Happy 23 Weeks, baby! Here’s what the baby is up to this week: “Your baby is practicing her “breathing” on the amniotic fluid—sucking it in and out of her lungs. Fat production is in overdrive at this point… Your baby will basically double in weight over the next four weeks! Her body is looking more proportional now and her facial features are fully formed. Your baby is about 11½ inches long and weighs 1 pound, or about the length and weight of a Harry Potter book.” (Source)
It’s strange because I can tell the baby likes to keep his/her head on my left side and the feet on my right. I hardly ever feel kicks or bumps on the left. When I wake up in the morning, the left side of my stomach is always really hard – I think it’s the baby’s back or butt.
Today, we had an appointment with a midwife. The OB/GYN practice that I go to has ‘regular’ doctors and six midwives. If your pregnancy is low-risk, one of the midwives will deliver your baby. This appeals to the Husband and I because we are focused on having a low-intervention birth (if possible), and the midwife mentality gels with our philosophy. This practice really seems to be the best of both worlds – we have access to midwife care with back-up OB/GYN support. I’m really glad that I went with my gut and transferred practices during the first trimester. Definitely worth the hassle.
So – this week, let’s talk about STRESS.
I feel like I have to preface the next few paragraphs with the statement that I’m obviously very, very happy to be pregnant. And I’m extremely grateful to be carrying a healthy baby.
But you know what? Pregnancy is super scary. And emotionally and physically hard. This past week, I had my first few “OMG, what are we doing? What have we gotten ourselves into?” freak outs. I cried for no good reason (unless raging hormones are a good reason). I longed to drink a glass of wine. I read other bloggers’ race recaps, and I longed to go on a hard run. I longed to have my body be mine. I did an updated budget and longed to have more money to spend on frivolous things. And my emotions would swing wildly back in the other direction, and I’d be left wondering, “Am I going to be a crap mom?” I didn’t feel like I should tell anyone in my real life – even the Husband or my mom – what I was feeling because I was 100% sure they would judge me. Just for having such thoughts, I felt selfish and mean… and I also felt really guilty.
Mommy Guilt is an interesting thing. It doesn’t start when you have a baby in your arms. It starts way before that. When I realized what I was feeling was Mommy Guilt, I really wanted to talk about it on the blog. Especially since we were trying to get pregnant, I think I expect myself to be totally and completely fine with giving up my old life. While I am excited about the change most of the time, it would be crazy if I didn’t occasionally have doubts or worries… It doesn’t make me a bad mommy. It makes me human.
So, here’s a few things that I’ve been doing to even out my Mommy Guilt emotions:
Stop Overloading: I’m a self-confessed workaholic, but I’ve realized that I need to start saying no to more things. When I say no to small projects, I have more time and feel less stressed out… and then I suffer from less Mommy Guilt as a result. It’s easy to keep everything in perspective when I’m not going a million miles a minute.
Eating Right: I eat pretty well 90% of the time, but there’s definitely been more than a few recent dinners that I just ate French fries or a bowl of cereal. I’ve noticed that I feel so much better – physically and emotionally – when I eat real, balanced meals.
Talk About It: I started to talk to a few people in my life about my Mommy Guilt thoughts and I was a little surprised – but not really that surprised – that the way I was feeling is super common. One of my best friends is also pregnant right now, and it was so nice hear her say that she sometimes has “OMG, What the heck am I doing?” moments, too. No one has judged me.
Make Fun Plans: I’ve been making more pre-baby plans to do fun things (as simple as hanging out with friends or organizing a babymoon for the Husband and I). I’ve also been making some post-baby plans. I don’t really know what life is going to be like, but I do know what I would like it to be like. For example, my best friend and I have talked about a group beach trip the spring or summer after the kids are born. And I’ve pinpointed some races that I’d like to train for post-baby.
All in all, I’m feeling much better than I was at the beginning of the week. I feel calmer, more focused, and relaxed. I’m sure the Mommy Guilt never stops, but I imagine that acknowledging it and dealing with it proactively are the first steps to keeping it from taking over your entire existence!
Here’s Week 23, neatly summarized:
Total Weight Gain: Official weigh-in at the doctor’s office says 16 pounds.
- Workouts: Four workouts, although they were kind of meh overall. Prenatal yoga, 3-mile walk, 2.5-mile walk, and 20 minutes on the elliptical.
- Baby Items Purchased: We put an offer in on a house! Does that count?
- Public Acknowledgements: A patient at the clinic asked me if I was pregnant. Public acknowledgements on my pregnancy by strangers are still few and far between, and it was nice!
- Energy Levels: SKY HIGH! I have been sleeping so well. It’s amazing.
What’s your Mommy Guilt remedy?