From BabyCenter: How your baby's growing: Your baby still appears to have a small tail (actually, it's an extension of his tailbone), which will disappear in the next few weeks. But that's the only thing getting smaller. Now about half an inch long — roughly the size of a raspberry — he has elbow joints and distinct, slightly webbed fingers and toes. In his oversized head, both hemispheres of his brain are developing. His teeth and the inside of his mouth are forming, and his ears continue to develop. Eyelid folds partially cover his tiny peepers, which already have some color, and the tip of that nose you'll be tweaking someday is emerging. His skin is paper-thin and his veins are clearly visible.
Your little one also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. His liver is busy producing red blood cells, and a loop of your baby's growing intestines is bulging into his umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from his tiny body. You can't feel his gyrations yet, but your baby is like a little jumping bean, moving in fits and starts around his watery home.
How your life's changing: You're in the throes of the first trimester, when many women suffer from common pregnancy woes. Keeping food down may be next to impossible, thanks to morning (noon, and night) sickness, caused in part by the pregnancy hormones coursing through your body. Stash a box of crackers next to your bed, and eat a few to curb the nausea before getting up. (Not all pregnant women have morning sickness, so don't worry if you've been spared — you're one of the lucky few!) You may also need to use the bathroom a lot more often than usual — your blood volume increases dramatically when you get pregnant, which leads to a lot of extra fluid getting processed through your kidneys and ending up in your bladder. The nausea should fade as your pregnancy continues, though you may continue to make frequent trips to the bathroom.
2004.05.31 fried chicken and other wrongs my body suffers
Oh, I tried to be good to my body today. Instead of selecting a latte and chocolate cupcake for "brunch", I had a wonderful tea called "Blue Lady" and an apple apricot gallette. I broiled a Gardenburger for lunch and ate it with fresh greens. I drank lots of water. I cooked up my fabulous southern greens for a pre-dinner snack.
But what I did wrong, was really, really wrong. I had an urge for the Delta Cafe's chicken this evening, and was cooking the greens while awaiting the delivery in the husbandmobile. The Delta is a southern cooking spot on nearby Woodstock Blvd, famous for their chicken and their vast quantities of cheap alcoholic beverages.
I devoured my chicken with its healthful side orders: okra and tomatoes, carrots and parsnips, smashed potatoes. I shared some chicken with an eager Everett. I sat for five minutes thinking about getting more. Then I had to run, not walk, to the bathroom.
I won't describe what happened next, but I will say that upon returning to the living room, I had to change an unexpected poopy diaper. Everett's diet for the past four hours had consisted of milk, milk, milk and fried chicken.
Let's just say I'm not EVER getting fried chicken from the Delta again. I like the Delta. But I may have to accept that my body is no longer calloused enough to withstand its rigours.
In strikingly good news, however, the apple apricot gallette is still on the menu.
I know I am supposed to feel exhausted all the time, ready for bed before Everett each evening. But somehow, this pregnancy has me energized, ready to work into the wee hours to get my 1001 projects ... well, started (remember, I'm a great starter!)
So tonight after my husband's brother showed up for the leftovers-and-comedy-central time, I decided to go downstairs and sew. Around 11:30 I had completed, except for one hem, my first maternity top (the one I "designed" after the maternity patterns left me underwhelmed).
And it's not just today. I'm blogging past midnight most nights, after having made dinner, ran around with Everett, and cleaned the kitchen. Sometimes I get caught up in a book and read until 2 a.m. Am I crazy?
Despite the yucky feeling in my stomach, this is definitely a good thing. A mama with a toddler, a job, 17 extra-curriculars and a fixer-upper doesn't have time for first-trimester exhaustion.
She does, however, sleep in too late most days...
2004.06.02 full moon
This morning at yoga our instructor reminded us that, if we have lots of extra energy, it is because of the full moon. This brought back a flood of ideas I've read or heard on NPR over the past several months.
