Tuesday, May 16, 2006

into the home stretch

I am in my 28th week now, which I am pretty sure means I have begun the third trimester! How quickly time has flown through the second trimester, especially compared to the first trimester when we hadn't told many people our news and I was a walking mess of anxiety. Those initial weeks in December and January seemed to drag on endlessly. First trimesters are like that, and for good reason. You're always hedging your happiness with reminders: "It's still early - anything could happen." Steve was good about staying positive. His mantra was (and still is), "The odds are in our favor." That was true for us, thankfully. But friends of ours - she was due just a week after me - lost their baby girl in the 12th week. It was excruciatingly painful, and I know they are still grieving. The night I learned the news, I lay on our bed with Steve, curled up and crying, full of emotions - heartbroken for our friends, angry at God for allowing it to happen, frightened that it could happen to us, guilty in the relief that it had not.

The second trimester saw a lot of my anxiety dissipate. Instead, it was three months of awe and giddyness, of standing in front of the full-length mirror, staring at my new, growing body and watching my "bump" get bigger and bigger. (I remember how, when I was younger, I used to stuff a cushion up my shirt to get an idea of what I might look like pregnant!) It was three months of feeling my body get heavier, my lower back get achier, my walking get slower, my bra size go up two cups. (Woo-hoo!) My new favorite clothes are maternity gauchos and long T-shirts from Old Navy and full-panel jeans from Motherhood Maternity. I've worn the same $29 dress to three weddings and a benefit. In this trimester, we learned that our baby is a boy. We started to call him by the name we've chosen for him (and try to be vigilant about not saying it in front of other people!). We started to feel him kick. We read him stories and play music for him. We've painted his room and started to prepare for his arrival.

The months ahead are going to be busy. We start our six-week childbirth class tomorrow night. We have a parenting class and a breastfeeding class later this summer. We will meet with our doula a couple of times, too. Some family members are throwing us a shower. I'm reading books about motherhood issues and childbirth. I want to know as much as I can going in, even if I forget it all. That's the way I operate - I like research!

And here's my weekly e-mail from BabyCenter.com:
Your baby's growing steadily as he prepares for his grand entrance. This week he weighs almost 2 pounds and measures about 14 1/2 inches from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. He's acting more like a newborn now, opening and closing his eyes, sleeping and waking at regular intervals, and maybe sucking a finger. He may also be hiccupping, which you'll notice as little rhythmic sensations in your belly. You may start to get leg cramps, especially when you're lying in bed at night. Stretching your calf and flexing your foot should bring some relief.


liz said...

Oh Emilie - I am so excited for you!

You know, even though babies are a way off for us yet, for various reasons we've already chosen our future son's name, too. And this weekend, my parents happened to be talking about this name for some reason. It took all our resolve not to look at each other and start laughing. I applaud your ability to stay mum!

Liz P. said...

Emilie that is so exciting! I'm so thrilled for you and Steve. It must be so cool to be getting so close.

I have to say that Chris and I have talked about names too (Liz, you and Seth aren't so odd!). We don't have a boys one set but we do have a girl name that we'd probably use. :) I think I have babies on the brain!