Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 16: Movin' Right Along

What a difference six weeks can make.

I'm not going to lie -- first trimester was a traumatic, bewildering experience. I'm very lucky that the usual symptoms (e.g., morning sickness, fatigue, etc.) were so mild as to be almost non-existent. A little food aversion and a nap here and there and I was fine. But I would not wish the uncertainty and drama of my first eight-to-ten weeks on anyone. The bleeding episodes and medical uncertainty nonsense still haunt me. In fact, I don't know that I will truly calm down until I'm past Week 20. Maybe not even until third trimester. Hell, probably not until the kid arrives and it's all done. Let's be honest here.

Still, I'm trying to focus on the fact that all tests have come back perfect. We've heard a nice, strong heartbeat and seen the little Avocado doing the caterpillar in my belly. I think I'm starting to feel flutters. No weight gain until this week (and that may just be holiday overindulgence rather than baby). And still no need for maternity clothes. Excellent.

A friend asked last night how I'm feeling. Physically, I'm now fine (except for having to be super careful about round ligament strains -- whoa, are those painful). Mentally, I think we're in the eye of the hurricane. We've purposely put off registry/nursery/pediatrician shopping/etc. until after the first of the year. But suddenly, that milestone is...a week away?!? Holy bajoly. So much to do, but I can only consider what's absolutely necessary -- and even that seems overwhelming.

I'm a super planner by nature, but it seems surreal to be making an itinerary for a person/event that won't be here for five months. I mean, you can go ahead and get the plane ticket and maybe reserve the hotel, but other than that -- why bother making specific plans until a couple of weeks in advance? And yet, folks want to know exactly what we're doing and where we're going and what sights we hope to see. If you follow the metaphor.

With the exception of the car seat and crib, I'd like to just take whatever hand-me-downs my friends have in storage (and from what I hear, it's almost everything except diapers and wipes) and be done with it. I'd love if someone could just hand me a list of 2-3 pediatrician and daycare options, rather than my having to find these folks from scratch. Do parents actually enjoy this stage? I can't imagine.

But I promised myself I'd try to be more positive on this here blog. There's a lot to be happy about right now. I do feel really good. The Brit is thrilled with my already-apparent increase in bra size. We passed our Down's Syndrome, Trisomy 13/18 and genetic testing with flying colors. Our friends and family near and far have been marvelously supportive and excited -- even about our decision to not discover the gender until the kid arrives on the scene. Babysitters are queuing up and two sets of dear folks (one in my hometown; one here) have offered to throw baby showers. I believe three birth betting pools are already in the planning stage. To say we are surrounded by love and good humor is an understatement -- and something I never take for granted.

I've also, through my amazing network of friends, found a few parent-type blogs that actually match my mindset. Small miracles in a sea of treacle and tripe. And viewpoints that both secure and challenge my preconceptions while reassuring me that Becoming Mama does not mean Becoming Mush. At least, not more than temporarily while you adjust to sleep deprivation.

So, in short, I'm feeling extremely blessed as 2011 comes to a close and second trimester takes off with the new year. June is a long way away, but to finally say "five months" instead of "eight or nine" makes the slowly creeping weeks suddenly add up to much more than I think.