Monday, December 10, 2012

Belly Chronicles

This pregnancy has been night and day different from my first pregnancy. Allow me to list the ways:
Here we go again!
Taking her temperature, unprompted

1. This time I was sick all through the first trimester, which I didn't experience with Bella (thank God! I feel terrible for anyone who suffers from morning sickness now. It's like motion sickness that never goes away...).

Park date, 2 months pregnant                           
2. I swelled up and gained 50 pounds with my first one, this time I was able to keep the weight gain under control and experienced very minimal swelling (again, thank God!).

Baby traveled to London!

And Paris!! (I was feeling pretty bloated and gross here, unfortunately) 
 3.  I've officially outgrown my shoes which didn't happen last time. So that sucks. 
4 month belly

4. I've been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions during this last trimester and they weren't that terrible at first. Just a tightness that was unpleasant and uncomfortable. But they've gotten progressively worse and last all day. Now my contractions get more tight and wrap around into my back. They also create a tightness in my chest that feels like that massive weight of anxiety you have during an anxiety attack that makes it feel impossible to breathe (which during an anxiety attack creates more anxiety...go figure). It also has started causing a tightness in my jaw, like I've had something really sour, and my face and chest to flush. It's all really impressive. And I feel like such a whiner about it all until I really list this all out. Then I think I deserve a pat on the back for not spontaneously melting or something equally weird but probable at this point.
5 Month Baby Girl!
5. I have an outtie. That didn't happen with my first pregnancy either.
5 Months Pregnant
6 Months Pregnant

6. "Pregnancy Brain" hasn't been a real problem, per say, but it's definitely occurred more this time than last. I almost actually went to the store with no shoes. I got to the car and wondered why the foot pedals felt weird until I realized it was because I was barefoot. I did make sure Bella had shoes on, so that counts for something.

3 Davidson Girls

7. The end of this pregnancy is kicking. my. ass. It's literally causing butt pains. My pelvis feels like it's going to crumble into pieces and I promise I'm not exaggerating. It feels like someone put a bowling ball in my gut, punched my pelvis repeatedly, pulled the muscles in my inner thighs, put a layer of tissue paper between my jeans and the baby and then told me to go walk it off. I have no idea what's happening to my body anymore.
The belly and I ran our first 5k at 7 months! Insane? Yes. But the feeling of accomplishment made any level of insanity totally worth it.

8. I don't really have a problem with hormones but this time they were a little harder to control. And with that, I need to take a moment to politely expand my thoughts on this particular topic.

That title has some slightly strong language but nothing exaggerated or anything. Hormones are completely unfair. I don't even mean the hormones themselves are unfair (I'm starting to imagine these really cartoony little beasts). What's unfair is how most people react to and treat women who have any level of elevated hormones. I remember getting so angry with myself and apologizing extensively for crying in front of my husband. My sweet husband would every time tell me to never apologize for anything like that. He would go on to say we should live our lives closer to that anyway; feeling raw emotions for what they are and reacting accordingly. When something is heartbreaking - show it. When something overwhelms your heart with love - show it. When something makes you so angry your skin starts to burn - show it (with some discretion, probably). And he was right, that genius of a man. I remember explaining to him, in a defeated state, how no one takes someone who is hormonal or even potentially hormonal, seriously. My feelings are invalidated, my thoughts pushed aside and I am not taken seriously altogether because someone can very easily think or say, "Ahh, she's hormonal."
That is wrong. It is belittling. I had someone laugh and tell me my reaction and feelings about something were just my hormones so that this person could avoid responsibility. I didn't say anything because I let myself believe her but that is unfair.
This is all to say that I have learned from this pregnancy and this experience with my hormones that I need to be more careful about how I treat other women who may or may not be "hormonal". And to be more vigilant about standing up against the "Oh, she's hormonal" write off.

