This was the week that we started demolition on our backyard, hence the scene of utter destruction behind me. Note the hastily discarded garden tools! The bed of rubble! The artfully placed cactus, balanced precariously on a stack of lawn chairs! Picturesque, no? Sometimes you get your weekly picture taken in front of Brandenburg Gate or the Eiffel Tower or Rainbow Row; sometimes you get it taken in front of a building site.
I'd say this picture was proof that the nesting instinct has finally set in, except the nesting instinct set in the minute I saw those two pink lines back in November. Actually, I don't think the nesting instinct "set in" as much as it just "intensified to a dangerous degree" because I've always been a bit of a nester, ever since I turned 14 and we moved into a new house and I went around to all the local pubs in my sleepy English town collecting beer bottle caps for a mural I'd decided I was going to make on my closet doors. Classy or what, huh? If only we'd had Pinterest back in 1994. That shit would have blown up.
(Don't worry, it went very nicely with my large Rastafarian flag that I don't think I even realized was a Rastafarian flag and my oversized poster of Jim Morrison. The lava lamp would come later, along with the bookshelves—for my CDs, naturally!—that I made all by myself from cinder blocks.)
So yes, I've been nesting pretty much my entire life, and being pregnant hasn't really changed that, it's just ramped it up to a degree that I now need to get ALL THE PROJECTS DONE NOW NOW NOW, QUICK BEFORE THE BABY COMES, as though once I have a tiny dependent creature who needs constant feeding and changing I won't have any time to pop out to Michaels for some Modge Podge. Curiously enough, none of this nesting energy has been focused on the baby's room—which still looks exactly like it has done for the last year and a half; i.e.: like my office—but instead on all the other rooms in the house, and, as evidenced above, on the backyard, which will hopefully be a grassy paradise of loveliness the next time I show you a picture of it. Let us not speak of it again until then.
The really exciting thing about 25 weeks is that strangers are now asking me, unprompted, when I'm due, which happened on two different occasions on my flight to Charleston last week, and—much like the time I was offered a seat on the train—served to make me feel really and truly pregnant. I know I keep saying "this is the week that it all feels real"—and then saying it again and again the next week—but it's just so funny how each little milestone shocks you into the realization that hey, it's happening, how about that. When I look back at pictures of myself at 12 and 14 and 16 weeks when I thought I looked so pregnant, I want to laugh; it's like my body hadn't yet caught up with my mind. But now here I am at 25 weeks, feeling enormous, and I can't even imagine what I'll feel eight or ten weeks from now when I look back at these twenty-something weeks and think man, I had it so good. I could still see my toes!
25 weeks brought with it my first call to the nurse's hotline—a rite of passage for first-time mothers, I think?—after a bit of a scare that turned out to be nothing at all, but which was exacerbated by the fact that a) I was in Charleston, away from my usual surroundings, b) it was 7 o'clock on a Sunday night so my doctor's office wasn't open, and c) neither Sean nor I have done this before and have no idea what to expect. After calling my practice a couple of times and hanging up at the point at which the recording urged me to press 1 if I had "an urgent medical concern"—is it an urgent medical concern? Is it? I don't know! Am I bothering them if I press 1? Should I press 1? What if they laugh at me? Nah, I'm sure it's fine. Oh god, maybe I should call back and press 1. How do I know if it's an urgent medical concern? etcetera etcetera etcetera—I finally spoke to a lovely nurse who set my mind at ease. Unfortunately, what with all my dithering about whether or not I was suffering an Urgent Medical Concern, we'd missed our dinner reservations at that point, so Sean called the restaurant and asked if it would be possible to pick up a slice of banana cream pie—the one thing I'd been craving on the menu—to go. This is how I ended up walking into one of the fanciest restaurants in Charleston at 10 o'clock at night, in my leggings, belly arriving five minutes ahead of me, to pick up my single piece of banana cream pie. I could practically feel the entire restaurant nodding knowingly at the cliche.
The only other major thing that happened last week was the Glucose Tolerance Test, which I'd been hearing about on Twitter for many years and was actually sort of excited to finally experience for myself. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's basically a doctor's appointment where you're locked in a room with a large bottle of super sugary liquid—mine was orange-flavored; the description I'd heard of "flat Fanta" was spot-on—and given five minutes to drink it without throwing up or bouncing too heavily off the walls. I was playing it pretty cool and didn't think it was too terrible until I looked down at the bottle in my hand and realized I'd actually only drunk a quarter of it.
Maybe because I was too busy taking this picture?
Shortly after that, the doctor walked in and expressed confusion that I hadn't finished yet—I was probably only about halfway through at that point—and I chugged the rest in one fell swoop. Shortly after that, my eye started twitching uncontrollably and I experienced a strong desire to get up and dance to the Florence and the Machine song that was playing in the exam room. (Come to think of it, why was there a Florence and the Machine song playing in the exam room? Why was there any music playing in the exam room? Was there actually a Florence and the Machine song playing in the exam room or was it just playing extra loud in my head?)
I spent the next 45 minutes sitting on a couch in the waiting room with the distinct post-Halloween feeling that I'd gorged on too much candy—headachey, a little nauseous, sort of draggy—before heading down the block to get my blood drawn. As of the time of writing, I'm still waiting to get the results back, but fingers crossed that I passed and don't have to do the next step in the "do you have gestational diabetes?" testing procedure, which is basically a pumped-up version of the above that lasts for three hours. Although you know, I've heard that just a splash of vodka will cut the sweetness.