Over halfway there! Some thoughts on pregnancy so far.
What’s surprised me most so far.
I always thought I’d feel torn when I found out I was pregnant. I’m not a person who often feels decidedly anything about anything, so I thought pregnancy would be similar—some complex mixture of emotions and feelings and thoughts. After all, having a baby feels like one of the biggest voluntary life changes, and with that, I was certain, would come some serious reservations (since I definitely had them before getting pregnant; I seemed to already be mourning the death of my prior life as I knew it even at the prospect of someday having a baby). But I was shocked at how simply happy I was to find out I was pregnant. (As a little background—we weren’t trying not to have a baby, but things happened much quicker than we thought they would.) Crazy, for sure, but utter joy and excitement, the depth of which I’m not sure I’d ever experienced before, are truly the only way to describe how I first felt.
On not finding out the gender ahead of time.
I love surprises, and nothing’s been more crazy-fun-torturous than wondering. I’ve heard other people say that finding out the baby’s gender helped them feel like they could connect better in the months before birth, but something makes me really happy about not really knowing this little person until I meet him or her in real life, on their own little terms. I can’t wait for that introduction :) Also! There aren’t a lot of things in life that you simply have to wait for, but this is one of them. 40 weeks is a long time but isn’t a long time, and I love the anticipation and sort of forced patience that comes along with it.
Another thing that has surprised me is the lack of fear or worry I’ve felt so far. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time assuming I’d be worried about what could go wrong or worried about how I’ll be as a parent or worried about all the ways my life will change, but now that I’m in it, I haven’t really been thinking or feeling like this. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s like a subconscious peace with the idea that I have absolutely no comprehension of the new paradigm that will be my life in a few months, but I know I can do it and learn as I go. In terms of actually giving birth, I’m for sure terrified, but on a similar note—I’m pretty sure I can’t even imagine the nature of the experience, so there is not much use in worrying about it beforehand.
What I’ve been wearing.
As someone who lives in high waisted jeans and cropped tops and loves a good front tuck, dressing the bump is sort of annoying and frustrating. So I’ve decided to really embrace a new kind of style for nine months. I’ve been reaching for everything tight, and lots of dresses. It’s difficult finding things that fit (I’m realizing that short, petite, and pregnant is a seriously underserved market), but I’ve just resorted to ordering 5x more options than usual, and being choosy about what I end up keeping. I’d say my favorite things so far have been my skinny maternity jeans from H&M, overalls, and tight column midi and maxi dresses. I’ve also worn some sort of heel nearly everyday—there’s something about pregnancy that has me going hard feminine and feeling great about it.
I’ve had a relatively boring pregnancy from this perspective. I’m not sure I would have known I was pregnant had I not randomly decided to take a test one morning in August after a night of Car Crashes at Dorado (hi, El!). (As another aside, because of this, we found out really early on, which made the early weeks seem to crawl by before telling people). I haven’t been nauseous or sick or had any real cravings or aversions. I was extremely tired for a few weeks early on (like, brutally, inexplicably tired), so I was happy to get past that—but still, compared to some, I think I’m pretty lucky. I’m trying to think of anything else—lots and lots of weird dreams every night, the occasional emotional rollercoaster, and my boobs have gotten sort of huge. Embracing my pornstar lyfe. That’s it! Knock on wood—easy and chill so far.
On apps and books and the interwebs.
I’ve been loving my Bump app, mostly because I’ve always been weirdly fascinated by pregnancy facts and info. It’s just fun learning a little more about what’s going on inside me from day to day. Plus, my head explodes when I read things like babies are born with 300 bones, they’re developing tastes for things I’m eating, and the day they start hearing my voice in there.
