It killed me that I couldn’t write about what was happening with the pregnancy in real time. So, I journaled here about the process up until today. My plan is to post as interesting things happen, like I did with the wedding. No one topic totally takes over, it’s just whatever is happening on the daily that gets written about. I’ll be posting a photo every month. I love seeing pregnant ladies and it will be cool for me to see how things grow and change. Other than that I don’t really have any plans with this whole shenanigan. Now, to catch you all up on things:
I spent the first week after I found out I was pregnant being really, really scared. I was pretty much terrified I would miscarry at work. I was terrified I would suddenly look down and see blood seeping through my pants and staining my desk chair, like some horror film. Every time I went to the bathroom I checked my underwear for spotting. Every time I wiped after peeing I felt relief when there was only the usual and nothing pink or red. I worried I would be grossed out and then maybe pass out at work (I pass out, this isn’t so very far fetched). Worrying about this made my panic spike so that even the littlest mention of blood or stories of anything gross gone awry sent me over the edge and into the bathroom to splash water on my face and take several deep breaths, telling myself, “I got this. Get it together Lauren.” It didn’t help that I did spot, twice, in that first week. And that I had pretty chronic discomfort, pressure, and cramping. I think for a first time pregnant lady cramping is the most ominous thing, even if the internet tells you it can be normal… or not normal. Really, it means nothing. That is the opposite of helpful.
Then one day as I was getting ready for bed and talking this out with Kamel who was hearing every fear, every irrational (or not irrational) thought, I realized: It’s gross. This whole thing is kind of gross. Mucous plugs and increasing the amount of blood in your body (you know, because eventually it comes out in a rather dramatic fashion), and the hormones make you constipated and/or gassy, and the expanding uterus can give you horrible heart burn and/or make you pee every hour on the hour. It’s just going to be gross and physical and there is nothing I can do about it but ride this shit out. And then I started to feel better. And by the second week I knew that I was pregnant I stopped worrying every day about miscarrying because if I do, I do. It means the baby was broken, the chromosomes not so awesome and the body does a re-boot. It is what it is and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Except stay hydrated, don’t fall down stairs, and take my prenatal vitamins so my kid doesn’t come out with a third eye or 6 toes.
This is me 1 month pregnant:
And pretty soon I am 6 weeks pregnant. Just like that the little creature has a heartbeat (or so I read) and I feel like shit. I sleep 12 hours a day and I constantly feel like I have the flu. Making a baby is magic, but feeling housebound and like every single day is a massive chore – that fucking sucks. I am reading first trimester forums because none of my close friends have had kids yet and my mom says it will suck for many more weeks, so I’m trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel. It cannot be found. Ladies everywhere even complain about fatigue and grossness at 10+ weeks. I am so bloated at work I have to unbutton my pants secretly under my tank top. The gas pains are ridiculously painful and there is nothing I can do to stop them… except fart, of course… and that really doesn’t happen at work in a room full of people. Being pregnant at 6 weeks is indeed miserable.
At 7 weeks this happened:
And it was amazingly reassuring and very cool. Up until the point where we saw the blob on the screen and the feverish heart beat the only sign that it was alive or even in there had been increasing pregnancy symptoms (Oh, did you say migraines, constipation, acne, AND diarrhea? On top of feeling massively hungover on a daily basis? Weee!). So I was a little paranoid that it wasn’t even in there at all and I would have to go through this all over again seeing as how it was just a “Chemical” pregnancy. Thankfully, that did not happen. And now I have evidence of the blobby little face who is trying so very hard to kill me. At this point I really don’t have much fear of miscarriage. I know I’m going to write that sentence and then it’s going to happen because that’s what the universe does – it fucks with you. But I guess that’s also the truth. The midwife who did my ultrasound was pretty stoked about the strong heart beat and how everything was progressing. What I’m most worried about is having it die and then having all of these weeks of hell be for nothing. That would be a crushing blow. And yes, me me me. It’s all about me. I am trapped in the longest flu of my life. Yay baby, but fuck me (That’s what got you here in the first place. Yes I know.) I’m just counting down the weeks to second trimester. So far: 5 to go. That’s over a month. Knowing that makes me cry. I have several times so far because the difficulty of this has been overwhelming.
This is me at 2 months pregnant:
The baby is the size of a raspberry and it has fingers and toes and arm and leg joints and a facial features. I have not popped yet, I do not have a bump, I just have bloatation, giant boobs, extra lbs from carbo-loading on crackers and dry cereal all day, and my total inability to work out because I have 40% more blood in my body than I did 2 months ago and my cardio ability went from pretty awesome to zero in a matter of days. Literally. It’s very spooky to be one day working out in the mornings like it ain’t no thang and then two days later feel like you are suddenly (SUDDENLY! POOF!) 300 lbs and lose your breath walking up a flight of stairs. Talk about who-the-fuck-am-I?? For being as body-conscious as I am, I am doing pretty well as I watch the lbs tick on (yes, I’ve already gained weight, no you don’t have to, yes some people lose weight in the first trimester, obviously not me). I get that things are just going to happen and I have a very limited amount of control, so I’m doing my best. But the most difficult lesson for me in all of this? Realizing that my body no longer functions under my command. Things I thought I knew, are no longer true. Things I used to be capable of, just like that I am no longer capable of. I don’t really know or totally understand my body anymore. It’s been taken over by hormones (or as we say in my house Hormonies) and a foreign creature clawing its way to existence. It’s sort of like I’m not even here. Go ahead, make your human, I’ll just wait.
Then at 10 weeks we saw our baby move:
We now call it the dancing baby. And sometimes Kamel leans over to me and says, “We have a dancing baby!” and I say “Yup!” And that is the greatest. I’m still sick every single day. I have meds that help but I still feel hungover, I’m still massively motion sick at the drop of a hat, and I am still exhausted by simple tasks like … leaving the house. So I don’t. Sometimes we try but then we end up aborting the mission half way through. Sometimes I have windows of feeling ok. Mostly these windows are spent at work, sometimes I’m lucky and I get a few hours where I almost feel normal on a Saturday and I can run some laundry out to the laundry room or return clothes I’ve ordered online that have been sitting on my kitchen table for weeks. It’s really difficult to come up with viable content for the blog because I don’t do anything. And this makes me feel guilty and frustrated. And that’s why I took that week break – I mostly felt like I was failing.
I wrote these paragraphs as things were happening, as I said above. As the weeks ticked by, I wrote little blurbs about them. Now I am 11 weeks! And the baby is the size of a lime. So far there have been some really cool moments – ultrasounds, watching my body shift, learning weird factoids about the process – and sometimes there have been scary moments – sudden pain in my 10th week that could have been a bad sign but wasn’t, having anxiety about miscarriage, a moment when I was sobbing on the couch into Kamel’s chest about being really and truly afraid of labor/delivery – and the overall difficulty of being sick for such a prolonged amount of time. At this point, my eye is on September. I’m almost to my second trimester and I’m hoping and crossing my fingers a major part of the difficulty lifts for me.