The State of the Pregnancy; Christmas with Alexander
The second trimester of this pregnancy has been fairly uneventful, much to my relief after the roller-coaster first trimester. We found out we’re having a girl, which has me both thrilled and terrified, and she’s quite the little wiggle worm. She spends most of her days dancing around, which I absolutely love. I remember loving feeling Alexander kick when I was pregnant with him, and it’s just as fun with his baby sister. It’s probably the one thing I’m going to miss about being pregnant.
You know what I won’t miss? The near-constant pain in my lower back and hips. I don’t remember this happening at all last time, but my hips have been aching for weeks now, and I’ve found very little I can do to make them feel better. So far I’ve determined that sleeping with a pillow between my legs helps a little, and sitting on my ass all day keeps it from getting worse — which, for someone who likes to stay in good shape and be active, pretty much sucks. Going to tap class makes them hurt; going for a 10-minute walk on my lunch break makes them hurt. Yesterday I had the nerve to go grocery shopping, and I’m still paying for it today, hobbling around like a geriatric little old lady. What the hell, body? I do not approve of this new development, and I’m not excited for it to continue for the next 3 1/2 months.
In other pregnancy news, I had to take off my wedding rings a few weeks ago. I haven’t had problems with swelling like I did last time, but apparently I’m carrying some of this baby weight in my fingers this time around because it was getting harder and harder to get my rings off to put on lotion. Let’s not talk about the fact that even with crazy swelling I made it to 7 1/2 months before having to take my rings off last time, and this time around I only made it to 5 months. On the bright side, maybe this means the too-big maternity clothes I got from a neighbor will fit me sooner than I thought?
Also, Week 24 was the week my belly button officially decided to drop all pretenses of being an innie and pop out for good. Fun times.
Here’s the state of the belly these days (25 weeks):
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Christmas with Alexander this year was so much fun, you guys. This was the first year he really understood what was going on, and he was so excited about Santa and the decorations and the music and everything. There’s a local radio station that plays all Christmas music all the time around the holidays, and every time I got into the car with Alexander, he’d announce “I need Chrimmas mukick!” [Translation: “I need Christmas music!”] He loved decorating the tree and helping me bake Christmas cookies one Saturday morning when he woke up far earlier than should be acceptable.
We talked to him a lot about Santa in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and he was absolutely certain that what he wanted most in the world was for Santa to bring him a “Train on a Track!” When we finally took him to meet Santa, I really wasn’t sure how he was going to react. He tends to be very shy around new people, and I expected he’d want nothing to do with the man in the red suit when faced with him in person. It’s true he was pretty reserved, and he really wasn’t excited about sitting on Santa’s lap (although he did sit there, stony faced, clearly using all his will power to tough it out until he was allowed to get down), but he really impressed me with how brave he was. When we first walked up to Santa, he leaned forward from his perch on my hip and whispered with all the intensity of a little boy who’s been rehearsing his lines and is terrified of messing them up lest Santa not get the correct message, “Train on a track.” He was so serious and brave about it, and I was so proud of my bashful little guy.
When Christmas Day arrived, Alexander was sad when he woke up and realized Santa wasn’t in the house to hand-deliver his presents. He knew Santa was coming, and apparently thought he’d get to see him again Christmas morning. Once he inspected the empty cookie plate and milk glass, and determined that Santa had been there and enjoyed the treats we left out for him, he cheered up a little. Discovering a stocking full of presents made him forget all his disappointment at Santa’s absence, and the rest of the morning was filled with joy. Alexander was well spoiled by his grandparents and relatives, and it was a bit of a struggle convincing him to keep opening presents — Alexander, do you want to open another present? “No, I good. I already open a present.” — but we were in no hurry. The rest of the family was all showered and dressed and in the midst of preparing Christmas Dinner by the time Alexander finally got around to opening his last present. And then, of course, the next day he woke up and announced, “I want to open another present.”
Santa came through, by the way, and there was a train on a track waiting under the tree for Alexander Christmas morning. Alexander was absolutely overjoyed, and in the last 6 days, he’s only stopped playing with his trains long enough to eat and sleep. Well done, Santa. Well done.