Summer has arrived in Chicago.
On Friday, I (we) reached the halfway point of my pregnancy:
For purposes of comparison, here’s my belly at 4 weeks 3 days, the morning after I took the second positive pregnancy test:
You may notice that my breasts are larger. That seems to be the first thing everyone noticed. It was also my first indication that something was up – about 10 days before I took the positive test, long before I would have missed a period, I changed clothes in my mom’s hotel room and noticed that something looked different. I credited the change to my new rowing routine.
A few days later, N noticed that my chin was unusually broken out. I blamed that on holiday overindulgence. I took a test to be sure. Negative.
I took another test on my birthday, knowing the day would involve all manner of food and drink. Negative.
Don’t ask me why exactly I took another test a few days later, but I did. We walked to the Flying Saucer in a daze, and I turned down a second cup of coffee for probably the first time in my life.
That was nearly four months ago. In another four months (and change), we’ll have a baby. Crazy.
Here are some things we know about the baby:
- It is currently the size of a banana. This is appropriate as N eats more bananas than anyone else I’ve ever known.
- It has long arms and legs that have only just started to poke me. The kicks and punches feel a bit like when popcorn begins to pop – gentle and sporadic.
- It will have Belgian citizenship if N requests it.
- It is wiggly and shy, having spent half of my last ultrasound running from the tech, and the other half with its face buried in my hip.
- It will be called Kleintje until it arrives on the scene on September 26.
I’m thankful to have had a relatively easy pregnancy so far. The first trimester was harder emotionally than it was physically as I struggled to wrap my head around the enormous immediate and imminent changes in basically every area of my life. I struggled through the brutal winter, not able to talk to my family and friends because I’d chosen to keep the pregnancy a secret until after 13 weeks. I struggle(d) with body image, with relinquishing my identity as a runner, with having to ask for help for things I could easily do on my own a week or a month earlier.
Now that I’m squarely in my second trimester, the struggles are different. I haven’t moved into maternity clothes, but every week I have to retire more of my wardrobe (temporarily? permanently?). My back hurts a lot of the time, and sometimes I have these sharp pains when I stand up too quickly. While I haven’t had morning sickness OR cravings, my body has more than compensated by rejecting large parts of my normal diet – and unfortunately mostly healthy stuff. No to yogurt, beans, and kale – yes to all the bread. I haven’t been on my bike since getting pregnant – though I do occasionally Divvy – and running gets harder by the week. But then there are also moments of sitting in traffic and ::plink::, there’s a little kick.
I just read a book review that quotes a sociologist in saying “the modern child [is] ‘economically worthless but emotionally priceless'” – the book’s author describing parenting as “all joy and no fun“. When I think about this – and the many years we have ahead of us – I’m terrified. And excited. And terrified. And very grateful to be embarking on this adventure with N, who this morning after cleaning up cat vomit remarked that this – cleaning up various bodily fluids – was his life for the next few years, and that he couldn’t wait. While I’m less enthusiastic about the bodily fluids – I also can’t wait.