weeks. Baby G will be the size of a carrot – a 26cm carrot. I don’t have the exact size, but that’s the apparent standard estimate of babies this week, measured from head to feet. The other app I have, says that Baby G is the size of a cantaloupe.
I’ve started feeling movement, which is pretty amazing! In fact I felt the first flutters super early, around week 16, but then I didn’t feel anything again until the 20th week. I was actually a bit worried, so we had a quick scan at week 19 and saw that he had moved. Baby G is a snuggler – snuggled into the back of my Placenta, so that’s why I wasn’t feeling anything. Poor Sox can’t feel the kicks yet, but over the next few weeks they’ll only get stronger and then my stomach will apparently start moving and he’ll be able to feel. Yay!
- Not having to hold in my tummy. It’s glorious. I’ve actually found myself instinctively and automatically sucking my stomach in (attempting to) for photos and then I realize, when I physically can’t, that I don’t have to. It’s a wonderful feeling. Honestly, I’ve never ever shown my tummy in any photos ever, because it was never “flat/skinny enough” and ironically now that it’s bigger, I’m so proud of it.
- I’m also wearing tighter clothes. I’ve had dresses in my cupboard that I’ve never worn because I was conscious of the lumps or my imperfect-not-flat-tummy. I’m rocking them now and proud of my bump. It’s also made me look back at photos of myself pre-bump and think: “I can’t believe you thought you were fat!”
- I’ve never been more aware of my body or more proud of my body. Sure, I have days when I feel whale-like and have concerns about how my body will look post baby, but those thoughts also seem more shallow now than ever before, because it doesn’t actually matter – as long as Baby G is healthy. Ah, yes there’s the cliché. Clichéd but true. The reality is I have newfound respect for my body because I am in awe with how our organs move, our ribs move to accommodate and how my body still has to do all it’s normal functions, as well as grow a human. It’s a miracle.
- My skin, nails and hair. It could be all the vitamins I’m taking, but my hair and skin is behaving so nicely. I haven’t had any major breakouts, which usually occurred once a month. My nails have always grown fast, but they’re out of control now and I’m trimming them once a week, instead of every 2-3 weeks.
- Not having my period monthly. I was an early bloomer, so I got my period at 11 years old and have never missed one. It’s been wonderful not to buy tampons or even worry about that time of the month.
- The healthy cravings, like peeled oranges and other fruits, glasses of milk, pickles, fish and olives.
- Gaining knowledge daily. Pregnancy is a whole new world. It’s not something you can prepare for (other than taking vitamins ahead of time and during) and every day is a new opportunity of learning something. I thought I “knew a lot” thanks to all the Mommy friends I have, but you only start to really understand when you go through each weeks milestone. Also, 8 weeks ago, I couldn’t have named one brand of pram or car seat or anything like that, but now I feel like you could test me! Haha! I know their dimensions, weights and so on. It’s hilarious.
- Keeping a hand written journal from the very day I found out. I’m writing my whole experience down – the funny things that have happened, the cravings, my excitement and so on. Sox has even written little entries. I’m keeping it to give Baby G one day.
- Relaxin Hormone. I didn’t realize how prominent it is. I’ve been LOVING doing my Preggy Pilates twice a week and 4-5kms Prom walks every other day. It’s made me feel strong and the exercise endorphins have been great. However, I over did an inner thigh and glute exercise and as a result I’ve pulled my groin and pelvic area, which goes into the back of my knee too. I’m hobbling along and have to rest it. So incredibly painful and I can’t take any painkillers. I know I’m allowed Panado’s, but they are like smarties for me and I’d actually rather not take anything.
- The naughty cravings. They’re very hard to control and the problem is once I start, I can’t really stop the bad things. Pregnancy is easy to use an excuse. I don’t believe in eating for 2 – it’s not necessary, but I did relax a little and I, for example, had that cupcake (my Birthday) and popcorn because I had a craving for that. The problem is, it put the sugar and carbs back in my body and it’s made me question: Is it a craving, or is it a craving for the sugar I’ve reintroduced into my body? I’ve also had a weird craving for McDonald’s McChicken. I haven’t eaten McDonalds in over 4 years, so it just makes me wonder how the cravings really work and if they’re really because my body/baby needs it. I always feel incredibly guilty, which I don’t think is healthy either. I’d love to find out more.