Now that that's been said, let's get back to how hormones destroy your very being, laughing and crying and screaming the entire time. My own hormones haven't been like extreme mood swings that feel like someone's driving me off a cliff against my will. It's more like a filter has been completely removed and any feeling I experience, whether it's anger, frustration, embarrassment, excitement, joy, love, all of it is processed differently. It's like my body has no idea how to handle this feeling and the only thing it knows to do is make me cry uncontrollably. (I'm not much of a crier and I am an UGLY crier. So this all was a terrible adjustment...and eventually just a big joke.)
              Some examples:
 -We went to see Brave, which was fine, nothing totally heartwarming or heartbreaking, just a decent movie. I cried the entire time. Why?! I was thinking about the struggles my girls and I will have. How much I love them. How exciting it will be to see movies like this with my girls for the first time. Oh no, the mom's a bear. I'm crying about it. Ridiculous. Luckily, I wore those awful 3D glasses the whole time so it was harder to notice until the credits rolled. And I'm still crying.
               - A friend colored my hair for me and it turned out differently than I had envisioned it in my head. It wasn't my friend's fault, we just had a breakdown in communication and I didn't clarify what I was wanting more clearly. So my hair comes out totally different than I had imagined and I feel horribly ugly (oh, and fat because I'm 6 months pregnant and hadn't showered in 2 days). Normally I would have either said it was great and went home and colored it (which I've done in the past). Or I would have told her that I didn't like it but I'd let it grow on me. Or I would have said I didn't care for it but I'd let it grow on me and went home and cried...which was a small part of what I actually did. My response? I started to gently tell her that I didn't like it and then broke down sobbing like the hormonal idiot I was trying not to sound like.
            - Palmer and I ran our first 5k together (At almost 7 months pregnant, I know, what's wrong with me - but it was awesome) and they had the runners all horde together in a giant mass and wait to run in waves. In all of the anticipation and excitement, I started to cry. Good Lord someone get the pregnant lady out of this 5k - she's insane and crying.
            - During the race I fell down in front of, oh, 80 - 100 people. I wasn't hurt but I was really embarrassed. So, naturally, I start crying like a toddler.
            - This pregnancy has done something really terrible to me, and no it has nothing to do with my privates. It's made me totally terrified of scary movies which I have always loved. I LOVE a great scary movie! If it is so scary that it keeps me up at night, I happily chalk it up onto my list of Greatest Scary Movies, and then try not to pee my pants for the next 3 nights. It's a wonderful time. But these hormones, these terrible, soul stealing hormones have come and made me unreasonably afraid of the most unoriginal and silly...everything. Pictures, movies, games, TV shows. That exciting ride your imagination takes you on after taking in something scary was suddenly turned into that tunnel in Willy Wonka's factory. Anything even remotely troubling is intensified and how does my body react? Crying. I get so scared I cry.

        So, you get the idea. I had a hormone problem this time around.

8 months pregnant
Baby. There's no more room there.

9. However, with my last pregnancy, I developed preeclampsia towards the end and I'm so thankful I've not had any real medical complications, besides having to buy new shoes.
9. Months. Pregnant.
10. This baby is WAY more active than Bella was! It's so hard to catch it on video but we did our best with this one.

11. With my last pregnancy I also dealt with some terrible depression in the last few months (which bedrest doesn't help). This time I struggled quite a bit during the second trimester but I was able to fight it off and it wasn't as severe as it was in the last trimester of my first pregnancy. These things I am so very thankful of.
We used a video to announce our news to our families for Mother's Day. Ta da! 
This baby has been to Europe, ran a 5k and is going to an AMAZING concert this Sunday (unless she has other plans, which would be fine with me.) all within the womb, which is no small feat. She'll have a lot to brag about when she comes out. :)

We are so terribly excited to meet our little bird. This post was never intended to whine and complain about pregnancy but only to make fun of all of the insane things that happen to your body (and your brains). I've kept my complaining to a bare minimum because the realization that I truly am blessed to be able to do any of this has been a harsh one. Being a mother was a given in my life, but that it would come easy for me was not. I have so many friends and have known too many people who have not had the same experience as I have and it breaks my heart. There's no way I can witness a friend lose their pregnancy or try for months and months to get pregnant and then let myself moan and groan (publicly) about the ailments of being pregnant. Not to say I can't be miserable and complain, or that anyone else can't vocalize their discomfort, but I do try really hard to keep everything this post has whined about to myself...until now. :)

I love this little girl so much.

This room is ready for a baby.

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