Category: pregnancy

Psalm 34

I am 26 weeks along, and now that November is here I can start saying I’m 6 months pregnant! I’m not counting months every four weeks because then if I make it to my due date I’ll get to 10, and who wants to be 10 months pregnant on their due date? Not me! November is an exciting month because Matt and I will finish our prenatal class, and since I am beginning the third trimester we’ll have two midwife appointments instead of just one.

In our prenatal class last week we started talking about when the baby actually arrives – breastfeeding and bathing and not sleeping and generally letting your life get turned upside down because fighting it only makes it harder and it’s not forever. I’m not wishing this pregnancy away by any means, but I am getting so excited for the Truck to be on the outside where it will be so much easier to tickle and squeeze its feet!

In the meantime, the Truck is at a stage of fetal development when it can begin to differentiate sounds. I have heard of new babies recognizing their mom’s or dad’s voice, and apparently studies have been done that show babies recognize simple songs and even short stories they frequently heard in the womb. Some parents will choose a baby book for the dad to read to mom’s belly each day, and when the baby is born it can be calmed by that book because it recognizes/remembers the speech patterns from when it was cozy in utero. Whether this is really worthwhile, who knows, but in addition to sounding a bit ridiculous, I think it’s super cute! So this week Matt started reading Psalm 34 to my belly before we go to bed. Worst case scenario, it’s a great excuse for us to reflect on that Scripture together, and if we are trying to soothe the Truck on long, sleepless nights, I’d rather be leaning on a psalm (especially such a nice one! Pop over to the link and read it through :)) than Goodnight Moon.

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Follow Up

We had an ultrasound done this week to follow up on some things from the first ultrasound back in September. Nothing was really out of the ordinary, but there were a few things they wanted to monitor and make sure they stayed proper. One issue was a tiny cyst in the baby’s brain, which is not uncommon or dangerous but they wanted to make sure that it “resolved” – aka went away on its own as normal. The other issue was that the size of the brain ventricles were at the high end of normal range, and they wanted to make sure they stayed in a healthy range or else there could have been risk for brain damage.

The tech did the ultrasound, and then the high-risk specialist we were referred to met with us and also did a quick ultrasound, and everything looks great – no cysts, and ventricles that are well within the normal range. She wants to see us one more time to make sure everything stays great but said she has no concerns. I really loved our appointment with her because she took time to explain everything, to hear our questions, and her manner the whole time was really relaxed and open – I didn’t feel rushed or like she was skimming over things to wrap up the appointment.

Before our meeting with the doctor, we had the same great tech as the first ultrasound, and this lady loves our baby’s hands! So we have another hand picture – you can even see the little fingernails 😀

There was a bit of speculation from the last picture whether the Truck has crooked thumbs, but from this one it looks pretty clearly straight! So we are still in suspense over extra toes and any other surprises, but it loooooks like normal hands this round. 🙂

This is the only picture from this week, but when she was showing us the screen we got to see (allegedly) the Truck’s kidneys and bladder. They pretty much just look like circles in a great big circle on the screen, but I’m glad they’re in there. On a somewhat related note, I found out this week that the Truck has had a thyroid since like week 13! Just like that, my fetus has one-upped me and half my family (who no longer have thyroids).

24 years old and 24 weeks pregnant

A letter:

To the baby growing inside me, who has a heartbeat but no legal rights,
Whose kicks I feel daily, but who won’t count as a person
until you squirm right out of my womb
(be gentle, okay?),
You count to me.

I love you already.

When I think about you, I suck in my stomach a little bit
Because I can’t wait to hold you,
And sandwiching you between my abs and my intestines will have to do for now.
I take a deep breath so my lungs can hold you too
And exhale, wonder if you’re dreaming,
Wonder if you can read my mind,
Wonder who you will be.

And I know that a lot of parents think this,
But I’m pretty sure you’ll be awesome!
Whether you write poems and love letters
Or ride horses
Or play dominoes
Or finger paint
Or break dance
Or tap dance
Or play the saxophone
And joke with your friends that it’s called a sexophone.

And however the world hurts you,
— Because I’ve realized that we all get hurt,
That I can’t keep you truly safe even now,
But once you’re out in the daylight and oxygen I can’t even pretend —
Baby when the world hurts you
I pray you’ll turn it into something beautiful:
Know that every loss can remind you what you have,
That every regret carries a lesson
That every scar shows your strength
That you will not be the first to suffer any thing
Or the last,
And that you are the only you the world will have the chance to know.

