Adventures in Pregnancy: 23 Weeks

23 WeeksIt is wonderfully strange and awesome to see a reflection of myself in a mirror, or even to look down and notice the roundness between me and my toes. The shirt I am wearing in this picture is pretty loose, thus the belly hugging, but hopefully you can still see that I’m growing someone amazing in there. And that someone is kicking, kicking, kicking! I love it. Except when he kicks straight down. That is less than fun. But definitely bearable!

I stumbled upon the answer to my age-old question about pregnancy posture this week when I realized that a pregnant woman actually has to throw her shoulders back to counterbalance the extra weight of her belly, and thus not topple over. Aha! Standing up straight is sort a different matter when you’ve got a passenger. However, I do admit that I am not standing up terribly stright in that photo. Sorry, mom!

It’s been a good week around here, and I think (though I say this in a whisper) that I might be getting a little bit less tired? Some days I can manage without a nap. But I am still really, really hungry. This weekend we went out to dinner, and I asked Eric what time I should make the reservation. “Do you want it to be first dinner or second dinner?” I asked. Hahaha! Some of you may remember that on The Office, when Pam was pregnant she shared second breakfast, first lunch, second lunch, and first dinner with Kevin in the break room. I thought that was a really caricatured (yet funny!) idea, but…it is all true! Breakfast usually lasts me until lunch (I just successfully made the switch from bagels to chia pudding–huzzah!), but there has to be a substantial snack at 3, dinner at 5, dinner at 7, and a significant snack at 9 and 11. If I don’t eat right before I go to bed, I will be awake and starving within two hours. Nonetheless, I don’t really feel like I’m eating so much more than normal in terms of actual volume, and I don’t feel any qualms about it. I only eat when I’m hungry, and there’s no mistaking hunger. Plus, I’ve learned the hard way that something like plain yogurt or cottage cheese is the right answer. No crazy sweets or fries cravings for me yet (but there’s still time for that!)

I am feeling pretty good, and am still so grateful for every moment that I am not nauseous. I still have at least three or so rough nights and a few rough mornings per week, but this is nothing compared to the first trimester. It’s amazing to feel like myself again.

I wanted to share something I’ve been thinking about. A few months ago, when I was still in the throes of sickness, for some reason U2’s song “40” came into my mind. I love U2 (Achtung Baby may never be topped), but I hadn’t listened to that song in years. I played it on my computer and remembered that it comes from Psalm 40, which is a beautiful meditation on hope and waiting and relief. It struck me then that, regardless of religious belief, pregnancy is every mother’s 40: 40 days and 40 nights of the flood, 40 days of Lent, 40 weeks of growing a new life. It was such a comfort to me at a time when I was feeling so sick, such a powerful way to find meaning in my physical condition. And even though I’m feeling so much better now, this 40 reference still means so much to me: 40 weeks of praying and hoping and waiting, 40 weeks of growing and changing, 40 weeks of anticipating what is utterly unknown but is sure to be unimaginably incredible. I am so happy this thought alighted on my shoulder.

In other news, I started reading Great with Child today, and it is fantastic. Just a beautiful and deep and earthy meditation on being pregnant and all that comes with it. I can already tell I’m going to want to read it again as soon as I am finished. I have a big stack of pregnancy and birth books waiting for me, but this going to be the one I remember.

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