21 and a Half Weeks

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Every time I pick one of these up, I have a WHOA moment. Soon I will have a baby wearing these clothes!

Hello at 21 and a half weeks! Pete and I found out that our little baby bear is a baby boy, which we are thrilled about! It was easy to be pleased since we had no preference between boy or girl. Isn’t it the best when you’re excited about all the possible options?

This week I started to feel little baby movements in my belly, which is the COOLEST THING EVER!!!!! Wow. This must be one of the highlights of pregnancy, and I can’t get over how cool it is (while also mildly freaky). I just can’t wait to meet my son. I wonder what he will be like…what kind of person he will be, and even what he will look like! Between my and Pete’s genes, there’s really no telling. Our baby could technically have blue, hazel, green, or brown eyes. That’s kind of crazy to me! What will he look like?

Going through pregnancy for the first time has been amusing, because it’s such a mishmash of every emotion possible. Most of it is excitement and cheer, though there has also been some impatience, and a little bit of fear too. My most recent freakout was when I realized that my baby is fairly big now, he’s only going to get bigger (a lot bigger), and there’s only one way out….

AHHHHHHH!!!!

(Okay, and I guess there are technically two ways, seeing as some women have C-sections, but that’s freaky too).

I imagine this is completely normal when you’re pregnant for the first time, but oy.

During moments like that, fortunately my husband has reminded me that my body was designed to do this. My body was not designed to have a chunk of spine cut out of it, nor was it designed to have an appendix and tumor removed, and part of my colon cut out and re-sewn together, but I made it through both of those things and now have a body that’s stronger than ever before. That’s my go-to reminder that I can return to calmness and keep rolling with the process.

Speaking of pregnancy fear, it’s for that reason that I have only read one book about pregnancy so far. People have cautioned me that a lot of books can be very fear-inducing, with very directive plans about how things should go, and I have tried to stay away from that. A couple friends have said that you can have a plan for how things will go, and it won’t go at all as you’d planned. Which is funny, because that sounds like life! I’ve learned that the best thing for me is to educate myself, have some different options and possibilities in mind, so that when the moment comes, it can be some combination of knowledge and what my body says in the moment.

The book I’ve been reading (Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth) is one I’ve been taking with a big grain of salt (it has a very specific…”natural/primal” vibe to it). But I’ve gotten a huge ah-ha moment from it, which is realizing that when hearing about childbirth 1) you’re more likely to hear about terrible birth stories with many dramatic details, and 2) this is very specific to American culture, and not as much elsewhere in the world. I already know this to be true to a certain extent. The drama is more interesting and often gets retold more. For me, it has been important to remember that. It doesn’t do me good to be fearful of all the stories of things that might happen.

(And if you have any great book recommendations, I would love to know! Leave a comment below or email me at joanne@fifteenspatulas.com. Thanks a bunch).

Friends and family have been asking me about things like cravings, and honestly I had more cravings before I was pregnant! The whole “I cannot do anything else until I’ve eaten _____” was already a part of my normal being, so yup, pregnant Joanne is not interesting at all with the cravings.

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Photo taken at 19 weeks. I know, I’m terrible at the bump photo thing. But, I try every once in a while.

These days I’m mainly trying to start planning more logistical things, as I have done absolutely none of that until now. It’s all so overwhelming! I know I need to start a registry and start researching strollers and other baby essentials, but I’ve been avoiding it. There must be some sort of guide online for how to navigate this (any recommendations?) Thank goodness for online product reviews, so I can at least narrow down my choices for everything. It’s all very time consuming, but then again I laugh, because that’s what people say about kids in general. Let it begin!

The only other thing that has been on my mind lately is all the things I don’t seem to know (I realize this sounds so silly when I type it out). So many times by accident I will discover some key things about child rearing that I didn’t even know about because well…how am I supposed to know?! For example, apparently at the beginning of a newborn’s life, you need to wake up your baby if it has been more than 3 hours since he’s eaten. And, apparently you need to burp your child after feedings because otherwise he might choke (AHHH!!!) So many things. I know I will learn a lot of this from experience, but it still scares me when I happen to stumble upon knowledge that seems to be so fundamental. Maybe I need to read more books.

As far as nausea goes, it’s all gone for the time being. Hooray! While my energy is not high by any means, I’m getting by just fine. I’m still keeping very active, walking a lot, lifting weights with my trainer to maintain my strength, and taking care of my needs the best I can. There is something that feels really special about being pregnant in the fall, maybe because fall is such a magical time for me and this fall in particular has been insanely beautiful. Bundling up on the couch with baby inside, call it one of my favorite things.

Okay, well that’s it for my pregnancy update! I’ll be back with one more recipe tomorrow before the Thanksgiving holiday hits. Talk soon!

xo Joanne