Right? Reasonable excuse. THAT'S GROWING INSIDE OF ME. And even though it's been forever since I last wrote, and even though I still have, like, three or four or seventeen kitchen posts to finish, I needed to get this out. (Um, the news, not the baby.) And answer some Frequently Asked (To Publicly Pregnant Women) Questions, too.
Q: Wait, whaaa? You're preggo?!
A: Yes. Yep! That ultrasound picture is from a week and a half ago - twelve weeks, three days pregnant.
Q: How far along are you?
A: Fourteen weeks tomorrow. I'm due October 1, because what the world needs is another Libran Gorga. (I'm not sure if I'm being sarcastic about that or not, but I don't think so?) (Unintended Libran indecisiveness noted, thank you.)
Q: When did you find out? And how?
A: I found out in late January, the night before my period was due. I'd run out of pregnancy tests a few days earlier, when I used up the last of my Super Duper Early tests (and got a "not pregnant"), but I had a nagging feeling that something was up. I don't usually get strong PMS symptoms anyway (experienced cramps for the first time around Week Seven...yeah, those suck), but I felt nothing, which was odd. I tried not to get my hopes up, but I went ahead and asked Dr. Internet a weird question: Can I use my ovulation predictor tests as a pregnancy test? Dr. Internet said YES, since a certain hormone will only be detected if one is either ovulating or pregnant. (Dr. Internet also cautions folks not to depend entirely on OPKs to tell you if you're pregnant, duh.) I tried one out, and? Smiley face. Hormone detected. I sat there shaking for a minute, trying to convince myself that it wasn't an actual pregnancy test and not to get too excited. After all, I'd had a decidedly negative test just three days prior. I made my way downstairs to J.J. and said, "So...I think I might be pregnant." He was shocked and ecstatic, and when I explained that I didn't actually use a pregnancy test, he bolted to the drugstore and bought four. I didn't want to try one until the next morning, since morning pee is the best pee to use, so I waited overnight and took the test when I woke up. Guess what I did? I failed it. Nope, it didn't say "not pregnant" - I got an error. I failed the pregnancy test. AND I used up all my good pee. You'd think after taking eight pregnancy tests in five months, I'd have the routine down, but nooo. I tried later that day on my lunch break. PREGNANT. Holy crap.
Q: How have you been feeling?
A: I can answer this one in stages.
- Discover I'm pregnant. Allow myself two unfettered seconds of HOLY CRAP I DID IT before anxiety sets in. Out of superstition, wait a week before canceling my pending Reproductive Endocrinology appointment. Still nervous that I jinxed the whole thing by canceling the appointment.
- Don't "feel pregnant" for about two weeks. Freak out that maybe I've cultivated a hysterical pregnancy. It could happen.
- Hit Week Six and become hyperaware of every aspect of my digestive system, even aspects of it that I didn't really know existed. I'm nauseated from around 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. I'm starving constantly, but nothing sounds good - in fact, all foodstuffs sound vile. Repulsive. WHY DO HUMANS EAT HOT CHEESE EVER? Shudder. The only thing that eases the nausea is (in a horrific twist of irony) eating. Maybe I'm pregnant after all.
- Oh, so THAT'S what cramps feel like. OH. Wait...do cramps mean I'm miscarrying? Consult the Internet. The cramps are obviously an ectopic pregnancy, an impending miscarriage, and/or 100% normal. Crap. Make solemn promise never to ever again consult the Internet about pregnancy. Break that promise a few dozen times.
- Spend two weekends in a row in bed, from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, wondering how anyone ever does the following things: get out of bed; descend staircases; clean; smile; exercise; go more than three hours without a nap.
- Vacillate between rampant anxiety that I'm going to (a) innocently go to the bathroom and discover blood, meaning I've lost the baby, or (b) miscarry and not know it until weeks later. These aren't totally unfounded worries, but, being me, I take them to a whole new level. So much for having that Generalized Anxiety Disorder under control.
- Stare into space while at work, groping for my anti-nausea pressure points. One day, a coworker brings another (pregnant) coworker a fountain soda, and I almost grab it from her because I want it more than anything in the universe ever. Instead, I push on my thumb webbing and will the nausea away.
- Have my first ultrasound (at nine weeks, three days). This is my first confirmation that I am actually, factually, with child. Everything looks great, if gummy-bear-esque. The anxiety retreats to Threat Level Two, along with my constant nausea.
- Hit Week Ten and have explosions of slightly manic cleaning, because I finally have some energy again. Am rewarded twofold: first, with the totally sensical thought that I must be having extremely early nesting syndrome, indicating imminent fetal evacuation, meaning I'm about to miscarry; and second, with crushing exhaustion a couple hours later as I'm reminded that my body is working ridic hard right now to grow a human, and I can't just haul off and mop all the floors in the whole stupid house.
