Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The View from Week 11

***A little disclaimer before I begin: Now that I am into my second trimester and we have told people our news, I feel comfortable putting some of my thoughts before my pregnancy was public out in the open.  I realize that there are many wonderful people in the world struggling to get pregnant or struggling to find a perfect person to start a family with.  I wish I could give everyone happiness and peace of mind and the magic ability to make those things happen.  To you, the statements below might seem selfish or make me a bad mom already, and for that I apologize.  That said, I wanted to put my honest feelings out there because I think as women it's easy to act like things are easy (wedding planning on a budget, pregnancy, dieting, great hair like Kate Middleton, a perfect figure, etc.) and that we have it all together when really we're drowning trying to keep up.  Sometimes I believe the most helpful and refreshing thing can be finding something or someone you can relate to to make you feel like you're OK after all and not crazy or "bad" for having a hard time, even with things that you know are a blessing.  My intention here is just to be honest, and if one other pregnant woman (or person who will someday be pregnant or at some point was pregnant) feels a tiny bit relieved reading it, well than it was worth it.  I am so grateful to get to start this phase of my life, and I feel so blessed everytime I hear a heartbeat or see an ultrasound.  However, that doesn't mean I don't have days when I'm exhausted, or frustrated, or feel totally alone.  There you go, disclaimer complete.***

Saturday I hit 11 weeks.  One more to go until I'm "safe" to tell the world.  In some ways, things have gotten easier.  We had our first ultrasound around 9 weeks, and to finally get to see a heartbeat was amazing.  It was a tiny white flash, like a lightening bug on crack, flickering again and again and again.

It was so validating.  Yes, I'm really pregnant, I'm not just lazy or feeling strange because I ate too many bean burritos.  Yes, there is a real life person in there!  I don't know whether it's because this is my first child, or if I don't have a good imagination, or whether I'm already a bad mother (I certainly hope not) but I have a hard time picturing this baby... what he or she will look like (although Mike and I are both convinced it's a boy), how he or she will behave, what my life will be in 6 months, 9 months, or a year.  I think that has made a lot of my pregnancy symptoms "feel" worse because I can't seem to picture this wonderful reward that I'm going through this for... it seems too distant to grasp, like my brain just can't make sense of it yet, and in the meantime I've just had a really strange illness for the last 7 or so weeks that has taken over my body and turned my energy levels into mush.  Seeing the baby helped it feel real, and since then I've carried his or her little picture inside my purse.  (Which is far more fun than viewing and reviewing at a stick with two pink lines on it.)

It has also been easier because now a couple of people know.  We told our moms the weekend of Mother's Day and Mike's dad a couple of days after.  It was so fun to see their excitement, and it's so nice to have more people to confide in.  Having to pretend that you're not pregnant for the majority of everyday is just exhausting.  It's a crazy ruse of sucking in your stomach, coming up with endless reasons not to participate in anything involving sushi, lunch meat, unpasturized cheese, alcohol, caffeine, team sports, tough mudder/spartan races, shopping for clothes, flying anywhere in 3-6 months, etc.  It's amazing how often these items come up when you are trying to avoid them at all costs.

Still, I worry.  I don't want to talk about names or look at baby clothes until I'm out of the miscarriage woods (although it doesn't seem like you get to stop worrying about that until you have a healthy baby in your arms).  I worry about getting through long workdays and working weekends without a break.  I worry about how this new addition will affect my career.  I worry about how people will react when we tell them.  I worry about finances and life insurance.  I worry about what I'll wear to upcoming weddings.  I think of each month and event to come now in terms of how pregnant (read how BIG) I'll be when it gets here.

Still, I know I am so lucky.  I am blessed to have been able to get pregnant.  I am blessed that so far things have gone well.  I am blessed to have a loving and supportive husband.  I am so fortunate to have heath insurance.  I can only hope and pray that things continue this way.

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