Looking back on the past seven months, I’ve had to face some truths about myself. In more ways than one I am extremely blessed. Lucky. Fortunate. The human body is such a miracle and the changes that a woman’s body instinctively makes to support new life is nothing short of incredible. So I confess. I am grateful for my aching back and hips, restless legs, expanding waistline, round rump, and heavy TaTa’s. There are many who embark on the journey towards motherhood and for reasons beyond their control, the road takes twists, turns, and detours they never intended. For some, the exit ramp approaches too quickly. For others, the journey is fraught with flat tires, engine failure, oil leaks, and fatal accidents. So I take this moment to celebrate mothers everywhere. Those that have been trying to conceive, those that have lost their little loves, and those warrior moms (and dads) who put in the work every day so that their children can thrive.
Baby’s First Moves: Week 16
They say FTMs aren’t likely to feel baby’s first moves until somewhere between 18-20 weeks. I was way too impatient for that so as soon as I learned that baby’s ears were developed enough to start hearing some sound (around 16 weeks), I started experimenting with singing and playing music. At first I used a set of headphones held against my tummy and tried various genres of music to see what would stimulate baby most. Hubby had a suggested playlist of Celtic tunes though I gravitated towards good ol’ Ella Fitzgerald. Before I knew it, our baby was keeping me company during the morning commute as I sang along with the radio.
By week 18 I discovered our little one had a schedule and would be most active during certain times of the day. Baby even seemed to have preferences for how I would sit or lay down and would pitch a fit if it didn’t suit. I can’t describe the peace that comes with feeling our bundle of joy twist and turn, kick and roll. During the first trimester and the early part of the second I was so nervous between appointments with our OBGYN since it was the only time we could hear the reassuring steady beat of baby’s heart. Now, our little one’s daily Yoga and Taekwondo gives us something to look forward to.
Anatomy Scan (Ultrasound): Week 18
In April 2017, we had our anatomy ultrasound. It’s generally performed between 18-22 weeks and assesses the development of the baby’s overall growth, brain, bones, organs, and potential for birth abnormalities. For many moms the anatomy scan is also an opportunity to determine the sex of the baby. So naturally the days leading up to our appointment felt more like the Never-ending Story. When our appointment finally arrived I was armed with an uncomfortably full bladder and a boatload of jitterbugs.
As I’m laying on my back waiting for the sonographer to complete her assessment, my level of stress is mounting and I’m just praying our child is healthy. Little did I know, the hold up was because our bundle of joy was in constant motion and kept turning onto their stomach (face down) making the sonographer’s life…challenging. Eventually the sonographer sent me to walk the hallways, hoping it would coax the baby to turn over. To make our stroll as relaxing (or entertaining) as possible, she printed out a few images for us to moon over. Hubby kept pace beside me as I trekked back and forth and admired the images of his child; even showed them off to an elderly woman who happened to pass by. But as the child’s mother you’d think he’d share custody of the photos with me, right? Oh, ho, ho, no! He wouldn’t even let me hold them. I mean really, I could barely breathe on them. How dare he! Why, the brute would only let me look but I was not allowed to touch. Sweet, huh? Well I didn’t think so at the time! I had more…colourful thoughts. Something about revenge and sabotage. Can’t remember really. You know, baby brain and all (sigh).
After about 30 minutes we were called back in and the sonographer worked quickly to complete her exam. But to her chagrin and consternation, the jig was up and our wee one promptly assumed the face down position, yet again. The sonographer sighed, waved the white flag, and called for hubby to have a look at the baby. I’d say baby Fraser won that little skirmish, though there would be many more to come. Despite our child’s best efforts and mega…glowing…neon, do-not-disturb sign, our sonographer announced the gender of our beloved and we grinned like loons all the way home.
Baby Banana: Week 20
During the first few weeks of pregnancy I had my sights set on one thing…a fruit. As each week slipped by, I got closer and closer to the fruit of my dreams…the banana! The banana is the 20 week milestone marking the halfway point of the pregnancy. During this week, the baby is roughly the size of a banana. Now when an embryo starts out smaller than a poppy seed and magestically morphs into a gorgeous banana, it’s a BIG DEAL for an expectant, albeit impatient mum such as myself.
“Oh I’ll tell you what’s next…an eggplant! Funny, it’s kinda how our story began…with an eggplant, huh?” Yeah, I can still make my husband blush.
Daddy’s First Kick: Week 22
There’s no telling when it will happen for dear ol’ Dad (or mum). As the parent carrying our wee one I had the pleasure of feeling their precious kicks and nudges for several weeks. And then…it happened. Twenty two weeks and three days and our little one kicked Daddy’s hand for the very first time.
It was a cool evening in May, not a cloud in the sky. Night was quickly approaching and the skyline began to light up with the twinkling of stars and the promise of a new day on the horizon. I lay still, with my eyes closed, breathing gently, serenity washing over me as I basked in the wonder of experiencing the beauty of burgeoning life within. Ok, ok. Too far? Yeah, I think I went to far on that one. Point is, it was a moment I’ll never forget. The wonder that chased across Daddy’s face is something that will be etched into my memory for as long as I live. As he bent over my tummy I watched a father bond with his child using his voice and his touch. I felt our little one respond in the most endearing way…kick, wham, kapow! To this very day our child perks up every time they hear Daddy’s voice. Me, well…apparently, I’m chopped frickin’ liver!
The Pillow That Saved My Life: Week 23
By week 23 I had been having horrible back pain and a tough time sleeping. Hubby had purchased an oversized elephant pillow during the first trimester (Ellie’s are my fave animal!) but it wasn’t enough anymore. I was tossing and turning, hips and back were aching, I was kicking hubby in my sleep, and “snoring like a freight train” (according to him). Mind you, I am not normally someone who snores but pregnancy had done a number on my sleep posture and it was unavoidable. One night I woke up alone and went looking for my love. He was in the living room trying to find a comfortable spot to sleep. “Babe, what’ are you doing”, I said. He bashfully looked up at me and told me I was snoring so loud he couldn’t sleep. Hubby had had enough sleepless nights and decided I needed to have my very own Cuddle Body Pillow. Dear Lord. I have never felt anything so magical in my life! It supported my head, shoulders, back and hips in the most astounding way. All while being firm enough not to wilt or go flat like most do over time, and flexible enough to be moulded into a variety of shapes for comfort. I will never again sleep without this pillow….pregnant or not!
Candy Crushed: Week 24