Great Expectations: Elizabeth @ 23 Weeks

Amber and Eli.jpgBefore I got pregnant, I worried that people would comment on how big I was getting. I assumed that since I had a short torso I would pop out like a balloon. However, at 5 1/2 months pregnant, if I wear a flowy top or you look at me from the front I don't look pregnant at all. I went to a wedding over the weekend with some high school and college friends I hadn't seen in over a decade, and I had to tell all of them that I was not only pregnant but more than halfway through. "Wow, you're so small!" many of them proclaimed.

I am what could best be described as "sturdy," and I will admit that being small is something I have aspired to at various stages in my life. I was proud of the weight loss I sustained after a month of battling E. coli in Argentina years ago; I love being married to a man who is so much bigger than I am because it makes me feel tiny. But as a pregnant woman, the size comments being on the opposite end of the spectrum aren't any more welcome than if I had gotten huge right away. I'm nervous that Mae isn't developing, that I'm not eating enough, that I'm not drinking enough water; the list goes on. I can feel her swimming around but I still can't feel any jabs or kicks, and she's usually only active at night so all day I wonder if everything is OK in there. I've gotten into the not-great habit of eating something sugary after dinner because it stimulates her into action.

My midwives continue to be the highlight of this pregnancy. At my last appointment when I had a minor meltdown that I had lost three pounds in a month, Heidi assured me that it's perfectly reasonable that my body is working so hard building another body that I lost a little weight. When she measured me and said I was on "the low end of normal" she said it in the kindest, chillest tone possible, asked me to start a food diary to track my protein intake, and scheduled me for another appointment in two weeks to measure my integral growth. If that's good, there's nothing to worry about - some women always measure small and some always measure large, so it's the integral growth that matters. If in two weeks there is any cause for concern, I'll have an ultrasound. Until then I'm thinking positively! I told Carson that the worst part of not being pregnant will be not getting to go to Bloom anymore. I may conspire to find other ways to spend time there.

In other happy news, I'm excited to share with you that my little sister is also pregnant! She's about 11 weeks behind me and is due in late March. It's oddly comforting that she is experiencing the same pregnant neuroses in the same order, and hopefully comforting for her when I'm able to talk her through them. (There's no denying we're related.) I will get to see her in October and will take a sister photo to share. Although we both live in California we're at opposite ends of the state, so these cousins won't get the benefit of being neighbors but will have family vacations to look forward to. Our parents will be doing a lot of Seattle-to-California flying in the coming years.

This week's kvetch: prenatal yoga. (For the record, this is what my grandpa would call a "high class problem.") I know it's good for Mae and me, and as someone who has casually done yoga for 15 years I'm on board. However, the corny factor is just too much! I don't want to take away from anyone who is really into being a Pregnant Goddess so I hold my tongue and try not to make eye contact with my friend in the class, but after the first session I joked that if we had a drinking game where every time the instructor said the word "baby," we'd be dead. "Baby starts and stops all of your movements. Feel baby gently massaging all your internal organs. Give into baby as the new center of your universe." This goes on for NINETY MINUTES, y'all. And, what's worse, the instructor is self-aware of her tendency to stretch the class an extra 10 minutes in sort of an "oops, oh well" way. With 20 minutes left yesterday she said, "Looks like I'm going to run over again!" The class is midweek from 1:15-2:30. Am I the only Goddess who has to go back to work?? Respect my time and cut the last thing you wanted to do to keep us on schedule (says the Type A/OCD woman). I wish I could find a way to give some constructive feedback to her - she's super sweet and clearly really cares about prenatal yoga - but I think the chasm between her enthusiasm and my cynicism might be too wide. Instead I'm going to think of this as a chance to practice being graceful, and embrace my inevitable failure to do so as one of my earliest defeats as a parent. "Breathing in, I see that I have failed. Breathing out, I forgive myself and move on."
 
Photo: Old friends and fog at a wedding on the Mendocino coast last weekend.
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