This morning Josh asked if I was 23 weeks along. I said, “I don’t think so. I think I’m just 22 weeks.” Then I counted it out. I’m right. So I can’t say exactly that I haven’t been counting, but I can tell you that last time, with Samuel, I could’ve at any given moment told you his exact gestation. I had also been planted on the couch for pretty much 17 straight weeks by this point. I didn’t need to be on reduced activity until 14 weeks, but I was paralyzed by fear and anxiety for most of the pregnancy. My life then let me be on full bed rest without any problems. Inconvenience, obviously, but since we were both still writing our dissertations and weren’t teaching that fall semester, well, it was fine.
This time, it’s so different. I worked out until 14 weeks, and I’m working full time. Because I’m an academic (for the moment), I can work usually from home 3 days a week, so that’s comforting. But on Tuesday and Thursday I am up and about, teaching 3 courses, holding office hours, traipsing around the hallways. If this baby makes it, I’ll say it was my easiest pregnancy yet. Because really, it has been a whole lot easier. Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, I had the epidural headache. Yes, I have this platelet thing going on. But my mind is occupied by so many other things. And, low platelets aside because they aren’t pregnancy related, my body is undergoing far less abuse. Believe me, laying on the couch for 6 months or more is BAD FOR YOU. My hip was dislocated, my tailbone broken, during delivery. I believe that bed rest likely contributed to that.
In my pregnancy with Natan, I had a really hard time, a hard time that I was told to accept as pregnancy, until we realized, that actually it wasn’t normal. If *this* is what relatively normal actually feels like, then my doctor from my pregnancy with Natan can really go to hell. Physically, I feel so okay (other than tired) that I sometimes worry something’s wrong because really, why aren’t I in more pain? Why do my hips and back only hurt sometimes after a long day? Why does my uterus only clench up a couple of times a day, and when I’m especially tired? Of course I may be kicking myself after my appointment this afternoon. I’m afraid I’ve been pushing myself too much, and that we’ll find out my cervix really is shortening.
Someone did say to me the other day, “Ah, so you’re in the midst of the honeymoon period now.” No, there’s no such thing for me. Nothing about pregnancy is that pleasurable. Even while teaching probably keeps me distracted and away from obsessing about every sensation in my body, being out and about is very hard for me. It’s natural for people to want to talk about my pregnancy with excitement. I can’t really do that. One of the staff members in the office had a baby last semester. While she was pregnant, we talked a lot about pregnancy and babies. I enjoyed relating with her about it. It was fun to talk about the fun aspects of pregnancy for the normal woman. I wasn’t even jealous. It’s torturous now, because she naturally wants to do that with me now. That’s perfectly understandable, but I can’t stand it. Someone else asked me if we knew whether we were having a girl or a boy. I answered, “a boy.” She interpreted my fairly standard reticence when it comes to talking about things during these weeks as a sign that I was disappointed not to be having a girl.
I just can’t be enthusiastic. I am excited and hopeful, believe me. But I can’t make huge public displays of enthusiasm, until/unless this kid is safely born and safely home.