bumpwatch terror alert: week 17

it’s saturday! which means i get to knock another week off my pregnancy countdown. let’s go to the photo:

arty, huh?

eventually i want to do one with the dripping blood font, but i worry that it’s in poor taste. so i am easing into the world of poor taste by taking a maternity bathing suit photo. to be fair, i didn’t put the bathing suit on solely to take a photo that makes everyone feel uncomfortable. i was getting ready to go to the pool & i suddenly remembered that i’m officially seventeen weeks pregnant today, & jared wasn’t home, so i could pose in front of the full-length mirror in the hallway without being embarrassed by the prying eyes of anyone besides charlotte.

speaking of charlotte…

yeah, she’s really in no position to judge anyone. she sat on the couch in this position for like twenty minutes last night.

hard to believe i will be halfway through my pregnancy (technically–it still remains to be seen if the baby will decide to show up early or late, obviously) in just three weeks. my next prenatal is scheduled for august 31, & we’re also doing the anatomy ultrasound that day, to make sure all the baby’s body parts are developing properly. i’ve decided to go ahead & be appraised of the baby’s plumbing at that appointment as well. i’ve come to realize that i have less of a gender preference than just an overpowering intuition that the baby is a girl. if it’s not, i’d really like to know before the big delivery room reveal, so i can avoid a scene in which i break down into tears because i clearly have no maternal instinct. jared, however, does not want to know, so somehow i’m going to have to not tell him. if the situation was reversed, he would have NO PROBLEM keeping the news from me. when there’s something he really doesn’t want to tell someone, he can really go into lockdown mode. & he is assisted by the fact that i am wildly unobservant. once he got hit in the face with a baseball & cut his upper lip open. eventually the wound healed, but if left a pretty large scar. a scar that i failed to notice for seriously two years. we lived together for that entire time, we saw each other almost every day (unless one of us was traveling). when i finally noticed it, i was like, “have you always had that awesome scar?” i mean, it really suits his face. i don’t know how i missed it.

i, on the other hand, tell everyone everything. & whatever i decide is best to keep from the general public, i still tell jared. i have told jared stuff i have never told anyone before. i have no idea how i’m going to keep the sex of his child from him. but somehow, i will manage. probably by just not telling anyone. i would hate to spill the beans to someone who tells someone who tells someone who sees jared at the library one day & is all, “so, are you excited about the bouncing baby boy?” i would have to hunt that person down & murder them & then my child would have to visit me in prison. no one wants that.

my most recent prenatal appointment was yesterday. these early appointments tend to be pretty dull. they weigh me & check my blood pressure, they take a urine sample, we listen to the baby’s heartbeat on a portable doppler, the doctor asks if i’m having any issues i’d like to discuss, & we schedule the next appointment. but the cool thing is that the baby was going completely bananas at the appointment. dr. mercado asked if i have been feeling the baby moving around yet. i told her that i think i have, but i know it’s pretty early, especially to be feeling a first baby. (they tell first-time moms not to expect to feel the baby until twenty weeks. experienced moms may feel baby earlier because they know what they’re looking for.) but when she was poking around with the doppler, the baby kicked her! she could feel it with just a hand on my belly! so it’s not wishful thinking after all, there’s really something going on in there! the baby was swimming everywhere & she had to chase it down to get its heartbeat. we also kept hearing thumps where it was trying to kick the doppler away. just like mommy when daddy wants to cuddle on a night that’s too hot for human contact! is that gross? whatever.

i also told her that i have been having crippling constant headaches since the beginning of the second trimester. she asked if i had stopped drinking caffeine & i said, “ummm…no. not at all.” she started laughing & said, “you’re like, ‘damn, girl, are you crazy? OF COURSE i’m still drinking caffeine!’ which is good. your headaches would be even worse without it.” um…AWESOME. i love you, dr. mercado! i kind of expected a lecture. she wrote me a prescription for some pregnancy-safe headache medicine (“it might make the baby drowsy”) & offered to refer me to a neurologist. but it’s probably just pregnancy hormones, so i’m not worried.

i also did an interview with a doula. i expected it to be pretty straightforward, like, “hi, i want to hire you.” “okay, that sounds good.” “here’s a check.” “great! see you in like ten weeks to make a birth plan.” but instead, i wound up going on & on & ON about all the dumb concerns i have about giving birth. i guess they’re not dumb…i just didn’t realize i had so many. like, will i be allowed to eat & drink at the hospital? what i i have a vaso vagal episode & know hydration would help? can i still be in the birth pool or other atypical birth positions with an IV? how would my scoliosis impact the efficacy of an epidural? (that was a big one. turns out they don’t work as well, if at all, in women with scoliosis. so it looks like i’m having a natural birth by default, barring some unforeseen medical emergency.) i’m really not scared of labor & birth (whether that’s commendable or incredibly naive remains to be seen), but i do have a lot of opinions, i guess.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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