Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 10: Home Sweet Home

I'm fairly relieved to report that the last week has been fairly normal and without major incident. Still spotting a bit every day (and I wish I wouldn't), but I've come to expect that this is my status quo. A week from today, I'll go in for my next appointment with Donna the Midwife, full of various questions about why and how. I'm not expecting many answers, but hopefully the exam and ultrasound will show that our Kumquat (another upgrade -- and none too soon; we couldn't really relate to "grape") is cruising along as expected.

I've also gotten my butt off the couch and out the scary front door, starting daily 30 minute walks and some arm weight exercises. I'm still inexplicably terrified to stray too far, even if I'm carrying my cell phone and know The Brit is no more than a five minute drive away.

It doesn't help that incidents seem to happen when I leave my neighborhood. Just last week, I went to my monthly book club dinner (a much-needed night out) and had a small bleedthrough. Very minor in the grand scheme, but enough to make me wonder "Should I go home right now? But I can't, because I caught a ride with J. and no one knows the news..." I kept my mouth shut and did my best to ignore the situation until I got home. Of course, by the time I did, everything was fine. Tonight, I'm going even further afield (and, yet again, catching a ride with a friend) and the anticipation has my stomach in knots.

I really want to be one of the women who embrace pregnancy for the unique, mindblowing experience it is. I want to trust my body, even in the difficult moments. But right now, I feel like such a prisoner of forces beyond my control. And the lack of explanations or root causes is not helping. Even my sleeping position is dictated by The Right Thing To Do -- preferably left side...and not on your back! Heaven forfend!

I'm told to just hang in there until 2nd trimester, when all is rosy and amazing. I sure hope that is my experience, too. And I hope this "glow" and "incredible, thick hair" thing kicks in too. It's the least I should expect in exchange for the nonsense, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week 9: Don't Stop Believin'

Did you know that "pregnancy" is the most searched health term on the Internet? If you find yourself with a Pumpkin Seed under the broiler and have access to a computer, you sure do.

As I did with my wedding, I am doing my damnedest during pregnancy to stay OFF of mailing lists. I also found out early on that most forums and online communities are not helpful -- and, in fact, filled with misinformation and paranoia. And I wonder why medical professionals won't talk to women in a calm, logical way...

That said, I did subscribe to one weekly e-mail service, recommended by a good friend. They send me an informative update every Wednesday, telling me what's happening aboard the Good Ship Uterus. Of course, on the side of this e-mail are ads from their sponsors and links to other articles and activities, but they're generally not obtrusive.

Until I spied a whopper today.

For "This Week's Activity," a clinical psychologist focusing on pregnancy and postpartum adjustment recommends that "...women set aside two 5-10 minute periods a day to think about their baby. Sit quietly and gently rest your hands on your belly. Focus your breathing and start thinking about your baby -- your hopes, dreams, intentions as a parent, etc. It's a great way to initiate the bonding process!"

Where, oh where to begin.

I don't know about other moms-to-be, but I can't think of a moment of any waking day when I'm NOT already thinking about this kid. Work is a welcome respite because it forces my brain to do something else. I know what sort of parent I hope to be (by age 38, I sure as hell hope I do), but I also know it will mostly fly out the window once reality sets in. And does this kid really need MY "hopes and dreams" pushed onto it from fetushood? Therapy is expensive...let's give him or her a bit of fighting chance, shall we?

Here's an idea, Ms. Clinical Psychologist: How about two 5-10 minute sessions a day where you specifically DO NOT focus on the baby? Where you read a good book or enjoy a snack or kiss your partner or sing Journey songs into a spoon or have a dumb conversation with the cat? What if all parents took this advice to heart and carved out said time in their day-to-day, even after the baby arrives? Wouldn't we all feel more calm, more taken care of, and ultimately better equipped to take care of those around us?

But hey. At least I also found out the Pumpkin Seed is now a Grape. The Brit asked if it was a seedless grape. I raised an eyebrow and asked, "What do you think?" Luckily (and this is why I married him), he laughed.