Friday, April 5, 2013

23 weeks and some thoughts

I woke up on this particular morning and everything was TIGHT. He must've moved a lot the during the night.
21w4d


This was today, 23 weeks.
And yup, my hair is dark!

Pregnancy stats on 4/5/2013
Weight gain: 10-15lbs depending on the day
Hair color: auburn
Baby's size: over a lb now!
Pregnancy Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions just started yesterday, I feel baby boy moving every single day, I have to pee ALL the time, and my bust will not stop growing!


Pregnancy is going well. Most days I feel really good. Rarely nauseous anymore, I can handle most foods again, and I'm not waddling yet. I am carrying differently this pregnancy though, with an anterior (right in front) placenta. With both of the girls I felt their movements front and center. I could lay and watch them move and Craig could put his hand right on my belly button and easily feel them. With this pregnancy, despite me starting out about 40lbs lighter, he still has trouble feeling the baby. I feel him move every single day and usually it's like he's giving my bladder or cervix a beating. The movements are so low it would be hard for someone else to really feel it. The belly button is also a much more comfortable area to be kicked than the groin! I'm glad he is active and happy in his home, though.

It's been strange dealing with weight loss and pregnancy this time around. Usually I'm chubby when I get pregnant so I feel more beautiful and more content in my body while pregnant. Previously flabby things end up firming up. This time around I was starting to really like my body pre-pregnancy. Shopping was fun again and I had a waist! So now I struggle with not obsessing about my weight or foods or how fat I'm looking/feeling. My belly is tight and my belly button is nearly flat, but I still have 17ish weeks left to grow. I'm a tad worried about how big I will get...a normal concern, I suppose.

I'm a part of this amazing group of 150 women on Facebook who are all due in the month of August. It's such an excellent and supportive place to talk about pregnancy and life and to be able to say the crazy pregnancy stuff you can't really say anywhere else. Ie: "I'm SO constipated! Do you girls weight yourself for the day even if you haven't pooped in like a week??" (yes, this kind of thing does get posted). It's wonderful! Being a part of this group I've seen how much weight/food/body image really impacts most of us during pregnancy. Seems like bigger girls struggle with not really 'looking' pregnant and really just wanting more than anything that cute basketball belly. They struggle with not wanting to document with photos or take pictures because they don't appear pregnant enough. The girls that were thin to begin with struggle as the scale number increases and their svelte shape becomes rounded (and usually all over). It's tough and there's no 'winning'. I would like to think that winning in this category means treating my body kindly. Eating healthy foods, but also allowing yummy treats. Putting on creams/lotions faithfully, but not freaking out if a new stretch mark appears (thankfully none yet!). Not caring more about the scale than about eating foods to help my baby grow. It's not easy though! My weight gain stays between 10-15lbs. It fluctuates a lot week to week but for about 6 weeks has stayed in that range. Closer to 10lbs if I am a good pregnant lady and not pigging out on sugar :)
Weight gain for me shows up in my face SO fast. Like eat a bagel and sure enough there is a bagel under my chin the next morning. So even though 10-15lbs at 23 weeks is pretty good, I still see it in my face and feel it there. 
I feel like it would've been interesting to see how pregnancy would've been for me if I'd continued Paleo like I was (which included dairy and legumes). Yet around 5 weeks along I could no longer eat meat without throwing it up or dry heaving at the thought. Bagels were about all I could handle. Ah, the irony! With Evie I craved baked potatoes and STEAK, with Elly I craved salmon, pineapple, and cherries. Figures that I would actually conceive naturally and at a healthy time in my life and this little guy would make it so that a yummy steak would only end up in the garbage. With this being my first boy, I'm not sure if the carb loading is more common with carrying boys....interesting, though!

Emotionally this pregnancy has been hard at times. My dad passed as I entered the 2nd trimester and dealing with something like that takes time. Hurt lingers even as you go about your life and your obligations. I've never been pregnant with a teenager to also raise and with that sort of schedule to keep up with. The busy-ness of that/his personality/a person going through puberty is a challenge. There isn't much time for reading pregnancy books, or pondering my feelings and what I want from the birth, or to even on a deep level accept and understand that my dad is gone. Sometimes being busy is good and it saves us from ourselves...sometimes it just pushes us along on this conveyor belt that prevents us from really feeling.

I am nervous and very excited to be carrying a boy. Jacob was 4 when I met him, so I was not a part of the newborn, infant, or toddler stage with him. Being a young mom to a step-son has not been a simple task. I think being a step-parent probably rarely is. Add to it that I became a step-mom at 21 and all the ensuing troubles with the 'other mom', and it's been extremely difficult at times. Because of those issues there has, at times, been a bad taste in my mouth for raising boys. I also didn't grow up with my dad and prior to Craig, I seemed to find a run of irresponsible guys that only wanted one thing. 

 When we first became pregnant I prayed that the baby would be a girl and for God to help me if it wasn't. When we found out our long awaited baby was a girl I was so relieved and thrilled! I understand girls. I get the drama, for the most part. I know how to do all the domestic stuff. I know how to work hard and get any job I've ever applied for. I figured I was somewhat qualified to raise a kick-ass girl (and yes, that totally sounds conceited). Then our second baby was a girl and I was, again, rather relieved. 

This time around, finding out our baby was definitely packing a male body part came as a certain shock. I can honestly say I never felt bummed or sad about it. I am excited to meet him and see what he looks like, what his personality is, whose traits he has. Yet I feel....nervous, like how I felt in the car headed to my first date with a man I'd only met once, named Craig. Hoping it would work out, I would say the right things, he'd be as nice as I thought he was/wanted him to be, and he would like me. Hoping he would be different than the other guys I'd known. That scenario definitely worked out for me! Our experiences, good or bad, add shape and texture to our fears and what we hope our future will look like, and what we believe it can look like. I know many have the same feelings I have about the male gender, only about females. Having a baby girl scares the crap out of some!

I keep reminding myself that birthing a son, breastfeeding a son, teaching and disciplining a son, and being there as Mommy from day 1 is and will be different than stepping into a huge ol' mess with a mixed family. But that's where my trepidation comes from. That's where the nerves come from. I feel like, if this boy is like his dad, I won't have any concerns. Craig is hard working, sensitive, strong, faithful, level-headed, and funny. I couldn't ask for more in my son! So I'll hold on to that and pray for my son and for my birth. I'm also very grateful to have a bunch of friends raising handsome and fun little boys who are so kind and supportive of me.
And even though everyone says that little girl clothes are way cuter than boy clothes, I am loving finding little preppy shirts and onesies. SO cute!

~Diana