I’ll be 19 weeks pregnant tomorrow and this is the first public blog post I’ve made about it. I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with the pregnancy. My business Advokate is booming, my job at the Shirt Factory is consuming, and it’s been difficult to find time to sit around and glow about the pregnancy between needing to make sure I’m eating enough protein and getting enough sleep in this crazy schedule. Advokate is my first baby and she’s a noisy one. It’s not been easy to find balance.
I feel guilty if I take time for myself instead of working. And I feel guilty if I don’t take care of myself, too, of course.
I’m certainly excited and happy about it all, but it’s been honestly more of an inconvenience – I have things that need to get done and taking care of myself and fussing over baby stuff doesn’t fit into that schedule of back-to-back meetings and long stretches of uninterrupted shoulder-hunched computer time.
Add it to pregnancy hormones and the advice of family and friends, life stress, family health and just too many obligations I’ve said yes to and I have had a full-on case of that thing I guess they call mommy guilt. Of course I’m taking prenatal vitamins, counting grams of protein, doing a bit of journaling, watching YouTube videos of cloth diaper changes, online baby-stuff shopping and some belly rubbing. I’ve had emotional moments here and there, hearing the heartbeat, seeing the first wiggly turtle-baby on an ultrasound, the doctor telling me he was a boy. I’m not cold-hearted.
But there have been plenty of occasions where I just think to myself, “I really don’t have time for this right now. I wish it was someday in the future when I had TIME.” My vision for pregnancy was always sunshine-filled days of floating around in a sundress, baking bread, tilling the compost and tending to the garden. Making dinner for my husband and folding baby clothes. Being filled with a joy like no other.
Not cramming a banana in my mouth on my way out the door to a meeting while I try to email from my phone to deal with emergencies from clients or Shirt Factory tenants after spending way too long trying to find pants that would still button and I still didn’t have time to pee yet this morning, crabbing in my head about how everyone else can just have this baby themselves if they like him so much and want to talk to my belly instead of to me and what the hell is with all these zits and fuzzy hair, where is this beautiful glow they tell you about and ah crap I forgot my water bottle and granola bar but now I’m late and my phone is beeping again shoot I have to make this call aaaaaaaaah.
But last night I felt the baby kick. And right now I can feel him bonking around in there!
I have felt some things – mistakable for stomach bubbles, but more like something is maybe shifting. Like if you poke your tongue in your cheek when you’re novocained out. A little disappointed that there wasn’t some oh-wow! first moment like people talk about. When I bend over to put on my socks or wipe on the toilet it feels like I’m squishing something. But last night we were laying in bed watching Mad Men on the laptop and I had my hands cupped around my belly under my shirt and OH WOW! No mistaking that! I think I squeak-gasped. And then I cried. Because it was a definite kick from my baby that only I felt. First contact.
All I’ve wanted to do since then is sit quietly and wait for it to happen again. Since, I’ve felt more that I now KNOW to be baby wiggles, but not as defined as that one last night. It’s pretty amazing. It’s the first time my baby has interacted with me and I’ve known it. “Hey Ma – POW! I’m here!” It’s incredible! And Cory can’t feel it yet. Nobody can but me. Because it’s MY baby! My baby and me. Our own little relationship – just us for now. It’s so strange to have this all to myself. That’s exactly what I was crabby about before; the feeling that other people had a relationship with the baby and I didn’t really have my own. But I do.
And it’s weird not to be able to share it with Cory. It’s the mother-son bond I didn’t know before. Yes, we’re a family and Cory and I are parents together and have known each other longer than we’ve known our baby. But this feeling of baby and me, it’s something all its own. Something I wanted to feel until now but didn’t, really. I’ve still got a crazy day ahead of me. Meeting, then right after that another meeting, and I should send these two proposals and have to get this website done and should probably return these emails so I’m caught up, then another meeting with a potential client but I’ll have to push the work a few weeks out if they hire me because I can’t cram another thing in, then a bigger meeting this evening, who knows when I’ll eat dinner and shoot I should pack some lunch because I’ll have to eat during a meeting if I’m going to eat at all.
But… I think I just got my glow on.
This is awesome.