The Baby Growing Experience

Baby Hansen is growing stronger every day. At first it was a slow and steady process, which left me wondering what, if anything, was happening inside of me. Lately there isn’t a second that slips by where I’m not consumed by the thought of this little human.

We first found out we were expecting in Phuket, Thailand, about a week and a half into our 4 week trip in South East Asia.

My body typically runs as precise as a clock. Nothing happens unexpectedly, especially not my cycles which literally sync with the moon’s schedule. Yes, my moon cycle mimics the moon's cycle... seriously! But traveling can mess up the most regular of any human's body functions, so I didn’t think much of it initially.

After Aunt Flo failed to show up over a week late we took a test that required translating from Thai to English, but the solid double lines were recognizable in any language- they were a very clear positive.

Cautiously optimistic, we took a second test 3 weeks into our trip which was also positive and we proceeded to enjoy every subtle sign that there was life in there without getting too excited until we were back home and could find out for sure that all was okay. The reality of pregnancies are that many, many women experience the tragedy of miscarriage. It's not talked about very often unfortunately, but it is sadly very common. So we chose to not celebrate it until we were further along and knew for sure all was healthy.

Baby Frog during the first ultrasound.

Baby Frog during the first ultrasound.

During the first 16 weeks I experienced the “joys of pregnancy” you often read about- quick growing nails and healthy hair, increased appetite, the ability to sleep-in without guilt, and a huge sense of excitement for what lay ahead. With that came a plethora of peculiar pregnancy realities few people tell you about, for example...

Nosebleeds, exhaustion and nausea, acne centrally located along my jaw line that have clearly caused scaring and will be with me for life, excess mucous stuck to my gums and teeth at all times, cavities, aching legs when laying down, and very prominent veins around my eyes that cannot be concealed.

So fucking unpleasant.

Those first trimester anomalies have somewhat passed, and at nearly the half-way point in this pregnancy I can now enjoy other things- like actually feeling our baby’s movements.

Turns out I’m growing a tiny dancer... Elton John would be proud.

At my first ultrasound the technician had a hard time pinpointing the location of Baby Hansen because of it’s constant movements. Then the image revealed a solid heartbeat, all limbs accounted for, and marathon-runner long legs. So really, it’s a tiny dancer and possibly Kenyan. Dylan's a solid swimmer and I ran track and field during my youth, so it makes sense.

As of last week, week 18, all babies movements are palpable, as well as indescribable. They were first subtle nudges I could only feel internally, or a “fluttering” feeling as it’s often described by the very many pregnancy apps, websites and "what to expect" resources available. Lately it’s reacting to both our voices, music and loud sounds, and can be felt from the outside by both Dylan and myself.

It’s all very new, bizarre and amazing. Apparently Baby Hansen prefers hip-hop, so with it's first few concerts coming up- Propagandhi and Gary Clark Jr.- I'll be sure to wear extra padding around the mid-section to not annoy it.

Thoughts of Our Honeymoon Make Me Gag

Memories of our honeymoon make me nauseous. Literally. Reminiscing about it makes me want to vomit. Never again will I eat Thai food, and I loved it dearly once. I almost can't look at the words 'Thai food' without gagging.

Morning sickness hit me hard in Phuket and continued on through the rest of our journey until we returned to home soil. For that reason, I will forever be grossed out talking about my time in Thailand.

When pregnant the senses are heightened. Being in Thailand is sensory overload for the average human. A human growing another mini human should not go to Thailand... Lesson learned!

Already extreme scents of trash and sewers in 30+ degree weather becomes magnified ten fold. Sea sickness from rocky trips aboard the world's least sturdy vessels where 1 out of every 5 people on board were leaning over the sides throwing up sent me to bed for at least 24 hours upon reaching the shore. The only thing that calmed my queasy stomach was being in the water (certainly not ON the water) whether in the cooler swimming pool or the warm ocean. That and bread. For some reason I needed bread desperately (something I don't normally care for).

I was that "Farang" ordering Western Food at the traditional Thai cafe and insulting everyone around me, simply because I needed some normalcy. Yes, I felt ashamed but my body needed something familiar to keep down and I wasn't going to perpetuate things by not obliging or eating another damn pepper.

I'm going to give it a few years and first try walking past a Thai restaurant without quickly averting my eyes and thinking "happy thoughts" of anything but the food inside the walls. Maybe then, just maybe, I can enjoy the memories of our honeymoon and my favourite Thai dishes once again.