The Pregnant Life: Then and Now

Amy Keyishian
4

my blogI had the oddest dream last night: I was spinning. Not like at the gym -- like butter-churning, candle-dipping spinning. Is it a misplaced nesting instinct? Creativity? Emotional vertigo? Either way, it felt very odd.

It should've been an anxiety dream because I'm freaked out. I've felt rotten the past few days, but consoled myself with the idea that this pregnancy is so different from the last one. My husband insists I look great, I'm not puffy, my belly's higher, and my body's different than last time. We cautiously reassure each other with that word, "different ... different ... different," repeating it like a mantra. But always buzzing at the back of my mind is that, well, I can't remember when things started to go bad last time. I felt great until I didn't. When did the "didn't" happen? My husband the optimist thinks it was just a week or two before P. was born. I fret, because I think ... different.

But there's a way to find out: My blog.

Ever the attention-whore, I tracked my first pregnancy online as well. No need to dig through a box of dusty diaries to find this information; a few clicks of my track-pad will tell me. And I've been avoiding doing that because I was afraid of the answer. But with the deadline for this blog post looming, for you, Dear Reader, I took a look back. And it's exactly as I feared. Things went swiftly downhill starting in Week 25.

It's not exactly the same. In that entry, I describe feeling like I'm 300 pounds, exhausted, and stupid. I don't feel huge, but I do feel suddenly much more fatigued, it's very hard to focus, and -- just like last time -- I'm looking at swimming pool schedules with a sudden interest. This just freaks me out so much.

Now, Randy is right. This time isn't last time. Okay, so this is when I slow down. This is when my ankles swell and my rings don't fit so great. But my feet aren't balloons. And we know this time not to push it. I can bring my laptop into bed if I have to rather than huffing and puffing for the bus each morning (and having my boss ignore my doctor's note, directing me to work from home part of the week). I'm arming myself with progesterone, supplements, and biweekly ultrasounds. We've resolved the relationship stresses that weighed heavy on my mind last time. And I know this time that I have to scream for help if I feel the least bit oogy.

But eek.

There's no point in panicking, anyway. I guess I just feel like -- wow, I'm bad at pregnancy. It isn't my strong suit. I feel like I'm surrounded by hardy preggos, playing soccer and hauling groceries and dancing bhangra and wearing cute camo and eating hot dogs. (Seriously, this morning I almost started crying because of a CafeMom post where a woman was talking about how she didn't care, this was her third pregnancy, and she was going to keep eating hot dogs just like every other time. I'd typed a whole caustic response and I just deleted it because -- it works for her. But not for me. And I feel like such a ... delicate flower, with my organic protein bread and poached eggs.) I hate feeling the least bit helpless.

Now that I think of it, anxiety and depression were part of the deal last time too. I thought it was my job, but maybe it was also me. Hmm.

Anyway, the speech I got from my OB was: This is it. 24 weeks. We're at viability, but just. This would be "the worst time for anything to happen," so don't do anything crazy. What's crazy? I don't know. I'm supposed to swim and do the elliptical, but not walk too much. There's our looming move, which I feel utterly unprepared for; I'm sure that's not on the list of prescribed activities. How do I not have anything bad happen? How am I supposed to do that?

I can start by giving orders: Stay in there, little sprog! Listen to mommy and stay put!

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