21 weeks

At this point I’m not exactly sure when I transition from one week to the next, but I know that I am somewhere near the tail end of my 21st week of pregnancy. I have passed the halfway point and keep on trucking.
My large anterior placenta is more and more apparent to me as time goes on. I know where it is, exactly, because it is the mysterious place in my abdomen where I can’t feel the baby move. I will be pleased to let my midwife know, next week, that the placenta has moved up away from my cervix. How do I know? Because there is now a space under my placenta where I can feel baby movement. I couldn’t feel baby movement there previously. Ta dah! I’m wondering if I’ll ever be able to feel movement through the damn thing, and more importantly, if Jeremy and Elijah ever will be able to.
Jeremy and I have started childbirth education classes and we just completed week 4 of 12. I am trying to decide whether or not it was a good thing to take a class I’ve already taken before. I took this class with this instructor about two years ago as part of my doula certification and liked it so much that I decided when Jeremy and I got pregnant one day, we would come back and take it. After all, he would need to take a class, and a refresher couldn’t hurt me either. The problem is that I now know what’s coming around most of the corners, and I’m kind of bored. It’s a great class and there have been some changes made since I last took it (including the addition of a second instructor), but part of me wishes we had done something new. The good part is that we’re the only ones in the class, so we can gloss over parts that don’t apply to us, such as what is a doula, why choose a midwife, and (hopefully) the circumcision part when we get to it (Jeremy and I have already agreed that we won’t circumcise a boy, so there’s no need for the instructors to try and talk us out of circumcision). Also, we have changed the language of the class to focus on home birth, which is nice. My midwife really wanted me in a home birth specific class, in retrospect I’m not entirely sure if this counts, but I’m not sure what would be different in a home birth class. I wish I did know. Taking one of her recommended classes would have shown me. Ah well.
I have also signed up for a number of classes based on the Tupler Technique of preventing and repairing diastasis recti, that split in the abdominal muscles that many women get during pregnancy. After Elijah was born the doctor told me I didn’t have it, but in the years afterwards I learned that doctors tend to be bad at diagnosing it, and the shape of my belly is a dead ringer for a diastasis belly. A lot of women worry about the issue because it gives them a somewhat gross looking pooch to their stomach, but what concerns me is that it weakens your core, and can lead to a variety of health conditions including back pain, pain during sex, pain during physical activity, incontinence, and complications during pregnancy and birth. If I have it it hasn’t gotten to the point yet that I’m experiencing much pain (though I do wonder if the abdominal pain I’m feeling during this pregnancy might be a sign of having had one after Elijah’s birth), and I don’t want it to get to that point. If I don’t have it, I’d like to make sure I continue not to. It can’t hurt to learn a few more techniques to keep my core strong. A strong core helps prevent all kinds of health issues as I age, which I have always been (probably a little too keenly) aware I am doing. Whether or not it makes my tummy flat is at the bottom of my priorities list.
I’ve sucked it up and started asking Jeremy to take belly pictures of me. I always feel a little embarrassed to ask someone else to take pictures of me, especially if they aren’t a professional, but I realized the other day that if I don’t ask someone to do it, it’s not ever going to happen. Waiting around for someone to just naturally and of their own accord take photos of me will likely mean never having a single picture taken of me during this pregnancy. I want to really work on my feelings of shame when it comes to asking for things for myself. I have the most trouble doing it with things that could be perceived as vain, like asking someone to take photos of me. I have a very hard time striking a pose to begin with, and to ask someone to watch me do it is extra hard. But I want pregnancy photos, and it’s normal and okay to want them. It’s not arrogant or vain.
So here I am, 21 weeks pregnant and criticizing the composition of this photo (next time I’ll have him take it shooting down instead of up). Baby is the size of a banana, and I’m craving strawberries and salad with blue cheese dressing.

Me 21 weeks pregnant

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About Rockingthehomestead

Badass feminist environmentalist.
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