Week 15 etc....
And I am back to not feeling pregnant at all. Infact I feel great. Not that they're mutually exclusive or anything. What I mean is that the nausea attacks are gone. I am eating well again. I am feeling much less bloated. Even the swelling and pain in my chest area seems to have gone down. It reminds me of when I've just finished my period, when you feel lighter and healthier with this sense of freedom because all the PMS is gone.
Would be lying if I said I didn't worry that the disappearance of the symptoms might somehow mean I've lost the baby without noticing or something or the whole thing was some sort of mistake or fake pregnancy. I know it's crazy but I did actually take a couple of pregnancy tests just to make sure.
I don't know exactly how to explain the disappearance of the symptoms. It could be the end of Ramadan with the effects of my two weeks of fasting wearing off? Or it could be the effect of having regular sex after a long period of abstinence? I noticed that after my marriage the worst of my PMS symptoms disappeared. For one thing, the cramps were gone. So yeah, regular sex does seem to help balance my hormones or something.
Still not showing. Does anyone know at what point exactly you're supposed to go shopping for maternity clothes? Last night, we were out with my uncle & aunt & two cousins and everyone commented on the fact that I didn't appear to be gaining weight/looking pregnant at all. They said it like it's a good thing but really it's not what I wanted to hear. As time passes and people keep saying I don't look pregnant, it just makes me nervous that something is wrong.
Then my aunt said that I shouldn't be in my skinny jeans, that tight clothing wasn't good for pregnant women.
I tend to just follow that sort of advice. I mean, whether it is valid or not, why take chances? So no more tight pants. Today I went shopping for some long dresses and skirts. I can't wear short skirts because the only symptom that does seem to have survived is the varicose-vein-like discoloration on my legs which tends to appear suddenly without warning and is very unsightly. I noticed they appear when I am on my feet for a long time - like at work - especially in high heels. They seem to disappear when I put my legs up for a while. So I am hopeful that they won't be permanent.
I get to put my feet up a lot more now because with my husband here, he's taken over a lot of the errands and the packing and the household chores so now I don't really have much to do apart from go to work.
It's not exactly shopping for maternity clothes but at least I got to buy something to wear BECAUSE of my pregnancy so it is close.
And I won't be having any Morrocan baths or scrubbing myself too hard in the shower either.
It's only a few months so why take chances? I can worry about fashion and beauty again after the baby is born.
As far as the state of the marriage, I am reminded again and again of the benefits of physical proximity. When stuck together in the same living quarters, there's really a limit to how long you can stay mad at each other. You get to a point where neither one of you can stand the tension anymore. And you reach that point much faster when living together than when you're on different continents.
In our case, I can tell we are reaching that point when our marriage is a comedy show again. My husband is at his funniest when he's coming out of a fit of fury. It's his way of reaching out without having one of those serious 'about us' conversations he hates so much. Or simply apologizing if he thinks he's been wrong about some things.
And me? Well, I'd rather have him trying to make me laugh all the time, than mad at me, hands down. Besides, it is much more fun. I do love to laugh.
Of course, after the comedy show phase, where we generally act like two people who just met and are trying to out-charm, out-flirt, out-joke and out-impress each other, there comes a point where we're forced to confront the fact that we are not, infact, out on an extended first date, that we've been together for a while and there's a lot of history there and quite a few unresolved feelings on both sides about various events in said history.
This second phase usually begins when we both suddenly start awkwardly falling all over ourselves to deny ever having been mad about anything EVER, in response to everyday occurences that somehow point to causes of past dispute. This is sometimes even more hilarious - and stupid - than Phase One.
Phase Three is the point at which we finally sit down like adults and address the issues that might have caused the rift in the first place. This phase can really go anyway. Sometimes it goes really badly and results in a new rift. Sometimes it goes really well in terms of communicating and resolving things usually, because the passing of time has made the original rift insignificant and therefore easy to discuss. Some wounds are healed by nothing as well as time. And sometimes, well, we just skip this phase altogether and move on. We just forget.
At the moment I'd say we are definitely in Phase One of our Conflict Resolution Manual - which is fun.
Physical proximity has also helped me see something that is making me even happier. My husband's professed lack of interest in becoming a father is nowhere as absolute as it looked. He IS excited and pleased.
I can see it on his face when he is talking - and asking questions - about parenthood to other people and he forgets that he's not supposed to let me get away easily with getting pregnant more or less without his consent and not according to schedule. The other people concerned are anyone from the doctor, our parents, my friends, his friends etc...He just can't hide his excitement and curiosity when he's not talking to me directly. Which I would never have seen if he had still been overseas and we were only talking on the phone.
I can also see - when he lets his guard down and forgets to pretend otherwise - that the whole jealousy thing doesn't go very deep. It is just easier for him to justify being here - and not with his parents - to himself if I am somehow an urgent problem. He doesn't want to admit that he's here because, I dunno, he might have missed me - or because I finally wore him down with all the nagging, or even because taking on the crisis in his family on his own without complaint for so long is an emotional burden he might just need a break from. I guess it's just more macho to tell himself he did it because I was getting out of control.
I could wish I had married someone who was less hung up on being tough/cool/macho/in-control-of-every-situation - and more at peace with the fact that he does have feelings and weaknesses like the rest of us. It might make a lot of things easier and save us both a lot time and energy.
Or I could remember way back when we were still getting to know each other, I found this side of him so refreshing and so sincere. If only because I had had enough of selfish, irresponsible men who know how to act sensitive and caring when they aren't and who would say sentimental and romantic things they didn't really feel and probably say to every other girl they happened to be two-timing you with because they know girls like it. Then I met K, who seems to be the other extreme, who shows he cares only by action and is so uncomfortable with words, who never seems to want you to give him credit for the nice things he does for you because it embarrasses him to even have them acknowledged. He is unlike anyone else I ever met in that he seems to prefer to present himself in a worse light, to look worse rather than better than he really is, because he somehow believes he has to look tough and macho 24/7.
And I thought then, this is the real thing, this is someone who is solid, who respects his commitments, who may not buy me flowers or write me poems but would do anything for me, would always be there for me, this is someone I can trust and feel safe with.
Except, of course, just like a woman, I also thought that - with time - I could change him. Famous last words.:)
I don't think I have changed him much, or that I have succeeded in softening the hard edges or making him as verbal, as forthcoming with emotion and sentiment as I am. Not yet anyway. But I still love him, the solid core, his strength, his generosity, his loyalty, his optimism and sense of humor even when things seem hopeless, the willingness to put others before himself and this ability he seems to have to know me at my worst and still have the best expectations of me.
Maybe parenthood will finally change him? I wonder if he will be the same with our kids as he is with me and with everyone else? I mean children can't be expected to read between the lines. They need to have things spelt out for them. They need to be encouraged and told you love them. So maybe he will have to change then? We shall see.