Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reflections up to 16 weeks of pregnancy

The following was written at 16 weeks of pregnancy...July 2010

I don't think I ever glorified pregnancy, but I certain had no idea it would be like this. I am not saying I do not want to be pregnant (I do), nor I am saying it is walk in the park, but I am saying it is different than I ever could have anticipated. Like many things in life, pregnancy has proven to be something you can only understand until you experience it for yourself. And, as hindsight is 20/20, pregnancy gives you new insight into the many reasons why your parents wanted you to stay celibate until you were married.

Almost 16 weeks. It is hard to believe that it has already been 4 months since I peed on a stick and saw the positive result. I am keen to answer the question many think, but only those without filters ask: “So…was it planned or unplannned?” My answer is always the same. Both. Our New Year’s resolution was to stop using birth control. We knew we wanted children, but by what means or when, we decided to leave up to “The Big Man.”

Pregnancy is like Narnia. A strange, foreign, and yet oddly familiar world. A place some people long to go back to, others don’t and still others, sadly, can’t. The first 6 weeks were no different than normal, and then I thought I caught a nasal drip that was making my stomach queasy. A little bit of Googling straighten out that misconception. Hello, morning sickness. Some lemon and lots of chocolate popsicles seem to be keeping it at bay, but I am still waiting for a light at the end of the tunnel or any sign of the end of sea legs that don’t fare so well.

I’ve never been a skinny girl either. I always thought I should lose weight before I get fat or in this case, pregnant. Losing 10 pounds one of the best parts of pregnancy so far. It doesn’t compare to the excitement of knowing a life is growing inside you, but since it is only a matter of time before I get fat, I count it a major perk. I should also clarify that when I say fat, I am not speaking of obesity. I am speaking of the bowling ball I will be sporting in my stomach region, which I might add, has yet to even bulge.

Raging hormones. I don’t think that I am particularly moody.  I may not be the best judge of that as I hid my husband’s X-Box when he did not attend to my calls for help during a violent flu-like moment. I’ll let you guess what he was doing while I was crying for assistance. He has since made up for it by making many meals and frequently reading bedtime stories to where my baby bump should be.

Back to the hormones. Teenage acne has resurfaced. Bacne to be more specific. Another area my husband, Chris, has been very dedicated. He cleans my back daily. On the brighter side, my body knows exactly what it wants to eat, which is contrary to my previously fickle appetite. I don’t have cravings per se. I just know what I want and don’t want. I can’t wait to crave Taco Bell though. Presently, grease is not on the menu and my body only seems to want raw foods. This is great for the health, not so great for my Mexican loving mind, if you can even call Taco Bell Mexican.

Being new to the pregnancy process, Chris and I are trying to be open to information and experiences, while still critically making the choices that best suit our needs. Fed up with an impersonal medical system we have chosen the midwifery route. Midwifery, in combination with a hospital birth, seems to be the best of both worlds for us: personalized approach, antenatal care and drugs still available on the back burner. I have never felt a contraction, so who knows, I could be screaming for an epidural. The hospital we are attending allows midwives to continue their care, even with an epidural.

Being new to this whole process also makes us informational consumers. Books, early prenatal classes, soliciting friends for advice and constant Googling are keeping us informed and at times confused. The latest is my research on umbilical cord blood donation. A worthy cause, but not regulated yet in Canada. The process appears lengthy and is work for parents-to-be. I think regulation would help to make it more accessible and better educate parents-to-be. We plan to try to donate (who knows, we may save a life), but with the lengthy process it may not work out.

One could say we are trying to savor the good, the bad and even the ugly of this God-ordained experience. As of the present, we are looking forward to our 20-week ultrasound and actually seeing baby. The sound of the heartbeat at our first prenatal visit was a joy, mostly because with weight loss rather than gain we knew a heartbeat meant a baby and not a tapeworm. To actually see baby will be more exciting and not just because it further confirms a baby with my lack of bump.

An ultrasound will be like a close encounter of the third kind. It will be evidence of all the strange and wonderful experiences thus far. We are hoping baby keeps its privates private. We would rather be surprised. As for names, we have recently discussed and selected a few from which to choose. We are not settled on names, however, and want to wait to meet baby face-to-face the first time before writing anything in stone and sharing. For now, we anticipate our screen-to-face interaction where we will ask if the baby comes in peace because most 20-week ultrasound pictures I have seen look like the mother is carrying an alien rather than a baby.

p.s. (January 5, 2011) The light came after 17 weeks, no more morning sickness. I felt great the rest of the pregnancy, including NO heartburn to accompany my cravings of spicy foods in the third trimester. My bump did eventually show, although I stayed rather small. Rylyn's gender remained a surprise until the end...even after a second ultrasound at 30 weeks to make sure the placenta was not in the way of birthing (it wasn't and moved from the first ultrasound). Although we misplaced the first set of ultrasound pictures, neither set were alien-like in mother's eyes. After a natural birth (I never screamed for meds, although I did reach the end of my rope, fortunately it was time to push), we donated Rylyn's cord blood to Victoria Angel's Registry of Hope.

1 comment:

  1. Kara, you are hilarious. This post was informational and entertaining. I laughed, I cried. You are awesome.