22 Weeks

I spent the 22nd week of my pregnancy in London, where I attended a conference, worked in an unfamiliar office with excellent snacks, and marveled at the fact that I had brought pretty much entirely the wrong clothes with me, given that it snowed for two and a half of the eight days I was there. I'm sorry, but I lived in the south of England from 1991 to 2002 and I can count on one gloveless hand the number of times I remember it snowing, let alone snowing in late March. So sue me for bringing my bikini and my flipflops. 

(I didn't really bring my bikini and my flipflops. A couple more pairs of fleece-lined sweater tights wouldn't have gone amiss, though. Or a balaclava.)

I hit a couple of milestones during my work trip to London, and one of them is that I finally looked pregnant enough—or stuck my tummy out far enough and rubbed it shamelessly enough?—that someone offered me their seat on the train. It happened on two different occasions, actually, and it tickled me both times. I thanked both seat-giver-uppers profusely, of course, although a teeny-tiny part of me felt like a bit of a fraud, and an even teeny-tinier part of me thought it might've been sort of hilarious to paste a confused look onto my face in response, burst into offended tears, and stammer "What? But I'm not pregnant!" 

The second major milestone is that the baby has now started kicking hard enough, upon occasion, for other people to feel it. This meant that I spent much of last week frozen in a weird and slightly awkward tableau with someone else's hand on my belly as we both waited for it to happen again. Seriously, I cannot count the number of times I suddenly shouted "ooh, the baby just kicked!" in the middle of a conversation and the person I was with immediately leaned over the table, clapped a hand onto my lower midsection, and then looked at me expectantly as the seconds ticked into minutes and we both tried to ignore the fact that we were touching more intimately than most people do on a third date.

I know a lot of pregnant women get weird about the belly touching, but I have to say that I don't really mind it at all. I've been pretty surprised by how many people want to do it, but hey, it's not like I'm going to make you buy me dinner first. What's more awkward is claiming that I felt the baby kick and then waiting desperately for him to perform again so that I don't sound like I'm making it up. I'm pretty sure a few people last week were just like "oh yeah, I totally felt him," if only to find a gracious way to pull their hand away and put an end to what had been starting to become a rather uncomfortable interaction.

The only other noteworthy thing that's happened during week 22 is my sudden inability to hear about anything sad or terrible happening to a child. I mean, it's not like I had previously rejoiced in sad and terrible things happening to children, of course, but I had usually been able to think "oh god, how sad and terrible" and then move on without it ripping up my life.

Now, however, I am as sensitive as an English person's pale freckled legs on a beach in Florida when it comes to awful things befalling poor wee innocents—and their parents!—and I had to physically force myself to stop reading a man's newspaper over his shoulder on the tube last week once I realized I was weeping over the story of a little girl's stroller being blown into the path of an oncoming car. It's become so bad, in fact, that I can no longer even stand it when the spam filter on my blog asks me "are you sure you want to delete this comment and all its children?" because what? All its children? I don't want to hurt any children! No, no, no, let's just let this garbled solicitation for knock-off viagra stay where it is. It's fine, honestly. Unless you want me to start crying about it.

1
Maren
Apr 01, 2013

Yes! That! I can't even stand watching grown-up babies (read: adults) come to harm. So when watching shows such as The Wire and Sons of Anarchy, I spend a lot of time with my eyes covered and ears plugged so as not to have to see any bad thing happening to anyone who used to be someone's little boy.

2
Lisa Y
Apr 01, 2013

I haven't been pregnant now for two and a half years and I still have to stop myself even reading news headlines that MAY be about something sad happening to a child. I even had to look up the ending to an extremely long book I was reading because I was afraid this toddler who was a minor character was going to die and if he did, I wasn't going to finish the book.

3
jen
Apr 01, 2013

I felt the same sense of odd-pride when going through O'Hare security check and having all the grumpy TSA agents become very nice and say things like "blessings on your baby!". I don't ride public transit enough to have people offer up a seat, but that's definitely got to feel like a milestone.
Re: not being able to hear bad news regarding children - I am definitely there! It's so bad that now I refuse to read stories that talk about children being harmed. I just can't help but put this future child into the context of the story and feeling absolutely horrified.
Re: the weird weather - it snowed here last week when typically it's skirt and flip flop weather. Definitely strange last week of March!

4
Kim L
Apr 01, 2013

I know! Something in a mom's brain chemistry changes and makes her a bit more Sally Struthers ("THE CHIIILDREN!)

5
kat
Apr 01, 2013

you're so glow-y! i sincerely hope you will take these photos and put them together in the end into some fun slideshow..set to music or something fancy. :)

6
Anna Louisa
Apr 01, 2013

My first pregnancy didn't get quite as far as yours, but I was loving the tummy-touching too :). Babies are a miracle...of course I didn't mind!

www.anna-bird.com

7
Jamie
Apr 01, 2013

After having my son, I had to stop watching Law and Order: SVU because if it involved a child, it would send me into a fit of tears and I would think about the episode for weeeeeks. I know it's "fiction" but those kinds of bad things happen a lot in the real world and I just couldn't take it. My son is two and a half and I still can't watch it.

