Friday, September 2, 2016

Interview with 6-month pregnant Liz

First, ramblings.
I just noticed that my last post was January of 2016. It's August 31September 1, September 2, 2016 today. Clearly I haven't been "writing inspired" or perhaps "living inspired" lately. Okay, that's not fair. A lot's transpired since January of this past year. For instance, I'm 6 months pregnant now and this is the first time I've actually wanted - and had the energy and motivation - to write a post in a while. The first trimester was a grueling time of my life. I was depressed and sick as a dog bed-ridden for months. I could've never known how horrible I would feel. If you want to know a bit more, I wrote a short piece here.

Anyway, I was in France for a couple weeks visiting my husband's family, napping, eating, enjoying the sunsets and trying to stay cool. (I swear, trying to stay cool as a pregnant woman is a full-time job.) While in France, I had this idea of conducting a monthly self-interview of my last few months of being pregnant. It's more for me than anything so I can remember what was happening to me during this period of my life, but if it amuses you too, I'll consider that a huge victory. I'll take any victory these days, like even taking a shower. VICTORY. Cooking a fresh meal. VICTORY. Going for a short walk. VICTORY.

Second, FAQ's.
1. Do you feel the baby moving?
YES! It's graduated from light flutters (that feel like bubbles) to distinct kicks/punches. I like to imagine the baby is HI-YAing me and doing lots of flips like a penguin. 

2. Do you know what you're having?
A human baby! During the first four months, I was 100% sure I was having a dragon-alien in the shape of a bunny, but my most recent ultrasound confirmed I'm having a human. 

3. Are you going to find out the gender?
Yes! When the baby is born. 

4. How many weeks are you?
I'm in my 24th week. This means, I'm still in my 2nd trimester. I still have 16 more weeks to go.

5. When are you due? 
Mid to late December 2016.

Finally, the real interview.
6. What's been the easiest part of pregnancy?

Uhh, not much. Wait. Being present. When I'm feeling nauseous, I'm right there. Being present to pain/suffering has come quite easily.

7. What's surprised me in pregnancy?
Three things: 
a) How destroyed I would feel
b) How vast the spectrum of pregnancy experiences are and
c) How pregnancy and entering motherhood connects me to a huge line of mothers who have come before me and who will come after me.

8. What did you hear about pregnancy symptoms that's been true for you?
I heard about constipation and thought..."no way, not me." Well, "yes way, yes me." My BM's have gone from fast and easy to slow and labored. It's starting to change now that I'm eating more vegetables and less cheez-its. 

9. Any other notable side effects? 
I never really broke out even as a teenager, but my forehead is now covered in those small annoying pimples you can scratch and/or squeeze. Also, my white hair count has doubled. (Note: Believe me, this forehead selfie really does not do the pimples and white hairs justice.) Oh, and I am hot all the time now. Even as I type, 60 degrees outside, windows open...I am sweating, especially between the boobs and belly and my pits. Dear pits. 

10. If you could get rid of one pregnancy symptom, what would it be? 
NAUSEA. Hands down. Even though I don't like vomiting, if the vomiting wasn't married to the nausea, I would take vomit over nausea. But feeling nauseous every day now for 6 months is just plain torture. I mean, vomiting sucks too...but which is the lesser evil? Vomit.

11. Do you mind if people touch your belly?
Nope! I actually feel like it's a way people bless me and the baby. There's something intriguing about making that physical connection with someone. I've noticed that women of color are more prone to just going for it, but most white women have been quite hesitant to touch my belly. I'll often have to give permission. I know some pregnant women can't stand having their belly touched, but I'm really enjoying it. 

12. Would you want to go through all this again? 
Oddly, yes. When I was barely crawling out of the first trimester, I remember I was showering (which didn't happen very often mind you), and I had a thought float through my mind that I'd want to be pregnant again. I was completely surprised that I would even think that when I was still feeling miserable.

13. How many times a night do you get up to pee?

1-2xs/night. It just started becoming 2xs/night. Pre-pregnancy: I would sleep 8 hours straight without waking up ever. I don't think I'll experience that sleep bliss for many years to come...

14. How do you feel about your body?
Big question for any woman! I've always struggled with my body and feeling comfortable in it without pregnancy as part of the equation. I read about how women finally accepting their bodies during pregnancy, but I don't think that's happened for me necessarily. I think my focus/attention is just redirected by the wonders of my changing body like the dark line forming down the center of my belly or the kicks I feel, or the shape of this growing bump. But overall, it just feels like it is what it is. I don't ever really feel sexy, sometimes I feel cute, but mostly I feel kinda frumpy and just plain big. In my better moments, I try to appreciate that I still have some muscle tone despite my lack of physical movement. :) Yesterday I wore earrings and let my hair down (for as long as I could tolerate before tying it back up again), to try switching things up. I felt cuter than normal and that was nice, but honestly, I couldn't wait to get back home, take off the earrings and slip into comfortable shorts. nice.

15. Any wisdom you've gained from pregnancy you'd like to share?
Nausea cures me of all the cares of this world (even one as scary as Trump). Haha. For real, I've learned that 1) we really need each other to get through suffering and 2) when we ask for help, it comes.

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