The great second trimester travel tour came to an end when we got back from New York yesterday afternoon. For the past five weeks, I've spent more time away from home than at home. It's been such a joy to visit all of the other cities I've called home in my adult life (Atlanta, Lawrence, Kansas City, and Albany) and have my baby bump rubbed and kissed and loved by so many. Our baby already has quite the village cheering its arrival in August. As much fun as my trips have been, it's also really good to be home. I'm starting to feel that nesting instinct kick in, and I have the first urge to clean my house since before I got pregnant. I'm ready to settle in and enjoy life at home again.
This weekend I hit a major milestone: 20 weeks. It's technically the half-way point, and the psychological boost it's giving me is a blessing. I'm starting to believe I actually will have this baby and not just be pregnant forever. Pregnancy is definitely not my favorite life experience. In many ways, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. The physical symptoms aren't excruciating or unbearable (at least not yet, as everyone seems so eager to tell me.) I've struggled with the emotional and psychological symptoms of pregnancy much more than the physical. It's emotionally grueling. I feel like a teenager again, and I did not enjoy being a teenager. It's exhausting being on guard all the time to deny myself things I love to eat and drink. And it feels interminable. Thankfully, the twenty-week benchmark is shifting my mood somewhat. I'm finally starting to believe I will actually have a baby at the end of this experience and not just get stuck in some science fictional universe where I really will be pregnant forever. In the meantime, please don't tell me to enjoy this time now because it's only getting worse. Pregnancy is hard, but I think different parts of it are harder for some than others, and I would gladly have more physical than psychological symptoms. It would be a relief to point to something specific to complain about instead of trying to put into words why as much as I already love this baby growing inside of me and am glad to have this life experience, I do not enjoy being pregnant. Eventually I hope I find the words and can write an essay explaining my complicated thoughts and feelings on being pregnant.
While Mr. Nomadreader and I drove to New York and spent a week relaxing with family and friends, I took a break from my Baileys Prize longlist reading and binged on more Michael Connelly mysteries, which are much easier to read while also half-watching television or chatting or navigating from the passenger seat. I decided to read Connelly's books in the order in which they were published, so I had the pleasure of reading The Poet, the first non-Bosch mystery (it was fabulous.) I'm currently back to reading a Bosch mystery, Trunk Music, and I hope to finish it in the next few days. I'm eager to see how the Connelly universe continues to expand and overlap as new series begin.
I am also eager to get back into the Baileys Prize longlist. A stack of longlisted titles arrived from the UK while I was out of town, and the last two should arrive later this week. Staring at the physical pile of titles fills me with anticipation, and I haven't decided which one to read next. At this point, I doubt I'll finish the longlist before the winner is announced, largely because I'd rather alternate the longlisted titles with mysteries. There are also a ridiculous number of new releases coming out in April and May by authors I've enjoyed in the past. I now plan to read whichever longlisted title most strikes my fancy at the moment until the shortlist is announced. Then I'll focus on those titles until I finish, before moving back to the longlisted titles. I've realized so far in 2014, when I've left myself read whatever appeals to me in that moment rather than committing to specific review dates, that I most enjoy reading when finding a good balance between goal-oriented reading and mood-based reading. I think aiming to alternate Baileys Prize titles with other titles will work well.
I plan to spend the rest of the day reading Trunk Music, writing a few blog posts for this week, watching basketball, and running errands before heading back to work tomorrow. I'm really enjoying the men's NCAA tournament again this year, and Michael Connelly chapters are often the perfect length to read during commercial breaks.
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