Here I am, 27 weeks pregnant, and looking at the 2nd trimester in my rearview mirror! I’ll hit 28 weeks, which many people consider the start of the third trimester, on Thanksgiving Day (November 26 this year in the US). I have so much to be thankful for right now, and it seems like a lovely symbolic coincidence that I’ll hit this big pregnancy milestone on a day that is devoted to giving thanks. With that in mind, here are some good pregnancy things that have happened recently:
Random lady on the hospital elevator: Upon seeing my pillows and large belly, she said, “Oh, were you in birth class? Congratulations! You look great! I hope everything goes really well for you.” How nice to hear just an unambiguously positive and encouraging pregnancy-related comment, especially from a stranger!
Hand-me-downs: Our friends have started being ridiculously nice and generous about hand-me-downs. We already have an infant swing, Baby Bjorn, some toys, and a few clothes (both baby and maternity) that people gave us during my first pregnancy, and now we’ve got offers of seemingly everything else too. One friend/colleague has offered us a crib, a glider chair, and this week she stopped by my office with a bunch of her son’s old baby clothes, an infant carrier, a nursing pillow, and assorted other cute baby things. Another friend/colleague has given us a two-year-old Graco infant car seat / stroller system, a pack ‘n’ play, a cosleeper, a jumparoo, and a whole load of glass bottles and clean/unused breastfeeding/pumping supplies. These incredibly generous offers are getting me over the hump of starting to acquire baby stuff — somehow it feels different (easier!) to accept a generous gift of hand-me-downs and fill in around the edges than to actually assemble our own list of wants and start buying stuff. The latter feels like tempting fate much more than the former. Now my main worry has been how to adequately thank these incredibly generous people! So far I’m planning on effusive handwritten thank-you notes that come with a big batch of cookies, but it still feels inadequate!
Milestone: first belly rub from a stranger! It was from a special education aide at a middle school where I had brought one of my classes to do some science outreach. It actually didn’t creep me out too much, because she talked to me for a while first and we found out that our birthdays are only one day apart, a week before my due date, and she got all excited that the baby might come on my birthday. Then at the end of our conversation she reached out and rubbed my belly just with her fingertips. A little odd, sure, but it didn’t feel creepy to me!
I don’t have gestational diabetes! Add me to the (apparently long) list of women who flunked the 1-hour gestational diabetes screen (with a score of 151, 21 points above the cutoff my doctor uses) and sailed through the 3-hour test (with an average of 30 points below the cutoff at each of the four stages of the test). I surprised myself by how hard I took the news that I had failed the one-hour test: cue waterworks and sobs of “but I just want my baby to be OK!” I knew that I’d most likely pass the three-hour test, and yet somehow having even one super-minor thing go wrong sent me right back to the early days of constant anxiety in this pregnancy. One positive side effect of all of this, though, is that it made me realize just how relatively emotionally stable I’ve been for the past month or so — I’m really doing well, on the whole. And while the 3-hour test today was rough (I have terrible veins, so was stabbed multiple times for each of the four(!) separate draws, and then almost fainted from the sugar crash at the end of the test), and I stressed all afternoon while waiting for the results, I’ve been happy as a clam since I found out that I passed. More good news about our apparently healthy baby, and license to eat like a normal pregnant lady at Thanksgiving!
So, there’s some good news for the end of the second trimester and some things to be thankful for as the holiday approaches — above all, of course, I’m thankful for the happy, healthy little boy pummeling me from the inside. Here’s wishing everyone a healthy and gratitude-filled holiday week.