The beginning of trimester 2 marked telling the world about bebe, which of course opened the world’s eyes to how much fun it is to give advice!
Now, I’m fully aware of how great it is to give advice, I do it for a living. What I was unprepared for is how much FREE advice I have been getting. Just for being pregnant! What a gift. I’m being silly, but in general I mean it. There are a few types of advice I don’t love, however: The “oh just wait until you’re a parent,” kind that comes from, wait for it, usually people who don’t have children. That makes me feel like an 8 year old in that I want to HOLLER to leave me the eff alone. Then there are some current parents that use that kind of “advice,” and some of that has been pretty condescending and negative, but there is also the teensy matter of my hormones that makes me extra sensitive all the time.
Teensy, those hormones. Except for when they’re not….I’ve gone back and forth and back again on how much I really want to share about pregnancy here, and I think we have a pretty lengthy discussion about pregnancy depression coming up. It seems that every time I share something personal about pregnancy I get about 10% super crazy or mean or hurtful responses, and 90% positive or supportive or appreciative-of-honesty responses. So, play to that 90% is what I’m thinking, hater’s gonna hate, etc. Until the next time I’m super depressed and want to kill everyone, of course.
The back and forth has been the name of trimester 2. One day I’m all confident in my choices (hot yoga! the occasional drink! continuing all my work! drug free birth plan!) and reading current scientific research that makes me feel CORRECT in my choices, and the next day it’s the total opposite, I have no clue what I’m doing, I have no business doing anything, I should just curl up in a ball and stop living my life until this thing comes out healthy, at which point it still may not be healthy no matter what I do. So, there’s that. Of course, I know this is just the beginning of a lifetime of second guessing myself on how to raise a human, so why not start with the self-doubt now? Let’s do it.
Physically, I’ve felt just fine, except for an unfortunate carpet-puking incident on Saturday while I was at the beach. Any first-trimester-style nausea went away after about week 10, and I never threw up. I’ve had some constant round ligament pain on my right side for well over a month now, and after the first day or two of it terrifying me I’m just dealing with it now. It feels like a literal thorn in my side, but as long as the midwives tell me it’s par for the course I’m just fine with it. I go back and forth on whether I’m showing a lot or a little, but mainly pants are uncomfortable and the belly is bigger at night, which I think is normal? I tell myself that everything is normal and just hope it is.
As I’ve gotten bigger I’ve had to figure out some clothes issues, which is annoying because I’m not really big enough for many maternity clothes yet but my regular clothes are a little uncomfortable, so I’ve been at a weird chubby phase for a few weeks. Everyone suggested Old Navy maternity clothes and frankly everything I’ve tried has looked awful so far. Loft, where I buy a lot of regular clothes (I have excellent edgy style, I know), has maternity stuff that fits well but is NEVER in stores and is kind of expensive so I have to wait for a free shipping deal AND a good sale otherwise I just can’t justify the expense. I have to dress relatively professionally for work so I try to have enough outfits to make up about 2 weeks of work, and then I just kind of rotate my clothes. A whole new wardrobe for another 6 months plus a few of breastfeeding+weight loss (please don’t let it be more than another 6 months after the kid is born argh) just isn’t happening. My current search is for jeans, and of course the only ones I want cost $200. Of course. Bathing suits have also been a nightmare, and naturally this year we’re going to the beach more than we ever have in our entire lives. Of course. I did a bunch of separates from the JCrew 4th of July sale, and HOLY SIZE INFLATION. Or deflation? I don’t know. I ordered all large tops and they barely covered my nipples. Large bottoms were fine, but the tops? What the hell. I’ve always considered JCrew to be pretty conservative, but the stuff I ordered was straight up pornographic. So, with two more beach trips to go, the search for a top that leaves SOMETHING to the imagination is still on.
Acne is still a thing too, which, just ugh. I love birth control so much for this reason. My skin isn’t terrible, but it’s more dotty than usual, which I absolutely abhor because I had terrible as a child and young teen and took ALL the drugs and it just feels like that part of my life should be over, amirite? I am. It should be. That’s all about that.
The PROBLEM, if I had to pick one, with using the midwives is that they’re super nonchalant about everything. Mainly I adore that, but with this being my first child I also have a gazillion questions that aren’t always fully answered, such as the hot yoga issue. The thing with that is that there is no definitive scientific answer on what’s acceptable for a growing fetus, and people keep telling me to trust my body. Which is fine to an extent – don’t get too hot, heart rate not too high, don’t do anything to the point of exhaustion, hydrate, fine. But will my body really tell me if my kid is missing an arm? WILL IT? Probably not, so I just kind of sit around wondering if things are going well inside while trying to keep myself sane on the outside. For me, sane looks like living my life as normally as possible, within reason.
This anxious wondering thing might also be fed by the fact that we have elected to do ZERO genetic testing. We really weren’t satisfied with any of the odds that we’d be given, or the risks involved with some of the more invasive tests, OR the margin of error even if you get a positive result on the tests. So, rather than worry ourselves with testing we’re worrying ourselves with the lack thereof, and I honestly can’t say which is worse. The decision is made unless something really bad shows up in the next ultrasound, and I’d really love to hear your experiences with or without genetic or other prenatal tests.
Even though the midwives are mostly hands-off, we absolutely love going to appointments. They’re still spaced out 4-5 weeks, so after about 3 weeks of no medical attention I start to wonder if I’m still pregnant at all. We love hearing the heartbeat and hearing that everything is allegedly fine. Our current tasks before our next appointment are deciding between a pediatrician or GP for all three of us, and registering for a birth class. In order to give birth in the birth center we have to take a class, but it can be any method we want. I thiiiiiiink right now I’m between Bradley and Lamaze. Hypnobabies/birthing is a little to floofy for me, but I’m reading up on it to at least know about the techniques. I don’t know if the actual hypnosis will work for me, though, and the other two pain management systems feel more in line with my personality. But, we might register for the cheapest one in our area and read about the others online and make our own hybrid birthing technique, which will probably involve a lot of swearing and sarcastic remarks. Gotta be me.
I feel the need to say that, as rude as I am being about receiving advice, I LOVE hearing other people talk about pregnancy. Men’s experiences are particularly enjoyable to me, and, sort of like my birth-method-creation plan, I love hearing how many different people do things to widen my scope of knowledge about what can happen. I’ve been so fortunate to know some very honest, open, kind people who use phrases like “well, what we did was,” and I just love it. We’re also starting to think about a registry which is confusing as hell and GLORY kids need a lot of stuff. And, yes, I am aware that then they’ll need school supplies and field trips and braces and college and weddings. But right now the cranberry needs a crib, so we’re focusing on one day at a time. And also if we can get away with one of those up/down crib sides which are supposedly SO DANGEROUS even though we all grew up in them? and we have the option to have one for free. Crib advice? Registry advice at all? Products you loved or hated or found totally unnecessary? Help me please.
We find out the gender in 2 weeks and we have a girl name but hate all boy names. But I have this inkling that it’s going to be a boy, which is weird. We want both/either so…no hopes on what it’ll be. Maybe we should vote. The Chinese Gender Predictor (hugely scientific) says girl, but Jay and I both ONLY have sisters so I have this feeling we might be switching the status quo.
Tell me stories about your babies or pets or friends’ mom’s bff’s daughter’s babies! The stories are my favorites.