I’m so glad I get to have a head start.

And if I’m ever too strict, remind me when I was pregnant we ate chocolate pretzels for breakfast.

Three Things Thursday [Vol. 14]

I’m 23 weeks along, past the halfway point in the pregnancy, and the changes are getting pretty noticeable! The Truck is kicking lots, still swimming around in all directions but taking up more space than before. I have been offered a seat or two on on the bus (not in the morning lol, everyone sleeps or pretends to be asleep and can take no notice of pregnant commuters, plus my coat makes it less obvious), and my family was delighted to see my bump in real life at Thanksgiving dinner.

In honour of all the changes, this week I would like to share three things that get me out of breath:

  1. Taking the stairs.

Okay, so I have to take the chance to brag on myself for this. Matt and I started taking the stairs up to our apartment (11th floor) every once in a while to have strong legs and hearts. Word on the internet is that I can expect to gain about half a pound per week going forward, and I am already up about 12 pounds since the pregnancy began, so I am experimenting to see how long I can continue to take the stairs. So far, so good, although it is pretty much the only exercise I can bring myself to do. I had such dreams of jogging through pregnancy, but I can barely bring myself to go for walks. I can climb 11 flights of stairs though, and I can do it two stairs at a time if I go slow. I just decide whether I want to burn out my legs or my lungs and go from there.

2. Eating a full meal

This might be partly a posture issue, which I will try to work on, but what used to be a problem only if I gorged myself has now become pretty standard. I imagine my torso as a pie graph that is 80% filled with baby. It is up to my lungs and stomach to negotiate for the remaining 20%. Where are my kidneys and liver? I don’t know.

3. Putting on socks

Aaaand this is why I had to brag on myself for thing number 1. Because it’s true – I can only get socks and shoes on by sitting down, crossing my ankle over my knee, and getting it on the first try. Even then, I’m still a leeeetle bit winded. If I need to go for a second or third attempt? Not pretty folks, not. too. pretty.

Letting Go

I have been sort of in a blogging rut lately, thinking lots but not wanting to blog it, or having ideas for posts and then never writing them because they are too simple or self-centered or who would want to read that?

The thing is – nobody is dragging you to read this here blog 😛 So if you’re here it’s because you want to be, and I can just take a rest from all the analysis and introspection (it’s easy to get lost in there!).

One thing that kept getting me stuck was how much pregnancy to blog about – I’m going to let that one go starting now. First of all, I loooove reading pregnant people’s blogs! Obviously not everything is about pregnancy all the time, but growing a baby is a big life-changing, self-changing, relationships-changing, perspective-changing… basically it’s a nuke. So instead of denying to myself that the fallout is reaching all kinds of areas of my life and mind, I am going to stop censoring myself from posting what I’m thinking about because it’s too much about me and/or my baby. It’s my blog! Welcome to the Alyssa show. Here we think a little too much, laugh a little too hard and always include the second o in too.

So back to me and all the pregnant-lady blogs I used to read before I ever had a fetus of my own – it seems that not only was I entertained and inspired… I was also indoctrinated. And now I might be the crunchiest person in our prenatal class. Reading pregnancy blogs (meaning any blog while the author was recently/currently/trying to be pregnant) made me realize how many options there are in the world of pregnancy and birth these days, and a lot of moms get really excited about those options, so since I hoped to one day become a parent I should maybe start thinking about alllll this information. Having the baby bug back in February sure saved me a lot of time when I eventually did get pregnant because I had done so much research and thinking and knew great sources for more information if I wanted it, and it was just grrrreat!

Then Matt and I made a baby, and suddenly talking about all this stuff became important instead of annoying, and Matt’s opinion counted even more than the internet’s, and all the abstract fantasies about having a baby suddenly crystallized into the terrifying fact of becoming a parent. Permanently. Every day.

That’s what gets me every time, that all the moments I dream about (snuggling, feeding, changing, baby sounds) will be interspersed with HOURS, days, weeks, years of moments that I can’t be bothered to dream about (being tired, getting bored, missing my independence, falling behind on everything, unbrushed hair, crying, explosive poop). I forget that my days will still have 24 hours, that they won’t be condensed into a misty-focus montage of smiles and giggles and resilient parenting. Hopefully looking back from my 40s (80s?) it can be a little like that, more good than bad and no shaking or weeping at the memories. But in the meantime, there is a big, wide future that I just won’t be able to imagine until I’m in it, and I’m becoming okay with that.