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Week 24

If being a mother involves being flooded with worry and guilt, I think I’m on the right track.

We just finished our baby moon in Italy and France, and I loved it, but every time I ate something delicious like gelato or a croissant I worried that I was doing her a real disservice.

The sites say to eat vegetables (not raw ones), fruits (make sure they are fully washed) and lean meats. No unpasteurized cheeses and raw eggs. This is fine when I’m at home, but abroad is a bit challenging with fruits and vegetables because I don’t want to grab an orange and ask a server to wash it for me.

I also felt guilty every time I rolled onto my back at night while sleeping. You’re supposed to sleep on your left side for optimal blood flow, but that wears on my left hip and thigh and I’ve always been a back sleeper. I also like sleeping on my right so I can face David, but apparently that applies pressure to the appendix.

And shopping. I love things – especially clothes. Not to go all Miranda Priestly on you, but each item of clothing is a display of so many collaborations. When we arrived in Italy and I took out my shoes to wear, I was dismayed to learn they did not fit! This turned out to be incredibly convenient, because it doesn’t take much to persuade me to buy Italian leather shoes. But I did feel extreme guilt any time I bought a jacket or clothing I did not _need_. That’s money that could have been spent on her! I justified these purchases by telling myself I need clothes I can fit into now that I’m bigger, and it’s true, but I still felt guilty. Admittedly I didn’t need _leather_ clothes I could fit into now that I’m bigger.

The good news is that my new bigger size did stop me from buying even more than I might have. I saw some super cute dresses, but I don’t know how my body is going to look after pregnancy, so I resisted.

One of the nicest things about being pregnant is other people. Women offered to let me go in front of them in the restroom (haven’t had to take them up on it yet) and have their seats on busses (also didn’t have to take them up on it). But it’s sweet every time. And I like smiling at moms with young babies, because I feel some camaraderie, and they smile back. At home I had been trying to smile at other pregnant women I saw, but so far they have had none of it. I wonder if now that I’m showing even more I’ll get more smiles.

In Rome I got a pat on the belly from a talkative hairdresser whose chatter I enjoyed, and in Nice from a waitress who encouraged me to eat raw scallops (I did not). My favorite was a server in Rome who told me I couldn’t eat tiramisu, and then when we were leaving he looked at my belly and waved, “Bye bye Bebe!” He seemed sincerely kind.

Tomorrow we have an antenatal scan, so hopefully they can take a look and make sure she’s doing okay. I felt her move some days, and that was always reassuring. But on days when she moved less or didn’t move I was worried until I felt something. I have an anterior placenta, so any movements I feel are more muffled. Sometimes I’m not sure if I feel her move or it’s just stomach churning.

Regardless of the worry and guilt, I am super excited.

Published in Married Social Life Thoughtful Reflection

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