My first and second trimesters have been like night and day, and therefore, my original blog on “things I didn’t see coming about pregnancy” already needs updating. Here goes round two!
- Your growing baby literally does something new every day: Those annoying baby app notifications I complained about in my original blog are good for something: they tell me what my baby is up to, and it’s impressive! I assumed everything major developed in the last few months – wrong! Baby already develops its major organs and systems early on, and spends the rest of the time fine tuning and growing. At week 20, my baby can already use his senses to recognize light, pressure, pain and temperature. He’s kicking around and preparing for the real world – amazing!
- What’s a birth plan? My plan is to give birth, yes. What do you mean I need a written plan? This was news to me. There are so many different approaches and options for giving birth. Home delivery, birthing center, hospital? Midwife, doula, doctor? Natural? Epidural? Water birth? The questions and choices go on and on. I’m still not done finalizing my plan, and even when I do, I have to prepare for it to possibly not go according to plan.
- Stuffy nose and nosebleeds: Most of the ugly symptoms of my first trimester subsided. But new symptoms have taken over. I’m one of the lucky ones now dealing with congestion and a bloody nose, said to be caused by the high levels of pregnancy hormones that increase blood flow to all of your body’s mucous membranes. Fun.
- Shortness of breath: Sometimes I feel like I can’t get enough air. This is from baby starting to take up more room, crowding my organs. Another fun one.
- Kicking and cramping: Baby kicks are amazing – I love Ivan’s little jabs that let me know he is healthy and moving. The cramps, though, suck. Mine are all in my mid-lower back.
- Clueless husbands/partners: I assumed that we would evolve together throughout the pregnancy, but I couldn’t have been more hopelessly optimistic. The best advice passed down to me is this: You become a mother the day you find out you are pregnant. Your husband becomes a father the day he holds the baby. It’s frustratingly true. I’m frantically researching and taking initiative with all the preparations, and he’s more on the sidelines waiting to follow suit. We may have shared excitement, but we are on different pages at the same time. Some days I’m understanding of this, and other days I find it testing.
- The random questions: Some women take offense, but I’m an open book, so personal questions don’t bother me. I just don’t know how to answer them sometimes. “Are you gonna breastfeed; will you cover yourself in public?” Yes I plan to utilize the milk from my boobs, but I’m not thinking about how others in public may eventually be bothered by breastfeeding. I don’t think I’ll ever care, actually. “Are you going to use cloth diapers?” I’m not thinking about my baby’s poop yet … should we talk about poop now? “When are you going back to work?” I don’t know. I plan to ask my newborn when he’s cool with being on his own. We’ll see.
- Sleepless nights: The evil twin to the crushing fatigue I faced in the first trimester. Now I want to sleep, but I can’t.
- Holy shopping list: Who the hell uses baby wipe warmers? What are these suction cup things I’m supposed to put on my boobs? Why are there so many different types of strollers? … I don’t want to make a baby registry because it’s overwhelming; I don’t blame anyone for sticking with onesies and stuffed animals as gifts, because I don’t even know what the hell to buy. Second-time moms are so much better at this, but their knowledge is so hard to steal without living through it firsthand.
- Everyone’s afraid of the bump: Finally you start to show in your second trimester, and so bears the question: to let people rub your belly or not. I honestly never knew this was such a sensitive subject until I started reading articles on ways pregnant women can avoid people touching their bellies. My favorite? Immediately touch the other person’s belly to freak them out. Hilarious! I think baby bumps are the coolest thing, and it doesn’t bother me to share my round belly. But that’s just me.
- You can’t sleep on your stomach: When my doctor told me that I should start sleeping on my side at 16 weeks my jaw dropped. I am a stomach sleeper for life, what do you mean I have to change up positions? It makes sense, but I guess I thought this switch up would come much later in pregnancy. As my belly grows, the temptation to lay on my stomach is less and less, but sleeping on my side or back is just as uncomfortable. I feel like a restless blob, and it’s only going to get worse, I know.