Pre-Natal On-the-Road Check-up
This month, since I’m currently in the Midwestern part of the US in the final leg of my “11:11” tour, I didn’t get my pre-natal check-up in China. So, I decided that I should give myself a check-up and let you know how things are going in the general sense. You can be my pre-natal nurses/doctors from afar and give me any feedback you think I might need, deal? Great. Glad you’re so agreeable! (tee hee).
First of all, I’m a house. I am HUUUUUGE. I feel big. My face has expanded. My eyes look small and close together. It’s the weirdest thing! I feel like a house boat as I bob and swerve into every room making pregnant belly waves everywhere I go.
I’ve been on the road now for a month—or at least I’ve been away from my sweetie and my kitties and my pillow for a month—and travelling with music for three of those four weeks. I have just under two weeks of shows left and I have to admit that I’m really looking forward to the end of this tour.
I’m tired. More tired than I imagined. Luckily, I planned it reasonably and most of the driving has been reasonable (not exceeding 6 hours in the car a day), but I find that I hit a wall more easily than before I was pregnant. I have to sleep a full eight hours or else I feel like I’m in another dimension. At the end of every gig after all the people have left and my gear is back in the car, all I want is to sleep—and hard. If it weren’t for the having to get up to pee in the middle of the night, I’m sure I’d be sleeping in one position for those full eight hours.
I am peeing constantly. And peeing is a completely different experience. I wake up two times a night, on average, and I just know instinctively before I’ve even had a conscious chance to sense my bladder that I should haul my pumpkin-shape out of bed and roll myself to the bathroom.
What’s more, the need to pee in the waking hours is also a strange feeling now. Unlike before when it was just a physical need, now it’s more easily explained as a bright yellow asterix that appears in my mind’s eye and flashes a neon need to urinate. Sometimes that happens before I sense my bladder. Perhaps that is Little Spark mischievously kicking my bladder from in there? Since this child is part Guo Jian, he or she probably knows exactly where to kick to get Mommy’s eyes to open wide and head for the loo! (Naughty little thing!)
My belly is also so itchy all the time. My breasts too, come to think of it. And the stretching on my belly has intensified and I’m lathering on the shea and coco butter daily to try to ward off stretch marks. No one tells you that you’ll itch all the time as your belly expands. I had no idea. Lately, I’ve taken to just scratching when it itches, breasts included. I am losing all sense of discretion. I’m just the pregnant lady who is scratching her boobs and belly right there in the gas station parking lot. I’ve stopped caring.
I have been lucky with the backaches and the cramps in my legs. The latter hasn’t re-occurred since Beijing. My back was only been achy with the long haul drive from MA to IA between the gig on the 2nd and the 5th. Otherwise, I’ve been doing more stretching with every rest stop and walking around whenever I can. In fact, only once have I needed to use a heating pad (or hot water bottle) on my back since flying over. That’s pretty good. When the backaches started just before I left, I feared they would stubbornly stay. I’m glad they weren’t as willing as I pessimistically predicted!
Now onto another fun topic: swelling. I was sure that I’d be dealing with swollen legs from all the touring (read: time in the car) but I have been okay. I can still see the bones in my feet as I type this and so that’s a good sign! I have grown very fond of the bones in my feet, in fact. I have never appreciated them so much before. When my feet aren’t swollen, I have taken to congratulating them with a warm, loving smile. If nothing else, pregnancy has given me some podiatric appreciation.
Finally, on the weight level, I’ve been avoiding scales. I know I’ve put on more but I’m trying to eat well and when I’m hungry. This is one of my favourite conversations lately:
Person (A): “Hey, what’s up?”
Me: “My Weight”
Person (A): “Haha” (awkard laugh) “I mean, how are you?”
Me: “Pregnant. How are you?”
I have to say, though, that there’s not a lot of food options here in the USofA. I find myself eating a veggie sub or snacking on nuts but missing rice and veggies constantly. I was lucky enough to have some real Chinese food in New York city, but aside from that I have been stuck on the interstates and eating too many sandwiches and not enough greens. All those carbs have surely gone to feed Little Spark and contribute to this strange face shape and these enormous thighs. At least I have a butt, though. I’ve never had one before! I can say a bit “Take THAT!” to all those jokes about my lack of ass that I’ve been getting all my life…
I’ve been taking my pre-natal vitamins and calcium tablets, but I have to admit that I’m not great at it. I missed several days in a row last week. I’m figuring that everything will be okay, though. Think of all the women who don’t take supplements and have perfectly healthy babies all over the world. I’m sure I’m fine.
I have to admit, however, that it is really uncomfortable to be carrying this weight. I know that most of it is on my gut where it should be, but the rest just feels wrong, like a pair of jeans that don’t fit right all the time. And I have gained weight elsewhere, absolutely. My knees are even fat! My arms, my neck, my butt, my legs, my fingers. I think only my elbows are still like they were. Oh, and perhaps my toes. I think my elbows and toes are the only parts of my body that aren’t pregnant!
Everyone says that breastfeeding will help me drop the weight and I surely hope that I’ll at least find comfort in my body, whether it changes or not, recovers or takes on a new shape, etc. I don’t expect to look like I’ve never had a child, but at least I hope to feel like myself again—somewhat. At minimum, I hope the discomfort evaporates quickly after the baby is born. Maybe then I’ll feel like my body is mine again and I’ll accept it more readily in whatever form it’s in. Until then, it’s a daily mental struggle to celebrate, believe all the comments from people who say I look radiant, and just be with myself, in this form, in this process, in this journey.
Every day gets me closer to meeting Little Spark.
I can’t wait.