Friday, March 21, 2008

20 weeks - Halfway There, and Form vs. Function.

It's Friday, so the Belly Gallery's been updated with pictures from earlier today.

Can you hear the sizzlin' from where you are? That would be the heartburn. As my bump seems to have grown more in every direction this week, so has the heartburn increased. Oh my heavens it's fiery hot in there these days. I stay on top of it with Tums® and my beloved famotodine, but any slight miscalculation on my part leads to hours of discomfort.

But the nausea is still gone. And the cold or flu or infection or whatever that was is nearly gone.

And I am feeling much more like myself in general, moodwise, energywise and everything-elsewise. And what a welcome change that's been, and a huge answer to prayer. Yes, oh yes.

It truly does feel as if the top of my uterus has moved up more than an inch this week, although that's pretty much impossible. Actually not even this week! Overnight ONE night this happened! I went from feeling "normal" to feeling STUFFED full o' baby in 24 hours. I am thinking there's more to it than baby growth though, perhaps it is partially bowel-related and some of it may dissipate given the right, um, circumstances.

Also, if I were a betting woman, I'd say the baby may have moved to the head down position just yesterday, from what felt to be more lateral. All of a sudden my cervix and bladder are getting a good jostle or prod, or a longer more unpleasant LEAN, and there is a nice hard lump right down in my lower pelvis instead of higher up on my left side where it was just a few days ago. The kicking feelings are now up higher now, too, as if the feet have moved to the top. I'm really just guessing though, I've never been able to LOOK or FEEL my belly and know which way the baby was positioned, and even when Bean was almost ready to be born, no doctors or nurses ever speculated as to her position either, until it was just obvious and expected that she was head down. I always feel a bit jealous of women whose midwives feel around (or they themselves can) and know which part of the baby is which. I wish I knew for sure.

Anyway, I feel way bigger.

Our level II ultra-sound is on Monday at 10:45 am. I will be SO relieved to get that done and know (I hope) that the baby is healthy and fine. Of course I'm also excited to know if Peanut is a boy or a girl, but this time, more than last time, more than I ever imagined possible, I truly do NOT care one way or the either, boy or girl, I just pray and hope and sincerely care that the baby is safe and healthy. I just feel very anxious over that - since I am older, since I have had to take the famotodine for my stomach and the Unisom and B12 for the nausea, since I take a hottish bath EVERY day, sometimes TWICE a day. It's all fine by my doctor's counsel but still I worry. So when Monday is over, as long as everything goes well, I think I will be able to really relax and enjoy the second half of this pregnancy. The first half hasn't been an easy time... I'd so love to put all the yuck and the worry behind me and "glow" inside and out from now up to the birth.

I've really been giving some thought to my apprehension beyond just the baby's health, too. I feel so angsty... so uncharacteristically, um, ambivalent STILL about a second child. I suppose it's in part because I am still in touch with how much work, stress, turmoil and worry a newborn can be (along with being completely wonderful and beautiful and sweet, I mean) so the What Comes Next factor's clear - I know what's coming and a part of me just feels too ... old? tired? already-in-full-use?, to handle such a huge adjustment. But that's not all.

Having one child - and a very easy-ish, fun, flexible child at that - affords me the ability to still be the me I enjoy being. The me who still has energy and time for writing, for taking care of my body, for being, sometimes, young and free and oh, I don't know, occasionally spontaneous. I still have enough of my own resources left (well, I did have before the pregnancy) to devote plenty of love and attention to Al, to be not just a mother and a wife, but Al's friend, his buddy, his girlfriend and all of those other good, extra, relationship-blessing things and things he deserves. I could find time to fix myself up, inside and outside, and be "fabulous" enough to fuel self-confidence, romance and fun in this relationship. And I'm scared. Terrified, actually, at times, that with two children, one of them young and so very dependent, that all of the extras of ME and of US will go, and I'll just be this mother of two, with nothing else to give but the daily offerings of that role, dried up and used up and gray at the end of the day.

It sounds so awful. I did NOT EVER feel that way when Bean was a little baby. Well, maybe a day or two in the beginning, while my body was still recovering and my mind and spirit adjusting. Yet she was only ONE baby. One other person who needed me besides Al. How will I stretch to meet THREE sets of needs... very different yet all so important, and still maintain the inner me, from which grows the person? The friend? The writer? The fresh, confident, creative, enthusiastic and genuinely happy woman I need to ALSO be on top of this wife/motherness? I can honestly say that all of those things have BEEN gone for nearly 20 weeks now, and I see the toll it's taken on Bean and Al, and the REASON I didn't think I wanted a second child is staring me in the face - this fear of losing my FORM, my spark, my Megan-ism, among the pure FUNCTION of parenting two kids, maintaining a household and all those jobs entail. It is clearly not enough, and won't be enough, for any of these people I love so much, to just DO for them. I am afraid I'll cease to BE for them, and the BEING is the part I think is most valuable. Otherwise they could just have a robot mother/wife.

