February 1, 2012 (13 weeks):
Pregnancy must be preparing me to deal with the Terrible Twos, because I’m acting like a toddler. I need to eat every couple of hours. The idea of eating a vegetable makes me cringe. I take naps. I throw fits when even the slightest thing does not go according to plan.
I’m really hoping this is a short-lived phase, because I’m pretty sure this child will require a fully functioning adult to raise it.
February 15, 2012 (15 weeks):
After a few weeks of careful consideration, we’ve decided to change medical providers entirely, including a switch from a family physician to a group of Certified Nurse Midwives. My inner control freak is pissed that I couldn’t have made this decision 10 weeks ago, but overall I’m relieved to have made the decision at all.
I always thought I’d be one for a more cut-and-dry hospital birth. Everything about being pregnant is surprising me, including my sudden shift toward the more hippie-granola-natural birth preparation. If someone would have told me a year ago that I’d be planning a natural birth with the help of a doula and a midwife, I would have laughed and asked them to please pass the drugs immediately. Of course, drugs could still definitely happen, but they are no longer part of Plan A.
February 22, 2012 (16 weeks):
Tonight I had McDonald’s for dinner, and then realize that I forgot to take my vitamins yesterday.
While getting ready for bed, I read that my hand lotion contains retinal palmitate, an ingredient pregnant women are supposed to avoid.
I spend the rest of the night worrying that our baby is going to have a tail because of my cravings for crappy food and my failure to read lotion labels.
“A tail,” of course, is a silly euphemism for the myriad of things that could interfere with our baby’s mental, physical, or emotional development. My anxiety finally mounts into a Giant Breakdown. I am inconsolable. Finally, Matt looks me straight in the eye and firmly asks, “OK, so what if? What if the baby has a tail? That’s not going to change anything.”
Something about facing the fear head-on calms me. He’s right. Whatever happens, things are going to be fine and this child will be loved.
March 14, 2012 (19 weeks):
Yesterday was my 27th birthday. Somehow it was simultaneously the most insignificant and significant birthday I’ve had to date. It was insignificant because, let’s get real, it’s not about me anymore. It’s significant because, whoa, I now have a slightly different perspective on what my birth day meant to my mother. She did all of this work, and on March 13 every year we celebrate…me? I should be sending her flowers.
March 20, 2012 (19 weeks, 6 days):
Tomorrow is our anatomy ultrasound. I’m not the praying kind, but tonight I’m praying to God, Buddha, Mother Nature, the Universe, and anyone who will listen, that everything appears as it should. In fact, I may continue to bargain my life away for the remainder of this child’s life to assure that she or he is as healthy, whole, and happy as one can possibly be.
Speaking of “she” or “he,” we also expect to learn the baby’s sex tomorrow.
Until recently, I have been leaning toward boy, and with fairly good reason: the hives I experienced in my first trimester have been said to be indicative of a boy. Furthermore, there is a gender prediction theory with slightly more credibility than some, which states that the timing of conception around ovulation can influence sex. Having rather specialized knowledge of these circumstances (TMI), I feel I have a leg up in predicting that this baby is a boy.
However, in the last two weeks, everyone, from Matt’s co-worker to my own mother, has assured me with astounding confidence that it’s a girl.
I suppose I’ve succumb to the overwhelming certainty of those around me: I, too, am now positive it’s a girl.