Confessions of a Pregnant Woman

Our new crib, a stuffed cow reading, and testing out our diapering skills on an owl puppet.
Our new crib, a stuffed cow reading, and testing out our diapering skills on an owl puppet.

3 January 2017
Today I’m 21 weeks and 4 days pregnant. For anyone who hasn’t had a baby yet and glosses over when the discussion shifts to babies (aka me just this past August), that’s just over halfway there. Your due date is the start of week 40. That’s technically 10 months of carrying a baby if every month was a perfect four weeks, which we know it’s not, ergo the commonly known 9 months of pregnancy.

I’ve been very lucky thus far. My first trimester was rough only because my normally over-energetic self couldn’t get of the couch. Pregnancy fatigue is real, and it’s rough. During my time in the Air Force we did fourteen hour shifts for deployment exercises. Then there was the time I pushed my physical boundaries training for a marathon. Yet those experiences are nothing compared to pregnancy fatigue. I’ve never been so tired as I was during my first trimester of pregnancy.

Even so, I consider myself lucky to not have endured day-long bouts of morning sickness. I’m still relatively active and most days feel no aches or pain. It’s also my nature to be supremely optimistic. Except for days like today when my client changed a conference call for Thursday and I discovered the change after sitting on the conference line for half an hour. My editor needs three articles by Friday, Thursday would be better though. My winter coat barely zips up over my belly now, and it’ll barely hit 30 degrees today. I’m going to let it all out today, because I’m in the mood and what’s better for pending deadlines than procrastinating with other projects.

1. I haven’t thrown up yet. Not once this entire pregnancy. I’m astounded because it was something I was certain would occur. I definitely felt nauseous during the first few weeks, but I figured out early on that I went from “Oh, I’m hungry, it’s lunchtime” to “Holy f*ck I need food or I’m going to throw up bile” in a matter of minutes.

2. If I tell you I have to pee, let me get to the closest bathroom immediately. Pre-pregnancy I could wait the ten minutes to get to wherever we’re going, right now, move over, I’m going to this one right here.

3. I haven’t had too many food aversions, which is great since I love eating, but when I have them I’m not joking. This real conversation transpired between me and my husband:
Him: Want to get some banh mi for lunch?
Me, with a turned up nose: No, I can’t stomach that right now.
Him: Why not? You like banh mi.
Me: I know, it’s just thinking of it makes me sick right now.
Him: It’s all in you head, the nausea is just your imagination. Mind over matter.
Me: Hmm you don’t say? Do the doctors know about this concept? They should just tell all pregnant women to buck up, get out of their own heads, feel better instantly, never mind the hormones coursing through my body right now, I just need to think I’m feeling great!
Him: Ok. I’m sorry.

4. My bump is finally a round baby bump, but for some time outsiders could’ve easily mistaken me for just packing on some weight. I especially felt the confusion would be evident in the gym where my loose lycra shirts hid the cuteness of the bump. Ever the narcissist, I made sure I rubbed my belly between sets so fellow lifters would think “Oh she’s a bad-ass prego working out!” instead of “Someone needs to do more cardio to melt that fat.” In actuality I know no one at the gym cares about my figure or work-out routine, they just want the weights re-racked and benches wiped down, but daily self-esteem boosting is a good thing.

5. I love running and have tried to keep up with it. However when the colder temperatures set in I found my trusty thermal running gear doesn’t fit over my belly. So I’ve shifted to walking. Yesterday I was out of breath going up a hill I go up regularly. Pregnancy has made my fitness game weak. Yes I know I’m building a person and blah blah blah, but it just sucks to be out of breath and feel less powerful than I was a mere five months ago.

6. I’m used to having a big appetite. What I’m not used to is getting full halfway through a meal only to be hungry a couple of hours later.

7. Two weeks ago I woke up at 3 am to eat a bowl of Chex cereal.

8. I sometimes can feel the baby fluttering around and once I swear I felt it do a flip, but I really want to feel the regular kicking and punching if only to give a peace of mind that it’s doing well. I told my husband I’m a little jealous a pregnant friend felt her baby kick already (she’s also 21 weeks). He told me to just wait and to remember this feeling when the baby is kicking me non-stop and I can’t sleep.

9. I can’t sit for too long. While I’m working it’s easy for me to get up and take a lap around the house, but for social gatherings I find I need to stand up for a few minutes every so often which is received with awkwardness. Try being the only one standing over your friends while they sit at a table, big belly looming over their beers. Also the kind-intentioned guys who offer their seats when I actually got up to stand for a bit, that turns into an awkward, “No I insist” situation. Then again, when I need to take seat, I need to take a seat. Pregnancy makes me so fickle.

10. We bought a crib on Saturday. My husband put it together on Sunday. The nursery will be in our former yoga room (it sounds pretentious, but it’s really just a spare room with a couch, lots of floor space, and yoga mats). I did yoga alongside the crib on Monday morning. After I rolled up my mat I cried from overwhelming happiness: that’s our baby’s bed, it’ll sleep there in a few months. Pregnancy has made me in touch with my emotions, I hate it.

11. Having a baby makes two people really get to know one another. Yea my husband and I knew each other after four years of marriage, but it’s different when planning parenting decisions that will affect your offspring. I’m lucky that we’re on the same page for most things and have similar notions for techniques and parenting rules. On a sillier note, I’ve learned my husband loves anything cute and animal related, but not elegant animal like white enamel figurines, I mean colorful, friendly looking animals. We’re doing a woodland creature theme for the nursery and have chosen lots of whimsical touches featuring bears, squirrels, deer, etc. I was shifting through our gift registry.
Me: Hey, I think we need to remove this dinosaur lamp.
Him, looking so upset I almost folded: Why? It’s cute!
Me: I know, but it just doesn’t fit into the woodland creature theme. I mean we don’t want to confuse the baby. It’ll take a walk in the woods and expect to see a friendly T-rex.
Him: Well, I suppose if you can find a good replacement.
Me after ten minutes of showing him various animal based table lamps that were white, not colorful: Or we can do a simple lamp and put a fun lampshade on it.
He takes my laptop: Here’s a shade with a squirrel! We’ll do this one!

12. A lot of people immediately go to baby conversation for small talk. I don’t blame them: I used to do it when face-to-face with pregnant women. It’s part of that auto-chit-chat about the weather, weekend plans, or sports. I enjoy catching my friends and family up on baby news, but I secretly hope they’re not just asking because they feel inclined. I actually don’t need to talk about the human growing inside of me, I’d rather discuss my career, upcoming travel plans, or the latest happenings. My husband and I have also given up telling people potential baby names. No one cares, or they have their own opinions and clearly aren’t listening or are just judging our list. So now we tell people the runners up are Harambe, Lucifer, and Murica. Thus far the people actually listening laugh, the ones not listening spew their favorite names without missing a beat.