This post has been in the works for-ev-er. For awhile I felt apprehensive about writing about pregnancy on my blog because it is so personal and feels a bit TMI but it’s also a HUGE theme in my life right now and at times is all-consuming. In the end, how could I not write about this experience? If you’ve been pregnant you’ll probably relate and if you haven’t this post will probably bore the heck out of you. I won’t be offended in the slightest if you skip it, either way. Be forewarned, this is a long read.
I suspected I might be pregnant because I had some unusual cramping way before my period was due but I also didn’t want to get my hopes up. It’s such a mind game and I really didn’t want to pay attention to it, which worked for a day or two. Then I remembered that I had a couple of “for fun” dollar store pregnancy tests stashed away and I took one super early, way before my period was due. It was inconclusive, which made me laugh at karma poking fun at how impatient I was being. The next day, I went to toss something out and saw the test in the garbage was positive. After a big WTF, I reminded myself that it couldn’t be trusted at this point and went on my way. Then, the next day, I took the other cheapie test, which was also inconclusive (picture me banging my head against the wall). I got really crazy (or continued being really crazy?) and checked it a few hours later and saw a faint positive. I was telling Tommy all of this throughout and he kept reminding me not to read into things. Then I reminded him who he was married to. Ha.
For the next several days, I googled pregnancy symptoms and false positives approximately 50 million times. Google shouldn’t be allowed for women who think they are pregnant. Seriously. I ended up somehow waiting until I was FIVE days late to re-test, popped into London Drugs on the way home from work and grabbed a two pack. I was about to start making supper and then Tommy and I decided we couldn’t wait and I ran in to do the test. I had barely peed on the thing and it lit up with a positive. Tommy was totally freaking out, told me to leave it and we would come back and check it in the two minutes. I still make fun of him for this. Then he started saying that maybe the test was a fluke and that I should do the other one. I drank a bunch of water, did the other one and it was also positive. We were giddy with emotion so we went out to dinner to celebrate.
A lot more things started to make sense after this. I’ll leave some out for modesty’s sake, but in addition to my weird cramping, I’d had no interest in my morning coffee for days, I had cried because I didn’t want to leave the house one night and the dog had been SO weird. He would either try to sleep on top of my stomach or be standing at the edge of the bed staring out the door as though he were guarding me.
We found out on the Monday before we were hosting both of our families for Thanksgiving dinner and it was torture not to tell them right away. My mother-in-law even expressed disappointment as she was leaving because she was SURE we had gotten everyone together because we were announcing a pregnancy. Let’s just say there was a lot of tongue biting that weekend. This was also right about the time that my nausea started and I still can’t think about anything I cooked that weekend without feeling totally disgusted. A picture of a pumpkin pie can still turn my stomach in the worst way.
In my sixth week I saw the doctor because I was having trouble keeping food down. I’ve heard people complain about pregnancy sickness before but I definitely never realized how extreme it could be and it was a rude awakening. For me, it felt like I had a stomach flu, all day, every day. Many days I sat at work with a sleeve of saltines in my desk drawer and was constantly shoving them in my mouth to keep from vomiting. I always had to be chewing on something in the car or I got car sick. Luckily my doctor prescribed me diclectin which got rid of my vomiting for the most part and I was still able to function at work. I had a ton of concerns about the quality of my nutrition. It’s hilarious to me that when I need to be nourishing another human I have no desire to eat anything even remotely healthy. I have so many aversions and at the same time, very specific and random cravings that I can’t ignore. There have been so many times that NOTHING sounds good and I end up just eating crackers or canned soup just to get something down.
I went to a jewellery party at a friend’s house, had to lie about why I wasn’t drinking the wine and then was asked point blank if we were trying for kids. I am the worst liar in the world so I had to work on my poker face a lot. Around this time I had an awful cold and then got a freaking cold sore on my EYE of all places, in addition to my all day nausea. My immune system was shot and I learned that pushing myself to be out and about like I used to be serves no purpose except for running me down. I pulled back a lot on making plans because it felt impossible to know what kind of day I’d have. For example, one day I woke up with a wicked back spasm that lasted all day and I was hobbling around like a 90 year old woman. The next day it was totally gone. I also had to leave situations abruptly a couple of times for fear that I was going to vomit in front of someone. If I cut off a conversation quickly or left your house in a hurry the last couple of months, I’m sorry. Now you know why!
I can’t stand cooking smells and have only recently started cooking simple things again. Tommy has been a saint, handling all of the house work and meals while I go to bed early every night. I could not have managed these last couple of months without him. We told our parents and siblings around 9 weeks. We were lucky that my brother’s birthday fell around this time so my whole family was together. I wrapped up a “Super Cool Like my Uncle” onesie with his birthday gift, which was initially mistaken for a dog outfit. Everyone was speechless. Tommy’s parent’s birthdays are two days apart so we had a birthday supper for them and wrapped up two more onesies with “I Love Grandma” and “Grandpa’s Sidekick” on them. They unwrapped them together and it was a super emotional reveal. We go there often so this was the hardest place for me to hide my sickness and I was sure someone would have caught on. To see how shocked they were was a lot of fun. We also told a few of our closest friends around this time.
The problem with starting to tell people early was that I was terrified that something would go wrong and we would have to un-tell people. I was (and still am) petrified about everything going well and very soon I was getting a lot pressure to tell the whole world WAY before I felt ready. I lost a lot of sleep over when the “right” time would be to tell our news. We saw the baby and his or her heartbeat at 9 weeks which helped ease my fears but I still really wanted to wait until at least 12 weeks to publicly announce. I know that something could go wrong at any time but for some reason this was just where I placed my stress. I felt a ton of responsibility to keep things private because it helped ease my anxiety and this was also the first decision Tommy and I were making as parents so it felt sacred to me.
Between the stress of keeping such a big secret, feeling poor physically and being cooped up a lot due to being sick I started to feel really down. I didn’t feel good enough to partake in any of the things I used to enjoy, like travelling, reading, walking the dog, cooking or seeing friends. I felt guilty because I had been blessed with such an amazing gift but I wasn’t glowing with joy. I mostly felt panicked and scared all the time. I couldn’t even really commiserate with anyone about how I was feeling which was very isolating. I was having one particularly hard night when my Mom phoned me out of the blue and talked a lot with me about her pregnancies and symptoms and it was like a godsend. It was a huge relief to talk to someone who had been pregnant before and I learned that just talking with people who understood was the best way to feel better.
More recently my sickness has let up a bit. Late afternoon and evening is usually my most nauseous time these days and I often get sick after eating my supper, which has been frustrating. I’m still exhausted and sleeping a lot but my food aversions have lessened and I am a bit more excited to eat these days. We finally announced publicly and as scary as it felt we have had a lot of well wishes and support which has been great. It does feel good to talk about the baby with everyone and although I still have fears I know that I have to trust life’s plan regardless of whatever comes to be. My family has had a challenging year, so to receive good news and have something to look forward to has been such a blessing. I have also gotten so many lovely, encouraging messages and tips from the moms in my life and that has been so comforting for me. I feel like I’m joining a supportive community and that’s been a blessing.
That’s all I have for now. If you’ve been following along with my ramblings this whole time, thank you! I appreciate your support so much.