With the big announcement last week, I figured the usual weekly format needed a little shaking up. Without further ado, the most frequently asked questions about Baby P (in real life, and also in your own heads, I presume):
When are you due?
Mid-December. I’m 21 weeks along, more than halfway!
Funny story about our due date. It was originally December 24, which meant I had these visions of reenacting our own modern Christmas pageant in which, instead of no room at the inn, there’s no doctors at the hospital. And instead of being surrounded by barn animals, I’m surrounded by medical students who’ve never inserted an epidural.
I was actually rather zen about that (because... what could I do about it?), but then we went for our scheduled 12-week ultrasound. There, the technician informed us that our baby was way too giant to be only twelve weeks along, so our due date got bumped back. Still in holiday cocktail party season, but much less likely that our child will feel ripped off every Christmas.
Baby P, 9 weeks. No real arms or legs yet, just flappy little limb buds and still a bit of a tail!
Do you know what you’re having? (And are you telling people?)
I’d always heard expectant parents say that they didn’t care if they were having a boy or girl, they only cared that the baby is healthy. And to that I always thought BOLLOCKS, that they did care but just didn’t want to say.
Well. I’m here to tell you that: it is absolutely possible to feel that way. All along the way, I’ve been nervous for every ultrasound, every blood test, every time the doctor whipped out the Doppler to find the heartbeat. We want a healthy baby, and finding out the sex seemed so trivial compared to all of that. Parenting is hard no matter what, and the vast majority of parenting has little to do with whether the child is male or female.
That said: We do. We are! Baby P is a HE!
Baby P, 13.5 weeks. With teeth! And vertebrae!
How are you feeling?
Right this second? I’m feeling pretty great. That may change anytime I stand up, use the restroom, or generally do anything. But for now, I’m good!
I was not good starting around week 7, which for those of you counting on your fingers at home, was right when I flew to Switzerland. So not only was I sucking on lemon candles and seeking out a rare ginger ale at every opportunity, I had to lie to my friends’ faces about not being knocked up. Oh, how many wine glasses I held for show! (I’ve since apologized for not telling in person – we just weren’t ready – but because we were all there for Lil C’s wedding, it was best to keep the focus on her anyway!)
That said, the Switzerland trip was actually not as horrible as I’d feared. Fortunately, my nausea was almost entirely mental, so I just occupied my brain with things that didn’t have to do with nausea – deciphering the Swiss train system, planning fun activities for the day, roughly translating restaurant menus to ensure I’d order something vaguely familiar (and safe for expecting ladies). Plus, I was determined to push myself as far as I could to enjoy this vacation with friends – remember how I climbed to the top of a church tower? I was exhausted, but that should be a sign of a good international vacation, anyway!
In Switzerland, with my secret +1 and pants that still fit, woo!
On the other hand, Italy? Italy was hard. I had SI joint pain kick in around week 10, and Lord almighty it was baaad. Couple that with the shortness of breath and continuing exhaustion, and Italy had a whole lot of “Hold on, Mr. P, I need to sit on this bench for a few minutes”. (Did you realize Vatican City has ZERO BENCHES and the guards will yell at you if you lean ever so slightly against the wall? Personal experience.) Then again, my belly was starting to show enough that I was starting to get priority seating on trains and waved ahead in lines at bathrooms, so that was a plus. But weeks 12 through 18 were seriously the toughest time thus far.
Thank goodness I finally started feeling like a normal, if larger, person again. Nowadays I’m not as much of a narcoleptic, and thanks to some yoga classes (and also perhaps time?) my SI joint pain is almost gone. I do have some pain from a large fibroid (ugh) which is sometimes quite severe, but far more intermittent that the joint pain. So now that you know my time in the desert, I can say I’m finally doing relatively well.
However, I wasn’t feeling better until a good month after people told me I would. Note: never tell a lady who’s entering her second trimester that she should be feeling much better now. Not good for the psyche when she’s struggling as much as I was. If you’re concerned, or just want to make conversation, you can ask. That way she can answer PRETTY EFFING TERRIBLE, ACTUALLY.
Baby P visits Pompeii with his exhausted, limping mom. He can never say we don’t take him anyplace cool.
Have you had any weird food cravings?
