18 weeks pregnant

16 Nov

This past week, I fell in love with life! I finally felt almost normal, and I think I am out of my super cranky first trimester stage.

A day or two before officially turning 17 weeks, I felt baby obviously moving in my tummy, and it was several times during the day. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by where I don’t feel LOTS of movement! I am so baffled at how I one day I feel basically nothing, and the next my whole life is changed by a constantly thumping little babe.

I know in my head how much I love feeling baby move inside me (with a few uncomfortable exceptions here and there!), but I forgot how enthralling it really feels to have pleasant evidence of a little human baking inside my belly.

With consistent and strong fetal movement comes the realization that this stuff is real. Last night I was laying in bed, enjoying the little kicks, punches, and thumps and reflecting on how I was 18 weeks pregnant. I had the following self monologue: Wow. Being 18 weeks pregnant means that I am just two weeks away from the halfway mark of pregnancy (even less than two weeks from halfway if I use my past pregnancies as a guideline of when I go in to labor). Wait. I’m almost halfway done? Wait… there’s a person in there? WAIT. I’M GOING TO HAVE THREE KIDS!?!?!?! How did this happen?!!!!!!!!

So, I had my first minor freak out last night about becoming a mom of three. It is extra difficult to imagine being a capable mother of three after suffering four months of misery and barely surviving. Because I was feeling so ill the past few months, I feel like I am not quite myself and I’ve exchanged my good habits for negative habits that come with first trimester illness (like having no desire to get dolled up, living by the seat of my pants when answering the question “What’s for dinner?”, and pining after the desire to eat food, or at least break bread with friends and family without wanting to curl up in a ball and cry from disgust). Now that I have experienced one week of normalcy, my brain is finally functioning sufficiently where I can project my thoughts further than the next few hours. That, paired with reflecting on life the past few months left me feeling unnecessarily panicked. Thankfully, babies do take 10 lunar months to develop, and I still have a few more months to prepare. In addition, I know my kids will change a lot in just a few months. They will be more mature and more capable in areas. As a family, we will be more ready for another member in 5 months. Our baby is not joining us tomorrow. Each of us still have time to grow in these next few months, not just our baby in utero.

During my symbolic frolicking through the meadows of sunny 18 weeks, I have only had two slight stumbles. The first is that breastfeeding gets worse with every feeding. I adjusted my goal to make it to Emmanuel’s 2nd birthday, which is less than two weeks away. However, I keep readjusting my goal. I just need to make it until tomorrow. I just need to make it through the next feeding. Maybe this will be the last latch. In addition, yesterday I realized that I literally cannot squeeze out one drop of milk, whereas I was able to a few weeks ago. With each painful latch, I am more ready to lay this breastfeeding relationship to rest.

The second downside of this week was just this morning. I decided to have a tiny cup of coffee. I only filled it 3/4 of the way full. Before drinking it, I made sure to drink a full cup of water and to eat as well. By this afternoon I was feeling the same pains I was feeling the other week, and haven’t been able to eat since lunch (even though I really really really want to). It’s silly to say, but I am grieving the fact that I cannot have any coffee at all. I understand not being able to have a pot of coffee. I understand backing off and not drinking coffee every day. But the fact that I cannot (possible EVER) drink a half of a cup of coffee once in a while is a difficult thing to accept. Coffee has been my friend for many years. Over the course of a few months, coffee has become evil. It is difficult to accept.

In spite of those difficulties, I fully expect to be enraptured in pregnancy bliss for the next few months!

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