14 weeks: I’m a textbook

I’ve been waiting for a long time to be a textbook, and it appears I am one now: this pregnancy is progressing in a way that precisely matches the progressions described in my books and on my websites, and I could not be more relieved!

I am liking being “normal.” But when the OB clinic calls me for any reason whatsoever, I have a mild fit every time. Palms sweat, heart races, head swims, as I imagine any one of a thousand scenarios of something wrong. Something they found in the bloodwork. Who knows. I know too well that at any point in a pregnancy, any point at all, things can go south. 99.5% of the time, I don’t think about those scenarios. I actually feel surprisingly confident—I’d thought I would be more paranoid. But when I get a phone call, and CWC appears on the caller ID, the rush of worry will come. It’s a small price to pay, and I’ll gladly pay it, knowing that the best thing I can do is breathe. The phone call I got this morning, for example, was the clinic wanting a genetic screening record from RBA. Simple. No big deal. But, yeah, I’m not 100% “normal,” and never will be. Acceptance of this is what I’m going for. And as the weeks progress, I’m sure I will become increasingly more able to take a phone call, hop on a table, without sweating and becoming dizzy. (If I didn’t know women who have lost their babies at week 17, week 20, I think I’d be there already.)

But this sweet little baby, this pregnancy, is progressing about as uneventfully as possible. The other day I went out in the woods to my sacred spot and kissed the ground (I literally kiss it) in thanks. I’ve kissed that spot every week of my pregnancy so far. I laughed this past time, because it is getting harder for me to bend to the ground!

After my last uptick of hormones, and that horrible day I spent in bed, I have had no more nausea. Just as the books say, as I’m going down the halls of the 2nd trimester, my nausea is dissipating, my food aversions are lessening, and my bump is becoming rounder, higher, and tighter.

My cravings for dairy are super-strong, as baby’s bones are forming. And, just as the books say, my former lactose-intolerance is lessening. I can now eat as much cheese as I want! I still drink lactose-free milk, but I’m loving cheese and yogurt, and wanting both all the time. Isn’t it amazing how the body changes to accommodate what the baby needs? It blows my mind.

By the way, I’ve found that the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is far, far better than What to Expect. The latter reminds me of a teen magazine, in terms of its tone and cutesy language, and it just doesn’t have as much information as the Mayo guide. The Mayo guide, and a bunch of other sites, say that Week 13 is the beginning of the 2nd trimester, so I’ve been going with that.

Another great resource: The Pregnant Body Book.  Helpful, and gorgeous, images of the pregnant body and the growing baby.

Also as the books say, my energy is returning. I spent a marathon day with an old friend, KL, two days ago, who was in NYC for an award ceremony for her novel. It was a day of ferry-riding, walking around Governor’s Island, eating, talking—we talked, we realized later, for ten hours straight. The next day I spent mostly napping, sore and disoriented with fatigue, but I never would have even been able to do something like that a couple of weeks ago.

My breasts and nipples are growing, growing, and becoming more sensitive. I actually force myself to wear a bra some days, and that’s huge for me (bras = the devil, for me; back pain).

Baby is now able to suck his/her thumb! He/she is straightening out. The left and right hemis of brain are forming. He/she has reflexes, and can startle at loud noises. Baby can make facial expressions, and baby can pee—and lives in that pee, drinks it, and it’s okay because it’s sterile. Baby’s hands and feet are flexing all over the place…

Which brings me to the one element that is not textbook: I think I felt the baby move. I’m not sure. It’s so hard to say. And I know it is early—resources say it can happen for the first time anywhere between 13 and 23 weeks, on average during week 20. But as I was riding the LIRR back from my marathon day in the city, reading and dozing off, I felt a very peculiar fluttering sensation that made me sit straight up. So hard to describe. Kind of like butterflies in the tummy, but also much more than that. Sort of like being gently tickled from the inside. It happened once, for several seconds. Stopped. Then happened again for a tiny bit longer. I put my hand down there and felt a very fast pulse, but that (probably?) was my own blood pulsing. That was the extent of the experience. But it was bizarre enough that I immediately called DH and told him about it. I wonder if the baby was agitated from our unexpectedly long and physically demanding adventure, and moving around more than usual?

In any case, it made me feel dazedly, dazzlingly in love. Dreamy. I had, in that moment, a strange moment of feeling that the baby was a particular gender. But what that gender was is between baby & me. Today, that feeling is gone and I’m back to having no idea.

I’ve gotta run: meeting a lady in a parking lot for a trunkload of maternity clothes. (: She’s a friend, in town for the day, and she’s giving me a bunch of stuff, now that she has had her two children and will be having no more. I’m excited because she’s a dancer and I like her style.

I want to write more about relationships that are healing, but I’ll save that for another post.

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7 Comments

  1. What a lovely post! Hoping I get to post something similar one day. I wish you all the best through your pregnancy and beyond!

    Reply
  2. Textbook is a lovely place to be. Cheers to that.

    Feeling movement is AWESOME!! I felt my first flutters around 14/15 weeks. I was never quite sure, because I’d feel it and then it’d be gone. Then it’d be a few days before I’d feel it again, so it was hard to track. It’ll keep picking up and only gets more awesome. I read someone who described it like a small fish swimming around inside and hitting the walls. For some reason, that’s exactly what I thought it felt like.

    So glad things are going well!!

    Reply
  3. It’s so good to hear everything is “textbook”!!! Xo

    Reply
  4. Ria

     /  June 6, 2014

    I stumbled upon your blog about a month ago and have been reading almost daily since. Your story is such a wonderful one! I felt my first baby very early on. It felt like one of those little twitches you get under your eye or on your arm so I honestly thought my uterus was “twitching” but it was my little guy kicking around in there! Congratulations on being “textbook”:)

    Reply
  5. I love this post! I’m so glad you’re having such a “boring,” by-the-book pregnancy! It’s so hard to let some of the worry go, but feeling the baby move is the BEST reassurance. I’m so glad you’re getting to that point. And YAY for being able to eat lots of cheese!

    Reply
  6. Could not be happier for you to finally make it to “textbook” status!! Lovely post. :)

    Reply
  7. Julia

     /  June 7, 2014

    It’s nice to hear such postitive news!

    Reply

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