I don't want to vanish into the flurry of function when I feel I've really just emerged (from a flurry of other things) in so many ways.

It's not a question or a struggle any other human can answer or free me from. I know where the answer lies. I know.

Twenty weeks. Deep thoughts. Good thing I have (hopefully) another nineteen or twenty to go.

9 comments:

Mari said...

You are having deep thoughts today! I just know you will be a great Mom. You've already shown yourself to be a super mom to Bean and it will be the same with Peanut. I was worried about stretching myself when I had my second also, but it all comes together. You and Al are loving parents and that's the most important thing. Also - God gives you the strength you need every day - even those tired days! I'll be praying for you on Monday.

Anonymous said...

Once you're through the early days, having two can be easier and give you more time to maintain/be yourself, as they will entertain ach other. It'll all be great, I'm sure! Sarah X

Jenn said...

Sarah is right. Now that Boo is older, having two kids is MUCH easier than one. Riley loves having a little sister to boss around and she loves having someone to play with. They play together in the bedrooms upstairs and I can get SO MUCH more done than I could when it was just Riley and I was the only playmate he had.
The newborn days though. That is what is keeping us from having a third!!
I have been thinking about the ultrasound lots. I'm SURE the baby is fine. Interested to see what gender though! I still think I'm leaning a bit more toward boy for some reason. :)

Alice said...

It will be okay! It is literally just as you said - an adjustment. Bean and Al will not do without the "real you" forever, I promise. I think there will be a time where you will just have to go with the flow and ride it out - the early weeks and possibly first few months COULD be hairy as you all adjust, but adjust you WILL, and then wonder how you all ever functioned as a family of three! Bean and Peanut (who I am starting to think is a BOY!) will be company for each other and I do think that after a while it becomes less like you are a mother to Child #1 over here, and then also (separate role!) a mother to Child #2 over there - you don't really have to divide yourself so much as it seems like you would. Your mothering role towards each of your individual children somehow merges and when it all boils down to it, you are simply still "a mother" to your children - single role. You can still be wife and mother, not wife and mother-times-two. It will settle down and you will do a WONDERFUL job, I absolutely assure you!

Now, while you're IN the adjustment period, that's when you rant away in your blog and get some advice and a shoulder, etc. Make use of help offered, but mostly do not, and I stress, DO NOT beat yourself up for a thing during the process! If Bean watches too much TV, do not beat yourself up. If there are days where it seems like you've failed to meet a single person's basic needs, do not beat yourself up! Just riiiide it out. You'll be fine. xxxx

Oh and YAAAY, I can't wait for your scan!!!!! :)

Shelly said...

Hi!

I'm a 40yo mom of two little ones - 4 and 18 mo. And let me tell you that 2 has it's challenges at this age. It's so wonderful, but so exhausting at times. I feel like I never get enough sleep. This too shall pass.

I always feel like I think more about my children than I would have if I'd been a younger mom. I have step kids too, so I tend to analyze pluses and minuses from that experience and then all the other things I learned just from knowing others with kids.

I pray that everything goes well for you on Monday. Hope the docs aren't giving you a hard time too much (mine did) just because of your age.

Blessings!

{Karla} said...

It truly is a joy to see your two children interacting and playing together. My two oldest are the sweetest of friends - each others first real friend. And it is precious. They argue and bicker... but then I hear one call from their bedroom at lights out "I love you", to the other, and my hurt bursts into a million pieces.

It is amazing how it all works out.

Love you ~ K

Jenna said...

I don't have children, so take what I say completely with a grain of salt, but... don't forget that you are giving Bean and Al a gift that only you can give them... yes, the new baby will take some of "their time" from you... but you are giving Bean a best friend (and being a sister to one other sibling, the bond the two of us have is literally like no other bond in the world). And Al you are giving the gift of another child... I am sure it will all work out and I enjoy reading your blog (good luck on Monday!!).

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

We really need to have this conversation over a cup of tea. I'm sorry I haven't been around much during these draining months. A's Spring break comes in early April. Maybe we can arrange a get together then. You.

Lerin said...

I am dying... DYING... to hear the big news, that all is well, baby is healthy, and whether we're expecting a brother or sister for Bean!!!

My Lil Family