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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

thoughts on pregnancy (28 weeks)

Welcome to the third trimester!  I hit 28 weeks this Saturday which means we have less than 12 weeks until we get to meet this little bambino!  There's still lots to do, and I have a feeling the next three months are going to fly by.  Here's some random thoughts on my pregnancy at 28 weeks:

- I finally look pregnant.  Like the pictures of pregnant ladies you see in advertisements, tv shows, and hospital posters (there's never pictures of pregnant ladies in their awkward pregnancy stages).  Random strangers can now tell I'm pregnant and not just super bloated.  For some reason, it makes me feel like I'm really pregnant now.  Funny how the way you look can influence how you feel.   

- Relatedly, people have been so kind about my pregnancy.  It's an excellent conversation starter.  Everyone is so happy to hear about a person starting a family.

- I feel the baby move all the time.  The baby loves moving in the morning and right before I go to bed -- and anytime I sit down or lay down.  Sometimes the baby hits me on both sides of my stomach at the same time.  Baby - how do you do that??  You're already impressing me.

 - I love resting things on my stomach.  My hands, food, the Ipad.  It's really fun when the baby moves and kicks/punches whatever is resting on my stomach. 

- I'm starting to let go of former responsibilities.  I gave up my role as the community garden leader since the baby will be born right in the middle of the garden season.  I'll still garden, but I'll just help out at the garden when/if I can.  I also stopped one of my part time jobs a few weeks ago, so I'll just be working about 25 hours a week until the baby comes.  I'm really excited to have extra time to set up the baby nursery, exercise more, and focus on eating healthier.  I'm very grateful to be able to lower my stress and build my strength in my last trimester. 

- In anticipation of upcoming baby showers, Paul and I started our baby registry a few weeks ago.  I was a little nervous about it because it seemed pretty overwhelming, but it was actually a lot of fun. I took care of the smaller items, and Paul picked out the big ticket items (crib, stroller, car seat).  I was so glad I didn't have to research those big things!

- We're in the middle of baby shower season.  We had a St. Patrick's Day baby shower with Paul's family last week in Portland, and I really felt showered with love.  In the next few weeks I'll have a couple more showers with my family and a virtual one with friends.  It's such a gift to share our excitement with family and friends.  This baby is already so loved and wanted and welcomed.  
- I'm starting to like my body again.  Even with the stomach stretch marks and my inability to tie my shoes and my extra poundage.  The coolness of my growing belly is starting to balance out the awkwardness of my other bodily changes. 

- I found another great book that's been super helpful - this time for my fear of childbirth.  When we hit the 12 week mark, and it looked pretty hopeful that we would have a healthy baby I had two simultaneous thoughts.  One: thank God!  Two: that means I have to give birth!  Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth has been really helpful in helping me let go some of my fears.  Her midwife approach to birth has really opened my eyes to the beauty of childbirth.  I love that she reminds you over and over that pregnancy is not a pathology but something natural that women have been able to do for thousands of years.  It's made me feel more open to trying some natural birthing techniques instead of just opting immediately for an epidural.  We'll see what happens :) 

- In my last update I talked about some of the struggles I had been having with my pregnancy.  After writing that post, I realized that I wasn't letting myself feel pregnant.  I wasn't letting myself embrace the pregnancy for a lingering fear that someone would tell me I wasn't actually pregnant.  Or that one day I would just suddenly get my period.  Part of it was the earlier miscarriage and part of it was going to the doctor that first time and not getting a positive test -- and part of it was a bit of that childhood naivety that you'll never actually get older, never actually be able to be a parent yourself.  Pregnancy is truly a huge emotional and mental journey. 

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