Ultrasounds are pretty weird. I have a great doctor and he does an excellent job of explaining what I’m seeing and why it’s important, but if I had to look at those scans myself I would think I was looking at a Rorschach ink blot or a weird sketch in the back of Giger’s book.
The scans are a massive reassurance, though – it’s incredible to see those images, hear the heartbeat and know that everything is going well. The 21 week scan is an important one for checking all kind of birth defects, abnormalities or issues. Thankfully, everything is still looking absolutely perfect and Harley is definitely still a girl, and still developing exactly as she should be. It’s always such a relief to see her in there, to know that everything is absolutely fine even if I have random worries or panics based on silly dreams or odd stuff I read.
The best part, though? I get to see what my little girl is up to in there, and she’s already showing some serious personality.
After peeing on a stick and figuring out that I am, indeed, knocked up, the next step was learning about all the things I could and couldn’t do. I knew there were rules about what pregnant women could and couldn’t eat, but I wasn’t too clear on what they were. So, I went reading online and found a ton of conflicting info. Then I went to see my GP for the blood test to confirm I was with child, and got even more conflicting info. So, I’ve decided to only listen to my gynae, and I’m oh so happy with his rules.
You see, if you look online and listen to the variety of opinions out there, just about everything that I like to eat would be off the menu. According to the interwebs, I wouldn’t be allowed things like camembert, eggs that aren’t fully cooked through, steak that isn’t fully cooked through and, most tragically, sushi. I was really torn up about the sushi thing, especially because it was one of the few foods that I still craved and could stomach when many others weren’t sitting well.
It still sort of boggles my mind that I’m growing a human. Considering that there long stretches when I don’t feel her move, or when I think that could just be my stomach rumbling, my mind often goes to dark places. I try not to let it, but I can’t help but worry if everything is still okay, if Harley is still doing her thing in there. In moments like that, I remind myself that there would be more obvious signs if something were wrong, and that thus far everything has been healthy and happy. Still, it’s sometimes terrifying to think that there is all this activity going on inside me and I can’t even tell what’s happening.
Yesterday, I decided to listen to music while I worked. I don’t normally listen to stuff because it distracts me from writing words and just gets in the way. When I do listen, I generally listen with my headset on because the sound quality is so good. However, yesterday I thought I’d share the music with Harley which meant that I felt her moving around a bit at least. It was reassuring and rather fun – thus far she seems to like rock and dance music. But this morning, even without music, something truly incredible happened. I felt Harley give me a first proper kick.
When Dean and I got married, everyone was instantly asking when we were planning on having a kid. In fact, we weren’t planning on spawning at all. We loved (and continue to love) each other very much and saw no reason to grow our little family. We just wanted to spend time together with our cats, and figured that we would never have kids. In fact, we had talked about it over the years we were together and agreed that we weren’t really all that interested in procreating. This is part of why everyone who knew us was so surprised when I announced that I was pregnant.
It was a big decision to make, and quite different to what we had thought about before. In actual fact, it was something of a gradual decision that evolved over a bunch of months, with a sudden leap towards the end. I know plenty of couples have no interest in breeding, and that’s totally cool, and others have zero doubt that they want to reproduce one day. Our journey was a bit more circuitous, but still ended up with some decisive moments.
One of the skills I had to learn over the years was how to ask for help. Everything from asking for help with work, to finding someone to give me a hand when I didn’t feel well, it wasn’t something that came naturally to me. I liked to think that I could do just about anything on my own and it took me a while to figure out how to ask for help. I’ve had to ask for even more help recently as pregnancy has changed some of my ability to haul groceries or lift things or do a variety of physical tasks that used to be no problem. But I’m now needing to learn a new skill.
The desire to help out is a wonderful one. It can make everyone feel better about themselves – the person getting help can feel supported and the person helping can feel needed. It’s why when I used to have people over I’d try to leave some easy cooking elements undone so that when someone offered to help there was cheese to grate or sauces to put in bowls. But Princess Harley is coming and it’s not like I can just leave something undone for her to make someone else feel important.