Almost immediately at 12 weeks I started to feel better, no more sickness or extreme tiredness. I heard that with the second semester often came a break from the crappy stuff. The other relief I had was that big sigh of making it through the danger zone. Everyone always alludes to not having to worry about miscarriage once you reached this point. I knew anything was possible but I believed we were through the hardest part. I allowed myself to believe that this was in fact happening. I was going to get the child Cloudy and I so wanted. I relaxed and trusted the miracle growing in my belly. I even ordered a couple adorable outfits. Every day I grew more and more confident and excited. If I ever doubted that this was real and not just another really long cycle I had my new growing belly to remind me that I was in fact pregnant.
At this point since we did not have any complications I made the decision to transfer from the OBs office to a group of midwives that are associated with the hospital. I knew I did not want to have a homebirth* but I also thought I wanted to work with the midwives since I thought they would be more natural and like what I was used to, working with my naturopath and Chinese medicine practitioner. So I left my awesome NP and went to the midwives.
The other sweet thing I got to do at 12 weeks is start going to pre-natal yoga. I chose one of my fellow instructors. She is one of my favorite people and she is an outstanding instructor. I was so excited to start going, I walked in so proud of my big tummy. But when I looked around and saw all the other women I thought, whoa these women are PREGNANT! My belly looked like a bad case of gas compared to these gorgeous huge bellies. Class was, of course, amazing. It was so gentle and soothing and made me feel so good. It was a welcome change from feeling so alienated by my own body. I was starting to embrace this changing body thing, especially if it could feel this good. Good ole yoga does it again, makes me feel at home.
My belly was so obviously huge to me at 12 weeks but only a few people in my life started asking. A few of my yoga students started having quizzical stares at my stomach but it is awfully hard to hide a baby bump in yoga clothing. No one at my job said anything, no one. I was surprised. I had started wearing maternity clothes to work and I thought I looked completely different. Not a peep. Maybe it’s because I work with all men who would feel awkward about commenting on my body, or (and this is really more likely) they just didn’t notice. That was good though because I wasn’t really to tell work yet. I wanted to talk to HR and find out how long I was going to be gone and what I expected as far as returning part time, before I told my supervisor. Finally at 14 weeks I had to tell my supervisor because he was working on his staffing plan for the next year and wanted to know if I wanted to run a specific project. I could have just said yes and gone on with my illusion, but I respect my boss and did not want to leave him in a staffing bind. So I told him that I would love to run the project but that I would not be able to because I was pregnant and the baby would be here before the work began. He is a family man and he knew Cloudy and I were trying so he was very excited for me. He assured me that I could take off the time that I wanted and be able to return part time when I was ready. He said he would rather have me in some capacity than none; another sigh of relief. My life was certainly changing but the foreseeable challenges were already working out.
As the weeks went on I still felt great and I was so looking forward to our 20 week ultrasound so that we could see our baby. We decided that we did not want to learn the sex of the baby. We wanted to have that “it’s a girl!” or “it’s a boy!” moment at the birth, after all the work of getting them there. We got mixed responses to that decision. Everywhere from, “Oh you can’t wait, you have to find out, it’s not fair to everyone to make them buy gender neutral yellow everything for you” to “Oh that is perfect, I think the surprise is the best part of it all”. Even though we had many try to talk us out of it we stuck with our decision to wait.