A few years ago I was walking with my friend who had a toddler. Everyday they went on this same walk to the same park and played. I remember thinking ” How does she do this?” “How does she have the patience to deal with the slow walking and the constant stopping??” “How can she handle doing the same routine every day?”
This memory came up yesterday on my walk, the same walk that I do every day that I am home. It has become a ritual, a check in of sorts with myself and with my surroundings. The new sunflower that popped up on the trail the other day, the new crispness in the air, when the bushes started changing colors, the differing water levels in the canal…
I laughed out loud as I realized what was happening. I was walking the same path over and over again and arguably slower and slower each day. And was I bored of it? No way. In fact I crave this walk. And that is when it hit me: I am going to be alright. This whole pregnancy thing is WAY more than just growing a bump and then shooting out a baby (yes, that is how I used to think about it) instead, it is a right of passage into becoming a real, live mother. As one of my teammates would say: “NOW this is the REAL deal”. Every week I experience something new in my body, wether it is a movement I can no longer do the same as before, a new symptom or another shirt I was certain I would never grow out of. And every time I go through a mixing bowl of emotions – frustration, fear, delight, worry, curiosity and wonder. They all hit the wall at the same time and eventually drip down to a puddle of love and acceptance.
As I look back on my scared shitless former self, I now know what my friend meant when she said “You will grow along with them Chels, and be just as fascinated (if not more!) with this new world that they are experiencing.” “And” she went on “don’t worry, they don’t pop out as toddlers! You have all the time in the world to learn how to love and nurture them”
As I write this post, I feel like I have a hive of dancers in my belly. Over this past week they have become stronger and stronger. I now get woken up by their movements in the early morning. For the first few mornings, I couldn’t help but just lay there with a hand over my belly and be in constant awe of every movement. I feel so much more connected to them now. Rather than just me going on a bike ride or swim, I feel them there with me, apart of the experience. It is especially cool during my meditation, as I envision that my breath is lulling them to sleep because even though I am not moving they seem to quiet down.
Physically I am slowing way down. All through out AcroVersity (an 8 day acrobatic training) I was able to embody a lot and felt really good with teaching but by evening time, it was hard to muster up any more energy to be social. Most of all I loved being in that space: the laughter, the playful energy, and the music. It is a scene I am grateful for and so excited to bring our kids up in.
As far as mountain biking goes, I went on my last ride (for a few more weeks!) this past weekend. I can no longer keep the belly hugged in without it starting to contract, so I took that as a sign to stick to the roads. However, my belly is officially too big for any of my bikes, so I am now on the hunt for an old school up right towny bike. Something I never thought I would be into.. but I am dreaming about it and ask Jason about finding me one everyday.
Swimming, is the most amazing sport ever. It is the only time I feel weightless, where I don’t have to wear compression and where I can wear as little clothes as possible. If there wasn’t other people in my lane, I think I would just lie belly up for as long as possible. I still may do that, give me a couple more weeks.
I started getting this burning sensation right under my left breast, it felt like my skin was on fire, but when I checked it out there was no sign of a rash. After looking it up on the google, I found heeps of forums and information on it. And it turns out, it is a common symptom for people who are a) small and/or b) having twins – HOORAY! Apparently it is your tendons tearing (?? this still sounds crazy, so I am checking with my Dr. next week) because of the rapid growing that is taking place. And there is nothing you can do about it. Sweet. However, when it gets really bad, I find that ice works wonders!
I still have my varicose veins and a little clot that they want me to watch (but think it’s harmless) but luckily with the cooler weather, I can wear my compression stocking with out getting to hot.
This is not really a symptom, but worth noting. I broke down and bought myself a few pairs of maternity pants. Another something I never thought would happen. But after busting out of all my tops and feeling restricted in some of my pants at AcroVersity, I went in to the local maternity shop to just “try” on a pair. I literally walked out of there with them on, they are amazing and well worth it!
Other things I could never imagine happening, but are:
- Getting the pregnant “waddle” – you know the walk and yes I have it and am constantly trying to fight it.
- Not being able to see my own crotch. This is weird to me, and I never thought about not being able to see it. Shaving down there is becoming really hard, so all I can say is sorry babe and thank god I am not living in a bikini.
- Not wanting to put on or take off my shoes. So it’s slip ons, flip flops and a very long shoe horn (thanks Dawson!) for me!
- Having to hold it all in down there when sneezing. My most embarrassing moment so far is sneezing and peeing myself in public. Lets hope it ends there.
I went in for my 24 week ultrasound this am, and barely got to see them because they are moving SOOOO much. And it looks like they are constantly kicking and booting bumping each other. I felt sorry for the tech as it took her twice as long to get the measurements she needed. But finally, after a full hour and a half I was let go with a few pics. They are now a little over a foot long, and are each weighing in at 1 pound 6 ounces, which is super exciting! AND they are viable! Not that I want them to come out, but if they did have to, they have a a very good chance of surviving.
What I am loving:
- I am reading a great book that was recommended by a good friend – Mindful Birthing. It is the right amount of practice, information and good stories.
- The house is starting to come together, and my nesting phase is finally starting to burn out a little.
- My meditation practice: every morning I sit out on our deck, listen to the early morning birds and concentrate on my inhales and exhales.
- The first hour before fully waking, Jason and I lay in bed with his hand on my belly feeling them dance inside me. We LOVE it.
- Our friends, I feel so grateful for our local tribe here. Everyone is so talented, so supportive and so amazing to hang out with.
- Fall! I love fall and all that it brings – changing leaves, crisp mornings, soups, potlucks and cider!