20 Weeks & A Lesson Learned

20-weeks-pregnant-halfway-to-motherhood-e1357200737128

Somehow, I am 20 weeks pregnant. That’s 5 whole months. Even though I’m only halfway through pregnancy, I’ve begun “feeling” very pregnant within the past week:

  • I now know where my bladder is located, at all times. I know this because I constantly feel like I have to pee. I don’t have to pee- my bladder is simply being pressed on all day, every day.
  • Sometimes I find it hard to breathe. Not ever gasping for breath, or anything, just feel a tightness sometimes.
  • I feel sore inside. Like my organs are taking a beating. I suppose they are, in a way.
  • My daughter is developing a sleep/wake/Enter the Dragon routine.
  • I’m tired. And hungry.
  • Insomnia has kicked in a few nights a week- why do you think I started this blog? I even made a newsletter for my small business and caught up on some schoolwork. If it didn’t make me so unbelievably exhausted, I’d say mild insomnia is pretty neat. I just pray this does not continue after the baby is born.

When I first found out I was pregnant, 20 weeks seemed like an eternity away. I wondered what I would look like at this point, what pregnancy would feel like. 20 weeks was a definite milestone in my mind, and now that I’ve arrived, I’ve been doing some heavy reflecting on this magical mystery tour of the past few months.

One thing I learned during my miserable first trimester, is that pregnancy is a training guide for parenting. The lessons I’ve been learning will most certainly serve me well in labor, the postpartum, and in motherhood. One of those big lessons is: Take it one day at a time.

Such a simple phrase, and so cliche. Seems easy enough, right? I never fully understood the full magnitude of this concept until I was somewhere near the middle point of my first trimester, drowning in misery.

This is a loose remembrance of my first trimester schedule:

  • Monday: 24/7 nausea. Food is the enemy. Water is the enemy. Seltzer is okay, in small amounts.
  • Tuesday: Same. Noticing couch is starting to sag on “my” side.
  • Wednesday: Same. My bastard husband cooked peppers and onions, throwing me into a tailspin of dry-heaving. Locked myself in our bedroom to get away from the smells.
  • Thursday: Same, minus onions and peppers. Starting to become afraid… is this real life? Will everyday be like this, forever? No end in sight. In a very dark place.
  • Friday: Same. Not understanding how any woman feels well enough to raise a child. I open the refrigerator door and just cry. I hate food. How does anyone enjoy being pregnant? Puke in the bathtub.
  • Saturday: So many tears. And so sick. I am so hungry, so very hungry. But I can’t eat anything. I thought I felt well enough to make toast, but then I smelled the bread toasting, and threw up, and I now I just want to die.
  • Sunday: Oh my god… I got out of bed and didn’t immediately have to run to the bathroom and spend 8 minutes heaving up nothing! I think I can tolerate an english muffin. Had a mid-day heaving session, but otherwise feel pretty okay! I can get actual work done today! I’m going to take a shower and have enough energy to actually use soap! This must be the end of the morning sickness… YES, I have reached the end. Ha ha! Oh, I feel so terrible for other women that are sick throughout their ENTIRE pregnancy. I feel so lucky, so blessed… I’m like a BRAND NEW HUMAN BEING! Honey! Let’s order Chinese and watch a MOVIE! Let’s take a walk! Let’s GO somewhere and DO something! I’m never sitting on this couch again, I’m free, I’m freeeeeeeeee
  • Monday: 24/7 nausea. Food is the enemy. Water is the enemy. Seltzer is okay, in small amounts.

Oh boy, those first few months were a mind-trip. It took me quite awhile to grasp the concept that just because I had one “good day,” that every day following wasn’t necessarily also going to be “good.” Every time I felt even a smidgen better, my hopes would soar, and I would convince myself that the worst was over, and almost every time, that was just not the case. It took me the entire first trimester to understand that in order to survive anything, I was going to have to take things one day at a time.

And now, looking back through the rosy glasses of hindsight, what a beautiful lesson to learn before our daughter (I’ll just call her … Babby)- what a a beautiful lesson to learn before Babby enters our lives in a very real way. During labor, my doula and my husband will remind me to breathe, one contraction at a time. During the postpartum, we will live one feeding at a time, one changing at a time, one 5-minute sleeping spell at a time. And when we inevitably encounter struggle, or hardship, or grief, we will as a family take things one day at a time. Is there any other way?

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