This week I am seventeen weeks pregnant.
So far I have gained 11 pounds, which is a lot less than I gained the first time. Of course I was still five pounds heavier when I conceived than I was before this pregnancy, but who's counting? Okay, I am. Last time I gained 50 pounds total! I think it's partially because I am eating a lot less junk and taking care to make every extra calorie count as nutritionally as possible, but mostly because I am still nursing too and working like crazy and running around and carrying a toddler everywhere and generally not resting or taking care of myself the way I did the first time.
Nowadays I am more energetic and not sick like I was a few weeks ago. The nausea that plagued me day and night is gone. I am getting round and overheated and I huff and puff walking quickly or going up stairs. I get furious when I don't get seats on the subway. I still carry Thora but I am careful to bend with my knees lest I hurt my back more than it already is. I am going to the chiropractor three times a week to fix a very painful misalignment which takes a ton of time out of my day but it's helping. Learning that I cannot sleep on my belly or draped with my belly over the maternity pillow ever again is heartbreaking but it's a small price to make this agonizing pain stop.
Last week I felt Newbie move for the first time. I didn't feel Thora until about 20 weeks. I remember it so clearly: I felt her for the first time lying in bed the night before my anatomy scan. I was almost asleep and Johnny was asleep next to me when I suddenly felt what was unmistakably my fetus. The next morning, we discovered she was a girl. It was great to be able to say I feel her! Now I say, I feel it. Another four weeks to go until this anatomy scan and then hopefully the cat will be out of the bag. I want to know what's in there. I hate surprises! The good news is that with all the other things that are going on, this pregnancy is going by very quickly so those four weeks will be up in the blink of an eye.
Last time everyone said we were having a girl. They sensed it, my belly looked like it, they dreamed it, whatever. Early on, I had a dream that it was a boy. I was the only one who was wrong. Later I read that in some cultures they say that if the mom dreams it's one sex, it's always the other. But then other cultures say the opposite. I felt silly that I had no maternal instinct whatsoever and that everyone else was right but me. This time I'm hearing boy comments. Your belly is small and round. It's a boy, from a chatty lady with four kids on the subway. I dunno, it just seems like a boy, from my own husband. Then yesterday someone at work said, "That's Thora's belly right there. You look the same. I bet it's another girl." Whatever we get, we get! I don't care. I just can't wait to start working on picking names.
I am getting the babycenter.com emails again this time. They tell you basically what size fruit your fetus is each week - Newbie is the size of a turnip at present - and whatever else might be going on in there. Last time I scrutinized them, matching the pictures against my pregnancy books, reading ahead to next week and the week after that and the week after that. Each week it took forever for the next one to come! This time I get them before I even remember that I'm starting a new week. This time they serve essentially to remind me that I'm pregnant with a baby instead of just having the added inconvenience of mothering a toddler and working a crazy job with a heavy backpack strapped to my midsection at all times. I like the reminders; they help me keep things in perspective. This is a tough time.
On Monday, we had another midwife appointment. We heard Newbie's heartbeat while Thora ran around and touched everything in the office. I had blood drawn and my belly covered in cold blue goop while my sweet adorable toddler overturned piles and knocked over figurines and models and tore up the pile of baby toys, screaming "THIS! THIS!" the entire time. She kept the midwife student in a sweat chasing after her from the moment we walked in until the moment we left. But we got a glowing report and both babies are fine.
What I like most about our midwife is that she is no nonsense. She supports and doesn't lecture. She knows I know my own body well. She is in favor of chiropractic for my back and recommended an acupuncturist. She doesn't care that we are vegan because she knows we know how to feed ourselves well. She doesn't weigh me, try to get me to drink awful herbs in teas, or push anything. She supports my nursing through pregnancy AND she has given me her blessing about having caffeinated tea every day. (You try to tell a pregnant mama of a toddler who works upwards of 60 hours a week at her job that she can't have her daily cup of English Breakfast. I just dare you.) Our conversations are casual but also to the point. The one nearly out of character thing that I absolutely adore is that she delights in pregnancy talk, and it's so cute. "Do you feel movement? How's your back? Look at this cute baby, your next one will be just as cute! My daughter is 25 and I still remember..." I love that. I love when people are passionate about their work and she clearly is that too. It's worth the trip to Brooklyn!
Only 23 weeks to go!