So, I’m 20 weeks pregnant. Halfway there. I feel the need to mark the occasion in some way, despite being a whole lot less navel gazey this time around. Time is moving much faster, to no one’s surprise – my cup is pretty full, what with Eliza added into the mix, and my free time is minimal. But I’m also WAY LESS WORRIED about every damn little thing this time. With Eliza, I was convinced something bad would happen. I was keeping her alive with the power of my worry. Even though I knew, rationally, that I could exercise and eat fairly normally, I wasn’t able to stop worrying about every little twinge, over analyzing every ache and pain. I was also kind of detached about the whole thing – viewing it (HER) as more of a fascinating scientific phenomenon that happened to be occurring in my abdomen. I was terrified I wouldn’t be attached to her when she was born, terrified of post-partum depression. That was a big reason I was so keen to find out the sex of the baby, to name her – so I could work on using her name when I talked about her, instead of saying “it” and “the fetus.”
In my last pregnancy, I also let fear dictate a lot of my behavior, in ways that didn’t end up being healthy. Even though I knew and understood what science had to say about a lot of touchy subjects – exercise, what [not] to eat – I couldn’t overcome irrational thought patterns about them. A lot of that is maybe because science says one thing, but a lot of healthcare professionals say another. For example, I had several nurses tell me that I should make sure not to let my heart rate get above 135 bpm. When they said it, I KNEW it was absurd – that “guideline” was debunked years ago, and wasn’t based on science in the first place, but it’s still bandied about as gospel. At the time I even asked my OB, who told me that it was absurd, and that I would pass out before anything bad happened to the fetus, if I were exercising too hard. He said (and research supports) that you should just listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, stop whatever it is and sit. Stay hydrated, don’t get too crazy hot, but stay active. I knew all of that! But I was so hyperfocused, listening to my body, that I let every twinge (most of which were totally normal! would have been twinging even if not pregnant!) freak me out. At first I told myself I would do better once I could just feel the baby, that would be reassuring. But by that point, not only had I been sitting on my butt for too long, I was also freaked out that I couldn’t feel her while I was exercising. Like hey, maybe that’s because my mind was elsewhere? NOPE, gotta be something disastrous. I was the same way about food. I wouldn’t eat lunch meat, even though I craved it, even though listeria is more common in fresh fruit, and super uncommon in the first place. Instead? I ate Taco Bell and Wendy’s all the time. Good decisions! (Nothing against fast food; it’s delicious. Just… I’d prefer I not eat it many times a week.)
Anyways, this time, I’m not really worried at all. Not that I don’t still recognize the risks and possibilities, I’m just a lot more accepting of them – whatever happens, happens. I’m exercising just as I have been for the past year – turns out I’ve always stopped when I get dizzy or too hot, because hey, that’s unpleasant! I’m eating whatever I want, in moderation. I’m not anxious. I still don’t particularly like being pregnant, or anything – it’s limiting in some ways and not terribly comfortable – but now that my headaches are basically gone, I’m not nearly as whiny about it. Mostly just the fatigue, but I whine about that even when I’m not pregnant. I’m hopeful that exercise will mitigate some of the discomfort of the later months, but we’ll see when I get there. I know all of this zen nonsense could just be a side effect of this particular pregnancy; I don’t think I’m “doing it right” this time or anything like that. But I’m happier this time around, it’s easier, it’s all good. I’ll take it, and I hope it continues.
Ok, that pretty much nullified the “less navel gazing” claim, but whatever. Other stuff: I can feel the baby moving pretty well now. It’s gone from gentle flutters that I was feeling on and off from about week 15, to more jabs and kicks that even Kevin has been able to feel for a week or two. Doesn’t hurt yet, but no longer exactly pleasant! Very distracting when I’m trying to work and fall asleep, but also neat. Headaches are still basically gone, which is awesome. I need about nine hours of sleep every night if I want to function at all, which sounds lovely and luxurious, but is logistically painful. Kevin only needs six hours! Think of everything I could do! This is why I refuse to feel bad that he does most of the chores, lately. I get an hour and a half tops of time to unwind and do chores in the evenings before I need to be in bed. Anatomy scan is tomorrow, which is when we would find out sex, but we have decided we don’t want to know. I am half convinced we’ll find out anyways, just because of my experience with Eliza. She always showing off the goods, to the point that we never saw her head, ever, the whole time. We haven’t started talking names yet, because June still feels so far away – two whole seasons, basically! – but we will soon. And I think that just about covers it.