Baby’s size:  At 22 weeks she was a spaghetti squash.  At 23 weeks she was mango.  At 24 weeks she is an ear of corn. Is she shrinking?  Let’s go with measurements: supposedly she’s about 13 inches long.  I’ve seen pictures of 24-week old babies in the baby intensive care unit where my sister works.  They’re tiny, obviously, but they’re a decent size.  They look like babies.  Very small, fragile babies.  So I know that my girl looks like a real baby now, which is truly incomprehensible when I think that all that separates me from her is a layer of skin…

Wait a second, what am I saying?  Nothing separates me from her.  She’s inside of me.  She kind of is me.  And Chris, which means I’m carrying a living being inside me that is literally made out of Chris and me.  How come no matter how many women over the course of man’s time on earth have reproduced, it still feels so special and miraculous when it happens to you?

Symptoms:  None, really.  I am full of energy and have no odd food cravings or aversions.  I feel 100% like myself except that my belly is definitely getting bigger and my baby is getting stronger.  Her kicks are getting more visible and powerful by the day.  I try to record the insane movements my belly makes but as soon as I turn on the camera, naturally she stops!  So you’ll just have to trust me.  My belly looks like something out of the movie The Exorcist.

Weight gain:  Again, I’m at 9 lbs and holding.  Still using the rubberband trick for my jeans.  It seems to work just fine.  I think I’ll be able to get away without buying much specifically “maternity” stuff since spring and summer are just around the corner.  I can’t wait to wear cute flowy dresses and wedges.  Maybe that’s the optimistic second trimester-er speaking, who hasn’t yet had to deal with swollen ankles…? We’ll see.

Random Thoughts on Pregnancy:  Something I find odd is how people ask me constantly how I’m doing.  First trimester, I guess I didn’t find this so odd since I constantly complained about how bad I felt.  Now, I may as well not be pregnant except for this gut I’m carrying around.  So when people ask how I’m doing, I really want to deflect the question because it makes me feel like someone who should be pitied when really I just want to be treated like a normal person.  That’s one of the things I’ve noticed about being pregnant – I fear being discriminated against or treated differently.  I don’t want to be viewed as someone who has a handicap and I don’t want to be excluded from anything.  I don’t know if this actually happens, but I fear it anyway, especially at work.  I definitely get stared at a lot anywhere I go.  When I order a short skim cappuccino (that’s one shot of espresso people – much less caffeine than a small cup of coffee, I might add, which I am allowed according to my doctor and scientific evidence) from Starbucks, I get the “You want that decaf?” question.

Heck no I don’t want it decaf!  If I wanted something without caffeine I’d drink water, not decaffeinated coffee.  I do feel worried when I drink the coffee but, well, I drink it anyway, because it makes my day SO much more pleasant and productive.  So, this has been my vice during pregnancy.   I don’t know that I’m right or wrong to do it.

What I miss:  Not much.  I can’t imagine much I’d trade for the excitement of waiting for my daughter’s arrival and how much closer this experience has brought Chris and me.  I recognize this as one of the best times in my life, period.  But I can say something cool to look forward to is getting back in excellent physical shape.  And that brings me to the next question.

What I’m looking forward to:  Here’re two things.  1) Giving birth.  Not the process so much as the moment we meet her.  I just can’t even imagine.  2) Making her my running partner.  Oh, I hope she takes to running!  I would love for her to be my partner in crime.  Best case scenario, she just can’t get enough of the running stroller, and can stick with me through 14-milers.  That’d be so awesome.

Okay, that’s about all I can manage for tonight. Sooo tired.

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