Tuesday, March 8, 2016

When Baby Arrives and You Disappear.

I know it has been a while since I last updated TACN. Baby (Girl!) Nerd is now 6 months old(!), and we've been busy. I wasn't sure I wanted to get back to blogging, and posts might still be few and far between. I anticipated baby blues, and because I had some antenatal depression and am prone to depression even when not pregnant, I looked out for it postpartum. But after trying so hard to have a baby and planning it for years, I didn't expect it to hit me so quickly and so hard.

I had been told all about the all-consuming love one has for her child when he or she is born. I had been told that it was an amazing feeling. I had been told that those minutes, when you see your child for the first time, are magical, somehow transcendent. Sometimes, someone, somewhere, mentioned taking a while to bond with her baby, and doctors and nurses constantly stressed an awareness of postpartum depression, but it was never exactly descriptive. They said it was common, spoke of "deep sadness that you can't seem to get over," and told expectant mothers to put the baby down in the crib and tell someone if they had thoughts of harming themselves or the baby. Their information was of course correct, informative. Clinical. But it didn't do justice to the reality. No one ever mentioned, in those moments after birth, mere hollow detachment. The tiny, red-faced, wiggly thing placed on my chest felt distinctly other. Alien. And it was screaming at the top of its lungs.

At first I blamed my lack of overwhelming maternal feeling on the drugs. I wanted an unmedicated birth, but after 26 hours of labor, I agreed with Mr. Nerd and the doctor that the best plan was to get some rest, so the anesthesiologist placed the epidural. After I'd gotten some sleep, they gave me the lowest dose of pitocin available, and then labor and delivery sailed by without a hitch. I felt pressure, no pain, I laughed and joked with Mr. Nerd, and when the time came to push, I was still aware of it well before the L&D nurse came to check on me. After a total of 36 hours, Baby Nerd was out in 30 minutes; none of my fears of tearing, or forceps, or dislocated anything (for myself or baby) were realized. Yet my only thought when the doctor congratulated us, held up my baby for the first time, and announced that she was a she, my only thought was, Why don't I feel anything?

That wasn't exactly true. I did have some feelings, but they were mostly negative. A little bit of panic, a little anxiety, a little worry. I just didn't feel connected to the tiny creature in my arms. I forced a smile through those first hours and that first night, thanking everyone for their congratulations and well-wishes, wishing my baby could bring me as much joy as it seemed to bring grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. She slept the first night, in a new-newborn sleepy phase that quelled some of my initial panic just enough to allow me some sleep. I planned to breastfeed and spent the next day dealing with a baby who would fall asleep with every effort of trying to latch, trying fruitlessly to get inverted nipples to pop out using a hand pump just long enough for her to take hold. Nurses popped in every once in a while to do fundal massages-- thankfully we learned about those in childbirth classes, otherwise I would have asked the nurse why in the seven hells she wanted me to be in so much pain after the birth was over-- refill medications, and help me change the cloth-and-witch hazel-wrapped ice packs and pads the size of Rhode Island adorning a giant pair of mesh underwear.  Those monstrosities more than any pain made walking the halls difficult. Childbirth may be a beautiful, natural thing, but glamorous it is not.

The next night, she screamed. Rooting and putting her hands to her mouth, she still wouldn't latch. One nurse kept telling me that the baby would latch if I only relaxed. If only I could, I thought to her.  I broke down in tears and told Mr. Nerd that I just couldn't do it. I had thought this was what I wanted, but I was obviously wrong. I was tired and scared. I knew I would never, ever, hurt her, but I started to understand that feeling that a lot of depressed mothers feel. At that moment, though, I simply didn't want to interact with her. I wanted to go back in time and never have gotten pregnant in the first place.

"I shouldn't be unhappy; I could be happy if I tried" is one the most damaging things anyone with depression can think. You start to wonder if you are a terrible person when you have so much that is good and manage only to feel bad. Despite all the prenatal advice from doctors and nurses to seek help for depression, it took me eight weeks to admit that I needed more help than I was getting, because a tiny voice in my head kept telling me that my feelings were wrong. That I'd be judged negatively for them. Mothers who want children are supposed to love them from birth. It's just... the way the world is supposed to work.

