Some women absolutely love being pregnant. I always thought I would be one of those women. Frolicking about, glowing at the thought that a tiny human was nestled safely inside of me – rainbows and butterflies following me everywhere I ventured.
But so far, there has been no frolicking, no rainbows and no butterflies.
Mostly just puking, napping and trying to find pants that fit.
My husband and I found out we were expecting our first child in mid-July. We told our family and friends a month or so later and recently posted this video to share the news with everyone else.
People keep asking us if we were “trying,” which is a bit of an awkward question if you think about it. But the truth is we were not. We do understand basic biology, so I can’t say we were completely bewildered when we saw the two little pink lines on the pregnancy test, but there was some element of surprise.
Of course once we got past the initial shock, we were excited to start our little family. But as the weeks progressed, I have discovered that pregnancy is kind of hard. There are many reasons for this, some of which no one warned me about – you know who you are.
Everyone knows you can’t drink and you have to cut back on caffeine and you probably shouldn’t eat sushi and blah blah blah. But there were some aspects of this season I was not prepared for:
1. You can’t tell anyone
It’s so strange. You receive this life-altering news, and you’re not supposed to tell a soul. You lie to your parents. You bail on plans with friends so they won’t be suspicious when you don’t order a drink for the third time in a row. You pretend to feel fine at work, while shoving crackers in your. mouth every time your coworkers look away. You have to remember not to mention you vomited while getting ready this morning. You’re feeling anxious and excited and terrified something is going to go wrong, all at the same time, and you can’t process it with anyone. Instead you just act like you have food poisoning and read way too many articles on google.
2. You’re sick
Ok, I realize not everyone gets sick, but for those of us who have to deal with morning sickness, it’s pretty miserable. Oh and it’s not just in the morning. The best way I can describe it is like having a hangover when you didn’t drink anything. It’s maddening.
3. Eating gets weird
In real life, you may love fruit and vegetables and all things healthy, but in the pregnancy vortex – NOPE. I pretty much ate bland carbs all day every day to survive the first trimester. It was the only thing that didn’t make me gag. Toast and pasta. That’s about it. Oh and Cheeze-its. Like as a meal. This is problematic because they say you should only gain 3-5 pounds in the first trimester. I can gain 3-5 pounds on a fun weekend. If any of you wants to explain to me how I’m supposed to start hating all things healthy, only ingesting carbs, and manage to only gain 3-5 pounds, I’m all ears.
4. Puppies make you cry
Watch this video and tell me if it makes you cry.
It made me SOB. That’s actually one of the reasons I ended up taking a pregnancy test. I was stressed one night before bed, and Tyler pulled up some puppy videos to make me feel better, but when this one came up I just fell apart. “What’s wrong with you?” Tyler asked, “Are you pregnant?” He was halfway kidding, but the next day I took the pregnancy test and… here we are.
5. You’re not yourself anymore
For ten months you are growing another person. You know your body is going to drastically change, but when it starts to happen, it becomes difficult to feel like yourself. Your clothes stop fitting the way they always have. You get winded faster when you exercise. You feel sick or tired a lot of the time. And you find yourself saying things like “In real life, I actually do like broccoli,” or “I swear I never cry like this.”
This has been the most difficult change to deal with. For several weeks I felt guilty because I knew I should be overwhelmed with gratitude for this baby, but in reality all I wanted was to feel like myself again. On social media, you see the creative announcements, the fun parties and showers, and the cute baby bump photos, but what you don’t see is the woman who is struggling to adjust to all of the changes. A girl in her twenties who was not ready for all of this. Who is worried she’s going to mess this up. Who is trying to keep up and enjoy the season and see how many days she can get away with wearing leggings and an over-sized sweater.
I am learning it doesn’t have to be one or the other. I am incredibly grateful to be carrying this child, but I can be thankful for the life growing inside of me and not love the process of its development all at the same time. Just because I’m ready for this whole pregnancy thing to be over, doesn’t mean I’m not excited to be a mom. I can’t wait to snuggle this little girl and one day make her feel guilty for making me pee on myself every time I sneeze.
In this weird season of change, I am reminding myself that this is just part of the process, and “pregnant me” is not who I really am.
So if you’re pregnant or have ever been pregnant and you feel like something is wrong with you because you don’t love it as much as you should, you are not alone. You can be frustrated at all of the changes and still immensely love the baby responsible for them. Hang in there, keep counting down the days until your little one gets here, and watch a few more puppy videos.