Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Diary of Early Pregnancy.6

--My Grandmother, a Lamaze activist in her day (my dad tells harrowed stories of walking into his living room, full of breastfeeding women, as a young boy), asked if I was going to try to breastfeed once I have the baby. She offered her copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which I would actually like to read. She said it isn't the latest edition, but that those things don't change much. (She also wanted to make sure I'd be able to keep working, which I thought was very progressive of her.)

--Gosh--this time last year I was making a wedding registry; now my friends keep mentioning a baby registry. Is this really something that I have to do? It all just seems so complicated. What I'd rather make is a maternity clothes registry.

--I asked the very nice priest at our local parish for the blessing for expectant mothers. What a wonderful blessing and a reminder that all this preparation for childbirth and for the baby's arrival isn't just physical, but also spiritual. It's pretty long. It begins: 
May Christ, the Son of God, who became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, be with you all. 
The reading is from where Elizabeth meets Mary and the baby in her womb leaps for joy. I think of this often when I receive communion and think of the baby in my womb encountering Our Lord. 

There is a blessing that includes: 
God, author of all life, bless, we pray, this unborn child; give constant protection and grant a healthy birth that is the sign of our rebirth one day into the eternal rejoicing of heaven. 
These are exactly the practical concerns I have--protection for my baby, who I can't even feel kicking yet and I just believe is still alive in me, and a healthy birth--obviously I have no idea what birth is like, and it's easy to be intimidated by something so daunting. And, at the end, the priest blessed us with holy water.  

--15 weeks: I think I'm officially showing, just a little bit.

--I've told all my places of employment; they were incredibly supportive. Like seriously, overjoyed on a personal level and accommodating on a professional level. 

--People have started to tell me, with surprise, that I look good. I find that rather ominous--like I have a disease and any day now will start to look really bad.

--Bleh. Who said the 2nd trimester is, like, way better than the 1st? (Everyone.) I guess I had an easy 1st one, so it would be impossible to have a better one. I've been getting lots of sinus headaches these last few weeks. I feel like my motivation to work hard has returned, but not my energy. So now I'm just frustrated with my diminished capacity. 

--"Lovely to hear of new baby looking to be born." --JVS


Sonetka said...

Hey, congratulations! I've been slacking off in my blog-reading, but I really enjoyed seeing your entries. And while I'm sure you're sick of hearing this -- don't worry too much about needing X grams of protein a day or feeling awful in the second trimester when all the books say you're supposed to Glow. I've had three pregnancies (which came to term, I mean -- I also have had three early miscarriages, which were horrible but you push through eventually). Each one was very, very different when it came to how I felt, what I could eat, and so forth. With my second, I spent about eight weeks ingesting virtually nothing except crackers and lemonade and was terrified that the baby wasn't getting enough; she was fine. With the third, I had zero symptoms and was terrified that I'd lost her; she was fine, also. It's very, very hard to stop worrying, it's true. Knowing you can't really do anything early on doesn't necessarily help. Trying to concentrate on the present is calming, but I won't pretend I didn't have periods "Oh no, what if X horrible thing is happening/will happen?"

About prenatal testing; like you, I was unwilling to do amnio, unless it was under special conditions -- late enough that the baby could survive an amnio-triggered birth. Personally, I liked having the non-invasive tests like the nuchal fold measurement and the quad screen, but a big part of that is wanting to know what we may be up against so that we're prepared in the delivery room. I know a couple of families whose children have Down's who first realized something was different with the nuchal fold scan and they were both glad they knew ahead of time so they could start lining up resources before the baby actually came. One of them did have to switch doctors after they found out, though -- there are a sufficient number of doctors who seem to think that "I won't terminate" means "I don't understand the situation".

Apologies for the novel, I don't mean to lecture -- reading your entries made me remember what it was like with the first baby for me, and it's a very pleasant memory.

Emily Hale said...

Thanks! Holy goodness--I wish that at least if I got this one pregnancy down I could go through it again with few variations (I think I just like to understand what's happening and not be taken off guard). Alas.

hopkins said...

oh! JVS! love. And that blessing is so beautiful!