I finally sat in a psychiatrist's office and said all of this aloud. For me, medication was what I needed most; I thank God every day for the gift of doctors and medication. That is a perfectly valid treatment for PPD; don't let anyone tell you otherwise if it helps you. But I also needed to know that I wasn't alone. That there are thousands of women out there struggling with similar feelings. That it's OK to feel overwhelmed, sad, even angry when your life changes so much and you don't have the internal resources to deal with it immediately. That you are allowed to put the crying baby down in the crib for a minute, go in to the bathroom, and scream into a pillow because you're frustrated and exhausted. That it's all right to ask for someone to stay with you if you need that. And let me assure you, even if you think you are all alone in this, there are people who WILL stay with you. We are lucky to have lots of close family in town, but even if you don't, trust me on this; there are other women who know and want to help. Who know what it's like to have a hungry baby who won't latch at 3am on a Saturday. Who know what it's like not to sleep because you're worried that the baby might wake up at any minute and need you, and you might not understand what's needed. Who know that despite best intentions, it's easy to neglect yourself when there's another human being depending on you.

Who know that it gets better but that you need help in this moment, because you might not see it until one day... it does.

It started to become easier when she began smiling, because I could see that what I did made a difference in her life, rather than just keeping her breathing (although Mr Nerd and I are rather amazed we managed!). I still didn't realize it had gotten better at that point. I didn't really realize it until I found myself in the shower, monitor outside the glass, knowing that I was ready to run to her if I heard her wake from her nap sounding scared or hurt. Knowing that I knew her "scared" and "hurt" and "hungry" and "cranky" and "bored" and "happy." Right now Mr. Nerd and I are sick, and Baby Nerd has been staying with grandparents, and I feel like a little part of me is missing. And three or four months ago, I wouldn't have believed it possible. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Follow-Up On Pregnancy & Body Image Posts.

[Copied/pasted from the blog's Facebook page]
I wish to make something clear here, in case I haven't before: I think it's obvious that one's body changing rapidly can be overwhelming and can sometimes bring up insecurities.* However, if it were in any way truly debilitating to someone, I'd hope that she wouldn't hesitate to seek help. Also, strangers commenting in a negative way/tone isn't acceptable at any other time in one's life, so I don't think it should just be considered part-and-parcel of pregnancy.
BUT, with all that said, I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I wouldn't trade my expanding belly for a flat stomach nor do I constantly long for my more defined waist or to fit back into my skinny jeans. In general, I do love my pregnant body and being pregnant. In fact, I've been extremely lucky in how smoothly everything has gone so far, and I feel blessed every day this baby continues to grow. My blog posts merely show how I mentally handle the insecure moments and resolve them. I think most people, pregnant or not, have those moments, and I think it's good to normalize them rather than create a fantasy world in which someone is 100% happy 100% of the time or always thinks about their circumstances in relation to those less fortunate.** As humans, we just aren't always capable of that, so it seems like a surefire way to develop feelings of guilt, failure, and shame.***
I actually personally don't mind when people congratulate or compliment me. It's that "negative tone" I dislike. For the most part, it's wonderful to me to witness how excited and giddy people can get over someone else's impending new arrival, and I often enjoy hearing their experiences. Just because I myself don't mind it, I still think it odd that strangers feel confident congratulating someone without confirming first; many women still look the same for a time postpartum, and I know that's already a difficult enough time for some without people asking when they're due, and I also know plenty of pregnant women would prefer to be left alone. What I do mind for myself and anyone else is when someone's words are obviously discomforting and nudging insecurities to the surface, but they continue anyway.
It simply isn't realistic for me to be happy with my body all the time, but how could I ever not appreciate it when it holds something so precious to me? Now, if only baby would decide to keep kicking while Mr. Nerd was actually in the room...

*I've struggled with body image issues and not seeing what other people see for a long time. At one point in my life it was taking a toll on my health, but nowadays I have a great support system and positive ways of coping (blogging has certainly been a free form of therapy to me), and I've never felt better and more capable of handling it. Of course pregnancy, which by its very nature is all about change, was going to throw something new into the mix. While the "moments" remain, it has, overall, in fact helped more than it has hindered, because I've started to view my body more in terms of its capabilities--the same way someone who starts running might start to appreciate her body for the athleticism it displays--than in terms of looks, and the looks in turn become more beautiful and fascinating to me. 
**Of course I wish everyone's trauma, sadness, and suffering would end, and of course I know that I am lucky for my health, the roof over my head, the food and water to which I have access, and my family and friends. This does not mean that we shouldn't think of people less fortunate than ourselves; only that we as human beings--rich or poor, sick or healthy--all have times when we are more inwardly than outwardly focused.  
***Even if you've finally gotten pregnant after two, five, or fifteen years of trying, it's perfectly normal to sometimes be hard on yourself or not to enjoy every. single. aspect of pregnancy. It does not mean that you aren't grateful to be pregnant or that you're unhappy about your baby. I also consider myself lucky that I've actively enjoyed so much of pregnancy thus far, because I know that's not always everyone's experience. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pregnancy & Body Image Inner Dialogue #3: Oh, the Comments... in Real Life.

