Like lots of things in this pregnancy, the baby bump crept up on me. I feel like it’s happened overnight. One day, I was my usual size and the next, it was all pregnant woman ahoy! In fact, I still think of my body as being, well, unpregnant. In my mind’s eye, my waistline is still in tact. Then I bend to tie my shoe laces or reach across a table for something and can’t understand why it’s so difficult to reach. I pull up my jeans and wonder why they won’t pass my thighs. I’m betrayed by jumpers that won’t cover my tummy. Even when I remember there’s a bump, my subconscious assumes that all the other bits of me have remained the same (they haven’t). So, looking in the mirror is a slightly disorienting experience.
In contrast, I was so amazed and absorbed with every change in my last pregnancy that I distinctly remember noticing every change. I guess it didn’t help that I had pelvic pain and other discomforts. And that’s another testament to how much better I’ve felt this time around. I don’t feel like I’m lumbering. I mostly don’t waddle unless I’ve overdone it earlier in the day. I’m probably also just too busy with my toddler to notice – this seems the ongoing theme.
Yet, when I do take a moment, I’m hit with how incredible it is that so much change has taken place in so short a time. The baby is incredibly active now. Many days I can actually see my bump moving and she scrambles about. Talitha has even felt her move – though she’s not overly keen when I offer for her to put her hand on my belly. Maybe she thinks it’s a bit weird really. It is, kind of. So random that a whole, busy person has grown so much inside me in the space of a few weeks.
This is definitely something I didn’t appreciate last time. Last time, I thought pregnancy took such a long time. And that made sense – 40 weeks gave enough time to change your life and get used to the idea. This time, I feel a little ill-prepared. On one hand, I’ve lots of clothes but they need sorting, lots of nappies but I haven’t decided which to use, thoughts of Elimination Communication but no books read. I’m just relieved we did the KG hypnobirthing course and booked our doula long before Christmas. Otherwise, this bump would make me panic.
A meeting with my doula this morning was good for refocusing a little but I won’t settle a birth plan until early next year. She did help me think about a few things I might want to look into like where different things will be set up in our home, trying frankincense to see whether it’s a scent I might like use in labour, what to tie the cord with (she recommended silk thread – I’ve been thinking for a while about how I want to weave it) and whether to burn the cord instead of cutting. I hadn’t considered that last option before so am going to read around and talk to Laurence about it.
Not so pleasant are the strange mini-blackouts I’ve been getting for the past few weeks. Out of nowhere the lights and sounds go. I sit as it’s happening and wait for them to come back. They quickly do but it’s not a welcome experience. Thankfully, Talitha doesn’t seem phased. Annoyingly, there doesn’t seem a medical reason for it. My blood pressure is fine and though my iron is on the lower end, I’m not anaemic (though, man, I really feel like I am – it would explain the exhaustion). So, I’m upping my iron and Vitamin C and trying to be sane about what I do to my body. A couple of nights ago I got the most painful leg cramp I’ve ever had. Breathing through it, I thought: I’d forgot about these! So it’s time to up the water intake as well.
My hormones are still all over the place so it’s a mixed blessing that I’ve had Christmas to focus on. A blessing because it’s helped me distance some other stuff going on that I’m upset about but can’t really do much about at the moment but mixed because I got disproportionately grumpy last night about Laurence having drunk the cider I’d bought to make mincemeat with. As it turns out, I found a much better recipe that doesn’t need it so, crisis averted – but that is was a crisis in the first place I can only blame on pregnant/festive insanity.
All in all, I’m looking gratefully and expectantly toward Christmas as I pat this bump, this pleasant surprise. I’m grateful and surprised that my baby grew inside me without me willing her to, without me even looking.
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