As it turns out, I kinda suck at keeping up with this blog these days. In the past few weeks I’ve had plans to write posts about New Year’s resolutions, the surprising side effects of pregnancy that you don’t read about much, our first visit to my regular ob-gyn (the fabulous Dr. B), and the fact that our dog seems intent on crawling into my belly. Since it seems I don’t have the motivation to write any of these posts individually, here’s everything in one long stream of consciousness…who knows when I’ll have the energy to do this again?
First, a resolution. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always struggled with my weight – a topic that typically comes up at the start of the new year, when it seems like everyone around me is talking about getting in shape. But despite the best efforts of Janet Jackson, Marie Osmond, Jennifer Hudson, and (an unlikely new entry) Charles Barkley, I will not resolve to lose weight this year. I will remain committed to eating well, though I have somewhat abandoned my former diet of lettuce and water. Dr. B saw a reduction in the size of my sub-chorionic bleed and gave me the green light to start exercising again – yay! But I still will not lose weight. I will happily watch my belly grow, and for the first time in my life, try to let go of the guilt that typically comes with it. I will also allow myself to eat a piece of office birthday cake and the occasional piece of fried chicken.
Today marks our 11th week of pregnancy. Just 2 more weeks until the end of the 1st trimester. 14 more days until, as legend has it, my nausea and headaches will turn off like a light switch. This has now become the most anticipated 2-week-wait yet. Everyone asks, “how are you feeling?” After working so hard to get to this point, it seems terribly ungrateful of me to complain about being completely devoid of energy, or the constant queasy feeling, or the blinding headache that seems to come out of nowhere and consistently overstays its welcome. So I usually just answer: “Pregnant. I feel pregnant.” All the books and websites seem to tell me these symptoms are normal. What I’ve read about less, but is by far the most nagging symptom I’ve had is insomnia. Since my bar-hopping days are long since over, there is really no reason for me to be awake at 4:00 on a Sunday morning, is there? Dr. B said I could take the occasional Benadryl or Tylenol PM, and I’m hoping that as I get back into a regular exercise routine, this will just work itself out. But for now, I’m sleeping about half as much as I did pre-pregnancy. And it blows. At least this morning I have had the good sense to get out of bed and do something productive – like pay attention to the blog that has been ignored for the past 3 weeks!
I can tell it’s early morning. Our sweet dog, Stella, got up with me and looked as though she’d curl up at my feet while I typed. But after a brief trip outside, she yawned, gave a nice long stretch, and thought better of herself. So she’s back in bed, snoring in adorable unison with MKL. This kind of pup-free moment is rare for me these days. Stella has been following me like…well…a puppy. She cozies up to me on the couch with her head in my lap, sleeps at my feet in the bed, and sniffs my belly. Constantly. We’ve started telling her there’s a baby in there; we can even ask her “where’s the baby” and her nose goes straight to my midsection. It’s pretty cute, and more than a little strange. Whether it’s the hormonal shift, elevation in my body temperature, or just an innate sense of maternal protection, I know she knows what’s going on. And I love that she won’t leave my side…in normal waking hours, that is.
Last week we had our first official prenatal visit and 10-week ultrasound. Dr. B has been MKL’s and my doctor since he operated on her a few years ago. Every year when I go for my annual check-up, I look around the waiting room and it seems like everyone else is pregnant. It isn’t true – this is a huge practice and lots of other women are there for non-child-bearing reasons. But when you desperately want a baby, it seems that every woman around you has what you crave. I’ve always eyed their bellies with envy, but this time I looked to compare notes. I felt like a member of some secret club, and it felt good. Going back to the exam room felt even better. Dr. B gave us just the news we wanted to hear – everything looks great. The little monkey is growing just as it should and looks less like a blurry shrimp and more like a baby. We saw a heartbeat right away. The harmless, but nonetheless scary, sub-chorionic bleed was healing itself, and I could get back to the gym and even wean off the progesterone supplements. All of that was enough to make us smile and stare at one another with teary-eyed relief. And then it happened. Dr. B said, “Hey – look there. Movement!” I had expected to see a heartbeat, and had rather hoped to see a more recognizable baby figure on the monitor, but at no time did I expect to see the monkey’s arm and leg buds wiggle at us! It may seem naive, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that the monkey was dancing around in there yet. But now that I’ve seen this sweet little jig, I can’t stop thinking about it. So here’s the 10-week glamour shot…I only wish it was a video:
The sun is up, the house is stirring, and it’s time to start the day. Until next time…which I hope won’t be pre-dawn.