8
Over-Thinker
Apr 01, 2013

I've never been gifted with a seat after a large lunch so I'd surmise you look perfectly pregnant in all the "right" ways. I just love your photos - red and turquoise is a favorite of mine and it's just a lovely POP!

Gorgeous as ever, you are.

Here's to more timely kicking from the wee lad - is it true that they kick more after a spicy meal?

9
beth
Apr 01, 2013

The thing that absolutely crushed me during pregnancy was, wait for it, Piggly Wiggly commercials! They've been local since... FOREVER! Tear.

10
edj
Apr 01, 2013

Yes. Avoid all sad novels and read nothing about harm to a baby/toddler until your youngest is safely past that age. Then you'll have to avoid anything about anyone near the ages of any of your children. This can be difficult, esp if you're a news junkie like me. But it's for the best.

11
Rosi
Apr 01, 2013

You look wonderful Holly! To get the baby to kick, drink a glass of ice water.

12
Cait
Apr 01, 2013

I hear you... I work in law enforcement and unfortunately had to see some child crimes while being pregnant. It just digs into your heart so much more than before. Even now (my daughter is two), those types of crimes just rip me apart.

13
Pretzel Thief
Apr 01, 2013

Girl, I love you LIKE WHOA.

(In a totally non-creepy, non-stalkery way.)

That is all.

WAIT! 'Cept not.

You made me chortle with the whole baby's kicking/people touching belly/awkwardness if they don't feel it part...bahahah.

And oh MAAAAN I can imagine the craziness of snow this late. Autumn has just hit in Melbourne and it's hit pretty hard...but we had a very late, Indian summer up until about a week ago. 'Twas all kinds of awesome.

(Aaaaaand I'll shut up about that...nnnnnow. Hee!)

14
Erika
Apr 01, 2013

Ever since becoming pregnant with my daughter, I cannot handle bad things happening to children. She is 3 1/2 now, and I still cry when something in a movie or television happens and almost have to turn it off. And it's not just bad things happening to kids; I'm just more likely to cry over mushy stuff regarding kids like potty training commercials and stuff. I will never be the same!

15
Leah
Apr 02, 2013

Yep, just to add a voice to the chorus, I have two little kids and it pretty much rips your heart wide open. Like Maren said, violence (real or fictional) even against adults hurts me because I think about the adults' parents. That sensitivity, and worry in general about things I can't control, is something really hard about being a parent that I didn't anticipate; I would have said poop-handling is the worst but you actually get used to that.

16
Aga
Apr 03, 2013

Did you pick up one of those TFL 'baby on board' pins? They're uber cute, and I think I saw a photo of Kate M with one the other day!

17
Lesli
Apr 03, 2013

My sister would cover her ears after she had children when I would mention anything even remotely sad involving a child and I would think, Get a grip, it's not that bad, but since I've had a child, I do the same thing. If I hear something sad involving a child that I couldn't avoid hearing, I cry off and on for DAYS. Have to hug my son and force myself not to think about it, la la la...

18
Kristina
Apr 03, 2013

It never stops, that inability to hear about anything happening to children, but it progressively gets older. My eldest just turned 17 on a school trip to Europe, and I have been a bundle of nerves, and not appreciative at all of the kind advice I keep getting from adults (far less well-traveled than my daughter, mind you) about movies I should watch so I can teach her to be careful about all the baddies in places where people don't speak English. Even though my own personal experience tells me, "It's fiction, stupid!", I still get sweaty palms...

Plus, wait until your belly goes all "Alien" around month 7 or 8, and people can see the tsunami waves rolling across you from across the room. Some folks will be impressed of course, but be prepared for the Invasion of the Body Snatchers comments, especially from men. I thought it was cool, myself.

19
Sheila
Apr 03, 2013

Yep. You're a parent now, well and truly. Kids in peril will get you every time from here on out.

Keep the tissues handy, because you might cry at first smiles, first laughs, first steps... and there's also birthdays, preschool graduations, music recitals, science fair ribbons, soccer goals scored/baseball runs hit/swim meet personal bests made, etc.

Or maybe that's just me.

20
Danielle
Apr 05, 2013

I am due July 28. Stumbled upon your site and just wanted to say hello! It's wonderful being able to "share" your baby kicking with others... my husband immediately stops whatever it is he's doing to feel it. I am 24 weeks on Sunday and just starting to look pregnant to people who do not know me (I have some extra fluff!) but don't feel guilty about shamelessly rubbing your tummy... I do it all the time so people don't think I'm just fat! :)

21
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