It’s hard to believe that I’m 20 weeks pregnant. In some ways, the time seems to have flown by and I sometimes forget that I’m pregnant whatsoever. In other ways, it seems like I’ve been pregnant for the longest time. I’m sure that feeling will only get more real as I progress from this point until the end.
The weirdest thing about the 20 week mark is that I still feel so early on, I mean, I get around fine, I’m not experiencing crazy symptoms (anymore) and the bump isn’t that big. In many ways, I feel like I’m still in the ‘early stages’ and that I haven’t quite earned the right to do things like buy furniture or pick names or schedule birthing classes. For people who don’t know me personally (and know that I don’t typically have a belly) I’m not obviously pregnant. I feel like the real pregnancy preparations are still so far off and I have all of the time in the world. I feel like it isn’t quite real.
Ok, so maybe I was deathly sick with nausea until 15 weeks, somehow that just doesn’t connect in my brain as ‘pregnant’. Sure, I feel the babe moving around like there are acrobatics lessons being held, but it hasn’t quite hit me that those flutters and flips are a living, growing, thinking, dreaming (?) baby – my baby.
I know that sounds so strange to say out loud. I know logically that I have a baby and that one day it will come out, but that seems so far off, so unbelievable in a way. It all seems so surreal and distant. Has anyone else experienced this?
Aside from the crazy disbelief, there are a ton of things that I’ve experienced in the first half of the pregnancy. Some are common, some are not so common, and some are downright bizarre.
First, I know I mentioned nausea and in short, it was the longest, most helpless feeling to have no desire whatsoever to eat. It was as if I couldn’t help myself with the most basic human instinct. I’d get frustrated and weepy because the mere thought of food made me run for the toilet, yet I knew that I needed to eat. The baby needed me to eat. I never thought I’d be hungry ever again. Yet, here I am at 20 weeks and my appetite has returned in full force. I’m lucky that my cravings have been fairly healthy – mostly fruit, applesauce, and salads – anything cold and juicy, really – with the only non-healthy thing being the chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a that has been a new and weekly lunch occurrence.
Secondly, you always hear about the normal side effects of pregnancy – nausea, swinging moods, sore boobs, constant bathroom breaks, and back pain – but until you’re actually pregnant, you don’t hear about a whole host of other symptoms that are crazy. Supersonic sense of smell? Yes. Skin growth and pigment changes? Yes. A super weakened immune system, bizarre dreams, loosening joints, scatic pain, and the inability to sleep soundly and comfortably even when you aren’t that big?! Yes, yes, yes. It’s shocking to be how various parts of my body get achy so quickly. It’s hilarious that at 20 weeks my bellybutton already sticks out like a gumball… but I did have an ‘outtie’ to begin with, so it only makes sense that it didn’t have as far to travel. I constantly think, “what is wrong with me?!” then I’m reminded that the life growing inside of me will do strange things to my body to which there is no good reason or response. I’ve come to just figure that everything strange thing happening is part of the ride and I don’t need to look it up or worry, it’s just a body in a state of growth and change… and weird things will happen. One of the most bizarre? My armpits itch really bad. The experts say it’s the muscles and ducts in the boobs changing which stretch and pull on the pits, but it’s weird, I tell you. Ok, that’s a little TMI, let’s backup.
Lastly, the bump. Everyone said there would be a ‘pop’ but for whatever reason, I still assumed that my growth would be gradual and my belly would pop out little by little. That was not the case. Up until 16 weeks, I still didn’t really have a belly at all. In the morning, I just looked normal and in the evenings, I just looked like I’d had one too many burritos. I went to my general practitioner for a non-pregnancy related issue and he launched into worried mode that I wasn’t gaining enough or growing enough…seeing as how I was the same weight that I’d been last time I saw him which was a non-pregnant two years ago. Two days later I had my 16 week appointment with my OB who assured me that I was perfectly fine and healthy – the belly and weight just progress differently for everyone. Then, just about a week later, POP! I had this round, melon-looking belly that all of a sudden needed maternity clothes. So, between 18 and 19 weeks, I shimmied my way into the glorious elasticity of maternity pants. I still don’t quite fill them out, so they continuously fall down during the day, but regular pants were cutting into my bump making the baby mad (I would assume).
As I was laying in bed this morning, feeling this little one swim laps, I was thinking about how quickly this time will fly by – even though it doesn’t seem like it now. I got to thinking that I shouldn’t feel reservations about making preparations. I shouldn’t feel gun-shy about diving into the experience even though I don’t quite feel like it’s real. I know I shouldn’t hold back partly because I know that putting off preparations because it’s ‘too early’ will only result in more to do later, but partly because I don’t want to miss out on experiencing every part of this journey to the fullest.
I’ve gotten to a point today where I know that if I don’t start relishing in every moment – regardless of how surreal – that I’ll look back and regret not soaking up this monumental life change.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you had any of these thoughts? Or maybe you didn’t any have some insight from another perspective? Tell me below!
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