So, uh, I’ve been keeping something from y’all for a little while. And no, it’s not that I decided to become a professional eater of cheese, though I suppose that could be the other reason for a belly this big.
If there are any of you who read this blog, and I haven’t told already – well I guess this is it. I am with child. Knocked up. In the family way. Preggers.
If you’re reading that sentence and going, “WOAH,” believe me, I was too a few months back when I found out. It wasn’t an unwanted thing by any means, but when you’re in your mid-thirties, and everyone is telling you that age 35 is the deadline before things go wrong, you assume it takes a while. In fact, conventional wisdom says that 20% of couples who are trying to have a baby will conceive each cycle, so if you do the math out (which I just did), it means that after a year, only 6.8% of those with normal, functioning reproductive parts will not have gotten pregnant. So that’s why they recommend that most couples try for a full year before going in to see a specialist. What I’m saying is it definitely did not take us that long, but I went into the “hoping to get pregnant” thing assuming it would take a while, and had even built time into my life plan to account for this.
If you’re over 35 (and this is something I was highly concerned about) the numbers are essentially the same. Except they want you to come in after 6 months of trying without conceiving, only because there’s less time to make things happen. And by “less time” I mean literally fewer eggs in your basket. Not because you are “old”, but because if there is something wrong, you’ve got fewer chances to make things happen, and doctors want to help you. But the old wives tales about fertility dropping off at 35? Are just that – old wives tales. Turns out the study that this myth is based on is from the 1700s, among the French peasantry. You know, before the first vaccine existed? Before there were antibiotics, studies on nutrition, vitamins and exercise. When everyone was still drinking small ales because the drinking water was terrible, and diseases swept through cities because germ theory was still an unproved theory.
So yeah. Maybe reconsider those statistics. It is possible to have one or more children naturally after reaching “advanced maternal age“, and the main thing that changes if you and baby are otherwise healthy is the extensivity of prenatal testing. As in, you’ll probably have to have an amniocentesis, which sounds like no fun at all. I managed to just barely avoid all of this. I’m 34 now. I’ll still be 34 when baby is born in a couple months, and so based on that, I get to choose which prenatal testing I have done.
Ok, so less science, and more about me and my experience. Personally, I feel like I’ve been having a cheaters pregnancy. No morning sickness – a little nausea, but nothing that eating some crackers couldn’t handle. No real cravings – although the Boy likes to joke that the above crackers were it. I’ve felt pretty good the entire time. Yes, I’ve been a little more tired, and there’s a big long list of things I am not supposed to eat or drink (wine and beer – I MISS YOU), but overall…eh? Only now as I’m in my third trimester are things starting to get uncomfortable, and I mean that literally. My baby feels like they are moving or kicking ALL THE TIME. Which is an unfortunate development when I’m trying to go to sleep or any time I wake up. And for the past week or so, I haven’t been able to sleep well.
The most annoying development of pregnancy? Snoring. It turns out that when you’re pregnant, your blood vessels swell in order to be able to deliver more blood to the baby. But your body doesn’t know how to do that in a targeted way, so all your blood vessels swell, including the ones in your nose. So maybe you didn’t snore before, but now you do. Or you’re like me, and were an occasional snorer before who could be stopped by being rolled to your side, or just a mostly unconscious request from your bed partner. Instead, I’ve become an unstoppable mean snorer. I start snoring before I even fully fall asleep, which I know because I once watched the boy leave our bedroom. A gentle shove rarely elicits more than a grunt or an unconscious denial of the snoring. I have tried literally everything the doctors and internet suggest – sleeping on your side, sleeping with your head elevated, saline nasal spray, breathe-right strips, a humidifier, and for a while – taking a Tylenol before bedtime to reduce nasal swelling. Combine it all, and it works about half the time. I feel so bad for the Boy, but thankful that we have a guest room where he can go if he comes to bed at night when I’m already snoring, or if I wake him with my nocturnal noises. Thank goodness it’s the kind of thing that will go away once baby comes. Or at least take me back down to normal.
Ok, so aside from the fact that I’m going to have a super adorable baby (because I will, it’s just going to happen people), and I’m going to be an awesome if anxious mama, I’m not entirely sure what happens to the blog. Obviously, it’s going to be harder to keep up the schedule that I’ve given myself, even if it is reduced from what I had last year, once the baby is born. Also, while I could just be totally awesome and try to pre-schedule a bunch of posts for a “blog maternity leave”, the problem with babies is that they are unpredictable, and I don’t know when baby will come, and how much content I would be able to generate in advance anyways. I will freely admit here and now that I occasionally am switching my plan around last minute anyhow because I haven’t done a thing that I was meaning to blog about. So it’ll kind of be a wait and see thing.
Will this become a mommy blog? I guess that depends on what your definition of a mommy blog is. If it means posting lots of pictures of my kids and talking only about them, and what being a mother means to me – no. It will not. I’ve got theater and concert tickets lined up through at least June next year and plan on writing about those as I am able. Heck, I may get back into writing about whole seasons of television, because from what I understand, modern maternity leave means a lot of time with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Baby will not be taking a starring role on the blog, and while you may get one or two pictures after baby is born…their name won’t be published here. I believe strongly in autonomy, choice and personal decision-making, and for EVERYONE who I talk about on the blog, I’ve asked their permission to share name or photograph if applicable. I know I have trained my own mom not to post pictures of ME online unless I explicitly ok them, so the least I can do is extend that courtesy to my own child. So you don’t need to worry about me becoming an over-sharing parent – a “sharent” if you will. But am I going to talk about the joys AND tough parts of being a parent occasionally? Yeah, probably, but not much more than I do now when I talk about the joys and tough parts of being a step-parent.
I’ll figure it out. I’ve got a little time left to get my ship in order before things set out, full steam ahead. And with that – if you’ve got questions, throw ’em at me. I’m happy to talk about my experiences with pregnancy, my hopes for the future, or anything else within reason. And just because someone will ask, no – we don’t know if baby is a boy or a girl. Hence the gender-neutral pronouns used above.