She had never taken notice, until now, of how loud the ticking from John's small clock was. Now she was listening to it, almost hypnotized. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. It should have helped her fall back to sleep but didn't. It was getting on her nerves instead. The heat and stuffiness of the room did not help either. That and she was beginning to feel nauseous. She blamed the heat and her nerves. Yeah that was it, the heat and her nerves.
Shayera sighed and resisted the urge to look at the time again. It would only make things worse. She could hear John's even breathing on the other side of the bed and she almost felt jealous. Running her hand through her amber hair to brush it away from her face, she decided to get up.
She carefully slid out of the bed and stood up as silently as she could. Not wanting to make more noise than necessary, she tiptoed to the door. It was quite dark, save for the pale white moonlight coming in from the windows. Her eyes easily adjusted to the lack of light. Shayera took a quick look around and pouted. This was not fair.
Shayera let out an exasperated sigh as she sat on the couch. Maybe a little bit of TV would help her. The television's bluish light contrasted the darkness of the room. Currently some Vampire-drama show was starting up; she quickly changed the channel and settled on some cartoon channel. Not wanting to wake John, she had muted the TV and the captions were on. However, she was far too tired to even care. Tonight marked the third sleepless eve in a row for her. Worries over this test were starting to overtake her. If John knew that she hadn't slept in three days, he would have a fit. Well more like he would start with that annoying fussing again.
After forty-five minutes, Shayera turned off the TV and scowled; that didn't work at all. She sat at the kitchen table, rubbing her eyes. A thought popped into her head. She just had to simply tire herself out. She looked up at the kitchen clock and then dropped her gaze with a groan. She'd washed the dirty dishes by hand, cleaned the kitchen table and counter top, and gotten the coffee pot ready for the following morning. None of it was working, her mind was still racing.
Shayera once again sat down at the kitchen table and dropped her head into her hands with a sigh. She slowly looked up. Her eyes roamed towards a set of three books. She honestly didn't know if this was Wally's sick idea of a joke or if he honestly was trying to help. Shayera cast the books a glare; she didn't need nor want a book to tell her how to be a mother or what to expect during pregnancy.
Nonetheless, she reached over and picked one of them up. Pregnancy Week by Week. Shayera rolled her eyes. Almost all of the information in there pertained to humans, not her. Her body was different. Though she still opened the book and began flipping through the chapters.
Welcome to Week 9
Why did this book seem so peppy? What was she getting herself into?
Your Body: Worries, Concerns, And Fears
Most pregnant women - regardless if it's baby number 1 or baby number 9 - are anxious about the child growing inside. Will he be healthy? Will she have 10 fingers and 10 toes? It's perfectly normal and understandable to be concerned. After all, life takes on a new meaning when you're pregnant.
Every mother-to-be worries to a certain extent. But if you're so worried that it interferes with work, sleeping, or eating, you should take action. Try talking with-
Shayera turned the page. She didn't need a book to tell her what to do.
Your Baby in Week 9 of Pregnancy
Your baby, now the size of a green olive, has grown about an inch since last week. Tiny muscles are beginning to form, so while he might not be ready to pump iron, he's gearing up to move his arms and legs.
Sunrise, sunset: Would you believe your baby is having his or her first graduation already? Yes, it's true: At 9 weeks pregnant, your scholar-to-be has ended his or her embryonic stage and is entering the fetal period now (good-bye embryo, hello fetus). Your fetus is now about one inch long, the size of a medium green olive (but no martinis, please). The head has straightened out and is more fully developed, the ears are much more prominent, and some new organs (the liver, spleen, and gallbladder) are forming. Your fetus is also making spontaneous movements of his or her arms and legs now that minuscule muscles are beginning to develop, though you won't feel your tiny dancer for at least another two months.
Shayera scrunched up her nose. "Little dancer, really? This is completely ridiculous. Thanagarians are warriors, not dancers. My child is not and never will be a dancer."
While it's way too early to feel anything, it's not too early to hear something (possibly). Your baby's heart is developed enough — and grown large enough — so that its beats can be heard with a Doppler, a handheld ultrasound device that amplifies the lub-dub sound the heart makes.
Your Body in Week 9 of Pregnancy
Chances are you've never felt so tired in your life and for good reason: Your body is working overtime preparing for motherhood as it develops the placenta, your baby's lifeline. At the same time, your metabolism and hormone levels are surging, which triggers a decrease in blood sugar and blood pressure. The result of all this: pregnancy fatigue. Relief is around the corner as your energy level increases (and morning sickness decreases) over the next few weeks.
"I'm pretty sure I felt a lot worse than right now. Namely Darkseid's invasion a few years ago," She stated to no in particular. "I'll be happy when this stupid nausea is gone. What else you got?"
