bumpwatch terror alert: week 18

i have been incommunicado because i have finally been experiencing the much ballyhooed second trimester energy boost! & it only took until i was like 18 weeks pregnant. i’ve been taking care of a bunch of other responsibilities that completely fell by the wayside once i got pregnant. for instance, i have been keeping a daily log of my daily highlights & low points for about four years. every day, i write about 200 words about notable happenings of the day. & i pretty much stopped doing it once i got pregnant, because i just couldn’t muster up the energy. whenever i don’t get to my log for the day, i take notes so i can go back & recreate the entry later. so i had four months worth of notes to sort through & write up, day by day. i also like to write up reviews of all the books i read, but i was so wiped out during the first trimester, i only had energy to read & not to review. so i now have a backlog of around forty reviews to write. i started catching up on that last week as well.

i asked jared what i could do to look more pregnant & he said, “maybe some nice horizontal stripes?” i must say, they’re really doing the trick.

this photo is from saturday. pardon the messy hair, even though there’s really no excuse for it. sometimes a lady is just hanging around her house, intermittently napping & quietly panicking about the remote possibility of being put on bed rest, which forces her partner to abandon his dissertation research, which causes him to fail to complete his dissertation, which means he can’t get a job, & before you know it, that lady, her partner, & their baby are living under an overpass somewhere, & thinking about this seems slightly more important than running a comb through her hair. who hasn’t been there?

my anxiety is off the charts at this point. i’ve always been an anxious person, but i really long for the days when it was mostly contained to my to-do lists, where making a slightly more detailed to-do list could alleviate the worst of the symptoms. i also miss being able to get out of a chair without assistance, as long as we’re on the subject. jared had to help me out of the pool yesterday & it seriously took us over five minutes to haul me to a standing position. & the baby isn’t even halfway cooked…who knows what horrors the next 22 weeks have in store?

last friday, jared & i went to a seasonal kid stuff consignment sale. i was kind of skeptical, but we found all kinds of good stuff! i got two halo swaddler sleep sacks, which retail online for $30 each, for only $4. a set of four dr. brown’s bottles (usually $15 for three) for a total for two bucks. a chicco soft-structure front-pack baby carrier, which sells new for $50, for only $15. i could go on. jared busied himself sorting through the crates of kids’ books & choosing a nice stack of board books about baby faces, animals, baby signs, etc. i complimented him later on his choices & he said, “yeah, they had a lot of sesame street books, & i remember liking sesame street when i was little, so i thought…maybe. but sesame street now is so different than it was when we were kids. even though the books were supposedly educational, about numbers & colors & stuff, i worried that we’d just be starting the kid on a slippery slope to wanting more stuff with ernie or big bird on it, stuff that isn’t so educational. there are better way to teach a kid numbers & colors.”

i actually shed a tear because i was so happy to hear this. it’s EXACTLY how i feel! i’m so glad we’re both on the same page with this stuff & we don’t have to argue over it. i know jared like the care bears when he was little, i was a huge rainbow brite fan, another friend was telling us how much he loved rowlf from “the muppets”. the difference is that in the late 70s/early 80s, maybe you could get, like, a lunchbox with your favorite character on it. or possibly some stickers if you’re really lucky. but they didn’t have rainbow brite-themed band-aids, rowlf-themed pampers, care bears crib bedding sets with matching wall decals, rainbow brite shilling alphabet soup, rowlf-approved graham cracker bites, care bears light-up sneakers. i know we won’t be able to shelter our kid forever from the kiddo industrial complex of thomas the tank engine & dora the explorer, but if we can at least stave it off until the kid is old enough to interact & play with other kids in a meaningful way (like around age two), i’m happy. i just don’t see the point in bringing all that branding into the house before the kid is even born. why wean them on it before they have any tastes or interests of their own?

