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Where has the month gone? It seemed like fall would never get here, and now it’s here all of a sudden!
Not that you’ll hear any complaints with me.
This is a hard week for us: the 25th marks the day that we learned Lauren’s heart had stopped beating, and of course, not so far behind, is what would have been her second birthday on the 28th. It’s so hard to believe that two years have passed since that terrible week. She’s still so close to us.
For now, here’s a picture of Geordie practicing the mandolin.
So, what happened to August? The last thing I remember is bemoaning August’s seemingly never-ending existence. And now we’re nearly two weeks into September. How did that happen?
I don’t even remember the last time I posted here. And I’m not going to go back and look, because it honestly doesn’t matter. I needed a break. I started a lot of posts but never got very far with them because I never really knew what to say or if I even had anything to say. I spent most of the last couple weeks of August just trying to deal with every day life.
There was the week our AC went out. That was fun, if you have a rather skewed idea of the word “fun.” August was a hot, hot month, and we spent most of it slightly over the 100° mark. The two and a half days we did not have AC were not exempt from the hot, dry temperatures. The worst was probably the two nights we spent lying in bed, sweating so much and giving off so much heat that we couldn’t stand to touch each other. We ended up having to sleep downstairs in the living room on the fold-out couch, the oscillating fan going at full blast and the windows opened. The AC went out on Monday evening (too late for any repairs to be done, of course), got it back Wednesday afternoon, and didn’t have it fully fixed until Friday early evening. Fun week.
And then we developed an ant problem. Well, we had a semi-problem with ants before that, in that we had a couple of mounds in the yard, but we didn’t have a major problem with them coming into the house, only the odd stragglers who found their way in. But, the night we had the sliding glass door open just made it too easy for them to march in and attempt to steal away the cat food, which I didn’t realize was kept so tantalizingly close to the door. I moved the food into the kitchen and sprayed both the inside and the outside, but at least one colony had invasion on its mind, because they kept coming back even though there was nothing left for them to eat. So, that weekend, we went out and bought some ant-killer. It took two sprayings, but the yard now seems to be ant-free.
And then there’s Niko. We are still undecided about a name, so she’ll probably be known as Niko until she decides to make her arrival. We aren’t fussing too much about the name – she’ll get one when the time comes, and until then, there’s no rush. We’d still be calling her Niko anyway.
I named this post “twenty-seven weeks,” but the truth is that I’m closer to twenty-eight weeks now. Which means that we are at the brink of the third trimester. And I am so glad.
I can’t say that I really enjoyed the second trimester. Yes, I felt good physically. In fact, there were days when I felt so good that pregnancy didn’t seem that bad. Physically speaking. Mentally and emotionally, the second trimester has taken its toll, and I’m not expecting the third trimester to be any better. You see, with the second trimester comes that much-loved sensation of feeling the baby move for the first time. I first felt Niko move around week eighteen, and I’ve been feeling her pretty consistently since about week twenty. It’s both wonderful and terrifying. Wonderful because she’s alive and active, and terrifying because, in my experience with pregnancy, that doesn’t last.
It’s hard to explain to people who don’t know what it feels like to be aware that your baby isn’t moving anymore. Kick counts aren’t even suggested until the 28th week, and there’s nothing that can be done for the baby before the 24th week anyway. But that’s rational, and the babylost don’t always work on rational feelings. I panicked the first time Niko had a quiet day. It was a day that made me realize how glad I was to have chosen to work with midwives, because they let me come in and have a heart-tones check, and when her heartbeat showed up immediately, the midwife helped me calm down and listened to me and assured me that this was perfectly normal for someone who is in my situation. So not only did I feel relieved that Niko was perfectly alright, I was glad that I wasn’t treated like a crazy, overly sensitive pregnant woman. Because I do feel like that sometimes.
