I went to bed last night writing this Halfway There blogpost in my head, and thinking about all the things I wanted to complain about. How I felt my body was falling apart MUCH quicker this pregnancy than the other two pregnancies – like, of course things are going to hold up pretty well the first time around, and even the second time around I was still going pretty strong, but with this being my third? I feel like my bones/hips/skin have basically just given up hope and everything is sinking lower and lower. I mean, at this point last pregnancy I was at the gym starting a new spinning class. I was one of those pregnant women. This time around, there only thing spinning is the Nutella sandwich I just put in my stomach.
I’m only halfway there, and I already feel like I’ve been hit by the truck of the Third Trimester. I never did get that “burst of energy” that the second trimester usually offers. I never did fully recover from morning sickness – which means I’ve gained the most weight so far out of all my pregnancies. What’s the point of eating healthy when a salad offers me no more relief than a cookie? No point, I tell you – no. point.
I’m only halfway there, and I’m already so uncomfortable. And not just in the usual I’m Pregnant discomfort, but just so much more than previous discomforts. I can’t walk as far as I could in other pregnancies, I can’t carry Rhenner for longer than a few minutes before I need to sit down and recover from the pain. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s my third time around or if it’s the way she’s sitting/laying on my bones, or what — something is different this time around and it’s been tough. One of the biggest reasons I like to hold off telling people I’m pregnant is because I hate the immediate “Put that down! You shouldn’t be sitting on the floor! Here, let me carry that for you!” that comes with the bump. In the past, I’ve said, “I’ve got this!” and was confident that I really did. This time, it’s difficult for me to admit, I’m not as sure.
Being pregnant always causes me to really seek out the good in life – what are those tiny blossoms of light that I can grab hold onto? What are the blessings that are going to pull me through this? As I prepared this post, I looked back through old blogs about my pregnancy with Axton and found photos to compare between all three pregnancies at about this same point.
Seeing them all lined up like that made me realize, “Okay….so maybe I’m not THAT much huger than I was with the other two.”
I went to bed last night thinking of all my complaints….and then this morning as I scrolled through my newsfeed, I saw a post written by a friend of mine, in which she described why they hadn’t started their family yet – and it wasn’t by their choice. It simply hadn’t happened for them yet, despite their efforts.
So seeing these photos all lined up like that? Well it makes me tear up with relief and gratitude. Infertility is not a battle I’ve been given. My body is a BEAST when it comes to making babies. Man, I really PACK ON THE POUNDS – not just on my own body but on my babies’ bodies, too. Yes, it’s hard on me, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally, to go through this two year long cycle of gaining weight, giving myself over to the growth of someone else’s body, ignoring the nasty things the voice inside my head tells me everyone is saying about me, growing & growing until I’ve reached the point of breaking, and then screaming my body open to deliver this child, and then, once the baby is out, providing its every molecule of life and food for at least 6 months, and, at the core of all this is sleep deprivation. Yes, it’s hard. But the light I’m holding onto, the hope I’m choosing to remember is this is life. This is our life – this is our family. And she belongs with us, with our family. I am the link that makes it – that makes her – possible.
A few flickers of light happened this week – one, I was looking at jewelry for a styled shoot coming up and each piece of jewelry had a unique name. One of the pieces was called the name I’ve been hoping we would call our daughter, and when I read it – when I saw it written out and I spoke it in my head in a different context then What Should We Call Baby – it made me catch my breath and say, “That’s her!”
One other reminder of joy – last night I was lying in bed with my hand resting on my belly when I felt the tiniest of all nudges under my hand. I was shocked – this girl has not been even half the mover the boys were. She is either very dainty and gentle, or else she is just sitting very differently and I can’t feel her as well as I could my other two babies. I’ve been looking forward to feeling more of her movements because I’ve felt like that is one of the few semi-enjoyable things about being pregnant, and I’m desperate for anything positive right now. Anyway, so I grabbed Adam’s hand and put it on my belly just to see if I was being crazy but he said, “Oh I felt that!” We both lay there in wonder, waiting for one more kick, and when it happened again, I said, “It’s begun.” And at the same time Adam said, “We’ve entered the next phase.”
The phase where suddenly she becomes a person, and not just a blob of cells ridding me of any feelings of normalcy. A person. A baby. A sister. A granddaughter. A niece. A daughter. ours.
Oh! And baby girl clothes have started to filter into the house, given to us by a few friends here and there. The other night Adam picked up the tiniest of all dresses and held the straps delicately between his fingertips, raised it up and looked it over. Then he placed that empty dress over his shoulder and started to pat it, and did a little rock back and forth and told the boys all about what he would need to do for baby once She comes. “We’ll need to pat her and burp her. And she’ll cry a lot and we have to be quiet when she’s sleeping and be very gentle with her” — all while still patting that empty dress over his shoulder.
As I was searching old blog posts, I found all my questionnaires that I used to faithfully fill out each month when I was pregnant with Axton. They made me laugh, and I thought I’d fill it out once again, just for the fun of it.
How far along? 21 Weeks
Best moment this week: Adam feeling her move for the first time. Adam maybe, just maybe, agreeing to the name I’ve been rooting for.
Labor Signs: …..Labor? Oh yeah. I should start preparing for that.
Belly Button in or out? Still in!