In the first trimester those close to a pregnant woman KNOW that she’s pregnant, by the exhaustion, the throwing up and the not drinking or doing extreme sports. The third trimester is great because everyone short of the blind can SEE that she is pregnant by virtue of the definite bump she carries around, and the pained expression standing seems to cause (I expect so, at least!).  I think the second trimester is the hardest.  The first trimester is hard due to the sickness. The third is hard due to the other stuff, like a human bouncing up and down on your bladder. (Recognise that I’m only focusing on the negatives for now, there are great things too, like the growing of your nails and the fact that your hair doesn’t fall out as much!)

The second trimester is a strange in-between middle place, though.  Your body is changing, but only so that you yourself, your favourite jeans and maybe an attentive partner can really tell. Your abdomen changes shape so that you actually just look like you’ve indulged in a few too many beers and are growing a paunch. No matter how much you ‘suck in’ your stomach, there’s no flattening the 16 cm human with ears and fingertips that is starting to develop their own unique swirl!

What’s more is the nausea has, for most women, stopped by now.  For me? Well, it’s a lot better. I’ve not had any nausea tablets for three days now, and although this morning was a bit tough, it was nothing a few well placed strawberries didn’t cure. So yes, it’s certainly better, so long as no one tries to eat chicken or any form of meat within smelling distance of me.

I am subscribed to three or four “Your pregnancy week by week” mailing lists and according to most of them, it’s in this week that expectant mommies can feel their little bundles move for the first time.  They say it’s like a little gurgle or bubble in  your womb, but that first time mothers might not recognise the feeling for another four or so weeks.  So again, it’s this in between phase where nothing really seems to be happening. But I know that in the deep dark depths, a beautiful life is being formed.

So – I’ve been trying to occupy myself with other things that are baby-ish, such as deciding what we need for a nursery.  I’m sure most first time parents are the same in this regard.  You look at the list of ‘must haves’ and feel a slight bit of panic. There are, it seems, about 2000 must haves for a baby’s nursery.  Well, our baby will be doing without about 1800 of those.  Poor thing.

But so long as our Button has somewhere to sleep and food to eat, I’m sure we’ll have a happy baby, lack of all singing and dancing baby accessories notwithstanding! My Dad’s mom, my Ouma, has knitted some really beautiful baby clothes for us, and they’re waiting in a drawer along with the blanket she knitted (hoping it’s a girl, as it’s pink!). I also still have the christening gown she knitted for me when I was a baby. I need to get it out of storage and have it dry cleaned so we can use it for our baby. Quite special, I think!

Deshaine, my sister, suggested some time ago that I create a list on one of those ‘gift registries’ so that I can see what I have, what I need and what I can ask people who ask me what they can get me for, so I spent some time over the weekend doing that.

It was quite fun – although it did make me realise how little I really know.  Like what are muslin squares for? Or receiving blankets? Do you need a steam steriliser? Can’t you just wash bottles in the sink? Or am I making more work for myself not spending £30 on a steriliser? My sister has been working with kids and babies for about 10 years or so – I have her number on speed dial.

I am also aware of how much my life is about to change.  My hubby and I have spent all afternoon lazing on the sofas, music videos on tv, playing about on our respective laptops – no interruptions, no responsibilities, no stress.  I’ve spent 12 years as an adult doing what I want, answering to no one in particular and having no special agendas.  It’s not that I want it to continue, necessarily, I mean… I’m all up for growth and all that, and it’s not that I’m afraid of giving that up, it’s just daunting. I’m sure it’ll be worth it, but – well, I guess I’m allowed to be a little scared, aren’t I?

And there are going to have to big changes afoot for us as a couple too.  It’s likely that I won’t have much maternity leave available, and although our first floor, South London flat with a shared study/guest room/nursery might be perfectly adequate for the first year or so, we’ll soon thereafter have to start making some choices about the kind of area we’d like our child to grow up in, the people we’d like him/her to mingle with and the lifestyle that we’ll subject him/her to? Big decisions. Big choices. Too big for a lazy Easter Monday afternoon, but questions we can”t keep putting off indefinitely.

A baby at 16 weeks
A baby at 16 weeks

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