I’m sad about how little I’ve been blogging during this pregnancy. I think of plenty of topics/ideas/requests for help but don’t write. Work has been a non-stop meetingpalooza for too many weeks now. I walk in the door and start attending meeting after meeting until I limp sadly out the door at 5. I don’t even have time to get to my most urgent work lately which means really, really no time for blogging/reading blogs and such. But I’m tired of the excuses and so I’m just going for it, bullet style.
- Pain Spiral: I’m now 25 weeks pregnant. I started to get lower back pain – sharp, horrible pain that felt like something had just popped out of something else back there – about six weeks ago. The pain comes and goes and is definitely made much, much worse by picking up my child/spending lots of solo time with her, vacuuming/house work, and not exercising. I was getting flair ups every weekend and started seeing a chiropractor which sort of helped. Then I started getting terrible side aches. I haven’t heard of this happening to anyone else. Basically my sides just ache when I have to hold myself up too much or use my arms: extended standing, washing dishes, driving, sitting in my work chair and, yes, picking up/holding Goldie. Also throw in the mix some round ligament pain and general stomach pain (muscle tearing is my theory), a weird nerve thing that leaves a huge patch at the top of my stomach completely numb, occasional searing heartburn and I am in pain of some kind a lot of time. About two weeks ago I started to get really depressed and panicked about the pain. My back (which is the most serious and debilitating when it’s flaring up) was really bothering me, despite chiropractor and yoga, and my side pain transitioned from occasional to daily. I couldn’t imagine that my body was going to hold out long enough to be able to go to term and give birth. I couldn’t imagine laboring when I could barely keep it together at 23 weeks. I felt betrayed by my body in a way I never had before. I felt like I was failing at pregnancy.
- Pain doesn’t break me: By the time we saw our midwife at almost 24 weeks I was really low and having occasional panicked moments. I couldn’t pick up the baby, I couldn’t clean up around the house and I couldn’t see a way out. At the end of the appointment Fern basically asked the midwife for a pep talk and ways to help the anxiety. She said a lot of helpful things and was really sweet. What stuck with me most is that the pain is just pain. I’m going to have more pain (like in labor, for example), but I’m stronger than it. I guess I half expected her to tell me to sign up for a c-section because I was clearly too weak to handle labor but she didn’t. In fact, she said I was strong and would get through. So after a little more self-pity (like when I went to my first pre-natal massage appointment that afternoon and found I had scheduled it for the wrong week – I had to cry that one out) I snapped out of it. I decided that I can’t feel trapped by the pain anymore. The pain won’t break me. The pain does not mean I’m going to fall apart. I think my fear is very related to labor and the fear that I just won’t be able to do it – that my body was made wrong and I am not capable of pushing a baby out. So I’m still in pain (though I switched chiropractors and I’ve been having more good lower back days than before) but I’m also still whole.
- The other worries: I can’t pretend that I don’t worry still. Top of my list of worries is that I have not felt the baby move yet. I was seriously SO chill about this for so long. I laughed at babycenter when it told me I might feel the baby at 16 weeks. When I found out I have an anterior placenta I really didn’t fret as the weeks progressed with no movement. But for the last week or two I’ve been feeling like it would be really nice to just feel Clover bopping around in there. And I have waves of fear, feeling like something terrible has happened. Our midwife gave us until 26 weeks before we should be concerned. We saw Clove dancing around on the ultrasound a month ago and heard a nice, strong heartbeat a week and a half ago. But still…it would just be reassuring and exciting if I could feel him.
- Bras: There isn’t a single bra in the whole world that fits me comfortably. I’m sure of this.
- NGP: I think I need to write a full post about being the second one pregnant. In short, it’s a difficult identity adjustment. I go to weekly yoga and frequently find myself getting way defensive or preemptively protective around my role as a mama. Some people have said some really stupid/insensitive things (like, “you consider yourself a mom, right?”). I object to a lot of the language in the birth/new mother community about motherhood/becoming a mother and now that I’m in the inner circle, so to speak, I am having a hard time having a lot of these sentiments applied to me. I didn’t even know what to say when one of the midwives we interviewed (who we otherwise liked quite a lot) said that she thinks the process of giving birth is so amazing and powerful because that’s how a woman becomes a mother. Or when a woman in prenatal yoga said that last time she literally forgot her husband was there after the birth. She was so intimate with her newborn and that time is so unique for mothers, that she literally didn’t know he was on the other side of the bed. Before i got pregnant I was plenty aware that lots of people don’t value the NGPs (women and men alike) but I feel it on a whole new level now that I’m pregnant. It feels more prevalent now. I think people say things to me that they wouldn’t have said before. I think being in these “safe” sharing spaces allows people to share more than I want to hear.
- The sweet: Tonight I was rocking a peppy Goldie to sleep in the rocking chair in her room. She switched from the baby cradle position in my arms to a more upright position. Her ear rested on my heart and her head was in perfect kissing distance from my face. As we rocked, her little hands wrapped around my sides, her body rested against my big belly and her legs fell on either side of my left leg. As she tried to fall asleep her little hands and feet rubbed against me. I loved every second even though it was late and I was tired myself. I love having my big girl resting on her tiny 1.5 pound brother. The two of them were so close.
There’s so much more to say and I should probably also edit this, but instead I’m going to post and go to bed!