Minnows & Mashed Potatoes
Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside. (Rita Rudner)
Twenty weeks. Halfway.
There have been two notable changes this month, apart from my steadily growing belly and baby. The first, hormones. The hormones haven’t been as terrible as I can imagine they could be (or might be in time), but my poor husband is living with an even more impatient and insensitive wife. My thinly-veiled filter is often hanging on by mere centimeters. While my need for things to be in order is growing by feet. I’m trying to work on both of these now, before the baby comes, because I know a newborn will shake my patience, exhaustion, and particular nature to the core. My compulsion to have things in order fights to overtake my concentration. (Probably my subconscious grasping for some element of control when so many factors in my present state seem uncontrollable.)
A more positive change in the past week has been (FINALLY!) feeling baby movements. It doesn’t matter how many times the tests or doppler heartbeat confirms I’m pregnant, until you feel the baby, you can’t be sure it’s really in there. The movements are cool. But mostly weird. And they make me laugh, every time. I’ve heard it most commonly described as a “fluttering” at this stage. How lovely. No, at this point it feels like a little fish wiggling in a place where a fish shouldn’t be. You know when you go fishing with a bucket of minnows? My baby feels like a little minnow in my uterus. Of course, it’s extremely cool at the same time. This little minnow will one day be taller than me and have a personality and life of his own. But right now, he’s just my weird, magical little fish.
crav·ing (noun) : a powerful desire for something
I thought pregnancy cravings would be this odd, undeniable yearning for tomatoes or pickles. Turns out, it is more of a yearning for Salted Caramel Oreo Thins and mashed potatoes. Not together of course, that would be disgusting. I’m not an animal. And I won’t say that pregnancy cravings are a sham, but they kind of are. In my first trimester, I craved red meat. That one could have been legit, perhaps I needed iron? But now I just want to eat childhood favorites: cookies and mashed potatoes. Why? Not because my body (or baby) need the nutrients from these (lacking) sources of food. But because it’s “comfort food” to me. And in a season where I’m increasingly more uncomfortable, finding comfort in food seems reasonable…
Until you step on the scale at the doctor’s office and they tell you, “For someone of your BMI, you should now be putting on about a pound a week.” Last month I put on double the recommended. Oops. And then, all of the sudden, those Oreos and mashed potatoes I had been finding comfort in were beginning to make me feel much more uncomfortable. I’m trying not to stress about the weight gain, but I wont lie, adjusting to a rapidly growing body is challenging. In pregnancy, there’s good weight gain, and unnecessary weight gain. At this point, I’m just trying to keep it in check.
I feel best when I’m active. My morning workouts rock. I do my 10 minute warm up, 45 minute weight lifting, 20 minutes of cardio, and 5 minute stretching cool-down. That hour and a half I’m at the gym is often the best part of my day. And I really bond with the baby in that time. It’s like he’s already becoming a part of my life, doing things “mom enjoys.” (Thinking of myself as “mom” is still odd.) Sure, I’ve toned down my intensity. And I definitely listen to my body, keeping an eye on my heart rate, and taking a rest when I need to. But I’m going to stay active as long as it feels right.
We had our second ultrasound this week. Little guy has grown to about 16 cm (6.3 in), while his heart, brain, other vital organs and skeletal system seem to be developing at a normal, healthy rate. He was puckering and sucking, looking snug as a bug in his little temporary home. It’s incredible the way God designed this whole process, how life is formed inside me, while for the most part I don’t feel like I’m doing much of anything. I’m just a host. The neat part about watching his little body form in the womb is thinking about what big things his destiny has in store. How will his life, whether short or long, affect the world around him? Will he leave the world different than how he found it? What kind of man will he grown to be? If he grows to be even half the man of his father, the world is lucky. Above all, I pray he grows to know and yearn for Jesus. Because where I will fail as a parent, the Heavenly Father will be perfect and meet his every need.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)
On top of all of these new changes and deep sentiments, we moved to New York, farther from our support system, the few friends we had in Florida and our extensive friends and family in Texas. It’s beautiful here, and I’m thrilled to experience a true, apple-picking autumn. I’m part-excited, part-nervous about winter. But I love these frowning Upstate New Yorkers. In my very limited experience, they are relational, no-nonsense, and to-the-point. Except for my Southern accent, I fit right in.
Looking forward to more minnow movements (and less mashed potatoes).