My second trimester is coming to an end in the next week or so (this is only one of about 900,000 things that I have found nauseatingly debatable during this process… some say 27 weeks, some say 28 weeks. The mathematical truth of it is actually 26.63 weeks which technically puts me officially into my third tri, so pop that Fre champagne because I am officially in the final 2/3rds of this thing).
Being pregnant isn’t really as scary as I thought it would be, but now that I’m getting down to the finish line, I am starting to worry that I am absolutely unprepared for the whole ‘keeping this human alive on the outside’ portion of my journey. While I can’t say I’ve enjoyed my trip down spawn shuttle lane, I can tell you that I am one of the lucky ones because I have had it relatively easy. I’m healthy, I’ve gained appropriate weight in the appropriate places, I never threw up and was barely nauseous, my side affects for the most part were very mild, and I have had a supportive partner through it all. I’ve learned a lot, some of it very helpful, some of it not at all, and some of it just god damn ridiculous. So here’s some tidbits:
– It’s okay to feel the way you feel and act the way you act and be the way YOU need to be. There’s some weird shit going on with your body and it’s not always (or rarely) pleasant. As long as you’re not having thoughts of harming yourself or others, feel however you need to feel to get through this weird and difficult time. If you are having harmful thoughts, please reach out to your doctor immediately, you’re not alone and it’s not an uncommon or shameful thing.
– Every time you think you’re clueless about pregnancy or parenting, just remember there are a bunch of other people out there making you look like mom-to-be of the year. If you don’t believe me, join any of the due date groups on facebook. The number of people who ask if it’s safe to get tattooed while pregnant will astound you. Some of my favorites include: “will my heated seat hurt the baby?” “I had to leave the movie theatre today because it was so loud and she was kicking like crazy, I hope I didn’t damage her hearing” Variations of the following: OMG I AM JUST CRAVING SUSHI ANYONE ELSE GIVE IN AND EAT SOME?! (y’all, sushi is not inherently raw, ffs check the menu); I WANT SUBWAY SOOOOOO BAD (okay then go get Subway, if you’re that concerned tell them to heat the lunchmeat up); GUYS I JUST NEED SOME COFFEE HOW MUCH DO YOU DRINK A DAY??? (Please stop basing your parental decisions on what randos on facebook are saying. If you want a cup of coffee, have a cup of coffee or even two! Keep your caffeine intake around 200mg like most websites suggest…or…CaLl YoUr DoCtOr). I AM SO FAT/ I AM NOT SHOWING AT ALL/ I’M 4 WEEKS, WHEN WILL I GET A BUMP?/ GUYS DOES THIS PICTURE MAKE ME LOOK FAT OR PREGNANT?/ I FEEL SOOOOOO DISGUSTING TODAY *POSTS PICTURE OF THEMSELVES HALF NAKED WITH FULL FACE OF MAKEUP*
Girls, google is your friend. Google won’t laugh at your completely ridiculous and asinine questions. The other ladies in these groups are not your friend and we WILL laugh at you. Save yourself and just google or call your doctor.
– Circumcision is a hot topic. Jesus Christ. I never thought I would have so many debates or read so many comments about what to do with a baby dick. Speaking freely (as if I do anything but) we will be circumcising. I let my husband make the decision since he’s a man and I am not. If I did not have a male counterpart in this equation, I would still circumcise and do you want to know why? Okay cool, let me know and maybe I will make a separate post about it someday but today is not that day. Moving on…
– Every single person will have an opinion on what you’re eating, what you’re wearing, how you’re carrying, what you’re saying, what you’re posting, whether your bananas are too ripe to eat, whether your partner is being loving enough, whether you should work, drive, sleep, fart, chew gum this way or that. Ignore every single one of those people unless you’ve specifically asked them. Don’t even bother with being polite in accepting their advice, because it was unsolicited and unnecessary. I have been very lucky in that my friends and family (for the most part) have left me to my own devices and given me advice when I’ve asked and just blindly supported me when I haven’t. Probably because they know what a nightmare I can be when I’m not busy growing a whole ass human 🙂
– Be wary of ‘without the Woo’ and ‘evidence-based’ facebook groups. Take them with a grain of salt. While they do offer great advice, I have found them to be so. damn. judgmental. They’re fear-mongering and straight up rude to anyone who doesn’t fall exactly in line with what they believe.
– Closely related to the previous point…mind your damn business. If I’ve learned anything through this experience and reading post after post, article after article, it’s that there really is not any one totally correct way to parent. And just because someone’s doing something you don’t think you’ll do doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I will never co-sleep, I don’t think it’s worth the risk (but there’s risk in everything right?) but I know plenty of people who co-sleep and raise perfectly fine children. When I was a baby, they said to put me on my belly. Then in the 90’s, kids were put on their sides in their cribs. Now, my child will be sleeping on his back because that is what is (currently) considered safe. The truth is, all of these practices…there’s flaws in all of them and some of us get really fucking lucky and raise healthy beautiful kids and some of us experience things that no parent should ever have to experience. Just do your research, decide for you what you think is best and that’s all you can do, right?
– People will argue over literally anything related to pregnancy and parenting. A N Y T H I N G. Best to just avoid it unless you’re feeling feisty that day. Then jump in, express yourself, and jump back out before it consumes you. The mute option on people and groups is a great thing, really.
– If you want to buy 739 new baby items, and have the financial means to do so, then do it. I have been blasted by several people for buying things new instead of taking hand-me-downs or buying from thrift stores, facebook marketplace, etc. Here’s my reasoning: it makes me happy. Plain and simple. I wanted to buy things for Lucas because his is my child. He’s my first and if I have it my way, my last and only child. Being pregnant has not been an enjoyable time for me, so buying these things (as early as 6 weeks) when I make my weekly trips to Target or Walmart…or daily on Amazon… have brought me joy. I grew to be excited by picking up a new onesie for him or making a wish list for him of toys that I can’t wait to buy him. Don’t turn away good items if your friends and family are offering them to you, of course. But, if you want to do something that makes you happy (and it is mentally and physically healthy) then for the love of god, do it.
– Always, always, always put yourself and your baby first. This is the one time that you can come off as being completely selfish without anyone having any business calling you so. I haven’t seen my friends since…mid-November? and have only seen family because they’re family. I’ve grown closer to my ‘internet’ friends and book group friends, people that I can connect with from my couch when I choose to pick up my phone. And same goes with my friends too, I keep in touch with most of them via text and I do miss sitting around bullshitting with them in person, but I just don’t have it in me right now. I have scaled back the amount of stress, energy, and general fucks that I put into anything other than myself. I enforce the guidelines I set but never stuck to at work to make it a healthier place for me to be, which does include being there less and working from home more. All of these things are selfish, right? I was very social on the weekends; I did bend over backwards way more than I should’ve for my job and now I don’t. Because I mentally and physically cannot. And yeah, it makes me feel less than and it makes me feel shitty and like a bad friend, coworker, daughter/wife/abc-in-law/etc, but I refuse to put these things above making sure Lucas grows to his healthiest potential while my body is the one fueling him. It’s equally the most selfish and least selfish thing I’ve ever done.
So that’s it for now. It’s been a wild, weird, uncomfortable, weird, unstable, weird, hopeful, weird, and did I mention weird? ride so far. I know I’m really in for it, these last three months and I am absolutely NOT looking forward to that final month. But I’ll power through and I’ll come out better and grateful on the other side because it means that Lucas will have finally forced his way into this insane world.