Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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You know the stereotype of the pregnant woman: leisurely and deliberate in the way that larger, rounder mammals can be, with a look of interior joy and contentment? Well, that's how I feel. First the feeling was intermittent (early glimmers occurred in yoga class). Now I'm in a state of persistent peacefulness, and I won't be shaken.
I'm not just sitting around in a glow of self-satisfaction of course. I go to work, for one thing. And on the weekends Aaron and I are chipping away at our list of things-to-do-before-the-baby-comes. See the photo up top for our latest: assembling the changing table we got from my cousins, and going through the hand-me-downs from my sister and brother-in-law. (We've got socks that fit the cat! A pile of pastel hats! The person inside me is going to be out here--and he's going to wear tiny striped pants!.) But I wonder whether I can just accept this newfound, unflappable calm, or if I ought to challenge myself more, to try harder to engage with the outer world, to exist as more than a big lumbering mammal.
A Balancing Act
I worry about winding up navel-gazing, baby-obsessed and completely isolated. I try to keep in touch with my girlfriends, and to not only read books that use terms like dilation and skin-to-skin bonding. I attend cultural events, where our baby enjoys kicking me distractingly. But basically, keeping myself in a placid, healthy place just feels like what I should be doing. Plus, I'm beginning to fully appreciate that in less than 2 months everything will change. For now, my big goal is just to sit back and enjoy the rest of this pregnancy.
I feel focused. I avoid making sudden movements, bending down unnecessarily, or getting riled up about things. Physically and psychologically, I feel like I'm in an extended egg-and-spoon race. And I care about this inscrutable egg at least as much as I've ever cared about anything in my entire life. It's an odd mix of self-absorption and selflessness--I guess because there's not much delineation yet between me and the baby.
In the Oven
Somehow, despite my very interior focus, I still want to share how I'm feeling. I want everyone to check out my belly when the baby is moving, and I want to share my contentment with anyone who can slow down for long enough to take part. So I'm baking. It's the best way I can find to externalize--a little--the feeling of being pregnant. With a batch of scones in the oven, the house is warm and delicious-smelling, and there's a feeling of expectation in the air.