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Marisa's Pregnancy Journal

Week 21
~ Mind your own coffee . . .

This week was less stressful. The genetics department at Kaiser finally called at some point, and talked to me more about the risk factors we have for chromosomal abnormalities, which are apparently still fairly low. I can feel the baby move daily, almost any time I'm holding still. Today I even felt it while I was walking, which hasn't happened much before. I'm really enjoying feeling the movement. I knew I would, but I almost feel lonely if the baby isn't letting me know it's still there, flip flopping around!

I'm having trouble falling asleep on my side still, even though I often wake up in that position. I've got a new one that works, but is probably only temporary until I get really huge! I throw one folded leg over a body pillow to the side of me, and use the pillow to support that side while the other side is on the bed. I'm still face down, but my belly is diagonal enough so there's not much weight on it. I felt very clever discovering this.

I might have mentioned this before, but I'm going to say it again here in the journal; if I say this to people in person (especially already-mothers) they tsk-tsk and say something reminding me that I knew what I was getting into, right? I am frustrated with the way the Baby has taken over my existence. Yes, yes, I knew the baby was going to take over my body, and that many of my waking hours would be spent planning and organizing and studying life insurance policies. But I don't just mean the physical baby. I mean the concept of 'Baby' in general. People don't ever, ever ask me how I'm doing without it being linked to the fact that I'm pregnant. It is a conversation starter, carrier, and ender. Everyone assumes that all I want to do is hold, think about, and learn about Baby. If there's a baby around, people ask if I want to 'practice' holding it, as though I've never held one before. If they ask how I am, and I say 'Fine, but I feel like I'm fighting off a cold,' they comment about how sick they got when pregnant. If I'm eating a snickers bar, they'll ask if that's what I'm craving. If I have coffee, they'll ask if it's decaf. (None of anyone's business. Next time I'm going to say, indignant, "Of course it's decaf, everyone knows Bailey's goes better with decaf." )

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I love my baby, so I usually respond politely with nods and smiles, and the conversation runs its course. I don't think it means I love my baby any less, though, if I don't need to think about it in relation to every single thing that happens to be or that I choose to do. This is really hard to explain to well-meaning people offering an adorable little 6 month old waiting to be held for 'practice.' It's tough say politely, 'No thanks. I'm Baby'd-out at the moment,' without getting a judgmental look in response.

Other than my little issue with over-Babying, things are going well. I have even dreamt about nursing the baby. I'm still facing potential layoffs with budget cuts at work, but it will be ok one way or another. My only regret if I get laid off will be not having taken all of my maternity leave while I still had this job so I could concentrate on self-care.

~ Marisa

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