Yes Dinah, what a difference a day makes! Or rather, what a difference ten days make. First there was the outpouring of support, publicly and privately, from all of you! Thank you so much, it was both sorely needed and much appreciated. Why is it that we hold this taboo on disclosing a pregnancy before the second trimester when it seems that those first fourteen weeks are so filled with new physical and emotional changes? Why do we insist that women keep all their confusion, apprehension, fear, and elation to themselves during those first three months of impending motherhood when we as potential mothers, and the delicate life just taking root within, are so very vulnerable and so in need of support? The argument that the very fragility of that new life (that as many as one in six new pregnancies may result in miscarriage) should both temper one’s hopes and still one’s tongue seems counter intuitive to me. What is the message here? If life is lost then that pain should be kept within; that women who have had such heartbreak are not deserving of our support and understanding? I find that logic both bizarre and tragic.
Thankfully, those sad and lonely days are now past for me and this child, and oh woman, does it ever feel good. Being able to share my “condition” with friends and family has been not only a welcome relief (I have never particularly liked holding secrets) but it has also helped to bring the reality of the whole situation into sharper focus. I am going to be a mother! Hooray! There is a real, honest-to-goodness, (very tiny) baby inside of me! The wonder of it is astounding, breathtaking, heart-stopping! I feel like a miracle worker, for who can deny that it is a miracle that as I go about my day-to-day business I am, nearly unconsciously, creating a brand-new, totally unique human being inside my body!
I was blessed to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Virginia (well, most of my family—we missed you Gerka!) and as soon as I walked in the door of my mother’s house, she remarked that I looked pregnant. My sister wondered over how strange it was to see me with full breasts and a little belly bulge. Even my brother said my stomach looked cute. Perhaps strangely, perhaps not, these comments made me feel proud.
I want to look pregnant; I’m excited about it. My first trimester saw the rather sudden and painful expansion of my bosom, but little else. In fact, the little monitoring of my weight that I did do only documented a rather slow and steady decline in total poundage. To be fair, I was heavier this spring than I have ever been, weighing in at one point at nearly a whopping 138. Not that I minded. I have always had more difficulty putting weight on than taking it off, and personally I prefer my limbs a little rounder and my figure a little fuller. It was marvelously exciting to really have an ass for a change. What to Expect, my pregnancy bible, said that weight loss during the first trimester is nothing to worry about, so although I was a little annoyed, I was not unduly concerned.
However, starting at 12 weeks I began weekly weigh-ins and waist measurements. What to Expect said I should expect to gain about a pound and an inch a week for the next twenty or so weeks with a few weeks of leveling out towards the end of the last trimester. Well, things are not going as expected.
The changing shape of my body is a delight to me—I have most definitely begun to develop a little pooch below my belly button—but the total diameter of my midsection is growing, or not growing, at a maddeningly slow pace. I actually lost more than two pounds and half an inch from my waist during this past week! Over Thanksgiving week of all times! I try not to let this bother me. Reason says that at some point during this experience I will probably wish I were carrying less weight, not more, but right now I am frustrated. And those of you who know me best know that it is in my nature to brood. Over everything.
I am not freaking out (yet), but since I am sharing my thoughts with all of you through this blog: this week I am preoccupied with weight. I have this weird vision of myself growing skinnier and skinnier as my belly expands until I resemble a malnourished child whose stomach has begun to bloat. Ridiculous, I know, but it is so hard not to feel concerned that I am somehow abnormal with so little to go by except an outline in a book. So, all stories illustrating how foolish it is to believe that any book can describe the “proper course” that a woman’s body should take through this experience are most welcome. As are, of course, admonitions to stop being so silly and just enjoy this special time. I need those sometimes.