Monday, December 8, 2014

Some Pregnancy Thoughts and a 23 Week Bumpdate

I'm opening up about some of the thoughts I've had thus far during my pregnancy and sharing a baby bump update!

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I've been going back and forth inside my head regarding my decision to share some of the thoughts I've had during my pregnancy thus far. As a first-time mommy-to-be, I'm certainly not an expert on the subject of "what to expect when you're expecting", but I can't help but wonder whether there are other women out there experiencing similar symptoms or having similar thoughts. If so, then I hope this post puts them at ease or, at least, convinces them that they're not the only one.

Taste As You Go has been, primarily, a food blog. A while back, I mentioned that I would gradually broadening the scope of the blog to include more lifestyle-related posts, including posts about family. I'll never fully stray away from writing about food -- I love it too much! -- and I hope you all decide to join me as I start this next phase in my life.

Of course, I will completely understand if some of you choose to skip over the posts that aren't related to food. Keep reading if you're ready to get inside my pregnant head.

Some Pregnancy Thoughts

This day in age, when you're experiencing (or are about to experience) something new, one of the first things you can do is turn on the computer and start a Google search. Unfortunately, having seemingly unlimited access to information can be both a blessing and a curse.

After reading a couple of baby books, I started reading more and more pregnancy forums and subscribing to more family-oriented blogs. Most of the time, I find useful information and I relish the instances when I come across a humorous story. But there are definitely times when what I read upsets me or forces me to stop and think about the kind of parent I want to be.

  • I've discovered that hearing the phrases "Don't get used to it..." or "Don't count on it..." in response to something positive that I've shared bothers me to no end. I realize that most people mean well and, in their own way, they're trying to impart wisdom or advice. But with so many thoughts running through my head at any one time, it's extremely discouraging to have someone tell me not to get used to something after I've talked about something that I'm enjoying or about something that I'm looking forward to.

    I want to respond by saying, "Hey, thanks for raining on my parade!" or "Why don't you take your Negative Nancy attitude somewhere else?", but I've been biting my tongue because, in the end, what they're saying doesn't matter in the slightest... What matters is how I allow myself to react to what they're saying. No one has the ability to predict how the rest of my pregnancy is going to go or how my life is going to change once the baby arrives. The things they're warning me about may very well come true, but they may not. Only time will tell.

    As I see it, everyone is different. Everyone's life path is different. I appreciate your willingness to chime in with your advice, but this first-time mom-to-be would appreciate the benefit of the doubt even more.

  • Recognizing that everyone is different brings me to my next point/observation. The more "mommy blogs" (I hate that term, but I don't see a way around using it here) I read, the more I'm noticing prevalence of Judgment. Some of it comes from a humorous place, but there are way too many blogs out there with writers who seem to thrive on eviscerating women for the choices they make for themselves and their families.

    I honestly don't see how blogs like these are helpful to anyone.

    Does motherhood/parenthood really have to be a competition? Does so much attention have to be paid to what so-and-so is doing (or not doing)? Is it possible to just accept that what works for you and your family will not necessarily work for someone else and theirs? Why is it necessary to pass judgment on others for being different?

    Now, I'm not a saint. I've certainly passed judgment on others before, mostly in my head and always with a feeling of regret afterwards. But I'm trying not to be so quick to form an opinion about someone simply because they've chosen to do something in a way that hadn't occurred to me or that wouldn't feel right for me. I want my future child to practice tolerance and acceptance, so, as I see it, I have no other choice than to practice tolerance and acceptance myself.

  • There are obvious preparations that Stephen and I need to make before the baby arrives -- doctors appointments, getting the nursery ready, researching family cars, car seats, strollers, etc. The list is endless. But one of the most important things I need to consider is how the later months of my pregnancy and the adjustment to life with a newborn is going to affect my freelance career, something that I've been cultivating relentlessly over the past two years. The prospect of balancing it all was starting to overwhelm me, so I'm happy that I stumbled across this blog post when I did.

    I don't need all the answers now. I don't have to have an exact return-to-work plan in place. I just have to have faith that it is possible to achieve a balance that I'm comfortable with as long as I'm willing to put in the effort. 