*Lines all not in italics: said aloud by me. Lines in bold: said aloud by another person.*

1. Oh, right, you're speaking to me, the so obviously pregnant one.
2. Still not sure why you asked when the "baby girl" was arriving, though.
3. ... Should I ask, "What baby?"*
4. This is our waiter for the rest of the night, though. 
5. May be easiest just to...

Let it go... let it go...

6. Baby will be here in September.  
7. Yes, I still have about 18 weeks to go. 
8. Please don't look that surprised.
9. We don't know if it's a girl.
10. You're almost the first one to say girl; most people are guessing 'boy.'
11. Ah, yes, the science of personal anecdotes; you carried "like a basketball," and it was boy.
12. And I'm "bump all over and out to the sides"... because that remark was absolutely necessary.
13. Thank you for the expressive, expansive gestures that indicate the size and shape of my body at the moment.
14. I don't ever look in a mirror or walk past reflective surfaces, and I desperately need to be able to mime a description of myself to others.
15. *Shrug*. Could be.
16. You do realize that the odds are 50/50?
17. I know several people who had multiple children and carried differently every time, regardless of whether the babies were the same sex or different.
18. Although when I spun counterclockwise seven times, walked backward through an open kitchen door, and sprinkled salt on my head, my wedding ring didn't fall off. 
19. That definitely puts the odds at about 70/30 in favor of a boy.
20. Feel free to stop looking speculatively at my belly.
21. ... Any time now.
22. I guess it could be a big boy? 
23. Did I really just hear that?  Having... trouble...

Letting go... letting go...

24. First of all, according to medical studies done on the subject, boy babies generally grow faster than girls... ?
25. Of course that's still just overall and doesn't necessarily mean anything about my baby in particular or the rate of my own growth. 
26. Because there are other things expanding in there besides the baby, you know.
27. Second of all... I just... really?
28. As far as I can tell, bump size and shape is highly individualistic.
29. Funny enough, many women I know who have been pregnant or given birth recently tell me I look "small" or "about like they did" at 22 weeks.  
30. OK, OK, so it's often qualified by, "Maybe that's just relative to your boobs."
31. Still, sometimes I get the vague impression that many people who are further removed from the pregnancy stage or haven't been pregnant either forget or don't know, respectively, how much bigger women can look throughout pregnancy. 
32. And not because they're "gaining too much weight" either.
33. I mean, when you gain 25-35 pounds (on average) and most of that weight is (frequently) concentrated around one's middle, what do people expect?
34. So... I guess I probably could look larger to other people than I feel like I look.
35. Which... is fine... 
36. It really ought to be fine.
37. My doctor is pleased with how everything is going.
38. Baby looked great on the scan.
39. That's what ultimately matters.
40. I just... Mr. Nerd, you wouldn't say I look like I'm about to give birth any minute now, would you?
41. All right, I look pregnant; that wasn't the question.
42. This isn't a trick question.
43. See, I didn't think so either.
44. What does "definitely pregnant" mean, though?
45. "Like there's a tiny human growing inside you"... Well, yes, I know that's what pregnancy is.
46. Of course because of that I'd be concerned if I wasn't getting any bigger.
47. Well, no... I don't know what I "think I should look like."
48. So I look "like a mommy"?
49. But what does that mean!?
50. Thank you, thank you.
51. "Beautiful" is just what I needed to hear.**

*It has really only been in the past two weeks that I've started getting congratulations and comments from complete strangers, and this is always my first instinct. Even though in general I don't think people ought to comment about a pregnancy unless the woman brings it up first, I'm not confrontational enough in real life to say or do things that make others uncomfortable, even when they make me uncomfortable. It's something I need to work on. Of course, I'm not sure whether that will become more tempting over time, what with 18 weeks left to go and all... !
**While in a perfect world, we would never need external validation, it is OK to have a sincere compliment make you feel better.

