18 weeks pregnant

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Whoo hoo! I have quite the bump now, but have found that when I dress like this (the pants are about 3 sizes too big) it disguises it well and I look alternative/stroppy enough with my head sides shaved that random people don’t touch my tummy. This is making me very happy! I hadn’t realised how quickly the touching issue was stressing me, so I’m wearing bump revealing things at home or with friends where I can feel all rotund and earth motherly in peace, and clothes that hint I might tear off sometimes arms if they touch without permission in public, and I’m feeling so much more relaxed. šŸ™‚

The Quickening is happening… This poetic term describes being able to feel the baby move – this occurs when they are big enough and there’s a reduced pond of amniotic fluid around them so they bounce off the walls so to speak. We are getting this! It’s very hard for me to feel in my tummy as my placenta is in front of the baby and blocking everything, but particularly at night when they are active, a hand pressed gently in the firmest area is usually rewarded with little flutters and taps.

There’s been a lot of stress around lately like rapids to navigate between calmer stretches, and one of the ways it’s been expressed is through nightmares. Rose in particular has been suffering from terrible dreams about death and loss, and by mid last week was getting swamped with fear about this baby. This time last year Tam stopped growing but we didn’t know that for several more weeks until our first scan. The fear that something is wrong and we just don’t know it yet can be paralysing, and a couple of tiny pops and bubbles and wing brushes from inside that might well be all in our minds is not yet reassuring. So kindly one of our best friends paid for an extra scan and we got to see the baby again, all alive and doing flips and waving at us. We were sitting in the waiting room beforehand, feeling that awful mix of very stupid but also half convinced that something was terribly wrong, telling the little one that later on the expectations will jump a bit, but right now all we want from them is a heartbeat and a wriggle. They certainly did that and we’ve been able to breathe again while we wait for kicks to be stronger and the next reassuring scan at 20 weeks.

In the scan they were positioned lying face down and very uncooperative about being looked at or photographed. So Rose sang ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ to them and they turned around to listen and gave us a couple of photos. ā¤

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I’m enjoying looking after our family and spending time with friends. We have had the most wonderful rallying around us, as we’ve taken someone in our tribe is embracing them too. People are helping us with food, and money, and car repairs, and driving places, and debriefing. We’re not alone, and although I’m still waking up crying because I’m not studying anymore and my goals around my degree and work that I’ve been putting so much effort into for so many years feel like they are further away than ever… I am finding myself surprised by how fulfilled I feel to be looking after my family. My mind is clear, I’m efficiently coping with several hours of admin a day, I’m asking for help and setting up routines and doing the intensive support that will help us all get through the intense crisis phase and into calmer waters. And when I have a moment here and there, I’m working on my exhibition and feeling quietly surprised that anyone else is interested in it, and a tiny glow of hope that I’ve created something people might connect with or find value or peace of some kind in.

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