You’re told you’ll forget. That this is part of how the species continues: because if we really remembered how hard it was, we wouldn’t keep doing it. I didn’t really believe it until I found myself nearing the end of this pregnancy.
So, before I forget:
The winter was hard. Really, really hard. When he was there, Nicolas did all of the shoveling, but he wasn’t there all of the time, and then I worried that I shouldn’t be shoveling, but I also didn’t have a choice. I told my therapist that all I wanted was to be able to walk to the bar on the corner for a drink, but it was too cold to go outside, and then too icy to feel safe walking, and then I couldn’t drink even if I could get there!
By the end of the first month, I’d outgrown all of my bras. I bought inexpensive and fully-lined new ones because my breasts hurt all the time. I told N that my breasts’ existence made them hurt. Friends told me it looked like I’d had work done. I outgrew those by the end of my second month, long before I was showing anywhere else.
My morning sickness wasn’t that bad, really. Most days I would have waves of nausea beginning around 11. If I could force myself to the gym, they would pass without incident. I ate a lot of bland foods because that’s what I could stomach. Some days I was really hungry, but I also often just had no interest in food.
I was very anxious in the beginning. My emotions were all over the place. I worried a lot about the future, especially money and our relationship. We had stupid fights. I cried a lot.
The day after my positive test, we went to the Art Institute, and when I used the bathroom, there was the tiniest streak of blood on my toilet paper. I came out white-faced and in tears. (Everything was OK, of course.)
N told his mom right away – like, maybe half an hour after I took the test – but I needed to wait until I felt safe and ready, which ended up exacerbating my feelings of anxiety and isolation.
I was miserable most of the time we were in Europe. I take medication to deal with motion sickness, except that I couldn’t take it this time, and so I was very, very sick on the flight to Istanbul. I ate all of the (surprisingly good!) airplane food because having something in my stomach was better than dry heaves.
In Belgium, I slept 9-10 hours/night because I could. My back hurt, and I had no energy. I went running twice in three weeks – so much for my morning sickness cure. Our diet there included a lot of bread, cheese, meat, and sweets – and not a lot of vegetables, resulting in painful constipation and painfully mortifying conversations about it with N’s mom.
On our last full day in Belgium, standing in front of the full-length mirror in the morning light, I was able to make out my teeny tiny baby belly for the first time.
My first ultrasound was a few days after we got home. I didn’t expect to cry when we saw the baby for the first time. I totally cried.