My feet have started swelling. For some reason, more than morning sickness or stretch marks or anything else, this was the one pregnancy symptom which I really dreaded. I think partly just because I use my feet so much, and partly because I am rather vain about my feet. Weird, right? But...they're tiny (size 5 1/2 or 6, depending). And they don't have any odd malformations. I think they're swelling in part because of the heat, which made the national news. It's gone down a bit today, being around 64 and rainy (yay!--it'll keep the fires down, of which we've already had one closeby), but it's still too hot for me. After my cold shower last night, I sat to read my book (finally got a chance to read J.K. Rowling's "Casual Vacancy"--it was good! but sad, so be warned) and soak my feet in some cold water. It doesn't seem to have helped very much.
So for now, I'm wearing loose clogs and whatever else doesn't constrict my feet too much. I'm supposed to avoid flip-flops because they don't give any support, but my nice sandals are too constricting. After wearing them yesterday I had imprints from the bands across my feet.
Also, my feet hurt.
I'm honestly a little disappointed not to really have all those cravings you hear about pregnant women having. It's like a right of passage to send my husband out in the middle of the night to get something I MUST HAVE NOW, right? Instead, I'm still stuck with more food aversions and avoidances than anything else. Even when I do have minor cravings, they're not ongoing. Once the craving has been satisfied I no longer crave that food. It's making figuring out what to eat very tricky.
While I don't have a lot of self-generated cravings, however, I am finding myself more susceptible to suggestions of foods and then getting a mild craving for that food which won't go away until I've had it. I texted Shane earlier, knowing that he was going to the store, asking him to get some Honey Nut Cheerios because someone mentioned them and now they're about the only food which sounds tasty. Aside from the doughnut I'm eating. It was a bad, bad idea to start reading a book (one of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich) in which the main character has an obsession with doughnuts.
Shane, of course, knows about this suggestibility and has tried using it several times. I think he was hoping for a bigger reaction to a comment about (cooked) sushi. However, he and our friend Donald set me up for a brownie craving, first by talking about workouts and trying to eat good things, which segued into a conversation about nuts and Shane saying, "Nah, I don't like them." D said, "What, not even in things? Like, walnuts in brownies? I love that." I wasn't even part of the conversation, but it stuck with me. They both got a good laugh out of it when I made brownies the next night. Evil. Pure evil.
Thankfully, some of my cravings have been healthy, as well. We were making burgers the other night and Shane always mixes in a bit of teriyaki sauce with the moose meat. I smelled it and thought, "I need pineapple on my burger. Need." We happened to have a can, so I got pineapple. I've been eating avocado all week, and right around the time Baby was supposed to be making bones (rather than just cartilage) I started wanting milk. Summer fruits might bankrupt us, if given half a chance, because I've been craving them as well. (Normal for me at this time of year, but a bit exaggerated.) So I don't feel bad about giving into my few "bad" cravings when I get them because most of the time, what I want is really healthy and really good for me.
I think I've started feeling little kicks and movements. It's hard to know, but when I'm lying or sitting very still and very quietly, sometimes I feel a little...well, it's hard to describe, isn't it? But it really does feel like a tiny fist or foot might be tapping me from the inside. I don't feel it every day, yet, but at 19 weeks this is about the time to start feeling it. Over the next few weeks Baby should be getting much stronger and the hits more noticeable.
Get ready to flip your shit. I don't know why everyone else gets so crazy about a baby's gender--it doesn't really matter for quite a while. But people want to buy gendered items (why?) and it's a huge deal to find out or not to find out. I've been polling friends and family to see what they're hoping for or what they want it to be. Most people have voted for "girl". I think, at least among our friends, it's partly to spite Shane. For some reason, they like to rib him about the possibility of having a girl? Nobody tells me, "I want you to have a boy because I think it would be hilarious to see you with a boy," but they'll all say something similar about Shane having a girl. It could also be, however, that I have three brothers so everyone knows I'm comfortable with boys. Shane doesn't have any sisters, so it's assumed that he'd be a bit nervous about having a girl. They're seriously underestimating him.
As for us, we've wanted to find out simply because it's another way of getting to know something about who we're bringing into the world. Shane has said to me that, if he had his druthers, we'd have two boys. But really, he'll be happy with whatever healthy baby we have. Either way, this baby is going to have its parents wrapped around its teeny tiny fingers. I don't have a preference on gender. I picture babies and children of either gender and just think, "I'm going to have one of those!" It brings a grin to my face. I did joke to a friend the other day, after talking about Shane breaking his femur in 3rd grade, "And this is why I don't want boys." But I quickly looked down and told my abdomen, "I'm just kidding, Baby, I'll love you no matter who you are."
So the big news? This baby is......a girl. I'm a bit surprised, and still trying to wrap my head around it. With three brothers, and marrying into a family of only boys, I honestly just kinda figured the odds were stacked against me. But I get to have a baby girl!!!! I'm so, so happy. And yet, without my joy in having a girl being diminished at all, I'm also a little sad that it's not a boy. Crazy, right? I think it would be the same if the gender was reversed--I'd be sad about not having a girl, that is. I think it's just a lost opportunity thing. Baby girls are nice and baby boys are nice and I want both. Totally selfish of me, I know.
Telling the parents was hilarious. My parents had me on speaker phone so that they could both hear the news. Toward the end, I could hear my dad dancing around their kitchen saying, "A girl! It's a girl!"
And that was nothing to my MIL's reaction. After having only boys, she is rather desperate for a girl. So Shane was wise and put her on speaker phone before we told her. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't come down to complain about the screaming. Knowing that she's going to go shopping pretty much immediately, and for the rest of her life, for girl stuff we told her that we don't want to have our house be overrun with pink. Seriously. I'm not much of a fan of pink in general, I've already talked about my hatred for the way kids' toys are far too gendered, and I'm not a fan of pink. We'll see how well she listened to that.
And this baby girl is going to have four doting uncles. Somehow, some way, I'm going to manage to get a picture of all four of them with her because I think that would be awesome. Shane said, "Yeah, and then we can show it to all of her future boyfriends as a warning. After I greet them at the door with a shotgun, of course. No one's gonna mess with my baby girl."