I just finished reading a book, The Red Tent, a fictionalized account of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. In Biblical times, women were relegated to the "red" tent during their time of the month, as well as during the first few months of a baby's life. Most interesting was that the women in the story all go to the tent at the same time each month, and mark time by the phases of the moon. If the moon changes, and you don't need to go to the tent, you're pregnant.
Several months ago on BBC radio, I heard a fascinating interview with a man who had written a book about time, sex and power (actually, that's what it's called, Sex, Time and Power). His theory is that, since women's menses were in sync with the moon, they were the first to connect sex with pregnancy and discover the meaning of time. This gave them power over the men, who were much later in understanding these ideas, as they had no intimate connection with the phases of the moon.
Then of course, there is the juggernaut of book clubs, The Da Vinci Code, with its powerful language about the proper rank of the goddess and the symbolism of many things as they relate to the feminine, the moon included.
A syllabus like this will lead a woman to feel that she has some mystical power, connecting to the earth, moon and stars in a strange and beautiful way. All the more so when she is pregnant.
You need to feel powerful and mystical when your body does these crazy things to you. I'm going to start a page today or tomorrow: books, movies and other empowering media for the pregnant lady. Email me at: reagan [at] spamama [dot] com if you have some recommendations.
2004.06.03 big brother
How great of a big brother will Everett make?! Today he had the sweetest little exchange with my belly. He was in a hugging and kissing mood, so I asked if he wanted to talk to the baby, and of course he did.
Only his talking is a special toddler language: the language of the silly noise. Everett proceeds to blow exuberant raspberries on my belly, as I giggle. "You made the baby laugh!" I say. Everett is thrilled and does it again, and again, and again.
After a while, I tire of the game, and try to get Everett to sleep. "Tell the baby goodnight," I say. He pulls my shirt down over my stomach and says, "night-night!" Then, thinking it's a little to early for bed, he pulls my shirt up again with a flourish and excitedly yells, "HII, BABY!" He seems so pleased and surprised to "see" the baby.
He seems to understand what miracles babies are. He can see a baby in a black-and-white rendition of the fertilized egg. He is so happy for his little brother or "sish-ta." What a little miracle.
2004.06.04 staving off fear
According to all the books, it's common to have a little "spotting" around the time of what would have been the second period following conception. They all tell you to only worry if there is bright red blood, and lots of it. Don't worry, they say, about a little dark brownish-red spotting. It happens to nearly everyone.
That doesn't help the fear AT ALL. Just fyi. I had the smallest amount of that non-scary spotting today. I know what to worry about, and it's not like that.
Just as it has been every day since I've been writing, I had those yucky pains in my belly. Which of course were, today, a totally BAD SIGN.
I was on my way to school, with Everett, for my coaches' wrap-up meeting. We had the stroller and I had planned to have a nice leisurely walk home, with a stop at a park. And then the FEAR.
I had to use every calming technique in my arsenal to get myself to turn towards the park as I started out on our walk. Once I got there, I surreptiously checked for more signs from time to time. Of course, there was nothing.
And of course, we had a fabulous time, walking well over a mile with stops at Piccolo Park, where we met lots of other cool kids and a great dog, at Wild Oats for milk and raspberry leaf tea, and then I let Everett walk for a while so he insisted on going to the track for running and playing in the sand. I finished my meeting a little after 5 and we didn't get home until after 8. And it was wonderful.
I never forgot my fear, but I managed to live through it. I'm sure I'll live to fear again, I have 226 days to go, after all. That's a lot of fear.
2004.06.05 today, I slept
So what is this stuff about me not being tired? Today, I was dragged out of bed by an eager Everett a few minutes after nine, and lazed around for a bit before heading to yoga. During the final relaxation portion, I fell completely asleep, so much so that I wondered if I had been snoring.
I never shook off that tired feeling. I spent the next several hours (no, really) trying to coax Everett to sleep, dozing off myself from time to time. Finally around 3:30 we both conked out, and I slept until after 6. Everett didn't get up until 6:45.
Though I energized a bit this evening, making loads of lasagne for church and for the Tsunami's impending baby, by midnight my eyelids were once again drooping. So much for getting work done today.
Oh, well, there's always tomorrow...