Friday, April 24, 2015

To Whom Does Mom's Body Belong, Anyway?

OK, I admit it. I'm a sucker for click-bait, and I often give in to morbid curiosity about comments on online articles, despite more sensible people's (understandable, needed) warnings of "DON'T READ THE COMMENTS!" Heck, I even give that warning sometimes, because... well, usually because I did and became increasingly horrified and disgusted and don't want others to have the same experience.

So when pictures of moms post-baby surface online, I usually end up looking at them. I have gotten to the point that I wouldn't compare myself to any of these women, because I know no one has the same body experience during pregnancy/postpartum. I end up looking at them because I actually love the variety, the individual differences between the people who have all just performed a similar biological function... with vastly different but perfectly natural and normal results. I find all of their pictures lovely, whether the women still look similar to how they looked when pregnant or seem to have lost every pound they gained the moment they gave birth. I abhor the headlines, which are often meant either to celebrate women who have slender postpartum bodies and shame ones who don't, or to somehow tell the world that the only way to prove your body's worth after baby is to have more weight and more stretch marks... but the women themselves? All gorgeous.

What I don't understand at all is when a mom takes a picture of herself or has someone else take a picture of her pregnant/postpartum/when she has been a mom for a time, puts it "out there," and then has her body and lifestyle completely picked apart by The Photo Vultures* who can apparently gauge the character, emotions, and child-rearing skill of a woman from a mere photograph. I don't understand when she is told that she's a bad mom or bad person for sharing pictures. That she's narcissistic because of it.** That she should be keeping herself to herself because she's Now A Mommy.

Pregnant in a bikini before going swimming... 
and the only point I'm trying to make here is that
it's still my body and shouldn't be a big deal, 
but somehow to society... it is?

Put the camera down and actually spend time with your child! We don't care if she's napping or he's at Grandma's house or another parent/guardian is reading to them; you should be staring at the baby every moment of every day. ... Do you even care if your baby is sticking his finger in the electrical socket in the with a plastic bag over his head? Because obviously you put him down on the floor amid a barrage of safety hazards just out of the shot so you could take this "selfie." And put some clothes on in that picture, for goodness sake! Think of what might happen if your newborn son sees you in such skimpy clothes on the internet when he's a teenager. You have stretch marks? We applaud you, oh incredible embodiment of womanhood...  now why do we care, again? By the way, your top has a stain on it. At our house, we actually prefer to be clean. And why is your hair done? Why do you not have under-eye circles? You must not be tending to your child like the rest of us if you can look that energetic. Oh, wait, that's right; you're too busy taking pictures.***

Here's the thing, everyone: a mom's body is still very much her own when she's pregnant and after having children.****  It might nourish, carry, or soothe, but it does not actually belong to her child. If it did, there would be another name for it: the child's body. I'm not saying that for many women it doesn't feel like their bodies aren't their own, especially early on. Those are valid feelings--everyone is entitled to their own feelings about their bodies--but those feelings don't actually make her body their or anyone else's property.

In summary...

A mother's body does not belong to her children.

A mother's body does not belong to the general public even when exposed to the general public; it should be shown or covered up as she sees fit and not as strangers see fit.

A mother is not narcissistic or necessarily trying to "prove" anything when showing her body and being proud of it, whatever state it is in.**

A mother's body does not need to look a certain way to validate her motherhood.

A mother's body should never be called a source of potential embarrassment to her children as if the body she was somehow "allowed" to display on college spring break suddenly becomes unsuitable for viewing after having kids... because no bodies are shameful.*****

A mother's body is her own.

A mother's body is beautiful.

NB: I do not in any way think that women who adopt, use surrogates, foster, or otherwise have/raise children are not mothers.  And I don't think motherhood a woman makes, either.  I suspect some posts here will be geared toward women who have given or will give birth, but please know that they are never meant to be "othering" to women who can't, haven't, or won't, and I hope those women can take something from the posts as well.  