I am hyper-aware of what Niko is doing. Lauren’s movements were always normal up until the end, but sometimes I wonder how attuned to her I must have been if I spent so much time questioning myself and my instincts. So I’m vigilant about keeping track of Niko. Especially now. Because, yes, I am still terrified that I will wake up one day and realize that I haven’t felt her move in a while. We’ve rented a doppler to at least be able to hear her heartbeat when we need reassurance, but I know that movements are what’s most important. More than once a day, I lie down on the couch and see how long it takes me to feel her move. Most of the time, it doesn’t take long at all – she is quite active. Sometimes, it takes a little orange juice to get her going. So far, everything’s been normal, and I hope it stays that way.
So, I’m glad the second trimester is over, it seemed so long. The summer always seems to drag, but it was especially slow this year. We’re in the final stretch, and I’m spending my days now dreaming of a December day when we get to bring Niko home. I want that to happen so much, and it seems so close now, so possible. Twelve weeks. A little less than three calendar months. So close.
I am so happy to be pregnant. I really am.
But to be fully and completely honest, I don’t like being pregnant. I didn’t like it when I was pregnant with Lauren. I wanted (still want) her so terribly, and I knew motherhood would be all worth the ten months of bodily torture, but I still didn’t enjoy it. Losing Lauren was worse than enduring the pregnancy, and obviously, I’m willing to do it again. It’s just . . . pregnancy is hard.
I don’t think that can be stressed enough. I’m sure there are women out there who loved being pregnant (my own mother appears to have been one of them), but it’s hard work for most of us. It’s especially hard with the first, because no matter what you read or what you hear, you really aren’t prepared for how little control of your body you have.
And I will be the first to admit that I probably don’t have it as bad as other women do. I do have days that I’m queasy all day long and nothing sounds appetizing. But puking hasn’t been a problem, and I haven’t developed any real aversions yet. It’s early still, so there’s plenty of time for that. But I’m sure some women have daily appointments with the toilet at this stage. Or can’t eat anything but plain bread and crackers, and even that’s work.
My worst symptoms are the body aches and the fatigue. The aches come and go, but the fatigue sticks around. I’ve napped nearly every day since getting the positive pregnancy test. I’d forgotten how tired pregnancy made me. Getting to sleep at night is not usually a problem, but staying asleep can be. Aches, pains, bathroom urges, and general restlessness all combine to make for an unpleasant night. Oh, and kittens. It’s not so bad when all they want to do is cuddle up against my tummy, but that’s not all they want to do. Yuzu is in the habit of sleeping on people’s heads if he can. Mirin likes to bring her favorite toys up on the bed and try to get us to play with her. (She plays fetch with her string. It’s adorable, except when she wants to do it at three in the morning.) Most of the time, they behave themselves, and I can’t blame all my sleeping troubles on them.
Also, pregnancy brain. Some days, I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’ve done all day. My normally reliable memory goes AWOL. Today, I left the house to do my afternoon errands and completely forgot to feed the kittens their lunch. They alerted me to this grave oversight as soon as I stepped back into the house three hours later! Sorry, kittens!
Really, that’s about it. I do feel bloated and gassy, but not always. And it’s not so bad that it ruins my day. It’s just irritating sometimes. I’m trying not to dwell on it, because I know it’s only going to go downhill from here. If this pregnancy is liked Lauren’s, I’ve got hip pains, round ligament pains, sciatica, and carpal tunnel syndrome in my future. I’m just hoping leg cramps and varicose veins don’t decide to join them!
No, I do not like being pregnant, but I’m glad I’m pregnant. I’m terrified of what might happen during this pregnancy, but I’m glad I’m pregnant. We want this baby so much. We want to bring this baby home so much. I will endure whatever I have to in order to make that happen.
Oh, before I go, an update on the birth center: we’re in! I liked the place as soon as we walked through the door. It’s very homey, a very comfortable environment. The head midwife said she thought we’d be excellent candidates for giving birth there, which is a huge relief. I love the options they have in place. Both of the birthing rooms have birthing tubs and huge, comfortable beds, plus access to a birthing stool. This time around, I won’t be confined to a bed, which is what I’m most looking forward to. And if something does go wrong, they have a good working relationship with a university hospital.
This is exactly what I was hoping for with this birth. I want it to be the most positive experience it can be. Our first appointment is on the 29th, followed by an ultrasound with an independent company on the 30th. We can’t wait!
Seven weeks down, thirty-three to go!