I think around age 12, I realized normal was a word I didn’t like. I didn’t want to be normal. Normal was boring. I wanted to be different. Dress a little different. Act a little different. It has always been part of my identity to be a little off from normal.
Being pregnant is a huge shift. You become obsessed with being normal. This may be everyone or it may be because I had a miscarriage so I am on high alert. I can’t speak to everyone’s experience. But my experience has been a complete and utter obsession with normalcy.
Normal for me: What is the normal amount of weight gain? I haven’t gained any weight, is that normal? Is this amount of nausea normal? If your nausea subsides, is that normal? (seriously, at this point, I should be rejoicing!) Is this headache normal? Is this cramp or shift or shimmy in my belly normal? Is my progesterone level normal? Why do I even know what progesterone is on this scale? Is this level of knowledge normal?
Normal for the baby: What is the normal heart rate for 8 weeks along? What is the normal heart rate for 12 weeks along? 14 weeks? Is that what a baby normally looks like at this point? Is her size normal? Is her head shape normal? Is that a normal # or rate or insert other piece of information here. Is this normal? Is this NORMAL!??
Phew. It’s exhausting.
The internet is an amazing thing. I literally. cannot. imagine. being pregnant without Google. How did ANYONE know ANYTHING? I spend the majority of my evenings Googling shit I am concerned is not normal. As it turns out, you can find someone with a story that makes you feel much, much better for every situation you come up with. Unfortunately, for every person who had the same cramp, the same weird feeling, the same whatever and everything turned out peachy, there is also a person who will crush your soul with their comments. Someone who had your exact same symptom or concern who had a terrible and not-comforting outcome. And that’s just the reality of having a million people’s opinions or personal situations at your disposal. It’s a blessing and a curse.
There’s not really a normal with anything. I guess that’s the problem. There are guidelines but there’s no one single thing that is right. And that has to be okay. But so far, everything is looking pretty normal. And that’s a normal I don’t mind at all.