The past few weeks of this pregnancy have been blissfully uneventful. According to all of the literature I've read, my hormones are finally leveling out, leaving me feeling much more like myself and less like a walking ball of unpredictability.
Thankfully, the water works have dried up. I no longer cry watching wrestling with Jerry or hearing exuberant little kids describe what they got in their Easter baskets. In fact, except for the time a friend described how a visitor turned on her porch light, igniting the bird's nest above it and frying all of the little babies while melting the siding off the front of her house, I haven't cried in awhile.
Well, except for that one time Jerry and I were laying in bed and he was reading aloud "What to Expect While Your Wife is Expecting," adding his own hilarious color commentary after practically every sentence. I started laughing so hard that I had to sit up to breathe, then the laughter inexplicably turned to uncontrollable sobbing while I screamed "I'M ... A ... FREAK!" in between forced breaths and wiping my soaking face on the comforter.
My food cravings have diminished somewhat too, but I'm still eating much more than I used to. Just ask my coworkers who watched me hork down three sloppy joes at work last night. Granted, I only used one side of the bun each time and they were consumed in what I've decided to call "pregnancy grazing" over a few hours, but I still felt like a complete cow. A cow who seriously needed another bun half topped with sloppy joe mix. And carrots. And cucumbers. Dipped in ranch dressing.
Because of this, I've often described my appetite as "ravenous" to those who ask how I'm feeling. The food aversions are thankfully far and few between at this point, and although I still have to be pretty choosy about what I eat, it's been weeks since I spent time making an entire meal only to be completely nauseated by the sight of it.
I'm not quite showing yet, but I know I won't be able to say that for much longer. All the books I've read say the waist is the first to go, and well, I don't have to dig out a measuring tape to know that my middle is expanding -- my pants attest to that. My wardrobe now consists of two pairs of nice pants, one pair of jeans and skirts. Everything else is just too tight. (Although I have cheated and looped an elastic hair band through the button hole then around the button. When paired with a long shirt, no one is the wiser that I'm a huge cow.)
Yes, yes, I know I'm not getting fat. I know the weight gain is mostly because my uterus has grown from the size of a small apple to the size of a large grapefruit. And that my digestive tract is much more conducive to bloating and gas these days. But right now I don't look pregnant. I just feel round. Or maybe like a square peg with round pants.
According to my scale, I've gained six pounds during the first trimester. In an ideal world, I was only supposed to gain two or three, but I'm not going to beat myself up for having multiple sloppy joe sandwiches. Forcing myself to not have another one would impede my ability to function properly. It would consume my thoughts if I couldn't consume the sandwich.
Fortunately, I have discovered a place where everyone is pregnant and hormonal, which makes me feel understood. I've been frequenting a message board on a pregnancy site. And although some of the women are complete idiots who only have things like "CAN'T WAIT 2 C BABY!" to contribute, others share their insight, their fears and their honesty.
Sure, it makes me feel better reading the 11th week message board and finding out that some women have gained 13 pounds already. And I love that everyone feels amazing when they see their own blinking lightning bug for the first time. But mostly it's reassuring to know that every pending mother worries. About everything. Even the ones who didn't have a prior miscarriage. Or the ones who have already been through this before.
To that effect, I've been trying to keep my fears in check -- especially the completely irrational ones. I no longer freak out at the slightest cramp or flutter, but I can't say I'm not checking for blood every time I go to the bathroom. I'm hoping that will stop once I make it to the safety net of the second trimester next week, where the chances of miscarriage diminish to about one percent.
In the meantime, I'm trying not to change my 12-week appointment solely out of superstition. Jerry and I are supposed to meet with the same doctor who diagnosed my miscarriage last time. And although she is one of my favorite doctors at the practice, although she will completely understand what we had to go through to get to this point, I have nightmares that she tells me this pregnancy is no longer viable. Like she is the harbinger of death.
Rationally, I know I'm being ridiculous. I know she has absolutely nothing to do with what's going on inside my body. And if I don't face her and end my silly superstition now, I have the potential to avoid her for the next six months. The doctor I love. And if she happens to be on-call to deliver babies the day I go into labor? Well, I would really be freaking out then.
So I will spend this week pushing aside my fears, enjoying the fact that I feel like a human being again and not just a host organism, begrudgingly looping my hair elastics through my pants as I shove another sandwich into my mouth -- all the while waiting to see that blinking light again.