Why is this such a popular question? No, I haven’t. Sure, there are times when I announce that OMG I’ve been craving a Sonic orange cream slush for DAYS or get hand-flappingly excited about eating a cheeseburger. But I do that all. the. time, pregnant or not.
The more interesting question is about food aversions, of which I had many during the first trimester. I realized quickly that if I avoided food as much as I wanted to, I’d feel even worse. So, the trick was figuring out the single food that was acceptable right then, for that meal. I did eat a lot of crackers and ginger ale, but I also ate, for the first time in two decades, a can of spaghetti-O’s with meatballs. Regular spaghetti sounded AWFUL, but for some insane reason, Chef Boyardee’s barely-counts-as-food was acceptable. I also once rejected every single food item in the house as being the ABSOLUTE WORST, UGH, NOOOO (including the aforementioned crackers and ginger ale) but told Mr. P a Chipotle burrito seemed like it might be ok. And it was. Pregnant ladies are weird, y’all.
Baby P at 20 weeks. He has a (super-blobby) face! That ridge on his head is the umbilical cord flopping around.
When did you tell people?
As late as we could. I had to tell my boss practically immediately, as I had some very important experiments later that week that I could no longer do for safety reasons. But she was the only one who knew until the ultrasound at the end of the first trimester. It was a little awkward as Mr. P was getting phone calls from friends and relatives announcing their pregnancies, with due dates later than my own. I also had to do some fake-wine-sipping around Mr. P’s family at one point, because refusing wine would be a 100% dead giveaway! But still, we waited until Baby P passed his first-trimester tests, then told family and close friends. (These flowers? Sent by Mr. P’s parents in celebration of the news!) Coworkers found out when it was nearly impossible not to notice my growing belly. And you’re finding out now because it’s now hard not to mention it here. Basically, we’ve been working on a need-to-know basis.
Honestly, this is the most mentally difficult part of being pregnant for me. Pregnancy is so intimate and personal and something I absolutely cannot control, which are all signs of something I’d normally choose NOT to make public... so letting other people know is horribly outside my comfort zone. Plus, my expanding waistline draws attention and questions, and that just makes me feel self-conscious. I do enjoy being pregnant (pains and all), but if I could, I’d keep the whole pregnancy secret and then just suddenly announce, “Surprise! We had a baby!” Or not even announce it and just let people notice that we suddenly have a new tiny roommate.
Sorry if that’s weird. I haven’t seen a lot of women writing or talking about feeling that way, so it makes me question if I’m just not as excited (nope) or too anxious (unlikely) or a bad mom (definitely not... well, at least not for that reason). But I’m starting to think women who feel that way don’t talk about it because they don’t like telling other people about their pregnancy. So there you have it. But now you’re in the Baby P inner circle, dear readers. That’s a pretty big deal for me!
A spontaneous shot of the bump today. Pretty hard to keep a secret now!
What does this mean for the blog?
I am NOT planning to shut down the blog (does anyone ever plan to shut down their blog?) but clearly, when one has a full-time job and a kid, these little side projects tend to go by the wayside. So, I’m hoping to figure out some sort of scale-back so that you can continue to expect posts from me at certain times on certain days, rather than trying to keep this schedule and posting sporadically or disappearing entirely. I’ve posted every single weekday for over three years, so clearly I’m a fan of routines. We’ll just find a new one!
As for content... well, having a baby is a pretty major project, and this blog is about my projects. So there’s going to be a lot of preparing for baby. Sorry about that, if that’s not your thing. That said, I’d like to avoid becoming a mommyblog, partly for my kid’s privacy, and partly because there’s just so many other interesting projects to do.
What are you doing to prepare for baby?
The better question may be what haven’t we done. I just kept the reason for the projects on the DL!
There are the wardrobes in our bedroom, so I can clean out the guest room closet of my own clothes. The other closet and basement cleanouts, plus this big Goodwill drop a few months ago, were also to prepare for a third person to live here. The white ottoman was purchased for toy storage (and because those tables really weren’t baby-friendly). And décor-wise, I’ve wanted to paint the walls for years, but this pregnancy gives me a serious deadline to finish it.
But of course, there are so many more projects to come. Won’t you stick around for this new adventure?!