Nov 20, 2013

the second tri.

As my second trimester comes to an end next week, I thought it appropriate to share some of the fun/not fun things I (we) have experienced over the last three months. I wouldn't recommend reading this if you're not interested in pregnancy, because that's literally all I have to talk about.

  • Increased energy.  I would say the worst thing about early pregnancy is not the constant nausea, but the overwhelming fatigue. I never truly understood "fatigue" as a symptom in any illness until I experienced it firsthand...those first few weeks are hard on the body as it uses all it's resources to literally build a baby.  After months of struggling to keep my eyes open, focus at work, and make my commute home so I could crash on the couch and do nothing but lay there and snap my fingers for my husband to hand me popsicle after popsicle (first pregnancy craving, but I'll elaborate on those in a sec), I woke up one morning feeling light, refreshed and ready to conquer the day. And I have every morning since. I have been warned that this bout of energy will disappear in my third trimester, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.
  •  Sneezing and drooling....weirdest symptoms ever. I sneeze at least 3 times every day. I Googled it, skeptical that it would be related to pregnancy at all (but I knew it wasn't allergies because my sinuses were clear and I have had no nasal drainage....just huge, uncontrollable sneezes) and was shocked to see that it's actually a symptom of pregnancy. No big deal, but it does feel awkward when I'm taking care of cancer patients and a big sneeze comes on in the middle of lecturing them to avoid sick people.  I've reassured more than a few suspicious patients that "I'm not contagious, I'm not even sick".  Apparently the body also generates excess saliva when pregnant, something that's been real cute. I feel like I need to carry a bucket around to catch it all. I have to focus on not letting myself daydream or become relaxed in any way (at least not in public) because if I'm not careful, I find myself with little streams at the corners of my mouth..lovely, I know.
  • Speaking of Google, it's been my best friend and worst enemy through all this. I can't stop Googling every question that comes to mind, no matter how ridiculous...and there is always an answer...sometimes reassuring, sometimes terrifying. And I have a LOT of questions. I don't know how people ever made it through pregnancy without Google.
  • Finding out that my "mother's intuition" needs some work. I went into my anatomy scan 90% certain we were having a boy, only to be (pleasantly) surprised to find out the little peanut was a girl.  For some reason a girl is so much more intimidating than a boy to Neal and I, but we are both so excited. After we found out, and were waiting for the doctor to come in for my check-up, Neal just sat there with an exasperated look on his face and started debating out loud with himself about which sports she will be involved in (because he had it all figured out for his son) and I had a laugh at his stress over the possibilities.
  • I made a bargain with Neal that if I climbed the highest peak in Jamaica (which isn't THAT high, but is still a 14-mile round trip hike with 3000 feet of elevation gain... unappealing to a practically sedentary pregnant woman) I would get to pick out our baby's stroller. So maybe I wheezed my way through the hike and thought I was going to go into pre-term labor on a mountain and would have to have a Rastafarian innkeeper as my doula, but it was so worth it. The view was gorgeous, I had an amazing time with my husband, and I get my stroller. And I'm even being a responsible wife and am waiting for Black Friday sales.
  •  Cravings: Aforementioned popsicles, egg rolls, beef, apples, and the saddest one...a Snickers Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It's sad because it has not yet been satiated. It started a month ago when I was triggered at the airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We were running late to board our flight back home, but as we passed a Dairy Queen in the terminal I knew I had to stop. I didn't care that there was a long line, I didn't care that the menu showed $8.00 for a blizzard, I was drooling at the sight of the pictures (okay, I do drool all the time these days) and knew I had a Dairy Queen gift card to burn. I grabbed the gift card out of my purse and told Neal I would meet him at our gate. He took all our stuff with him and I waited patiently in line until I ordered a LARGE Snickers Blizzard (in my defense this was at like noon and our short layover in Atlanta wouldn't allow us to grab food (or so I thought), so I knew it may be 9 PM before I had a chance to eat again). When I handed the cashier my gift card she tried to run it and said "actually, we don't take these here". I started to panic because I didn't have my wallet with me, just the gift card, and the line behind me was so long I knew I didn't have time to wait and order again, and I didn't even have my phone to call Neal. I looked longingly at the photo of the Blizzard and RAN to the gate, where my husband was sitting with our carry-on luggage, and was relieved to see that they hadn't begun the boarding process yet. After quick deliberation, I took what I thought was my VISA debit card from my wallet but was actually an American Express credit card, and sprinted back to the Dairy Queen, waited in line AGAIN, ordered the Blizzard AGAIN, and was AGAIN informed that "oh, we don't take these here". WHY I did not learn my lesson about leaving my wallet with Neal I have no idea, but I actually began to tear up as I sulked back to the gate and we had to begin boarding. There have been several other unsuccessful attempts to feed this desire since we've been back in the States, most recently on Monday night, when we pulled into the drive thru at 9:01 to find they had closed at 9:00.  Neal took me to Braum's instead because they are open late, but it just wasn't the same. I know someday, when the time is right, I will get my Snickers Blizzard and I will relish every last bite.
  • I felt her move for the first time while watching an episode of my guilty pleasure, "Intervention." It felt like there was a little fish was in there who had flipped its fins ever so slightly. That tiny movement made this whole thing feel so much more real. Each week her kicks have become stronger and harder. A few weeks later Neal felt her move for the first time while in Jamaica. And then just the other day we discovered we could watch my belly move from the outside as she performed flips and rolls on the inside. It still blows my mind.  
  • Every single night I have a bizzare dream about this baby, usually related to my feelings of inadequacy and lack of preparation (having to use a t-shirt to swaddle my 16-pound newborn because I don't own any baby blankets, not having a clue how to feed her, resulting in her angry cries of "MOM!", her being born with a monitor on her back because she's part of some secret agency, etc...). I usually wake up in a sweat and it takes a while to realize she hasn't actually arrived yet.  Occasionally I do have a nice dream where she doesn't have a mustache, but looks up at me with her father's big green eyes, and those I do not mind. 
The fact that I am 2/3rds of the way done with this process is totally scary, because we still have so much to do. When I schedule patients 3 months out and realize that woah, my baby should be here by then, I feel a mixture of delight and nausea. Ultimately, we're so excited to meet the little one and just hope she arrives healthy and free of facial hair.

Obligatory belly shot...pregnancy has turned me into a shameless selfie snapper... I know I'll regret it one day.

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