*Copyright TACN, 2015. 
**Narcissism is an actual mental disorder that affects ~1% of the population.  Narcissistic people often have various, sometimes severe difficulties in daily life because of their intense self-focus.  Using the term merely to describe being proud of features or accomplishments is... well... it's rather ignorant.  
***JUST IN CASE... this entire paragraph = sarcasm.
****With pregnancy in this sentence, I am speaking from a purely emotional standpoint; I am not making any claims or arguments about the physical relationship between a woman and an embryo/fetus.  If you want to discuss "personhood" or abortion, --this is not the forum in which to do so--.  Thanks in advance for staying on topic.
*****And let's not get into how sexist/presumptuous it is to say, "Think of what your future children might think!" when viewing those spring break photos in the first place.  Not. All. Women. Want. Children. OK?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pregnancy & Body Image Inner Dialogue #2: Growing Pains.

1. What? What? Have I overslept?  
2. Why am I awake at 2:46?  
3. Oof... oh, that's why.
4. Can anyone sleep through round ligament pain?
5. If I went back to sleep, I can't imagine the nightmares it could cause.
6. Don't think about Alien.  Don't think about Alien.
7. Too late.
8. Ugh, now I need to use the bathroom.
9. It took ages to find this comfortable sleeping position, though.
10. Could I just hold... no, no, bad idea, I know I need to go.
11. How many times will this be?
12. Four; it'll be four.
13. Remember, this is your body's way of preparing you for little sleep in the future.
14. You know, I'd really prefer my body just allow me to sleep all night while I still can.
15. Now back to the get-to-sleep gymnastics, I guess...
16. Woah, is that me in the mirror?
17. Did this baby decide to make itself even more visible overnight?
18. Ahem, hello in there, do you think you could get larger than my boobs by 7:30?
19. I'd be much obliged.
20. And I have to put nice clothes on Sunday.
21. So if you could just go ahead and lift yourself above my belly button by this weekend?  Y-yeah...

22. Because right now this is looking more kangaroo pouch than anything.
23. ... Aw, baby kangaroos in pouches.
24. Focus.
25. No, not on that freaky blue vein, on going back to bed.
26. Hmm, let's just see if I have any new stretch marks, though.
27. I could have sworn all that tugging would have resulted in fifty more, but still just the old ones.
28. What if I'd found new ones?
29. I probably wouldn't have been happy about it.
30. And truthfully, I'm not even sure why I'd be unhappy about it.
31. Again, it's not like I think they look bad on other people or aren't perfectly normal.
32. I think I've just seen... me... in the mirror for so long.
33. And this is me and someone else.
34. ... Figuratively and literally.
35. Not that I ever exactly came to terms with "me" in the first place, but I was used to it.
36. Sometimes I don't feel like I can fully accept my body as it is knowing that it will change.
37. If I could just know where I'd end up, at least...
38. Would that help, though?
39. And wouldn't that take away something from this experience?
40. Pregnancy is change.
41. Shouldn't each change be celebrated as a new milestone?
42. It's no wonder you change so quickly when there's a rapidly growing human being in there.
43. At least this ginormous maternity pillow helps out with the sway-back changes.
44. ... I wish it weren't quite so ginormous.
45. Prepare to witness some high-skill maneuvering as I manage to stay on one side of the bed.
46. ... Yeah, no, still a noob.
47. Sorry, Mr. Nerd, didn't mean to disturb you.
48. Ah, there we go.
49. This position isn't too bad.
50. Maybe I can even get back to sleep by 3:30.
51. Now, if my stomach would stop doing... what is that?
52. That doesn't even feel like my stoma...
53. Wait... 
54. Is that...?
55. OK, I'm actually shaking you so that you'll wake up now, Mr. Nerd.
57. ... oh, no...
58. ... making me need to pee again.

TACN's Note: These won't be every week, but getting my inner dialogues out is cathartic, and it's entertaining when I look back on them, so I hope they're at least somewhat enlightening and enjoyable! Now, some of these dialogues might not seem related to body image, but what I'm discovering through this process is that, at least for me, it's often difficult to separate the shock at sudden new changes, how your body feels, and how your body actually looks. When you're tired, or feel like your sides are being tugged in two directions at once, or your feet are aching, or you've developed varicose veins overnight, or you see something in the mirror that is legitimately different than what you saw three days ago, sometimes it's just hard to look at yourself and think, "I look great." If you're having difficulty saying it for yourself, here you go:

You--yes, you--look great.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pregnancy & Body Image Inner Dialogue #1: Choosing a Maternity Swimsuit.

