Friday, October 30, 2009

Dear New Mommy- You're Starting to Show

If you haven't read it yet, you may want to start with this post:

Dear New Mommy,

You're still pregnant and that's fantastic news! More people probably know now too and, as you move through this second trimester, more and more people will notice (or not...) Here's what I want you to know about how you carry and when you start to show--

You can't win. Show early and people suspect you're due two full months before your due date. "Why you won't even be able to walk come December!" they'll exclaim, as though this is helpful news. (And, fyi, you'll be able to walk. Maybe not touch your toes, but, walk? Yep.) Show late and people, at best, accuse you of dieting. Some fine souls might even inquire if you've lost the baby. (Ask me how I know...) You will not please the masses. The good news? Who cares? Sport your bump, as prominent or near non-existent as it may be, with pride.

Speaking of that bump, know this- people will want to touch it. Decide early on how you feel about that. Your hubby? I'm thinking it's really only right that he have bump privileges. Your mom? C'mon- let her give her grandbaby a quick pat-pat. But anyone else? Even your mother-in-law? Your call totally. Some ladies don't mind it if everyone and his brother touches their belly. Others have a "hands-off" approach. Somewhere in between is fine too (and that's where I fall). Just remember-- it is still YOUR belly, even with a baby in there.

And while we're still on the subject of your darling bump, you should probably be aware that people are going to start predicting the gender of your baby based on how you carry. This can be kind of fun and it's harmless entertainment. Just know that it's all nonsense. Seriously. I don't care if you carry high, low, round, out front, all around... whether your hips or breasts get bigger or not... whether the hair on your legs grows faster or slower... you can't tell if it's a boy or girl by any of those things. Every woman- and every baby!- is unique. Take it all with a grain of salt.

If you really DO want to find out the gender of your precious bundle, this is the trimester to do it. Me? I don't go in for those things. But plenty of people-- in fact, most-- do. And that's fine. A word of advice? If you DO find out and you want to tell everyone in your universe, that's just hunky dory. But think twice before telling everybody everything. Not to rain on your parade or anything, but when we all already know that you're having a girl and you're going to call her Amelia Marie, it kind of takes away from the excitement when little Amelia arrives. Especially when we've been hearing you call her by said name for four months or so. What's left? Length and weight? Interesting, but nowhere near the same league as name and gender. A little mystery can be good.

You're probably feeling a bit better now. Morning sickness has likely lessened and your energy levels will be back up to near-normal levels. Now's a good time to get some exercise in. Walk, stretch, MOVE your body. It's good for you. And for your baby. And- keep this is mind- the word "labor" means work. There's a reason they say you "go into labor" when you have a baby. It pays to be in decent shape.

Don't listen to stories like mine. I promise not to tell it to you right now but, for heaven's sake, don't go looking for stories of women who have their babies during the second trimester. It's rare, blessedly, and no cause for concern. Just enjoy these months.

Speaking of months, allow me, for a moment, to explain something to you. Four weeks does NOT equal one month. If that equation really worked, a 40 week pregnancy would, in fact, take ten months. Thankfully, it does not. But this means that when you're 12 weeks pregnant, you are not yet three months along. The discrepancy grows as you get further along. Thirty-two weeks? Definitely not eight months! Just keep that in mind... or you're going to wind up "nine months pregnant" for a very long time...

Enjoy those fetal movements! What?? You're 20 weeks along and you've yet to feel anything? Relax. No worries. Your still-toned tummy muscles keep you from feeling them as early as us been-there, done-that mommies. Plus, you don't really know what you're looking for. Your friend felt her first baby move at 14 weeks? Possible. Not likely. Either way, no concern of yours. You will feel your baby move. When you do? Be sure to tell your husband. He won't be able to feel those movements for at least a couple more weeks, but it's exciting for him too.

Did you get an ultrasound picture? Great! Share it! Know this- we all think your in utero baby is just beautiful, we do. But none of us think he or she is as beautiful as you do. It's the wonder of being the mommy. Enjoy it. (Side-note-- some people, like your dear friend here, are a bit freaked out by those 3-D or 4-D or whatever they are ultrasounds. Your baby's gorgeous. I just don't like the "It's coming right at me!"feeling that those shots give me. Sorry.)

Your doctor's probably going to recommend a whole bunch of genetic marker tests this trimester. Just know this- you don't HAVE to do them. That's all I'm going to say.

People are excited for you! Some people are jealous of you. Try to be sensitive to that. If you conceived the "first time you even thought about trying!", maybe think twice before you tell your whole office that... odds are good there's at least one woman there who's struggling to get pregnant. You don't mean to, but you're going to hurt her.

Hang in there and, for heaven's sake, don't start complaining about being "big and pregnant and uncomfortable now"... you, and those around you, will grow weary of it as the months go on...

Congrats, New Mommy, you're getting there...

God Bless,
Your Been-There-Done-That Buddy,
I'll be back soon with more been-there-done-that advice for new mommies!


Amy @ Finer Things said...

Would love to have you as a neighbor and be pregnant at the same time. We'd get along just swell. :)

Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

I think you, Amy and I should build a community. I love this series!