I just realised that I haven’t written about my pregnancy. I’ve shown a couple of pictures here and there of my growing belly — but I haven’t gone into details about my cravings, my aches and pains, my hormone-induced rages and cry-fests, or why I hate it when people play the sex guessing-game. Which is about as reliable as guessing the sex of my baby from how I style my hijab — people you REALLY don’t have to look at my butt!
And it’s not that I haven’t thought about sharing these experiences. I’m a mom, a Muslim, a feminist, a saxophonist, a lover of all things sci-fi, and many other things that inform this blog and give me fodder for (hopefully) interesting posts. I suppose this is a mommy-muslim-feminist-activist-saxophonist-sci-fi blog — but I never thought of it as a “pregnancy” blog.
This pregnancy has been a dream, alhamdulillah. It’s no different from my pregnancy with Eryn, except I’m extra tired from running around after her. The morning sickness was a bit worse — but manageable, and made an ugly reappearance at the start of the third trimester. But manageable. No complaints here.
Just like with Eryn, I crave the scent of lime and coconut or vanilla and grapefruit and am attracted to anything in aqua or green. Preferably together.
In terms of health, alhamdulillah, things are going well. We’re very healthy. I had some terrible groin pain a few weeks ago and now it feels like the baby is going to fall out each time I stand. Kegels are getting harder and harder to do.
But that’s only because I carry low, and this one has already started settling into the pelvis, which is separating. So I deal by sitting on an exercise ball. I still work out frequently, and while I was able to continue running until 38 weeks with Eryn, this time I had to stop at 24 weeks (okay… I still do one jogging lap around a track. But I regret it for days afterwards and much prefer to do prenatal yoga). I get at least 10+ Braxton Hicks contractions a day and they push the baby down on my cervix which adds to the pressure. Today I had to take a moment and breathe with purpose to get through one.
Everything is peachy.
The only real difference is that I’m not as mentally involved with this pregnancy as I was with Eryn. In the womb, I named Eryn “Squishy” and wrote about my feelings for this gorgeous lifeform on a daily basis to my friends and family. I loved “Squishy” so much that after giving birth I literally had to mourn the loss of that relationship and build a whole new one with Eryn.
This time around, I also cherish every kick, punch and roll and will miss being pregnant terribly — but I’m more seasoned. I’m counting down the days before we meet. I’m yearning to have the baby in my arms. And this is more important than celebrating the pregnancy with a lot of detailed pomp and circumstance over my weight gain, blood pressure and pee colour.
But with each moment that passes, I’m realising just how unprepared we are. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m pregnant. Whenever I catch a glimpse of myself in reflections, I freak out a little. My heart jumps, “Ack! I’m pregnant! WTH?” It’s unbelievable.
While I’m very aware of the mechanics, I’m not so sure how we got ourselves into this.
Eryn is excited. Very excited. She’s also pregnant and tells everyone about the baby in her womb while role-playing being a mom and a big sister. Recently she started pretending that she can go back into my womb and asks to be born so we can all fawn over how tiny and cute she is. I hope when the reality of her sibling sinks in, that it’s no longer a game and the baby is here to stay… that she’s not too traumatized.
I plan to have a present from the baby to give to Eryn, and I’d really like her in the delivery room with us. Partly because I think she can handle it and would enjoy witnessing our growing family. And partly because I know how empathetic she is. She will be one of my biggest supporters. I love her and I want her with me (and yes, we have a backup plan if it’s too overwhelming for her).
When I think about people displacing Eryn or ignoring her in any way, I feel guilty. I have even cried a bit over imagining her little heart breaking when she’s no longer the centre of attention. Then I feel guilty for obsessing over Eryn instead of the baby. And I’m guilty for feeling guilty.
Thankfully, I’m still nursing and we can reconnect beautifully in this way. But now I also worry that I’ll resent Eryn’s extra needs once the baby arrives. Can someone please tell me how I got myself into a potential tandem-nursing situation? It helps with sibling rivalry, right?!
We’re co-sleeping. But haven’t yet figured out where everyone is going to sleep once the baby is 10 months old, insha’Allah.
This of course has to be figured out, micro-managed and obsessed over before the baby comes.
Half of the baby’s clothes are in storage and I need to wash them. The baby can’t come until I get the laundry done.
The apartment needs to be reorganised, painted, and cleaned up. I have to wash the floor that hasn’t been touched in over a month. There’s crumbs behind the fridge.
My legs are glued shut until I get behind that fridge.
We have to turn our current bedroom storage compartment back into a crib so it can once again sit unused by the baby for a year before we break down and use it as a storage compartment.
God knows where we put the bouncy chair and activity mat.
Is there even space for the infant clothes!?
This baby is not coming out until I find space for clothes!
Baby book. I never finished Eryn’s baby book. This has to happen. Yesterday!
I’m out of nipple cream and didn’t see any on the shelf the last two times we went to the store. I’ll need nipple cream. No nipple cream, no baby.
Names. Dear God, we need names.
At least we took a labour refresher course.