- The judgmental remarks. I knew they were coming, but again, you can’t prepare. I have been told that there is an above 80% chance of dying on the table, if I attempt a natural childbirth. It’s because the big Fibroid I have is in a position that can cause major problems and also rupture my Uterus. The safer option for me and for Baby G is a C-section. When I’ve been asked about my birthing plan, and I’ve told people, they’ve looked at me suspiciously and said: “Hmmm… I don’t know. I’d get a second opinion. I mean, these doctors these days just want to push C-sections on us all. It doesn’t sound right to me! It sounds like a cop out.” It’s infuriating. I have one of the best doctors around. I adore him and his #1 priority is our safety. It’s so hard to bite my tongue and not say: “Yes, because you’ve seen my case, all my scans, been there for the bleeds and scares, know that I’m being monitored for Red Degeneration AND studied medicine!!” But, I don’t. I just politely smile and assure them that he knows what he’s doing and I trust him.
- The silly comments. I am fully aware that they’re not meant with any malice. However, it’s hard not to get stopped in your tracks when you hear it. No woman wants to hear this (regardless of being pregnant) “You’re HUUUUGE! I can’t believe you’re only half way! Woah!” ………… Thank you. Thank you very much for making me feel freakish and hippo like. The same goes for girls who just don’t show. They look like they’ve eaten a pea. I’ve had friends cry because of the comments: “You’re tiny! Are you sure you even have a baby in there?” – all said in jest, all a laugh, but for them, all they want is a big bump. We are weird by nature, aren’t we? Those with curly hair want straight, those with brown eyes want blue – you get the idea. I will say that I’ve learned everyone carries differently. Your uterus position, the way the baby lies, where the placenta is – it all depends and it all doesn’t matter. Are you healthy? Is baby healthy? Then that’s what matters. Side note: I have an 6,5cm Fibroid pushing my uterus out even further. So there’s that too. All I can say to those who dare to venture there with the comments, you’re very brave with all those hormones circulating inside.
- Little to zero patience. I don’t know what it is and I’m definitely going to blame the hormones (again), because ordinarily I have a lot of patience for people. I’m not talking about impatience on timing; I’m talking about impatience with people. Silly comments, long queues, bad drivers, loud chewing, stupidity. I find myself often breathing deeper and trying to not get overly irritated over silly things.
- The anxiety. I think it’s normal to wonder if I’ll be a good Mom, how I’ll juggle my career and being a Mom, especially because I’m an all or nothing type of person. How I’ll manage on little sleep. How sore a C-section really is. If I’ll be able to breastfeed (I really want to) and I also know that these are all silly things that actually are out of my control and I won’t know until Baby G arrives. It’s made me realize that I’m a bit of a control freak, so it’s been a massive lesson for me too. I’m learning to surrender.
LOOKING FORWARD TO:
- Feeling the kicks more and seeing my tummy actually move. Everyone says you’ll get to see an elbow or a foot stick out. That must be alien freaky, but amazing.
- Setting up the nursery. I’m so excited for this. I know it will become my favourite room in our apartment. I have a few things already, but since our guest room is turning into the nursery, I can’t do anything 100% properly, because we still have a few guests coming to stay with us. Everything is just stored in it at the moment.
- The Nesting phase. I cannot wait to start going through the cleaning phase. I LOVE the minimalist looks (you’ll see this in my Home Sweet Home Pinterest board), but I’m actually a hoarder. Sigh. I’m certainly feeling it a bit of the nesting begin – I’m being more ruthless with things now. However, now that I’m sore, I can’t really move around much.
- Our 23 week assessment. It’s the next big scan on 08 March. My Mom is flying down for it too, so I’m quite excited (and a little nervous.)