13 weeks

It’s been a while since I wrote a pregnancy update. But really, what is there to say in the first trimester? I feel sick. I want to sleep all the time. My boobs hurt. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know.
But here I am in the last week of my first trimester (finally!), and I’m happy to report I’m feeling much better. The nausea is pretty much gone, with the exception of some periodic motion sickness, which was a problem the whole way through my pregnancy with Elijah so I won’t expect that to disappear until birth. I am more energetic now, though I still feel more tired than before pregnancy, but I can mostly function. And the most exciting development, I’m pretty sure I’m feeling this baby move.
When I say pretty sure, I mean probably about 90% sure. I was doubtful at first because it just seems so early, but I am coming more and more to the conclusion that it must be baby, because it feels different than gas bubbles (which I also experience) or the sensation of noticing a pulse point. Sometimes I feel the sensation that I’m pretty sure is baby at the same time as a gas bubble or pulse point, and they feel distinctly different. Also, I have found that I am able to provoke the baby moving sensation by poking my fundus (that settled it for me). So I think this sucker has quickened, so to speak. It’s a subtle feeling, and I’m eager for the more obvious ones, but it’s a feeling that I can no longer ignore or brush off as gas, and they’re getting less subtle every day.
This revelation, coupled with the fact that I am really starting to show, has inspired quite a bit more excitement out of Jeremy. He seems more stoked than I am sometimes, like he is just now going through the emotions I had the first few weeks. That makes sense, this is when it’s becoming real for him. He and I have done a great deal of discussing about how to make sure Elijah doesn’t feel left out after the baby is born. That, right now, is my greatest fear, that Elijah is going to feel out of place in this new family, or perceive that we favor the baby over him. This fear is closely followed up by my fear that in trying to keep Elijah from feeling that way, I will over compensate and the new baby will feel neglected. Then I also worry that I will simply not love this baby as much as I love Elijah, because the attachment I feel to this baby is so very different than the attachment I felt to Elijah. But I also know this fear is the most ridiculous of them all. I do feel a sort of attachment to this baby, it’s just not as emotional as my attachment to Elijah was, and I think a big reason why is the difference in my situation in each pregnancy.
When I was pregnant with Elijah I had so many negative expressions going through my head all the time, that I had been so stupid to have gotten into this situation, that I was somehow damaged goods, that no one would want me again, that something was wrong with me that such a loser could not only abandon me, but seem to move on so quickly and be perfectly fine, whereas I could not. Really, the only thing that kept me sane and moving forward in all of that was focusing on this baby, this baby that was mine and not his, and making sure I was doing everything in my power to love it with everything that I had, so it would never want for anything, at least not where affection and emotional security is concerned. Forming that kind of bond was probably the only thing that kept me from hurting myself, honestly, so damaging is our society’s perception and judgement of women in my position, so deeply had it permeated my psyche.
This time around I’m not in those shoes. Not even close. There is no feeling of rejection or brokenness, no worry about the baby lacking for much, at least as far as family goes. This baby was planned, discussed for months before we even started trying, so there is no regret over lost dreams or worry over ruined lives. There’s just me, making this baby, and sure, there are some fears and worries like there always are, but there’s no sense of this baby’s need for me is the only thing keeping me marching on. There’s no need for that.
I find myself, in fact, not wanting to focus too much on my pregnancy at all. I mean, yeah, sure, I’m pregnant, but there’s no reason to make a big deal out of it. If anything I find myself constantly saying to myself that I’m not just a vessel, an incubator, I’m a whole human being with my own set of needs and desires that sometimes intersect with this baby’s, but sometimes not, and that’s a good thing. Just as this child will be a whole individual, I must honor and respect the fact that I am. I think too often mothers give up too much of themselves to take on the selfless Madonna role. Well, at the risk of sounding crude, fuck that. Fuck being selfless, fuck being a Madonna. Not that I don’t think there’s a time and a place for being selfless, and I do think that focusing too much on individuality at the expense of community is dangerous, but who I am all on my own is still valuable. My worth is not determined by how well I bring fetuses to term, how well I birth them, how well I raise them. These are features of who I am but not defining ones.
In other words, last time I needed to define myself as a mother only, in order to give myself the strength to keep going. This time I don’t have that need. You can see how that would alter the way my attachment manifests.


About Rockingthehomestead

Badass feminist environmentalist.
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