after the consignment sale, we went to buy buy baby in overland park. it blows my mind that that place is even allowed to exist with such an unspeakably horrible name. but i must say, if given a choice between babies r’ us & buy buy baby, i’ll pick buy buy baby every time. better selection, better layout, cleaner, more helpful salespeople, better prices…we decided to buy a 4-in-one convertible crib, assemble it to the daybed setting, & sidecar it to our mattress to function as a co-sleeper. unlike a “real” co-sleeper, the baby can stay in it until it’s ready to upgrade to a toddler bed in its own room. & we can use the same crib for that function, & eventually convert it into a full-size bed that will see the kid through to adulthood & be a decent guest room bed for us in our dotage. if we’re going to drop $200 on a place for the kid to sleep anyway, might as well make it something we can use for the next thirty years, as opposed to six months, right? i did have one thousand heart attacks about spending $200 on anything though. & jared is having a lot of feelings about the baby having a nicer bed than we do (as we have no bed frame at all–just a mattress & box springs on the floor).

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3 responses to “bumpwatch terror alert: week 18

  1. I’d be interested in hearing about any techniques you’ve been using to get a hold of your anxiety. If I ever have a child, I am worried about the 9 months (and probably the previous months while trying) where I can’t just pop an Ativan if I begin to go into panic attack mode.

    • i wish i had something useful to tell you, but being pregnant has definitely made my anxiety worse & keeping it in check is a struggle. i will add that i wasn’t taking any meds for it before i got pregnant & i’m not taking any now, but there are meds that are okay in pregnancy & if you get pregnant & decide to pursue that route, your doctor can help you choose one & you shouldn’t let anyone make you feel crappy about it. i can tell you from personal experience that even popping an ibuprofen or enjoying a nice mocha is a cause for controversy when you are pregnant, but i say FUCK IT. nine months doesn’t sound like much when you think about the fact that that’s all the time it takes to grow a whole new person, but it feels like FOREVER while you’re in it. my doctor gave me the all-clear to take all the tylenol i need to take to keep my pain issues in check, & she even signed off on tylenol PM on a nightly basis if i feel i need help getting to sleep & staying asleep (the main way my anxiety manifests is insomnia). plus i drink coffee every day, i’ve eaten sushi & lunch meat, who knows what other “bad stuff” i’m doing. i guess i’ll regret it if the baby is born inside out, but the bottom line is that pregnancy is stressful enough without worrying that taking care of yourself in the way you know works is going to hurt your baby. it’s not like you want to shoot heroin to make yourself feel better. ask your doctor about keeping a stash of anxiety meds, even if you are only taking them on an as-needed basis.

      as for non-med things that have helped ME…i know you’re already into exercise & stuff, but i have started water walking & i find it calming. the only downside is that, you know how exercise boosts your energy levels over the long-term? i have not found that be true of exercise during pregnancy. now that i’m in the second trimester, my energy levels on days when i don’t go to the pool are normal, but i am always exhausted on days i go to the pool. so that’s something to keep in mind. i really enjoy the time for quiet contemplation though, not doing anything other than making my body move. i also find it helpful to write, like privately, in a journal. my preferred method is to just write down all the loops of anxious thoughts that are racing through my head. once they are down on the page, i find it a lot easier to clear them out of my head, & if i have the energy to pick them apart in writing & express why they are irrational or what might be triggering them, i feel any better. fluctuating energy levels mean i don’t do this as often as i should…& basically i just try to be patient with myself. i just remind myself that of course i’m not going to be as clear-headed or diplomatic or fast-moving as i feel i should be or usually am. i have a lot going on. & i try to remember that my life is going to change in ways i can’t really fathom right now, so i need to leave the door open for that to happen in whatever way it’s going to instead of trying to manage & control everything.

      yeah, clearly i’m not as clear-headed as usual. i basically wrote a russian novel in response to this question. sorry.

  2. I appreciate the novel. It’s good information. It will still be another year or two if we decide to have a child, but since about every woman I know is pregnant I’m tucking away a lot of useful info in my brain.

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