Update: it’s a girl! We didn’t take a video this time, to my regret, because the pictures aren’t as clear and whole as they were before, but here’s one anyway:
It’s been a while (by which I mean it’s been about two weeks without a rant). I guess this is because I’m feeling better, which is a good thing, though I’m sure if I try hard enough I’ll find something to complain about. For instance, while the fatigue and low blood sugar seem to have abated somewhat, the nausea is back, although now instead of clinging to my gag reflex in a constant reminder of its presence, it has become sneaky and ninja-like, attacking at the weirdest times, provoked by the oddest foods and smells.
Meanwhile, my cravings are becoming more durable. I’m really into green olives of late, they seem to calm the nausea right down, so we try to always have some in the house in case my nose suddenly rejects the smell of whatever I’m cooking for dinner (because yes, I am once again able to cook, woo!).
Then there’s the allergies. The other day I was eating a delicious improvised meal of french bread, hummous, veggie sticks and olives, when I felt my tongue start to tingle. I looked in the mirror and found two swollen bumps on one side of my tongue, alarmingly big. My boyfriend wanted to call an ambulance, but I wasn’t having trouble breathing, so instead I took an antihistamine (the same ones I usually take against the nausea), brushed my teeth and washed my mouth with mouthwash. They went down almost immediately, but we still haven’t figured out what caused the reaction. The weird thing is that I ate the exact same meal two nights before, and was fine.
A couple of days later we got a smoothie at the shopping center, and I had to let him drink most of it because my old allergy to pineapple, which I thought had gone, was back with a vengeance, stinging my throat and tongue. It’s probably a good thing we don’t have a cat any more, because I was quite badly allergic to them until I was 22. (Note that I plan on us getting a kitten just as soon as we’ve more or less gotten our act together as parents. I really miss having cats.)
One positive symptom has been what is apparently called “nesting”. This apparently turns the good-for-nothing layabout I was before I got pregnant into a perfect housewife, effectively changing my personality. I’m trying to make the most of it by getting into a cleaning routine (which my boyfriend tries and fails to follow, much like my ginormous new appetite) in the hope that once the initial instinct has inevitably crashed postpartum, perhaps I’ll just keep going out of habit.
Speaking of personality changes, I had something of an existential crisis a couple of weeks ago. If you visited my blog during that time you might have seen a very long, rambling, dark and panicky blog post which was up for about 24 hours before I deleted it, deciding that it wasn’t very funny or helpful to me or anyone else. However I do think the crisis itself is worth mentioning.
It started with a change in body image. Pre-pregnancy, having been blessed with good genes, a taste for fruit over chocolate, and an anxiety disorder that regularly fucked with my appetite (to be clear that last part was sarcasm, I’d rather be fat and mentally healthy), I was quite thin. I had big boobs thanks to my biological father (weirdly enough), which made me (apparently) quite attractive to certain members of the opposite – and sometimes, the same – sex. This made me feel good about myself, and I think I was actually one of the very few people I know who weren’t complexed about their body.
What I lacked in body issues I fully made up for in self-esteem issues, upon which I have been diligently working for some years now. I still have a long way to go. Which is why now is not the time for me to develop body image issues. Tell that to my brain, though.
I never, ever thought this would happen to me. Before I got pregnant, I couldn’t wait to be pregnant, to have a big round belly to flaunt. I’d seen my mother pregnant, and found her beautiful. I’d seen countless nudes of pregnant women and felt impatient to become one of them.
And now – at only four months in – I’m feeling… frumpy. My belly sticks out permanently, and my boobs are too big. I’ve put on weight elsewhere, too – my bum and thighs are chubbier. My center of gravity is shifting, making me even clumsier than usual. I look different. I feel different. Not like myself.
As I reluctantly came to acknowledge these feelings, a bunch of other issues rose to the surface. My appearance wasn’t the only reason I felt different. My libido had done a runner. In fact, I disliked being touched at all, my tactile, cuddly side almost gone. I felt like I was alienating my boyfriend in this way, although we’ve talked about it several times and found solutions so far. Not only that, I was experiencing writer’s block like never before, this blog being my only outlet. My other creative activities stumbled to a halt as well, as though all my creativity was now going into creating this small person.
And I talked about nothing else. Of course, people knew I was pregnant, so when they asked how I was, we ended up talking about the pregnancy. I didn’t talk about how I’ve recently bought a cheap didgeridoo and am trying to learn circular breathing, even though I’d have been over the moon about it a few short months ago. It hasn’t come up. And I have little else to talk about.
So yeah, I was a bit panicky about being surreptitiously forced by my own body into the mum-mould, and losing who I was along the way. But I feel better about it now. How?
Erm… I’m not sure for certain. It’s been a process, something I’ve come to accept, that yes, becoming a mother means that I will never again be able to make a decision without taking into account the needs of my child. But that doesn’t mean I have to lose who I was before. I just have to incorporate the baby into my activities.
So I’ve started playing on the guitar again, singing along and wondering if she can hear me yet. I know that playing and singing releases endorphins for me, so she’ll at least be getting those happy feelings. I haven’t written any fiction, but I’ve put together all the childrens’ story books I have, some of which are from my childhood, so that I can read them to her as soon as she’s born. I’ve started picturing her in my mind, growing up surrounded by instruments and books. I’ve started evaluating which ones I can give her to read at what age, and thinking about how to train her musical ear from early on. I wonder what she’ll like? How will she be different from me? Will she like to write as much as I do? Will she draw or dance or prefer theatre? Maybe she’ll be sporty instead. Maybe science will be her passion. Maybe it’ll be something completely unexpected.
I can’t wait to show her everything I love, but whether she likes the same things as me or not, I just hope she’s as nerdy and enthusiastic about whatever she sets her heart on as I am. That’s a part of me I don’t want to lose.