Friday, November 21, 2014

Round Three

Two trimesters down! According to my weekly email from The Bump, my child is now the size of an acorn squash!


The Bump emails and their use of various types of produce to illustrate our baby’s growth have become a running joke between JT and I. Rather than use any fruit or vegetable with a clear, easily associated size, they go for the most obscure references we can imagine. One week, I received notice that my baby was now the size of a sweet potato. Um? Sure. Because sweet potatoes come in just the one size. Other comparisons have been made between the baby and a papaya, a rutabaga and an eggplant. The week she went from a banana to a pomegranate, I became convinced my child was not merely growing, but morphing much like some kind of X-Men shapeshifter. That’s fine by me. So long as she doesn’t decide to try out a turn as a watermelon before her due date.

I also loved when the emails told me to “Get ready for some kicking!” in week 29 when our little ninja has been holding karate practice in my uterus for more than two months now. Typically, she alerts me of her presence first thing in the morning with a few hi-yas, then settles until late morning when her tai chi lesson starts. She likes to stretch again after lunch, and by the time I’m home on the couch, she’s in full Rockettes mode. For the longest time, JT couldn’t feel any of this. Then one night, as we were watching TV, he rested his hand on my belly and I felt one of her roundhouse kicks. JT did too and jumped an inch off the couch.

“She kicked me!” he yelped, eyes wide as teething rings.

“Well, she didn’t kick you,” I explained. “You just happened to be in her way.”

(Of course, he already knew that, but I felt compelled to defend her seeing as how JT’s biggest concern these days is that his daughter won’t “like” him. “What if she doesn’t like me?” he asks again and again, and I patiently explain that seeing as how I, in all my control-freak glory, likely will end up being the disciplinarian, so I’m sure she’ll reserve the bulk of her resentment/hysteria for me while JT will get nothing but love and cuddles and “Number 1 Dad” mugs.)

Her workout schedule has become fairly predictable, but from time to time, I inadvertently end up irking her. If I dare deviate from her preferred sleeping position - me flat on my back, head slightly elevated, doing my best impersonation of a corpse - the child goes BAT SHIT. As a lifelong stomach sleeper, this has been an adjustment. Did I say “adjustment?” I meant “annoying.” If I so much as lean to one side, she riots. I’ll try it sometimes, when she’s been still for awhile, and within seconds she’s in there flailing about like someone who just walked through a spider web. Sometimes, I don’t even do it on purpose but shift in my sleep, and she wakes me up immediately to let me know 1. this will not be tolerated and 2. there will be consequences. Then the little brute pummels my insides for the next five minutes to drive the message home. I’m not gonna lie. She scares me a little.

When it comes to things she hates, there is one thing higher on the list than side sleeping: seafood. So much as a whiff of the stuff and my stomach starts to roll, which is odd considering seafood is my favorite thing to eat ever. Crab legs, lobster, shrimp - these are usually my most loved meals, yet I had to stop and take a breath just now to calm the chaos in my belly from merely typing out the words. This really hasn’t been a problem for me, other than having to avoid meals I’d usually die for, but it’s been no fun for JT, whose favorite local hangout is a bar near our house that specializes in - you guessed it - seafood, oysters specifically (insert embarrassing gurgle emanating from my gut here.) The few times he’s hung out there, I’ve been able to smell him before he even parked his car in our driveway. Once, he came upstairs and crawled in bed with me before taking a shower. It was as though an enormous slab of salmon that had been left out on the bar for a week amid a sea of ashtrays sidled up next to me. The urge to puke wrenched me awake, and as JT showered, I heaved and heaved. In the morning, I could still smell the fishy stench everywhere so I had to strip all the bedding, gather up everything he wore or touched that night and burn it. OK, not really, but I definitely doubled up on detergent for that load of laundry.  

Other than that, this leg of the pregnancy has been all about relaxing for me. I can see the end of this peaceful, quiet tunnel, and know I can’t even comprehend what’s on the other side, so though my instincts have been telling me to do something every single minute of every single day, I’ve actually been letting myself just veg. I guess I’m nesting. I spend most of my down time feet up on the couch, book in hand, music playing, or maybe watching some inane movie I know I’ll never have time for in the coming months. It’s been a little boring, but I’m OK with that. My house is still in order. The nursery is coming along. I’ve just tried to quiet my inner madwoman who’s always harping about the next project, the next repair job, the next the next the next. For now, as far as I’m concerned, the only thing I really need to worry about is giving my baby a comfy, calm space to grow.  

And sleeping upright far, far away from any seafood.

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