Pregnancy has been a different journey than I could have anticipated. Those first two trimesters were not very enjoyable. I dealt with body image issues, weight gain, nausea, acid reflux, physical limitations, shortness of breath, exhaustion, and finding a whole new wardrobe. I didn’t enjoy any of that. Little Girl wasn’t moving noticeably which meant my mind wasn’t making the connection that all of those changes were due to a growing child in my womb.
Thus, I was surprised and relieved to experience such peace and joy during these first six weeks in the “dreaded” third trimester. I’m certain that my golden days are limited as Baby Girl gains weight rapidly and my “glow” turns into a pleading expression of “please get this child out of me.” But for now I’m relishing this feeling.
What’s changed for you, Mel? you ask?
Feeling Baby Girl moving almost continually is the most glorious experience no one can describe. I’m trying to bottle up these memories of movement, to cherish them in future days. Part of my MyersBriggs personality is “sensing” and I finally understand how strongly I am driven by my five senses. For instance, it is normal and important for me to have the perfectly shaped mug with the perfect temperature of tea, while sitting in the perfect chair, with the perfect amount of light, with the perfect book to accompany me. Sound ridiculous? Maybe it is. But it’s my reality. I say all that as background support for the concept that experiencing my unborn Baby’s movements are intensely important and wonderfully glorious for me, particularly because of my sensory perceptions.
Oddly enough my physical body feels more “like me” than in the previous trimesters. I am eating more like pre-pregnancy Melanie used to eat, desiring healthy salads and fruits, drinking tons of water, enjoying meat, and limiting the breads and dairy. None of this is intentional, it’s just where my body has naturally equilibrated. Having spent most of my first months eating junk food, dairy and breads (after a year or more basically bread-free) I felt really yucky. That perhaps added to the fullness (bloating) in my face and arms that I noticed rather early on. I have had my dream come true at least 5 times in the past week as I’ve heard friends, family, and strangers say, “You can’t even tell she’s pregnant from the back.” Seriously. dream. come. true. I’m so very thankful that my body seems to have figured out how to care for me and my child while maintaining a new normal of health and strength.
For some reason I had crazy flare ups of heartburn, nausea, morning sickness, and vomitting over the past month. Even with my prescription meds I was throwing up from all the heartburn. But that didn’t manage to deter the positive mood I seemed to be carrying. Weird, but I’ll take it.
Another “negative but not really” has been my sleep patterns. First of all, I haven’t needed to get up during the night to use the bathroom at all. And during first and second trimesters it was 2-4 times a night. Strange. I have, however, begun to need less sleep, going to bed later than user, waking up bright eyed a few times during the night, and still getting out of bed as early as 5 or 6am without an alarm. What the…? If this the Lord’s way of preparing my body for caring for my newborn daughter, I’m ok with that.
My husband and I have been enjoying quality date times on a regular basis, which has always been a favorite activity. We’ve been especially thankful for the number of friends who have sent us gifts in the form of gift cards for dates. I know Baby will change things, but we strongly believe in the importance of our dates, even if just for coffee. This theory has been reinforced by many wise people in recent days.
We set up the Baby’s crib together (thanks so much to my parents and grandparents for this gift). We have washed loads of beautiful clothes and blankets and washcloths and bibs and burp rags (from more friends than we can list). I have figured out how to operate the fancy schmancy breast pump (thanks so much, Sara!). The car seat installation has been practiced and it’s ready to go in coming weeks. We’ve kept up on developing an organization and storage system for baby products (thanks to mom for getting me started). I began compiling a hospital bag packing list that will work for me based on a slew of Facebook threads and Pinterest posts. The breast feeding class has been registered for, and Cathy gave us a private tour of the maternity ward at the hospital.
It all feels real and so close. We’re ready to meet this beautiful daughter of ours. And certain that nothing can prepare us for all of the ways she will rock our world. To God be the glory.