Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Oh, Baby!

The second trimester is most pregnant women’s favorite time, and for good reason. In my case, the nausea ebbed, my appetite roared back to life, my breasts became centerfold-worthy, and a rotund, firm bump formed despite my minimal weight gain. Goodbye Pillsbury doughboy body image, hello sexy fertility goddess!

I had been on pelvic rest for 15 weeks. While sex was the last thing on my mind during the first trimester of pregnancy, now that I was into the second trimester, I was warming up to the idea of being intimate with my husband again. While it was easy for me to put sex on the back burner in the interest of protecting our growing baby’s wellbeing, the temporary celibacy was a lot harder for my husband. It all came to, um, a head when I (literally) caught him with his pants down watching something I did not approve of. After a multi-day argument, a lot of tears, and his profuse apologies, I realized that I needed to take some responsibility for the situation – and just shut up and put up.

This realization was based in part on a Christian book I'd been reading called Sexperiment by Ed and Lisa Young, a married couple who claimed that having sex with your spouse for seven consecutive days could turn your marriage around. That seemed excessive to me, but I recognized that more sex couldn't hurt my marriage.

One early morning, my husband and I were lounging in bed lazily and his hands started meandering…and for once, I didn’t object. Those old-time tingly feelings started and I didn’t want them to stop. I wanted more, more, more. The wanting felt good, too, because I hadn’t desired anything sexual since before getting pregnant. Now, I wanted to feel everything – and oh, did I. Thanks to pregnancy hormones, my senses were turned up to 11. My body felt ripe and luscious. The sex was passionate, animalistic...and dare I say, the best of our seven-year marriage.

Afterward, I was all disoriented and trembling.

“Why did we ever stop doing that?” I wondered. (Answer: the health and wellbeing of the baby, of course.) We were both still worried about harming the baby. I tentatively turned on the light. No blood.

The sex renaissance was a lifesaver for our marriage. Where we were previously tense and snippy with one another, we were now both in good moods and more likely to say “yes” to one another’s requests.

I was quickly reminded about the problem with great sex, though: you want to have it again and again, all the time. A nice problem to have, in the big scheme of things.

Another nice problem to have: needing to shop for maternity clothes. It had been 15 years since my previous pregnancy and the last time I purchased maternity anything was in an era when pregnant women tried to hide their bumps. Now, showing off in skintight clothing was the norm. 

As much as I wanted to go on a shopping spree, I also figured that since this was my final pregnancy (or so I thought at the time; to be continued…), I didn’t want to break the bank for apparel I was only going to wear for a few more months. So I simply bought two pairs of my favorite Gap yoga pants one size bigger than usual as well as a large long-sleeved shirt to wear beneath my pre-pregnancy sweaters and hoodies which still accommodated (and actually hid) my growing belly.

The two maternity clothing purchases I did make were totally Minnesotan: a pair of maternity tights (to wear beneath the yoga pants on frigid winter days) and a big down coat from Old Navy on deep discount. Even though its unfashionable design made me look like I was wearing a stack of inflatable tires, I didn’t care. I liked feeling cozy and completely ensconced from the cold. The coat left me with plenty of room to grow, too.

At my 16-week appointment, the ultrasound showed that the subchorionic hematoma was gone. The baby was three days ahead of schedule with a heart rate of 150 BPM. 

I felt more bonded with the baby and was excited to share the pregnancy news with our families. 

My husband and I decided to tell them at our Christmas get-togethers – one with my mom, one with my dad, and another with my in-laws. We had no idea what their reactions would be, but we hoped they’d be just as excited as we were. 

In hindsight, we should’ve known that our big announcement, like everything else related to this pregnancy, would not go as planned…

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