Still with me after all of that "heavy" stuff? How about something a little lighter?

A 23 Week Bumpdate

There's no denying it now -- my baby bump is there. Even though I know I'm expanding a bit every single day, sometimes it still surprises me to look down and see my protruding belly. People are telling me that I'm glowing (I still don't see it, but I'm going to believe all of you that the pregnancy glow is there) and that pregnancy suits me. Now that I'm more than halfway through my pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to give you all a little "bumpdate".

Favorite Moments: At this stage, Baby R is pretty darned active. Even my doctors are amused by how much the baby is moving. One of my favorite things to do has been to allow myself a few extra minutes in bed in the morning to feel the baby move around. The movements are strong enough for Stephen to feel if he puts his hand on my belly, but, for the most part the movements are just shared between Baby R and me. It's such an unforgettably special feeling that I know I will cherish forever.

Eating: My appetite has been really good and, now that I'm in my second trimester, I haven't experienced too much nausea. There are days when I'm ravenous and no amount of food will be enough to satisfy my hunger. Then there are days when I'm just not feeling the food thing and I have to work at convincing myself to eat something because the baby needs it. I've generally been okay with eating whatever food we happen to have in the house, but last night I experienced a pregnancy craving that I just couldn't ignore. I needed a Wild Berry Smoothie from Panera Bread. Luckily, Stephen was out at the time and Panera was on his way home. ;-)

Feeling: I'm feeling pretty energized and am almost back at my pre-pregnancy level of productivity. I know this feeling won't last forever, so I'm taking advantage of every little second that I have!

Gender: The baby's gender is still a mystery to us. While I did go for my 20-week ultrasound/gender scan, Stephen and I chose to stand by our early decision to wait until the baby is born to find out whether it's a boy or girl. However, the tech did write the gender down on a piece of paper and then sealed that piece of paper in an envelope for us to take home in case we changed our minds. So far, we haven't been tempted to open the envelope. :)

Names: Stephen and I haven't had any formal discussions about baby names yet. I've created a list of names that I like (which changes daily, it seems), and Stephen will be creating his list. One of these days, we'll sit down together and start combining our individual lists into one.

Craving: Aside from the Wild Berry Smoothie that I mentioned above, I haven't had any other pregnancy cravings yet.

Weight Gain: My last official weigh-in was at my doctor's appointment a week ago. At that point, I had gained 11 pounds. Everything looks good to the doctors, so I'm just going to continue doing what I'm doing.

Aches or Pains: Lately, I've been experiencing some lower back pain but only at the end of the day. Unfortunately, that back pain sometimes makes falling asleep difficult.

Maternity Clothes: Most of my pre-pregnancy tops still fit, but I did start wearing maternity tops about a month ago. It helped having some bump-friendly options to throw into the mix. I'm also still wearing my pre-pregnancy pants thanks to my BeMaternity® by Ingrid & Isabel® Bebands (I have one in Ebony and one in Natural). However, I recognize that the need for maternity pants is very, very real and ordered several pairs from LOFT on Cyber Monday. ;-)

Mood: Overall, my mood is positive. We had some rooms in the house painted last week, including the baby's room, and I've been excited about the baby's arrival ever since. Progress!

Exercise: This is something I know I've dropped the ball on. Early on, I had grand plans to go for a walk outside every day. And, if I were feeling up to it, a short/slower-than-usual run. Too bad those plans were never realized. My exercise routine consists of breaks throughout the day for stretching and going up and down the stairs in our townhouse. I know I can do better here.

Excited About: Now that the baby's room has been given a fresh coat of paint, I'm really excited about picking out furniture and building our baby registry. And don't even get me started on wanting to shop for baby clothes. So far, I haven't purchased any baby clothes yet, but I know it's just a matter of time before I cave and start buying onesies left and right!

If you made it through this entire post, thank you! As silly as it may sound, it really did help me to get some things off my chest and to share my little bumpdate with you! Look for a return to regular food-related programming in my next blog post. ;-)

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