23 weeks today! (On paper it goes up to 40. I didn’t know that before getting pregnant so I figure I should add details for those who prefer a deeper context.)
I was told wonderful things about the second trimester. About nausea going away and energy bursts and glowey skin and luscious hair and other bullshit like that.
Gotta laugh. Just gotta laugh.
In all fairness, my nausea eventually got a lot better. No energy bust, but I think I’m back to normal. Only that didn’t happen until well, well, well into the second trimester. I mean, it happened like 2 weeks ago. (For deeper context: second trimester starts around week 13 or 14.) I got through a day at work without crying or being furious (at my worst, I cried on my way to work, spent all day seething about inhumane work expectations, cried on my way home and sometimes would take bathroom breaks to sob) and realized I was back. I suppose my fatigue and nausea hit late in the first trimester (for awhile there I had my hopes up at having a unicorn pregnancy!) so it only makes sense that it carried on so late.
I am losing hair by the handful (my poor shower drain – we’ve tried two different types of hair catchers and I’m still clogging it every week) and my face is all road rashy so no glow or lovely mane for me. If I’m lucky I won’t look like something out of a zombie movie by the time I give birth. Honestly, though, the fatigue was the only thing that really got to me. I describe my work environment to be like an understaffed fast food joint at rush hour where the slightest mistake in someone’s order could result in a death. I could NOT afford to be fatigued.
Things to do while pregnant #1: Home Renos
Right. Now that I’m back, we’re jumping into the wonderful world of home renovations.
Our cats are having more and more trouble understanding that carpets are not litter boxes. We suspect previous cats have left… odours… which are bugging our cats. My pregnancy is not helping this. We run the carpet cleaner constantly and we keep the bedroom doors closed but there’s only so much you can do to keep up with it. And I don’t want the baby crawling on a pee infested carpet. So goodbye carpets, hello fake wood vinyl!
The other day I was reading a Reddit post from this lady who was coming to terms with her friend’s “perfect life” on Facebook (which is a problem I can’t wrap my head around – after reading people’s whining for 20 years and now seeing their stupid memes, clickbait political propaganda and made-up pseudoscience junk, I am freaking OVERJOYED when people post good things about their lives). Apparently the friend remodeled her kitchen 3 times in 2 years. I cannot, for the life of me, see how I would be jealous of this person. In fact, I feel bad for her. Home renovations are those terrible, necessary evils, like ripping off bandaids or firing a sweet employee who just can’t keep up with the work. I can’t imagine having to do this out of compulsion instead of out of need.
Since a picture is worth 1000 words, here’s 2000 words worth:
Since we needed to treat the wood under the carpet (our house is like 60 years old – that’s potentially 60 years of wood marinating in cat pee), they ripped out the carpets on Friday, we treated the wood on Saturday and we wait for it to dry. Then they put in the floors on Tuesday. Hopefully then we get our house back. Or at least for a little bit until we get the new baseboards put in, because you can’t just remove carpet and put in vinyl without either repainting or getting taller baseboards.
On the bright side, the cats love the current hoarder look of our house. And hopefully our bedrooms will look fantastic with vinyl floors.
Pregnancy: finally looking the part
In other news, one day my belly popped out! Despite my mom’s begging, I don’t have any pictures just yet. I have yet to master the selfie and I haven’t the gathered the courage to ask Ed to be my photographer. You know how it is, one minute they’re taking a pregnancy picture for your mom and your two-updates-per-year blog, the next they’re an instagram husband, forced to take scripted pictures a million times a day. It’s a slippery slope!
So you’ll have to take my word for it, but I do have some kind of cute baby bump. It started off with a bump at night that would disappear by morning (am impressed by haywire a digestive system goes during pregnancy!) but soon enough I had an around the clock bump.
The downside is that it’s really hard to breathe, especially at night. I got one of those bed wedges with mixed results. Some nights it helps, some nights it doesn’t. I must be getting used to baby kicking my diaphragm, though, because the last few days have been a lot better.
The upside is that the bump is really, really cute, if I do say so myself.
According to my doctor and the ultrasound technician (and my common sense), I have an anterior placenta (deeper context: usually the placenta sits between baby and mom’s back, anterior placenta is when the placenta, which is shaped like a big round pillow, is between baby and mom’s front), so no feeling baby yet. I get over it by reminding myself that by week 35, I’ll be totally done with baby kicking. Maybe if I have wait longer to feel it, I won’t get fed up with it as fast.
Last city trip, I picked up some maternity clothes. The tops look excellent and make my bump all movie-star-like. The pants, on the other hand… So my normal pants don’t stay up because my belly is too big, but my maternity pants won’t stay up because my bump isn’t big enough. All these problems I never anticipated!
As for the criticism that maternity clothes are overpriced for the quality, I sadly have to agree. They look great – I actually have to restrain myself from buying ALL THE STUFF, but they’re super fragile. 1-2 wears and a handwash (yeah, I can’t even use the washing machine), they look like I’ve had them for years. I don’t mind paying 60$+ for sturdy clothes (one of the things I was most looking forward to while I was a poor, starving student was being able buy high quality clothes), but these are a world away from sturdy.
Prepping for Mat Leave
At some time in my exhaustion haze, it occurred to me that I need to use up my vacation time prior to going on mat leave. (I haven’t decided when I’ll take it yet…if I’m not too much of a mess in the third trimester, I might actually wait until like a week before my due date so I get more time with baby at the end.)
So I get vacation time in October! And vacation time in November! And then December and early January are usually fun months at work as the holidays really slow stuff down. Then it’s bye bye for a year!
I know mat leave is actually way tougher than it looks, but after dedicating 24/7 to bullshit (people say things like “you don’t get lunch or bathroom breaks as a parent!”… they must have really cushy jobs because I don’t get lunch or bathroom breaks – unless I’m having a meltdown- as an employee either), I am SO ready to dedicate 24/7 to a little human. And then maybe after a year of dedicating 24/7 to my little human, I’ll be fed up with that and ready to go back to work!