That title means "my little cabbage" in French, and it's always been one of my favorite terms of endearment, so imagine my delight when BabyCenter's weekly update compared Baby Norah to the size of a "Chinese cabbage"! (Really, I don't know why all size comparisons are made with either fruit or vegetables, but it's amusing nonetheless to see her go from grape-sized to cabbage-sized. I imagine at the end, it will say, "Your baby is now the size of a large watermelon.")
Anyhoo...as of today, I am 28 weeks, which means I'm 7 months preggo: two-thirds of the way there! So, I figure this is a good point for some pregnancy reflection: And I have a lot of thoughts, so brace yourself for a lengthy post.
Didn't know I was pregnant. Drank beer and ran like I normally did. It was a Friday at the end of the 5th week that I consulted my weekly desk calendar and realized I had missed my period by a solid week (never happens), so on my way home from class that day, I stopped by Walgreens and picked up a home pregnancy test. Took it once I got home, and I didn't even have to wait the requisite 2 minutes in order to see the distinct + sign. I took one more to be certain and then I hugged Scooter and called Jerry at work. He came home because I told him I had something big to tell him, and when he heard the news, he nearly pooped himself -- literally.
Pukey as all hell. Most pregnancy stuff says that if you're going to experience morning sickness, it will begin around weeks 6-8, and as if on cue, the day I was 6 weeks pregnant, I threw up. I didn't puke everyday in these weeks, but close to it, and some days were just pure hell -- barfing several times in one day. I also had really bad headaches, which also made me feel like ass. But, it was fun to be able to tell so many family and friends that we were expecting while we were in MN for Christmas.
I thought the morning sickness would abate after the first trimester, but it really didn't. I would sometimes have several days in a row without barfing, but then it would again strike me down. On the whole, however, I did start to feel marginally better, and I began to gain some weight and began to show. In week 16, I felt Norah move for the first time. I remember distinctly that my brother was visiting and we were at the beach, and I was laying out in the sun when I felt a strange movement in my abdomen that kinda felt like gas in the wrong place. The most exciting part of this time was that in week 19, we learned that we were having a girl, and we didn't hesitate to begin calling her by the name we'd already selected.
Morning sickness pretty much evaporates. Yes, there have been a few random barfisodes in this time, but on the whole, the constant nausea that plagued me in the beginning completely subsided. And while I was feeling much better, my continued weight gain and growing belly began to make me feel uncomfortable in new ways; sleeping, especially, is beginning to become more and more uncomfortable, but I have time to take frequent naps, so it's okay. Still, I'll take the physical discomfort of a growing belly over vomiting any day. In baby preparation, I had my first shower and we got the furniture and almost all of her clothes. We kept up with dr visits, which continued to go well, and we checked out the daycare, met with the pediatrician, and got signed up for baby class, which begins in June. Norah moves all the time now, and sometimes I can feel distinct body parts. The other day, I was laying on the couch, reading, and she was moving all around, so I pulled my shirt up to see the movement, and I think I saw either an elbow or a knee go sliding across my belly. It was surreal. Very much reminded me of "Alien."
Through these past 7 months, I have also been happy that I've been able to keep running. Initially, I maintained my weekly mileage of about 20-25 miles a week, but by now it has dropped to 9-12 miles a week. Still, being able to run at all at this point keeps me happy.
Looking Toward the Next 12 Weeks
In my running-while-pregnant books, this time is often compared to the last 6.2 miles of a marathon -- I'm more than halfway there, yet this is the most difficult part of the journey. Physically, I know this part of the pregnancy is more demanding, but I think on the whole, I feel better now than I did 5 months ago, and mentally and emotionally, I feel more and more prepared for what lies ahead. And instead of the anxiety and fear that dominated my emotions in the beginning, I am feeling more and more excited as the weeks go by. Both Jerry and I have been dreaming of Norah lately (Jerry told me this morning that he dreamt last night of having Norah in the bookstore and he was buying her books...and pickles...hey, his dream, not mine), and sometimes I just go in her room and stand in there. Sometimes I open up the drawers of her dresser and look at her clothes, trying to imagine a baby filling them out, and it quite honestly makes me optimistic in a way that I've never felt before.
I hope to keep running for as much as I can for as long as I can in this last trimester, but I also know it's gonna get more difficult (especially with summer's heat encroaching). I remain flexible on this and just hope that I remain active even if running begins to become too strenuous.
So far, it's been an amazing journey, and I look ahead to the next 12 weeks with mixed emotions -- eager to get it over with and have her here, and also with some remorse since I know I'll never be this close to her, in this way, again. At any rate, no matter my continuous emotional contradictions, I know the time will go quickly, and before we know it, Norah will arrive!