Pregnancy Diary Vol. III: Growing Pains
By Ellen SeidmanGas. Damn gas. Why didn't anyone warn me about the gas? For three days straight, I got a stomachache after every meal I ate. It made period cramps seem like a pleasure. Once, my stomach hurt so much that I actually had Dave pat my back in the hopes a burp would put me out of my misery. Then I made him run out in the middle of the night to buy me medication. Hey, it's all good parenthood practice, especially the disrupted sleep.
I fear sleep deprivation; sleep is one of my all-time favorite activities. I dream of being able to train our infant to sleep through the night. OK, OK, I know babies aren't like puppies but I can fantasize, can't I? Dave is impossible to wake up; I have to shout his name repeatedly to get him up and into the shower in the morning. How the heck is he going to help with 2 a.m. feedings?
While I'm griping, I do have to say that getting up in the middle of the night to pee is utterly annoying. Usually, I could sleep through an earthquake. As much as I try to lie there and will myself to go back to sleep, ultimately I just have to make that pilgrimage to the bathroom. Now I know how old people feel.
All right, all right, enough yammering. I have to say, my fifth month has otherwise been fine. Even amazing-I felt the baby moving for the first time. At first, it was barely perceptible, just like little butterflies floating around my belly. Before I knew it, they turned into full-fledged kicks. I smile every single time I feel one. If Dave's around, I grab his hand so he can try to feel it but he can't yet. This is just between the baby and me.
At night, we lie in bed, mulling over baby names. At least we're doing something in bed; I sure haven't felt many urges to have sex lately. I figure one of these days those old hormones will kick in. Dave's been very understanding and that's all I'm going to say before he decides to divorce me. OK, back to baby names. We've decided, in keeping with Jewish tradition, to name her/him after a deceased relative. We're going with a name that has the initial "M," after my mom's mother, Minnie. The names are flying around-Missy, Maya, Marsha, Mark, Matt...I made the mistake of telling my mother that we like Maya, if it's a girl; she hates it, and now every time I call she reels off a list of other potential names. One of her latest gems: Mignon. "Yeah, Mom," I say. "And her middle name will be Filet."
Speaking of steak (amazing how much I think about food lately), I've become slightly concerned about weight gain. It's not that I've gained a ton, just about 15 or so pounds so far, it's just that I wasn't so skinny to start with. Of course, I'm not dieting, but I'm hoping this baby doesn't turn me into a bona fide whale. My friend Lisa, who's one month less pregnant than I am, came to visit last weekend. I have to admit, I was secretly pleased to see that she's gained a lot more than me. Then again, my boss is one more month pregnant than I am and she's barely bulging. Sigh.
I've been trying hard to stay stress-free -- I tend to be somewhat of a worrywart -- but already parenthood guilt has set in. Aaack! I'm behind three chapters in What to Expect When You're Expecting. Yikes! Should I be listening to classical music to stimulate the baby's brain waves? I want Bruce Springsteen in its blood! Eeeek! Maybe I shouldn't have spray-painted that old rocking chair, even if I did it outdoors and wore a mask. Uh-oh! It's really unfair to feed my fetus a Big Mac. And on and on and on. I can't believe I'm fretting this much already. I wish someone would invent a worry vaccine and inoculate me NOW, before I really have stuff to worry about.
Ellen Seidman is currently editor-at-large (and getting larger and larger) of Glamour magazine. She has written for many magazines, including Redbook, Fitness, Parents and YM.