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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

thoughts on pregnancy (22 weeks)

My thoughts on pregnancy at 22.5 weeks in no particular order:

- That photo above is my favorite bump photo thus far.  Granted, it doesn't have much competition since I've only taken about four bump photos so far.  I love that I look happy, and I love that it's with my coworker who is due two weeks with her first baby after me.  It's been really special to share this pregnancy journey - all the ups and downs - with her.  The day this photo was taken I decided I wanted to wear lots more dresses during my pregnancy; I felt pretty and comfortable which hasn't happened in my pregnancy clothes very often. 

- Yesterday after a lunch of a caprese panini, chips, and a glass of milk the baby didn't stop moving for about ten to fifteen minutes.  It was weird and awesome at the same time.  Paul suggested it might mean the baby will like food as much as his/her mama.  If that's true it another reason this baby is going to be adorable/trouble.  

- I found my first stomach stretch marks this week.  My mom didn't remember getting many stretch marks during her four pregnancies, and I thought I might be one of the lucky women who avoid this part of pregnancy.  Not so apparently.  I told Paul about my stretch mark discovery in my whiniest voice, and he made my day when he said "battle scars."  Not "I'm really going to miss my wife's former body" or even "please stop complaining and get over it" but something supportive and encouraging.  If I wasn't already married to him, I would have proposed on the spot. 

- I had one of my biggest pregnancy melt downs Friday.  I've really been struggling with my body image the past few months, as well as the general fear that there must be something wrong with me since I haven't felt like the past five months have been the most magical of my life.  I started crying Thursday night before I went to sleep and cried on and off Friday morning until I finally managed to make it into work around 11:00 am.  I have never lost control of my emotions like that.  It was slightly unnerving but also felt necessary to get all of that out.  In the midst of my crying I texted Paul, my mom, and a mom friend from Milwaukee, and their support and reassurance gradually helped me feel better. 

- Finding joy being pregnant has been a challenge for me at times.  I spent about two months feeling nauseous 24/7, and then gradually began to watch my body become flabbier and bigger week by week.  I had known this would happen in pregnancy, but somehow I just wasn't ready for it.  I'm experiencing the biggest transition of my life -- from a mostly self sufficient/selfish adult to someone who will be giving life and caring full time for another person.  It's no wonder this journey would have some major ups and downs. 

As I'm reflecting on this, I'm realizing I can give myself permission to feel all the feels of this journey.  It's ok if things are hard.  It's ok if I'm struggling with my changing body.  It's ok if my body is bigger and stretchier than it's ever been.  It's ok to be slightly out of control of my emotions.  It's ok to feel sad about giving up my selfishness.  It's ok to feel all these things and at the same time feel happy, excited, and in total awe of all this journey entails.  

In a way I'm glad I've felt the struggles of being pregnant and haven't pretended they don't exist.  Any major transition like this involves letting go and mourning for things that will no longer be.  My life will never be the same.  My body will never be the same.  And it's ok to feel sad about this while at the same time being ready for what will come from being willing to let go of these things.  I'll have a little baby and will be a parent and will know a whole new way of loving.  And that to me seems worth it.  

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