Halfway point! Also, dealing with sudden student interest in pregnancy.

Today I am 20 weeks pregnant, halfway to my estimated due date of February 18, 2016.

It’s one of those moments that makes time feel like it’s passing quickly and slowly all at once.  February sounds incredibly far away, and sometimes I have trouble imagining that come February there might finally be a living baby in our house.  At the same time, it’s exciting to be reaching the “new” parts of pregnancy, and now that the semester has started it feels like time is flying by.

Speaking of the semester starting, it’s now becoming blindingly obvious enough that my students are starting to notice and ask questions about my pregnancy.  One of our masters students was in my office earlier this week talking about an issue she’d been having (a closed-door sort of issue)… and when that subject was exhausted she tentatively asked when I was due, and said she wasn’t sure it was appropriate, but she’d been wondering.  I reassured her that it was fine to ask, but apparently that blanket reassurance was all she needed to quickly launch into personal questions like what does it feel like when the baby kicks and aren’t I so excited to be pregnant and, and, and… it was just a barrage.  I get it, and I remember being fascinated by pregnancy at that age.  She’s got a live-in boyfriend and she’s probably thinking about marriage and kids someday.  She has also mentioned before that she’s adopted, and I wonder if that plays into her intense fascination with pregnancy and all things baby.

She’s not the only one.  My women in science group noticed (just the four who are on the Steering Committee), and during our meeting last week they wanted to know it all too: was this my first?  Did I know if it was a boy or a girl?  How big was he?  (When I gave the standard 18-week produce answer of “about the size of a mango” they just about dissolved into girly rapture.)

I’ve been surprised by how difficult I’m finding it to deal with student questions.  On the one hand, they’re truly adorable, and their enthusiasm is very sweet.  On the other hand, I just don’t feel comfortable talking about my daughter’s death with them, and I feel some pressure (which I’m sure I’m placing entirely on myself) to be the cool, calm, collected, bubbly pregnant lady and feed their enthusiasm about pregnancy.  I just can’t imagine turning their eager smiles into awkward grimaces by telling them that no, this is my second, but my first baby died at about this point in my pregnancy last year.  Or telling them that while I’m excited and grateful to be pregnant, I’ve also had to deal with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty because this is a high-risk pregnancy after a loss.  Those are things that I’m now comfortable saying to many adults my age or older, but still not to my students.  When I think about it, I wonder if I’m really doing them a disservice by perpetuating the myth of the easy, magical pregnancy… but I also don’t think it’s my responsibility to puncture that myth for them if I’m not comfortable with it, which apparently I’m not, at least for now.

So I grin and bear it, or fake it til I make it, or whatever cliche you prefer.  In some ways, it’s nice to have a category of people who treat me like a “normal” first-time pregnant lady — so far, that’s how I’ve left it at the therapeutic riding center where I volunteer as well, and it’s kind of fun to slip into that persona and just let people be giddy on my behalf.  But I feel most relaxed and like myself with the people who know my history, who get it, and who don’t mind when I say slightly weird or morbid things.  People like the people who comment on my blog, so thanks, you guys. 🙂

So here I am.  Halfway.  Pregnancy feels (physically) very easy right now, and this little guy is quite a kicker — so much so that my husband has been able to feel him for the past week or so during his dance parties.  He kicks during meetings with students, he kicks when I’m relaxing after classes, or when my husband and I are snuggling on the couch after dinner.  I took the big (for me) step this week of signing us up for prenatal classes — it was so painful to have to cancel them last time around that I kept putting it off, but now we’re committed, and I feel relief knowing that whatever the outcome I’ll hopefully be at least a little more prepared for labor and delivery this time.  I also signed us up for an October tour of the L&D center at the local hospital, figuring that it would be better to go back to the site of our traumatic first birth experience sooner rather than closer to delivery (our plan is indeed to go back there for our son’s birth, although hopefully I can put in a request for a different room and a different nurse).  So we’re moving forward, taking steps toward getting ready to welcome a living baby, and just generally being hopeful.  After a long period of feeling like parenthood was slipping farther and farther away with each passing month, finally it feels like it might actually be getting closer and closer.

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6 thoughts on “Halfway point! Also, dealing with sudden student interest in pregnancy.

  1. theskyandback

    Congrats on being halfway! I’m glad you have a kicker — that must be so reassuring. With Lettie, the placenta was in the front, so I almost never felt her. I hated it! Here’s to another smooth, uneventful 20 weeks.

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      It is very reassuring to have a kicker! When I was talking to a friend on the phone one day recently about how having a kicker sometimes made me nervous (if I didn’t feel him kick for a while I wonder if he’s OK), my friend said, “All you have to say to him is: Don’t make me get the orange juice!” I thought that was great, and now whenever I don’t feel him kick for a while and start to get nervous I just think to him, “Don’t make me get the orange juice!” and it makes me smile. 🙂 Also, when I was feeling nervous this morning and got out the Doppler, I didn’t find his heartbeat right away, but then he kicked the transducer so hard that it jumped about half an inch off my belly. Guess he still has a heartbeat!

      Reply
  2. Jennifer

    Congrats on making it to 20 weeks! Something about knowing you’re “half way” has always been reassuring to me. I can understand the mixture of emotions you have in regards to answering pregnancy questions. I feel the same way. It’s like part of me doesn’t want to jump on the “everything’s going great” bandwagon that some people seem to be on but the other part of me wants to enjoy every second of the pregnancy. I’m excited to hear you booked your L&D tour! That’s very exciting. I keep telling myself that once I make it past 24-25 weeks when I went into labor with our 1st son I’ll do the same. I love that your baby is due around Valentine’s Day! So many reasons to spread the love. My due date is Jan 31st but because my delivery with my 1st son, Oliver, was emergent I have to go in for a repeat C-section at 37 weeks so I’m looking at somewhere around Jan 11th. If I make it that far…..I still feel the need to tag on the “if” to all my future statements.

    So glad you’re feeling lots of movement and that your husband has gotten to feel it to. It truly is amazing!

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Yes, you put it exactly right! Not wanting to jump on the “everything’s great” bandwagon, but also wanting to enjoy this pregnancy as much as possible (even though nothing will ever compare to the ignorant bliss of that first pregnancy). You must be getting close to passing the point where you lost your son, right? How are you doing? I hope it’s reassuring for you to enter those “new” parts of pregnancy, even though I know it can be really difficult right around the time you lost your first. Wow, January 11 doesn’t sound that far away, does it?! And yes, I know what you mean about still feeling the need to tack “if” onto everything. I wonder if that will ever change. Hope all is still well with you and your little one, and that things continue to go smoothly!

      Reply
  3. hopingforatakehome

    Congratulations on the halfway mark! That’s pretty cool that your husband has already been able to feel him 🙂 And I totally agree with the way time moves during pregnancy – both sooo slowly and then also strangely fast when I think about all the things there are left to get done, and my limited energy to do them! Here’s to a great second half for you 🙂

    Reply
    1. lyra211 Post author

      Thank you! So far the second half has been treating me well, although I seem to have gotten to that point in pregnancy where everyone wants to tell me how awful it’s going to get really soon. 🙂 Ah, well… this time around I’m having a much easier time with not taking those remarks too seriously, because I can just be like, “yeah, let me tell *you* how much worse things can get!” I know pregnancy can get uncomfortable, but my attitude this time around is: bring it on! I mourned the loss of my pregnancy so deeply last time that this time I’m just ready to take whatever it throws at me — I know it won’t be fun, but it’s all for a good cause!

      I hope you keep feeling lots of movement from your little one, weird or not, and that things continue to go great for you in this pregnancy!

      Reply

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