Thursday, March 13, 2014

What I’ve Learned in 30 Weeks of Being Pregnant

Yes, 30.

That means I HOPEFULLY have 10 more to go. Based on my latest ultrasound, this kiddo is above average in weight (yet I didn’t gain any weight between doctor appointments…hmm) so let’s all pray I don’t go to 41 or 42 weeks. Because yeah. That does not sound fun. At all.

So let me take advantage of my time between naps and 975653425699776454243 baby prep activities to recap.

1st Trimester

10ish weeks

10ish weeks

Have you ever had mono? I had just a touch more energy than that for a solid 3 months. Oh, and did I mention that I was working 3 part-time jobs? Obviously biking to a bakery 2 miles away at 5:30 am is IDEAL. Or literally just starting a job in the field I’ve always wanted to be in days before finding out I was pregnant. So I took ALL THE NAPS. Because of ALL THE NAPS, I learned how to delegate, prioritize, and let go of stuff that didn’t *need* to get done.

Food aversions were fun, too. Coffee tasted horribly bitter. Corn tasted like beets (and beets taste like dirt to me). Chocolate was sickeningly sweet. In fact, all desserts/baked goods were unappetizing. Meat was not very popular either. I’m pretty sure I ate nothing but scrambled eggs and toast for a week at one point. The aversions really didn’t last too long though, maybe 3 weeks tops. The weirdest one? Mint toothpaste. I don’t know if you’ve ever perused the toothpaste aisle looking for a non-mint flavor, but it’s really hard to find. And of the non-minty Toms of Maine flavors, I couldn’t go with cinnamon or clove because the hubs HATES both. So I found orange mango. It was like brushing my teeth with orange juice. Which was better than gagging on mint. So toothpaste makers, can you please expand your flavor options? I’m sure there are people allergic to mint and lots of other pregnant ladies who cannot deal with minty fresh breath. (FYI: this mint comes back for me later.)

2nd Trimester

20-something weeks

20-something weeks

No more daily naps! I could actually stay awake past 9 and do multiple things in a day! I could go back to doing yoga or going for a walk. And do chores!

My pants stopped buttoning around 14 weeks. (This was the part where I felt chubby and not pregnant. I’ve never really experienced not having my pants fit since I’ve been about the same size since high school, so this was hard to accept and embrace.) Belly bands are a gift from the gods. It’s like a tube top that hides the fact that your pants are unbuttoned and holds them up at the same time. This may or may not have been related to the fact that I probably dropped $50 at Whole Foods on avocado rolls over a few weeks.

Which brings me to cravings. I’ve had 4 consistent cravings so far: eggs, avocados, citrus, and pickled anything. So basically the first three are hungover white girl brunch with a side of hormones.

Dreams are weird, y’all. I had to give up Walking Dead at the beginning of the second trimester because I would get awful, graphic nightmares. Pregnancy hormones lead to a plethora of crazy dreams. Not only can I not watch intense stuff or violent stuff, but anything I watch before bed ends up in my dreams. RuPaul, bad 90s movies, cooking competitions, they’ve all been there. I’ve also had just straight up crazy like the one time I dreamed I gave birth to twins, a girl and a cat. A CAT. (Side note: we don’t know what we’re having so a cat doesn’t seem that far off.)

Which leads me to: EVERYONE wants to give you advice/predict what you’re having. I’ve learned to just smile and listen when people want to bust out old wives’ tales and personal quirks to predict what Baby Art Nerd will be. Odds are 50/50, so it’s a good Vegas bet. Also, many people feel compelled to tell me their horrific labor stories. Please. Don’t. I’ve been doing my own research and listening to my gut, so what worked or didn’t work for you may not be the same for me. All babies are different, and all labors are different. I know we have a compulsion to bond over similar experiences, but these are two things that can’t be generalized beyond “Hey, I’m a mom, too!”.

Last thing I learned in the second trimester? Around 6.5 months, Baby Art Nerd must have had a growth spurt because literally nothing could fill me up. I could have owned Adam Richman on Man Vs. Food. 5 pieces of fried chicken after eating a pound of scrambled eggs for breakfast? No problem. Only super heavy butter masala paneer with a pile of rice and chapati could put a dent in my hunger. So I guess I learned what parents go through with teenage boys’ appetites, because that was a lot of food.

3rd Trimester

I held off on buying this.

I held off on buying this.

After a couple of months of feeling energetic, all that marathon growth has cause my belly to get in the way of doing simple things. Putting on pants/socks winds me. Socks are the worst because I have to put my feet up on a bed or chair to just reach them comfortably. I tried cleaning the kitchen sink and couldn’t reach behind the faucet anymore. I have to brush my teeth at an angle at the sink in the bathroom. Certain pews at church are harder to get into because of the massive columns at the end. And I’m pretty sure I’ve knocked stuff off of desks thinking I could fit. Even though this belly has been growing for weeks and weeks, I still think of myself pre-pregnancy when it comes to spatial awareness.

There are 937458467857390472758465784927349375846574875948 things that are “essential” for baby. We quickly decided that we want a minimal home for the baby. I see all of the single purpose items in the consignment shops that only get used for a couple of months. To us, it makes more sense to spring for convertible items and skip a lot of “necessary” things. It’s nice to know we’re on the same page regarding certain toys, goofy fake essentials, and the whole gendered pastel baby machine. It’s worse than the wedding machine, and that is cray.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to slow down and ask for help. I need help putting socks on, getting laundry loads in and out of the basement, remembering things, and other things. I used to be super independent and try to do everything myself before asking for help. Now I accept any and all offers. I used to also try to cram a ton of stuff in like juggling three jobs or seeing 76876867698 things in three days. Now I just pace myself better and know that a nap is always more important than organizing diapers. I go to a prenatal yoga class to relax and take care of myself rather than loafing on the couch or reading the 50th book about pregnancy and raising a baby. We’ve taken quite a few classes and done research, but we’re both avoiding the obsessive neuroticism that comes from trying to read everything.

Which makes for a happier “us”. Relaxed and happy is the way to go into this new chapter.

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2 Responses to “What I’ve Learned in 30 Weeks of Being Pregnant”

  1. 1

    Lesley Peterson — March 27, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

    Nice to see you looking so well, Erin! I enjoyed reading this post and remembering my own rides to the gallery on the subway beside people with giant wafting cups of coffee and other morning smellorama–urp. I had one handsome son–easily and happily (and minimally) but notice in retrospect that I didn’t have another:)))) Great fun, great times!
    Lesley Peterson recently posted..An auld tale of Scotland on Robert Burns NightMy Profile

    • ehalvey replied: — March 29th, 2014 @ 10:27 am

      Oh, the smellorama…

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