23 weeks 5 days

I had another terrible dream last night.

I dreamed that George and I went to a festival. We were sitting at these round tables, chatting with various people, and I noticed George talking to a cute, petite, 30-something blonde woman. I didn’t know her, but figured she was someone that he worked with, or a friend’s wife. He was drinking heavily, and stumbled a bit when he got up from the table… and he was holding her hand. Shocked, I asked him where he was going; he said he was taking her home. I asked him why, and he said it was none of my business. I woke up crying and couldn’t fall back asleep.

I know that these dreams are projections of my subconscious feelings about my changing body, as well as fear of abandonment. Up until now I’ve been proud of my growing belly, wearing tuck-in t-shirts and maternity pants with waistbands. Recently I’m noticing that I don’t just have this protruding belly — my legs are starting to get bigger, too. I’ve worried fleetingly that weight gain and body changes might trigger old eating disorder habits… but I’m too smart to let that happen. This baby is too important for me to be worrying about image issues.

The other part is the abandonment issue. This baby alters the makeup of our relationship… we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend, or husband and wife… we’re Mama and Papa now. Every single person I depended on for the first 20 years of my life is gone – I’m estranged from my parents and childhood friends; I’ve lost my grandparents and other loved ones in death. Everyone has left me. The constant, through the ugly and the beautiful, has been my George. His family and friends have welcomed me with open arms. I know that I can’t depend on someone else for my personal happiness, and I don’t. But I do feel slightly off-kilter right now, even if my logical mind knows it’s hormonal, my emotional mind is freaking out slightly.

In addition to all of the emotional stuff, I’m having some pain. It feels like I’ve been squeezing a grapefruit between my thighs for the past 36 hours. Yesterday it was painful to walk, and the stairs were excruciating. I called my midwife and she suggested doing some pelvic rocks and stretching and said to come in today if I’m not feeling any better. After lots of stretching, a hot bath and sleeping with a hot water bottle, I feel much better today. I think it’s probably just ligament pains from things starting to stretch. As long as they aren’t contraction-type pains and the baby is moving around, I’m not really worried.

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