Monthly Archives: August 2015

7 Weeks, The Size of a Blueberry

Seven weeks. My little poppy seed is now more the size of a bean or a blueberry.

I’m amused by all of the pregnancy sites that use food to try to convey the size of a baby as it grows. I ate a fistful of blueberries yesterday at the creek, grabbing a quick snack to keep the morning sickness at bay before wading back out to help my three year old swim. I can’t manage to make the connection between the small growing life that will become my child and a plump round purplish berry.

I can imagine the tip of my pinky finger, I can picture a quarter of an inch and how tiny it is even compared to that tiny bit of me. I’m told that even at this tiny size, the human embryo has become 10,000 times bigger than it was at conception.

None of these details manage to give me what I’m looking for.

I remember reading over descriptions like these during my first pregnancy, trying to piece together what it meant. Trying to understand how it all worked. Trying to use it to connect to the idea of motherhood.

My oldest is eight years old now. I’d say he’s about the size of an eight year old, which is rapidly approaching the size of me. My five year old has lost his toddler chub and can be measured by the strength of his full body hugs that feel like being tackled by a small quarterback. My three year old stretches from under my chin to down below my knees when she lays herself down on top of me to listen to my heartbeat while trying to fall asleep on a restless night.

This time around the way that growth is happening is more of a scientific curiosity than a way to connect.

My fourth child is curled up like a tiny question mark in my womb, rapidly growing to a size where he or she can be born. I probably won’t hold this child in my arms until they’re larger than a sack of rice. Until they can curl up on my chest instead of on the tip of a finger. I understand with all my heart that this child will be loved no more and no less than the children that wrestle and play around me now.

That is where the wonder comes from, this time around. Feeling the growth of hope and love and connection form.

I’m as pragmatic as I am unapologetically emotional. I understand that until eight weeks I still have a 30% miscarriage risk. I understand that until 14 weeks the risk is still high.

Honestly, none of that matters. When I first saw the two lines on that pregnancy test in the bathroom at my friend’s house in Vermont… I made a choice in that split second. I chose to feel love and hope from the very beginning.

There’s no newsletter, no baby growth ticker, no set of medical illustrations that can describe that for me. The growth of love and hope. I can’t say it’s the size of a bean or a blueberry. I can’t say that it’s managed to grow to 10,000 times the size that it was before I even knew.

I can say that it’s there. I can say that it’s growing. I am seven weeks pregnant. I feel hope. I feel love.

It Isn’t Hypocrisy if Breastfeeding Makes You More Uncomfortable Than a Bikini

If seeing a woman in a low cut top or a bikini barely registers anymore, but seeing a mother breastfeeding her child makes you uncomfortable…

You haven’t seen it often enough.

I no longer believe that it is hypocrisy. It is the simple math of frequency. What we do not see often… stands out.

People who have strong feelings about other people covering up or finding private places are innocent of the details that go into breastfeeding an infant or a toddler. They hold simplified ideas, often ones that they have heard elsewhere that seem to make sense.

They are not aware that not every mother responds to a pump.

They are not aware that not every baby takes a bottle.

They are not aware of the devastation that isolation can create in the mind and heart of a new mother struggling to adjust after her baby has been born.

They are not aware that breastfeeding is a learned skill that both baby and mom need to work at and practice. It is natural but it does not come easily, even when a mama has been through it before.

They are not aware of how some children respond to being covered up.

They are not aware of the impact that adding another step can have on a mama who is struggling with just getting her baby to latch on.

They are unaware of the drastic changes that would take place if every mother began to breastfeed openly without covering.

It would be normal.

It would make it easier for new mothers, because they would have seen it before.

It would increase breastfeeding success rates and that would bring along all of the benefits that breastfeeding carries.

It would have an amazing impact on the postpartum mental health of new mothers.

It would also stop being noticeable. It would be no different than seeing a bathing suit on a beach.