7 min read
So now you are all officially in the know about the little human growing in my tummy, I thought I’d share some more of my pregnancy experience, some reflections and thoughts plus answer some of the questions I get asked a lot these days (for example about the gender of the baby – so keep reading!).
Currently, I am 24 weeks pregnant. From what I have been reading, most pregnancies last 37 to 42 weeks, meaning in just 14 weeks we could be a family of 3! I still find it very hard to imagine.
Pregnancy so far
I have nothing to compare this pregnancy to, but I would say it has been fairly easy so far. During the first trimester I felt extremely tired and fatigued (there were two weeks right at the beginning where pretty much all I did was sleep). I struggled with feeling nauseous as well, but was never actually sick and I felt a lot better around Christmas, which was week 11 or 12. A few short weeks of eating lots of rice crackers are not too bad!
Smells are still a bit of an issue sometimes but I can be in the same room as a coffee machine again which makes life easier! Also, most foods are tolerable to me now, just nothing that has been in a blender – no soup and no smoothies. I know some people basically exist on green smoothies during pregnancy – I am not one of them!
I have to confess that before being pregnant I used to think cravings were a bit of a media myth. Well… I am not sure if you can call them cravings but I have had a few strong urges to eat things which I don’t normally reach for: egg and ham sandwiches and snickers were a thing for a while. There were weeks in which I have been eating lots of kohlrabi and pears and currently all I want is yoghurt. So, on the whole not too crazy! Most of the time I have been eating a pretty normal diet.
Boy or girl?
We are not finding out the gender. Ever since my good friend Jen reduced me to tears when she told me about the moment when her husband told her they had a boy after she had given birth I knew I couldn’t find out before! Also, I like for the baby to exist, even if just in my womb, without any expectations on them that are purely based on their gender.
Furthermore, I have a strong disliking of pastel colours. Not revealing whether we are having a boy or girl will hopefully help us to avoid receiving too many light pink or blue outfits. Bright yellow is definitely the way forward in my opinion!
A whole new excuse for crafting
Speaking of bright yellow – this weekend I finished sewing the top for a little baby quilt. It will be light grey, bright yellow and navy blue. Pictures of the finished object will hopefully follow soon!
I also sewed a maternity dress! It turned out great. I am not sure how much more maternity wear I will be making as it seems a lot of effort and time put into something I will only wear for a relatively short time. But I am really excited about this pretty summer dress.
In terms of making for the baby – I am planning on knitting a cardigan. I would love to also sew a few items for the baby. If you know of any cute and easy to make patterns, please do let me know!
How I am staying active during pregnancy
As you might know, my main go to exercises are yoga and running. At the moment I do neither of those things. I stopped running in January. It was freezing here in Berlin (literally) and we had a lot of snow. Breaking a leg right now sounds extremely inconvenient (especially as we live on the fourth floor) so I took a break. Once the weather got warmer, I went on one run, which didn’t feel great, so I stopped. I had hoped to be one of these women who still run when they’re about to pop but I felt it was important to listen to my body.
Yoga is not quite hitting the spot for me at the moment, as I am craving something a bit more cardio-like. So now I start most of my days (normally 5-6 times a week) with 20 to 30 minutes of body weight workouts of varying intensity. I just follow videos on YouTube, which works great. I almost exclusively do workouts by Kaya Renz. (She speaks German, but I think you would get the gist of what to do even if you only speak English). Every now and then I follow along a video by Postpartum TV. She has a massive range of different workouts and stretching routines. Otherwise I go for walks everyday. I aim to do at least 6.000 steps daily. This has been a great habit for both my body and mind.
On getting bigger
This bump business has been funny. Until about week 18 I just looked like I had eaten a bit too much cake during lockdown. I was still able to wear most of my normal clothes. Within a few days, that was no longer possible. I have a pair of jeans where I had been able to do up the top button and suddenly it was completely impossible to get them over my belly in any way. The bump just suddenly popped out! Very cool and also very bizarre.
It actually has been easier than I expected to see my body change. Having battled with weight and body image issues many years of my life I thought I would struggle with that aspect of carrying a baby. However, in a way pregnancy (at least so far!) has helped me to appreciate my body more. Experiencing what my body can do – growing a human! – makes me marvel.
The media and our society so often reduce the female body to an object of sexual desire. Our bodies are not just nice to look at. They can grow and nourish life. And they are the homes of our astonishing minds and souls. We should celebrate them more. Curves, stretch marks and all.
I am not going to lie – being pregnant in this weird, scary and lonely Covid-season has also been hard. One of the reasons I chose “Joy” as my word for 2021, was that I wanted to focus on all the good rather than on the scary things. Lately, I have struggled a bit with feeling anxious and have just been exhausted with living through a pandemic.
It is helping me to keep looking to Jesus and to thank God for this wonderful privilege of becoming a mother. I keep thinking about these verses in Psalm 139: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb”. Right now, God is knitting, creating a new person inside of me. I get to be a part of it. What a mircale.
Being a woman comes with many disadvantages (experiencing sexism, having periods and the toilet situation at festivals, to name a few) but I wouldn’t swap even if I could. Feeling these little movements and kicks is such a precious experience.
Preparing for motherhood
Even though this pregnancy is feeling very real now (in the beginning I sometimes found it hard to believe that there actually was a little person in me) – the thought of holding our baby in a few weeks still seems super abstract. I can’t even imagine what it will be like. I am excited. And scared. This massive impeding life-change plus hormones makes for an interesting mix: I cannot wait to cuddle our little chickpea! What about my quiet mornings to myself? Seeing Edd as a dad will be so cool! I really hope I won’t drop our child... And so on. Haha.
I think it will be good. Hard, but good. Like all the best things in life.