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Jeanette's Pregnancy Journal

Week 28
~ Seven Months!

Well, it looks as though I am officially seven months. I am a big Rolly-Polly now. I am out there for all too see, everyone knows that I have been having sexual relations (procreating) :-). I do have one blouse though that I believe can obscure my abdomen for those who do not know me. Other than that, I believe myself to be visibly pregnant to everyone who sees me. My belly appears especially pronounced after I have eaten well. A fellow parent at my daughter's school asked me this week at a school activity if I was pregnant. "Yes, I am seven months." "Wow, I had no idea! Congratulations!" It surprises me to discover who knows and who does not. Those that do not, must be too shy to ask and err if wrong or simply think I am super F-A-T.

Two months to go (12 weeks). Where has the time gone? I am happy and blessed to have arrived at this point though. Co-workers--fellow nurses--like to remind me that the last two months are the most difficult, if they only knew what the first seven have been like.

The baby kicks ALL the time. Lately the kicks feel more intense and appear lower and lower. I struggle with visualizations of how and with what I am being kicked. I feel the impact of these movements against my organs as well, especially my bladder. As soon as I am hit, I feel the immediate urge to run to the bathroom. Admittedly, I prefer the sleeping cycles--no kicks. But these movements reassure me that my baby is alive and well.

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The work week seemed to fly by without incidence. On the days that I do not report to the office until the late afternoon, I take time to walk around the track a few times at the local park. One morning an older (elderly) woman was clearly walking circles around me. This had me cracking up with laughter. I suppose that I have gotten somewhat slow. It is true, I need support when getting up from the bed or couch. If this is what old age or disability feels like, I can definitely wait my turn or not.

I try to visualize hauling around a baby carrier, seat and stroller. I pay extra attention to infants and their mothers out and about. Although I know that this is my near future, it still feels a bit surreal. I have not held a baby or changed a diaper in over a crisp decade. I still know how to of course--I hope. Syed is definitely going to be a fish out of water. I overhead him admitting to a friend that he is afraid of very small babies. This is not hard to believe considering that he jumps when he feels the baby's kicks while he has his hand placed on my abdomen. He says this is a strange concept for him and he wonders if his hand is not hurting the baby. He said that he has a new appreciation for pregnant women because he had no idea that we had to endure all of this constant internal activity.

I have surmised that men in his culture maintain an extremely remote position from their wives during pregnancy. Especially so, if you consider that many women leave their husbands to lodge with their parents during late pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period. Although this is his second marriage, he never actually lived with the first wife. They had a commuter marriage the entire tenure. So, she was most likely pregnant alone, but in the company of her immediate family.

I ask him frequently if he knows how to take care of a baby. "Of course I do. What do you take me for?," he says. While there exists an inequitable distribution of child care responsibility based upon gender in this country, it is amplified many times over in my husband's culture. Although he does not want to admit it, it is not likely that he has actually cared for his infants. We could always practice with my daughter's baby-doll, but I feel like I am over-analyzing this and that the real life experience will provide us both with our learning curves.

Nevertheless, I feel extremely upbeat and positive. Unsure if I have that old pregnancy "glow". It would take my mother and grandmother to report on that one. I bet I do though.

Jeanette

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