Friday, November 2, 2012

23 weeks: hurricane Sandy & getting huge

My husband and I escaped hurricane Sandy before it hit our neighborhood. Our building is apparently still without power, tho the flooding in the first couple of levels has subsided. Talking to family and friends back in NYC area about what they're going through, I can't believe how close to home this disaster hit. There were no fatalities in my circle, but I know many are dealing with devastating situations. (Here's a link with info on how you can help.) And being mostly a mess these days anyway, I can't imagine how I would have handled the stress if I were home. I know there are some damages I'll have to deal with when I get back, but I can't describe how grateful I am for being where I am, warm and with power, surrounded by people I love...

Life is so precarious and fragile that I used to ponder extensively about what it means to bring another life into this world. I've always wanted to be a mother, but I was also aware of the weight of responsibilities that comes with starting a family, including the overwhelming need to protect and the inevitability of reality.

When I was going through the worst of the 'morning sickness' in bed for three months straight, I couldn't fathom the idea of going through this again. But perhaps because of my current, better physical condition, or maybe the hurricane, I am beginning to think about a second child again. Mostly, I want this baby girl to have someone in her generation to call family. Cousins are great - I've grown up with a bunch. But a sibling is irreplaceable. I'm sure everyone's different, but I know I feel a kind of security I can't quite explain just from having the two siblings I have. Going through some deaths plus serious illnesses in the family recently, I've come to appreciate my siblings on another level. I want this baby to have that when she's older. I won't be around forever, and I don't want her to be alone.

But of course... I should focus on getting through this pregnancy first.

On a lighter note, I'm getting huge. I thought I had my growth spurt two weeks ago, but that was only the beginning... I know there's a lot more to go, but I'm already starting to feel enormous. I can't slouch the way I used to (maybe it's a good thing) - my big round belly is in the way. The extra weight is starting to affect my mobility, and I can't stay in one position for a long time. My extremities get swollen if I'm not careful. I find myself massaging my hands and feet a lot. 

Looking back at pictures from previous weeks, I realize how small I was. This process is just going to repeat itself until the baby comes, I'm sure. The fact that my body has the capacity to grow in the way it's growing is fascinating in itself, and to think that there's another alien life in there seems crazy. All these things I took for granted are now somehow endlessly miraculous and awe-inspiring. 

This is me at 23 weeks, earlier today. I had to lift the shirt to show the 'real belly,' but it still doesn't really capture how huge I feel. I think I'm carrying her pretty low, which I think is apparent in the photo. But I'm noticing my upper stomach area is starting to 'pop' as well. 

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