I am 20 weeks pregnant. That’s roughly halfway through my pregnancy. It’s officially been 17 weeks (but who’s counting?) since Mike and I were witness to one, two…seven positive pregnancy tests. Totally incredulous; I just kept peeing on sticks. Little life is about the size of a mango and weighing in at 10 ounces – or the heft of a Coke can. Between week zero and 20, there have been approximately 62 bags of Salt and Vinegar chips, 9 pints of chocolate sorbet, 4 gallons of lemonade, 6 boxes of Trader Joe’s “Gone Bananas!” Chocolate covered bananas, and countless worries.
Although we immediately told close family, and could rely on them for support, the time prior to the 12-week mark is completely nerve-wrecking. Every small hiccup, every bit of nauseousness, each stomach-grumbling, each muscle ache — all are cause for small panic attacks. Everything is new; and nothing feels normal! My body, although very much my own, and doing what it biologically knows to do, is also on auto-pilot. It’s in flight without input from a co-pilot and navigator. Cravings? They seem not my own. Brain? Fuzzy, not the one to which I’m used. Sleep habits? Those of a newborn kitten.
My mom, mother of three, and sister, mother of two, are like having a built in cabal of maternal wisdom and obstetrics knowledge. However, there are certain feelings you have that are so crazy, so strange, and so personal that sometimes it’s better to reach for a book. I learned that using Google as your midwife is unsafe. There is so much misinformation regarding healthy habits, gestation, diet and childcare on the internet. Everyone has their on absurd theory on what is “safe” during pregnancy. Imagine weird tales of herbal teas and the dangers of tight pants. Somehow everyone, regardless of degree or experience, believes they are an expert.
Hearing about how much I was “over-googling,” my mom bought me What to Expect When You’re Expecting. The series is relatable and non-sensationalist. The book has now had a record-breaking 600+ weeks on New York Times Bestseller list. Meaning, at 40 weeks full gestation, the title itself could have had 15 children during that timeframe!
My favorite part of the series is that, in general, I tend to always convince myself that my pains and pangs are abnormal. The books helped me to realize that during pregnancy, “normal” is a very large net. Furthermore, it’s been super fun following along week-by-week as to what’s happening inside all of that distant amniotic fluid. Some weeks the baby is practicing swallowing for the first time and in other weeks the eyelids are forming! I even remember consulting the book for advice on something as banal as “safe bath temperatures”.
In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for favorite nursery decor, photos of “the bump,” and my upcoming Babymoon to Portugal. Uh oh. Does this make me a mommy blogger?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.