20 Weeks, or Halfway There

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Well! I’m 20 weeks pregnant, which means I’m officially halfway there. That idea is hard to get my mind around (as is … most of this whole pregnancy business, if I’m being honest). It feels a bit like I’ve been pregnant for an eternity already, although I have a feeling the second 20 weeks will go by a LOT faster than the first have.

Dan has been taking belly photos once a month, this is the first month in which I think I actually look pregnant, instead of like I ate a few too many burritos. I’m really excited about this, even if finding maternity clothes that work has been a lot harder than I expected. (The number of pairs of jeans I’ve ordered and returned is … high.) I can still get away with my normal sweaters and t-shirts for the most part, but those days are dwindling. And I haven’t been able to use those ridiculous belly bands (just wear your own jeans unbuttoned! Because that’s not awkward and super uncomfortable, even with a stretch donut of fabric preventing them from totally falling down!) in little more than a month, and good riddance.

I’m still pretty tired. It’s big news if I can stay up until 9:30pm these days, and that’s an improvement. I keep waiting for this mystical “second trimester energy boost”… and fearing it may never come. I’m kind of used to it now, and don’t really expect to get much done on weeknights other than sitting on the couch for a few hours. We’re also unpacked now, so I’m not staring at boxes feeling guilty while I sit around. Otherwise, I have been feeling pretty good, and feeling very grateful for that. I have some heartburn here and there, and I’ve been more congested as winter progresses (pregnancy rhinitis! It’s a thing!).

01.06.2014 :: halfway!

I had my 20 week ultrasound yesterday, which is the big anatomy scan where most people find out whether they’re having a girl or a boy… but we decided to wait and be surprised in May. In the interest of full disclosure, knowing that we could know (and having to look away from the screen to avoid knowing yesterday!) is a lot harder than when it’s just an idea. I totally understand now why people find out as soon as they can. But after a few scary test results earlier in my pregnancy, we will really be relieved to have a happy, healthy baby in May, no matter whether it’s a girl or a boy. (We had extra testing to confirm that the baby is, in fact, okay, but the whole thing was SO scary and it’s hard to forget how that “omg what if the baby ISN’T okay?!” felt. It makes us that much more grateful for every glimpse of the baby, for every “things are looking great” from a doctor or nurse, to be sure.)

No one seems to have any very strong guesses so far, other than Dan’s sister and my mother-in-law, both of whom are convinced that the baby is a boy. I’m wondering if it’s a girl (partially in direct response to all those “well I’m sure it’s a boy” folks?), based on the fact that there are four generations of eldest daughters who also happen to be the only ones in their generation with brown eyes (me, my mom, my grandmother, and my great grandmother). So naturally, that makes me think it’d be pretty cool to have a brown-eyed girl to make it five generations. However, I have hunches that lead me to think the baby’s a boy almost as often, so who knows, really.

It still doesn’t feel entirely real, except when it’s terrifying to imagine the two of us being allowed to take a newborn baby home to take care of all by ourselves. I have been reading blogs long enough to have read some scary birth stories and scary stories of sleeplessness and everyone in the house crying and how hard it is to learn how to be a parent. I know we’ll figure it out together… but it still doesn’t stop me from being a little… completely unable to process how it’ll all work. As a planner who likes to know ahead of time what I’m getting into, accepting that I can’t know this ahead of time will be my project for the next four and a half months. But I know Dan and I are a really great team, and we have so many people in our corner (in person and on the internets!). So as much as I’m terrified, I also know, somewhere in there, that we’ll work it out.

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8 thoughts on “20 Weeks, or Halfway There

  1. You will work it out and it will be awesome. Even if you’re being totally mean about not finding out the sex for MY sake. ;)

    One thing that ended up being really helpful to me was reading all the horror stories and keeping them in my back pocket as things that MIGHT happen. Then, when things went really well and life wasn’t terrible after all, I was able to be pleasantly surprised. Yes, it’s a little scary living with all the unsurity, but it was better to be overprepared than underprepared, or to go into parenthood thinking it was all wine and roses.

    p.s. Your baby is darling, and I love your nail color. (Radiant orchid?)

    • Thank you so much for putting it this way! I felt exactly that way about our wedding- prepared for things to go wrong but then pleasantly surprised by things going well… And somehow framing the scary stories in this way eases my mine a LOT. (And thanks :) ps the polish is play date by Essie :))

  2. halfway!!! wow! it’s crazy, isn’t it? you keep it a secret for a so long in the beginning, that all of sudden, you’re almost done. =)

    you guys will do great. yes, it will be hard. yes, there will be very little sleep. yes, you will cry and feel frustrated. but you will make it through. and before you know it, your little one will be two and directing you to put together her puzzles and sit in *that* chair, mama.

    oh!! and pregnancy rhinitis is TOTALLY a thing. before you go in to the hospital, you’ll have to have a list of any/all prescription medications that you need while you are there. if you are congested already, be sure to talk to your doctor(s) in advance about having some kind of nasal spray ready and waiting for you. my doctor ordered it while i was in labor, but it took forever to make it up to the delivery room. i distinctly remember being more frustrated with my incredible congestion over any pain i was feeling from pushing.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    • totally crazy. and somehow, knowing it’s going to fly by from here is finally motivating me, which is kinda cool. thank you so much for the advice about the nasal spray – i am not really looking forward to dealing with this for the next few months, but i will definitely ask my doctors about that! :)

  3. I can sort of recall a brief spurt of energy in my second trimester, sandwiched between endless nausea and really bad heartburn. (I ended up taking Pepcid once a day.) Anyway, I’m always impressed by people who have the fortitude to not find out gender! We caved immediately, when I was in the hospital for kidney stones at 14 weeks.

    • that heartburn sounds awful! the congestion is making me more nuts now, but i’m a bit wary of things getting worse, that’s for sure. and if i was in the hospital with kidney stones at 14 weeks, i’d have found out, too. honestly, one of the test we got actually reported the gender around 15 weeks, and i was so freaked by the potentially scary diagnosis that i wanted to find out the gender (despite our plan) to make up for how upset i’d been. it’s not easy, and i’m not sure i’d do it in the future ;)

  4. Yes! I only read one tiny mention of the congestion thing but I totally started snoring! Which I have never done because normally it wakes me up. Poor Andy had to sleep in the guest room for a few weeks. :(
    So glad things are going well! That’s so great you’re getting a lot of sleep. And I totally agree about being prepared for the worst just in case but knowing it may not be like that.
    With the planning thing–in addition to the registry and the baby room and stuff, you can talk about and figure out some things you may want to try or do, like with schedules, or separating duties.
    Do you have the Pregnancy Body Book?

    • oh man, snoring! i wonder if that’ll happen for me. and i like the idea of thinking about schedules and division of labor… i definitely want to get a book on newborns (or baby care) to help figure out what newborns need/etc, soon, too. i don’t have that book, though – but it sounds really informative!

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