On Tuesday I will be halfway there!

There have been some ups and downs with my pregnancy in the last few weeks. Ups (obviously) include no more morning sickness, lessened fatigue, and feeling lots of kicks and rolls. I’ve tried to get Steve to see if he can feel it too when the baby is kicking hard, but every time he puts his hand on my belly the baby immediately stops. We’ll keep trying! I also had a stranger comment on my pregnancy for the first time this week, which felt like a big milestone.

The biggest challenge right now is that my SI joint pain has really become a problem. Two weeks ago after I saw the osteopath, I was feeling MUCH better, but this week it’s started to get a lot worse. On Friday afternoon I spent about an hour and a half in the kitchen and for the rest of the night was in a lot of pain. It took me a while to realize why my back was hurting so much – I hadn’t exactly been exerting myself – but upon reflection I realized that I don’t regularly spend that much time standing nonstop. By the end of most nights my back is really hurting, I think because of the cumulative effect of all the walking I’ve done throughout the day. It’s even caused us to cancel (or, hopefully, just postpone) our much-anticipated trip to New York City to see my cousin Elizabeth, which is really, really disappointing. I’m not exactly sure what to do about it but I might try an SI belt as recommended by my PT friend Martha. At this point anything will do!

So far I’m still able to do yoga (though I need to stop or modify all of the forward folds and halfway lifts) and “run” on the elliptical. I will also try the recumbent bike and maybe even swimming, so I won’t have to spend the rest of my pregnancy immobilized on the couch, which brings me to my other current challenge …

We had our 20 week checkup on Friday, where my doctor told me he thinks I’m gaining too much weight! Now, he is basing this off what his scale said when I got there after a lunch date with Jill, rather than what my own scale told me that morning, but even so, he’s probably right; at 20 weeks I have gained about 18 pounds, which is a lot for this point in pregnancy when I still have a long ways to go. At first I was confused, because I do eat a healthy diet for the most part – but then I realized two things: one, that in my grief-loss-and-pregnancy haze it’s become a lot easier for me to mindlessly reach for the package of Oreos; and two, that I am not accustomed to eating like someone who doesn’t exercise nearly as much as I used to. I am still at a point where I can rein in the junk food a bit, so I’m not terribly concerned that I’m going to blow up any more than I already have, and it was a good reminder to me to get back on track with healthy eating. Steve and I have restocked our freezer with frozen veggies we can steam, and we’ll cut back on roasting potatoes in olive oil every night. (And needless to say, I will not be buying any more Oreos.) I also think I’m going to at least try to take the plunge and move back to morning workouts – that way, no other after-work obligations will be able to interfere.

It’s been strange to gain weight through this pregnancy, and to be completely honest I really don’t like it very much. I always thought I would be one of those zen earth mothers who embraced all of the changes pregnancy brings to my body, but as it turns out, it’s unsettling and even unpleasant to have to (AGAIN) get used to a new everything – a new face, new legs, even new fingers. I feel like I have gotten huge all over, and maybe that’s due to my lazy Oreo consumption, but I still kind of hate it. The belly is fine; I really like having a big belly. It’s everything else that is really frustrating, and I find myself really looking forward to next summer when I’ll be able to (hopefully) recognize myself again. I have felt like my body is not my own for well over a year, ever since I got pregnant for the first time, and that gets … old. Part of me feels really vain admitting this, but it’s true.

Through it all, I still find it very hard to believe that I am where I am – almost 20 weeks pregnant and therefore almost halfway through my pregnancy! (I harbor no illusions that I will have the baby early; I am fully prepared to have the baby around week 41.) In some ways I feel relieved, but not in the way that you might think – I don’t really feel “relieved” to have made it this far; it’s more a sense of relief that I’m halfway done already. Despite the fact that we have done exactly nothing to prepare for the baby besides inherit a few things, my due date can’t get here fast enough.