- Welcome Week Twelve by puking for the first time during the pregnancy, courtesy of swallowing my huge, chalky prenatal pill. Which, mind you, I've been taking for over a year without issue, but WHATEVER.
- Approach the second trimester with the cautious understanding that most food is sounding edible again, but not all the time, and that I can only expend energy in short bursts if I don't want to pay for it later.
So, overall? Felt like complete hell for about five weeks, starting to feel better. Except when I don't.
Q: Do you have a bump yet?
A: Yes, but probably not to the casual observer. So far, my belly looks like it does after I gorge on a sixteen-inch Sottini's sub. My waist is definitely getting thicker, though, and usually by the time I finish dinner, my jeans can no longer be buttoned comfortably (an unfortunate truth when I'm eating at a restaurant). I've had to watch what shirts I wear to work, since most of my tops are form-fitting, which betray the bump. Seriously can't wait to have a bump that's obviously a human baby and not a food baby!
Q: Any food cravings?
A: NO. Nope. Nada. There were certain foods during the height of my nausea that sounded mildly palatable - grapes, bagels, red juice, fountain Coke, peanut butter toast, apples, smoothies, Cheerios - but typically what would happen was that I'd finally get my act together to stock up on the not-disgusting food item, only to find it was suddenly disgusting again. It's pathetic, but I've wasted an awful lot of food the last couple months. Basically, I'm not yet in the food cravings part of pregnancy; just stuck in the food aversions part. The absolute most disgusting things are the meals I was obsessed with right before I got pregnant - tomato soup and cilantro-lime quinoa with black beans. I'm pretty sure the media designs food commercials specifically to torture me. The worst over the past couple months? McDonald's Fish McBites (WTF) and the new Lay's potato chip flavors - Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread, and Sriracha (WTFFFF).
Oh! Know what I haven't been able to eat AT ALL??
EASTER CANDY. Not any of it. I know, right? It's so sad, guys. Easter Candy Season is my favorite candy season of all. Usually I go through two to three bags of Easter candy per week, no joke. Lemonhead jellybeans, SweeTart jellybeans, Cadbury Eggs and Mini-Eggs, Giant Chewy Bumpy Nerds, Easter-flavored Chewy Spree (what are "Easter flavors"? Hard-boiled eggs? Tulips? Jesus?)....This year, though, exactly one bag has been consumed, and at least half of that was by J.J. I just don't want sugary things. It's unbelievable. Sigh.
Q: Are you going to find out the sex?
A: Duh. Yes. I'm a compulsive planner. Also, as my friend puts it, it's going to be a surprise whether we find out at 20 weeks or at the birth, so it's not like we're ruining the surprise.
Q: Is this the end of home projects? Of your blog?
A: Um, hopefully not, although my two-month absence from the blog doesn't bode well....Truly, though, I'd get home from work and just collapse. I stare at a computer screen for about half my workday, and the mere idea of doing it again when I got home would make me even more nauseated. But hey, here's one post, and there are more to come, along with more house projects. I'm working on the front room, since that doesn't require any painting (a pregnancy no-no), and we've got a nursery to design. And, yes, I still need to finish up kitchen posts about lighting, the frame wall, storage, and budget...so cross your fingers that I have continuing energy to do other things besides stare at my bedroom wall.
Q: Why? Why would you do this?
A: Well, they say it's all worth it in the end. Whether They mean the end of pregnancy, end of the child's Constant Dependence All the Time, end of my cognizant humanhood - I don't know, They never specify. But They promise it's worth it. Also, once the nine-month kitchen project was done, we figured we needed another nine-ish-month project, sooo, there's that.
No, no, just kidding. Obviously, this was on purpose. It happened on Month Six of trying, and although I've had my moments of ambivalence in the past, those have mostly disappeared. (And yes, I've made peace with the knowledge that those moments of ambivalence will rise again...like during pregnancy aches and pains, like leading up to labor, like when the kid is throwing tantrums...I know.) While I know parenthood is full of surprises, both awesome and awful, I feel like J.J. and I are more well-prepared than the average bears, considering our educational, professional, familial, and experiential backgrounds.
For real, though, I am beyond excited. I've been keeping a list on my phone for a few months of life's awesomest pleasures, because THAT'S why this is so exciting to me - I'm creating someone who will get to know the best of the human experience. Yes, potentially the worst, too, but my job will be to cultivate opportunities for the best experiences, and to offer my wisdom, my ear, or my shoulder for the worst ones. Maybe that's parenting in a nutshell.
And in the meantime? Help me be excited, because sometimes it's hard to let the joy override the fear. I'm trying. :)