Week 9 Pregnancy Tip: Healthy Snacking
Shayera stifled a laugh. John would love this section. He was nagging her already about it and now a book was going to do the same.
Dealing with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy isn't easy — but it's especially hard if you have any anxieties. Don't worry! As challenging as your tender first trimester appetite is right now, it's still up to the challenge of filling your baby's nutritional needs (since he's just a little bigger than a pea right now, those needs are pretty tiny, too). In the meantime, if big meals are a big turnoff, eat at least six smaller, but nutrient-packed mini-meals and snacks throughout the day.
Shayera rolled her eyes once again. "A few cans of soda and some potato chips aren't going to kill me or hurt anything."
Not only will the mini-meals be easier for your queasy stomach to…um…stomach, but keeping yourself a little bit filled is the best way to keep it from emptying out (over the toilet). Right now, focus on foods you find less offensive (even if it's crackers, crackers, and more crackers), choosing a healthy option whenever your stomach doesn't protest (make those crackers are whole grain, and serve them up with a slice of mild cheddar).
"Who gave you the right to tell me what to eat? You have no say in-" She then stopped. "Why am I arguing with a book in the first place? It's an inanimate object!" Shayera combed through her hair with her fingers. "Shayera, you are definitely losing it. It has to be the lack of sleep."
Unfortunately, sleep didn't seem to be coming to her anytime soon.
"Shayera?" She turned to see John standing there, squinting through the darkness and rubbing his eyes. "Why are you up? It's quarter to five."
"I couldn't fall asleep," She quietly replied. "My nerves are getting to me. I'm still afraid I'm going to fail even though I can recite every president in order of both term and alphabetically, I know the U.S. Constitution front and back, and I can lecture you about American history until the pigs come home."
"Cows," He corrected her.
"Whatever," She dismissively waved her hand at him. "I've been trying to distract myself but it hasn't helped. I tried everything John. I even cleaned and read parts of one of those books Wally got me."
"You cleaned?" John asked as she blushed, "You never clean. You're one of the messiest people I know. You really must be desperate, especially if you read one of those books. You said you didn't need a book to-"
"I don't need a book to tell me how to be a mother or what to expect while pregnant," She insisted. "Those books are so degrading. I don't know how human women read those." John let her continue to rant. He watched as her eyes began to droop and she began yawning. "And half of the books are written by men! What do they know? You don't go through this, I do! Furthermore," She paused as she yawned, "Furthermore I...I forgot what I was going to say but it was important."
John held back a laugh but smiled, "Alright how about we go back to bed and you try to fall asleep again?" His response was a yawn as she marched in front of him. "That was easy."
About two hours later Shayera sat up in bed with a start. Her heart was pounding as she pushed off the bed and raced to the bathroom. She made it just in time to vomit into the toilet bowl, her body racking as she heaved.
She saw the lights flick on and someone came up behind her to grab her hair and hold it for her. She flushed the toilet and turned around. John was standing there, a cup of water and a warm washcloth ready.
Shayera didn't know if she actually like the easiness of this routine they picked up, she would get morning sickness just after 6:30 in the morning, every morning and he would be there for her, every time. She loved that he was there for her; she just didn't like the whole ordeal.
Shayera groaned, "I have that stupid test in three hours and I barely got one hour of sleep. Thanks," She whispered as she took the cup and rinsed her mouth out. She set the cup and cloth down and grabbed her toothbrush to clean her mouth.
John leaned up against the counter, watching her through sleepy eyes. "You were having nightmares again," He quietly stated. "You mentioned Rex again. Was it that same one you had last week?"
She nodded as she spit the toothpaste out before scrubbing her tongue. She finished quickly and rinsed her mouth out again. "Sorry."
John sympathetically smiled at her, "Don't apologize." He whispered, kissing her on the lips. "Hmmm minty."
Shayera smiled in return. "Thanks, I brush often. Morning sickness and all that. You taste like..." She kissed him again and stepped back. "Chocolate and coconuts. You're hiding candy from me, aren't you?"
He arched an eyebrow. "Me? Never! If I had any Mounds candy I would share them with you because I know they're your favorite."
"No you wouldn't because you would be worried that I would eat them before you got any," She yawned, succumbing to tiredness. "You're so weird."
"Says the temperamental Thanagarian interrogating me about candy at 6:30 in the morning." He smirked as he watched her roll her eyes at him. He leaned over, wrapped an arm around her, and kissed her on the lips. "If you haven't noticed, we're anything but ordinary sweetheart."
Shayera lightly grinned and gave out a small laugh, "You can say that again."
A/N: Hurricane Sandy = No electricity or internet for a week. I loved it! (not) I went through internet withdrawal and everything. I'm pretty sure I'm even more certifiably crazy now. And I really think this chapter reflects it. I have way too many ideas in my head right now.