Actually 17 weeks and two days, or even 18 weeks if you go by my earlier ultrasound instead of my own dates.
In other words, there is a baby who is larger than five inches swimming around in my uterus.
I think the last time I posted I was all, Ohhh I’m feeling so much better. Hahaha! Hahaha! That was just a hilarious joke my body played on me, and I in turn played on you. No, in actual fact, I just feel different. As my husband explained to someone who asked after me, after a reflective pause, “the discomfort has changed.”
Let’s get right into the complaints, shall we?
I’m still battling occasional nausea and vomiting, although much less so. The nausea is also made bearable by the fact that the aversions have basically disappeared. What’s the difference between nausea and aversions, you ask? (Someone recently asked me this, and I must admit, I was stumped for a few hours.) Picture this: you’re hungry and a little queasy, and you’re trying to decide what to have for lunch. Someone enthusiastically suggests chocolate-dipped carrot sticks slathered in BBQ sauce and curry powder, doesn’t that sound yummy? And you are like, EW, DON’T BE GROSS. That’s how I felt when I was experiencing food aversions and you dared suggest anything that wasn’t a single item (like a piece of fruit), cold, and/or bland. Being a lover of eating, I found this disappointing and boring as well as frustrating and… hungering? Not a word? Moving on. I am extremely grateful that this has passed and I’m back to devouring delicious, varied, flavourful foods.
Oh right, I’m supposed to be complaining. Another new physical symptom is back pain. And when I say back pain, I mean my sacrum is swollen and walking has become an extreme sport. Now I know you’re thinking that a swollen lower back is impossible, and that’s what my physiotherapist wanted to say at first, too, when I was explaining it to him. He was like, you mean your back hurts? No, I mean literally, it’s like puffy and bluish in colour. You mean you burst a blood vessel in your back? No, I… here, let me show you.
And that is when I learned that swollen lower backs are weird.
Another new fun symptom is insomnia. I’m usually an excellent sleeper. I can fall asleep, stay asleep, nap – you name it, I can sleep it. Yet lately, I wake up almost every single night and toss and turn for a few hours. Last night, for example, I awoke around 3 a.m. and got up to read for awhile before falling back to sleep. I then woke up around 6 a.m. with a voracious appetite, ate some cereal with soymilk, and after awhile, fell back to sleep. Unsurprisingly, I spent the rest of the day feeling sleep deprived, but unable to nap and just be done with it (see: newly bad at sleeping). One night around a week ago I slept the night through with only a pee break or two, and I woke up feeling deliriously well rested. I couldn’t believe that’s how I used to wake up EVERY day.
I’m also coping with headaches. Tylenol helps a little, and it’s supposed to be safe in pregnancy, but I don’t love the idea of taking pharmaceuticals while pregnant, so I try to keep it to a minimum for only my more desperate moments. Massage helps, as does heat. Everyone knows what a headache feels like though, right? It’s just like that during pregnancy, only you can’t take eight ibuprofen and call it a day.
Oh, and did I mention the heartburn?! For the love of dogs, make it stop! Sometimes I think I’m not hungry and then I realize that, no, I’m just terrified of passing anything past the pit of acid in my throat because it will be very painful and possibly make me feel worse. For a while I tried ignoring the heartburn, as well as falling asleep (BUT NOT STAYING ASLEEP) with an extra pillow under my shoulders to keep my upper body a little elevated. Then I moved onwards and upwards to a little baking soda dissolved in some water, which actually works miracles in the short-term. Finally I upped my game and bought a bottle of Tums, which works less well than I thought it would considering it was invented only to fill this purpose, but that doesn’t stop me from chewing those tablets throughout the day for their modest relief. Hmm, now that it’s all laid out there, maybe I should just stick with the baking soda?
The very sweetest symptom is nesting. I’ve always been somewhat known for my nesting instinct (amongst family and close friends, not like it’s on Wikipedia or anything), so it’s no surprise that in pregnancy it has kicked into turbo mode. Cleaning, organizing, purging, flipping through the baby rack at thrift stores for treasure – my homey home is getting homier than ever. As a minimalist at heart, I won’t be doing much acquiring of baby stuff, but I’ve been doing lots of research into what the essentials will be for us, and I think I’ve come up with a fairly manageable and minimal list that I’m happy with and that will easily fit into our smallish urban nest.
I’ve also been creating. I knit this sweet hat (okay, it was a very SMALL project and only took an evening, but still), and am going to start next on this crocheted blanket. I also have my eye on this adorable baby cocoon, although I can’t say for sure that’s not because the picture is perfection. I’m cooking again after an aversion-imposed moratorium, and am experimenting with new recipes and techniques.
Finally, I was delighted this week when a dear friend told me that she and her (also dear) partner have decided to start trying to conceive in a year’s time. A fellow vegan, she was excited to have me as a resource on (vegan) pregnancy for when the time comes for her. And that, my friends, is why I keep this blog.
I am now visibly pregnant. At 15 weeks, I had my first, “are you pregnant?!” and I kindly did not look crestfallen while saying “no” just to mess with her.
Most people just look at my belly and wait for me to say something, which I actually have to get better at because I tend to leave a lot of people hanging and then get congratulatory emails later after they’ve had a chance to discreetly ask a mutual friend if I’ve recently gained 10% of my body weight in only my abdomen.
According to my mom, the kind thing to do is to tell people right away so they don’t feel awkward. Very wise. I have a new goal.
Stay tuned for next week, when we (are planning to) find out whether we’re having a boy or girl! I’m hoping that will help me to connect more with this little life inside of me, because so far it all just feels so abstract and surreal. But look at that belly! There is a BABY in there.