I’ve also been enthralled by Bringing Up Bébé. But I really haven’t indulged in much else. If/when it is you, you’ll see that you can find a pontification on just about any pregnancy-related topic, and a lot of it is conjecture, a lot of it is conflicting, and a lot of it changes month-to-month and certainly year-to-year. I’ve been focusing on the thought that babies are born all over the globe with very different nine-month-utero experiences, and I’m mostly choosing to rely on my instincts and what feels like common sense in a lot of ways.
On fun milestones.
The best and biggest one so far, by far, has been feeling the baby move! It first happened the night of December 7th (I felt an alien invasion the same day as Pearl Harbor, which I’ll never forget). Anyway, prior to then, I’d been reading different people’s descriptions of what it first feels like (and the fact that it can happen really anytime in the second trimester), and wondering how I’d ever tell the difference between my stomach digesting the cookies I ate and the baby flipping around in there. But guys, you’ll just know. For me, whereas regular stomach grumbles feel like they’re happening within my own organs, the baby moving feels like something that isn’t me is moving. It’s also just a different sort of motion or movement. Early on, it feels like a little turnover, or a little bump, or a little flutter. And it’s the absolute best. Joke will likely be on me when the baby is kicking me in the ribs when I’m trying to sleep, but for now, it’s the sweetest reminder that someone is hanging out with me, and I just want to lay still and feel it forever.
What I love the most.
The best part is waking up everyday with this special thing to look forward to. It’s like re-remembering something good every five minutes, or hour, or morning. I love anticipation of just about anything, and well, it’s sort of a hard thing to beat from that perspective. Even when I have a shitty day or am in a shitty mood, I still have this little special surprise with me wherever I go, and it gives me such an authentic sense of joy.
What I hate the most.
I go through bouts of hating not being able to drink alcohol. It’s not constant, but in social settings where everyone else is drinking, I really miss it. Although, it’s kind of nice going months of Saturday and Sunday mornings without a debilitating hangover. Also, my skin has been all over the map from day-to-day, and I have to remind myself regularly that it’s all meaningless compared to growing a little babe!
On the nursery.
Our “nursery” currently looks like an atomic bomb went off in it. It’s a spare bedroom now, and it’s full of Nordstrom returns and Christmas presents and wrapping paper and receipts. I’m a little surprised I’ve made zero progress with it (I’m usually a psycho about tackling home stuff), but it’s been such a delightful surprise to be living more in the moment and not obsessing over Pinterest boards of decor. I did order this crib and this dresser as a changing table, but none of it has arrived yet. I’m thinking in the slower months after the holidays, we (I) will feel ready to nest away in there.
On love and hormones (and the guy who knocked me up).
If someone told me I got bit by the love bug in August, I might just believe them. (Add this to the list of things I have never said before and never thought I’d say.) Truly, something I didn’t anticipate is how much this whole thing would completely fill me up with love (or hormones disguising themselves as love—probably, considering the couple of times I’ve started uncontrollably sobbing over, like, raking). Whatever it is, it’s made me want to literally smother Jon with affection (the times I don’t still want to kill him) and make out with everyone I love. And I’m sort of serious. It’s the funnest and craziest and most sacred thing I’ve ever experienced with Jon, and it’s spreading to everyone else in my life.
I wish I had something more interesting to report, but like I said, I haven’t really had any serious food cravings or aversions. I’ve just had a pretty serious sweet tooth for dessert and when I wake up in the morning. This is on top of my not-unique-to-pregnancy propensity for salt in nearly any form. But on those days where my primary food groups have been toffee, Sour patch kids, potato chips, and (the very best) ice cream sandwiches, I’ve been trying to supplement with a few easy and nutritious go-to things: eggs (fried or hard boiled), almond butter (on apples or high fiber English muffins), fruit (grapefruit, oranges, and berries), easy and quick vegetables (sautéed kale, steamed edamame, cauliflower gnocchi), fruit and green smoothies, avocado with lemon and chia seeds, cottage cheese, sweet potatoes, and nutty granola with almond milk. I also try to drink a lot of water every day.
I don’t know!! That’s it for now. Stay tuned :)