1. Dang, I think I could fit maybe 1/4 a boob in that boob... pouch... thing... there.
2. Those bottoms seem awfully narrow in the back for any sort of maternity suit.
3. If I bought a larger size, though, a bump would probably push them down.  
4. Saggy swimsuit bottoms are so annoying.
5. I know why the top is so long, but for a while that material is just going to bunch up.
6. ... Geez, apparently all pregnant women want tankinis.
7. Do most pregnant women want tankinis?
8. Do they actually want tankinis, or do they buy them because they're widely available?
9. Yes, I know they're good alternatives for people who would normally wear or want one-pieces.
10. Huh, there are some one pieces on here.  
11. That seam is not going under my bustline.
12. ... My collarbone doesn't need lift and support, thanks.
13. Could they at least make more maternity active suits?
14. Don't many doctors recommend swimming as a good form of exercise during pregnancy?
15. You'd think that would mean more options.
16. Let's look at full-bust brand tankinis and one piece suits.
17. And I thought too long would be frustrating... that top is going to ride up something awful.
18. This one won't allow for stomach growth if I get it in a size that would support my chest.
19. You know, really, wet material on my stomach does not sound like fun right now.
20. I'm only 16 weeks along, can I wear a bikini now? 
21. Will people stare at my wobbly belly when there's still so much early pregnancy bloating?
22. ... Actually, that makes wet material sound even worse.
23. Besides, a lot of pregnant women wear bikinis.
24. I've always thought pregnant women look awesome in them.
25. Do I look pregnant enough to wear one, though?
26. ... Well that attitude is sort of silly. 
27. Saying "When I look pregnant enough..." is like saying "When I lose enough weight..."
28. That time might never come, especially mentally speaking.
29. I mean, I don't think people need to lose weight to wear bikinis.
30. But what if I'm one of those people who develops a ton of varicose veins or stretch marks?
31. ... I've never thought people needed to cover those up either.
32. You know, I wouldn't think or say about others any of the things I think or say about myself.
33. I'd be appalled at anyone who thought this way about other people.
34. Why do I do it to myself?
35. I could buy a nice supportive bikini top.
36. It might get too small eventually, but it wouldn't have to keep up with my stomach AND boobs.
37. And my stomach wouldn't feel itchy with all the clinging.
38. And I'd likely actually swim, because I'd physically be more comfortable.
39. Sure, I might be somewhat self-conscious.
40. Because the truth is, there are people who judge others wearing swimsuits.
41. Often it's because they judge themselves so harshly.
42. That's kind of sad.
43. But whatever the reason, their judgment isn't my problem.
44. Other people's judgment is a reflection on them, not on me.
45. I think all bodies are bikini bodies.
46. ... So mine should be too, right?
47. Not just pre-pregnancy when I was slimmer.
48. Not whenever the bloating goes down.
49. Not when I'm sporting an obvious baby belly.
50. Not when I lose weight postpartum.
51. Not when I've gone to the gym enough to tone up after birth.
52. Right. Now.
53. -Add to cart. Add to cart.-
54. -Enter billing.  Enter shipping.-
55. And... done.  My body is now a bikini body.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Explanations & Announcements.

You've probably noticed that I haven't blogged much in a while, and it's finally time to

By the time 2015 rolled around, it had been over two months since I had an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist, because mine was leaving his practice.  I had been thinking about switching anyway, so I took it as a sign and made myself an appointment with a new doctor in mid January.  A couple weeks before that appointment was scheduled to occur, a host of unusual symptoms started popping up.  When they didn't go away, I decided to take a pregnancy test...

... and it was positive!

I suppose it's a pleasantly fitting way to come back from posts on infertility.  Of course, I didn't believe it until I'd taken about five more tests, and even then I wasn't sure until the dating ultrasound.  We're now out of the first trimester, and even though nothing in pregnancy is ever guaranteed, we've been blessed to have this experience so far, especially because it's one we weren't entirely sure we would get. My main pregnancy symptom has been fatigue, which has made it hard to blog as much as I would like, but I do intend to keep it up.  Posts might not be on a set schedule and could get sporadic again (especially later in the year, because Little Nerd is due September 12!).

There will almost certainly be a few posts on dealing with rapid body and life changes along with other unrelated nerdy posts, so I hope readers will check back occasionally for updates!