I plan to do just a few posts about pregnancy and baby-related stuff. Not too many, I promise. I just wanted to get some of this stuff down before I completely forget it.
Getting pregnant wasn’t our issue (thankfully and luckily) but trying to get pregnant was a total mind screw.
After years (16, to be exact) of trying not to get pregnant, the action of not taking my pill and having sex with the intention of getting pregnant took a while to get used to. I thought it would be easier than it was. I thought the sex would be beautiful and natural, instead, it was, in a word, fraught. My husband was a trooper and I was a mess. Naturally. We need pillows with that statement embroidered upon it.
It is possible to go for 9 full months without ever feeling hungry.
With my daughter, I threw up for 4 months straight and then got super hungry. With Jackson, I never threw up, but went so long without feeling hungry that I almost forgot why I like food so much.
It is possible to consume two entire extra large bottles of Tums in 3 months.
The heartburn was my absolute worst symptom. Oy. It was like this baby had parked himself on my upper digestive tract. Didn’t sleep well for 14 weeks.
I am more than capable of worrying my entire pregnancy away.
When we decided to start trying to get pregnant I vowed I would “live in the present” and “not worry so much” once I actually did get pregnant. Nope. Uh uh. Worried the ENTIRE time. Every hour of every day. About the baby, about my old-ass body carrying said baby. About my previous miscarriage and it happening again. About my fibroid either choking off my baby’s food supply or blocking his way out. About my lack of weight gain and complete lack of appetite. About my belly not growing enough. About my belly growing at an alarming rate. About how the baby didn’t seem to move enough and then that he had a seizure disorder because he moved too much. About the baby having multiple sexual organs. About the baby not having all its limbs – even AFTER having an ultrasound that confirmed he in fact had 2 arms and 2 legs. (What? I thought one might disappear. Don’t judge.) I worried about my delivery, about my old-ass breasts ability to make milk. I worried my neverending worry would seep into my baby’s subconscious.
You name it, I worried about it. I literally challenge you to come up with something I didn’t both obsess about and Google. Seriously. What a huge waste of an uncomplicated, relatively easy pregnancy. I totally failed on this one.
A good doctor can make your pregnancy so much easier.
Try to find one who’s a Penelope herself. In the initial interview of your OB, I suggest asking her feelings about office supplies. If she lights up and says “Oh, I love binders and notebooks!” you’re in good hands. She’ll appreciate that you always have your list of questions neatly prepared and forgive you when you obsess over every little thing. My doc was amazing. Shout out to Dr. Maria Woods at Kaiser Pinole!
It pays to also have a team of sisters, moms and friends on hand to talk you down when you can’t reach your doctor.
My sisters (shout out to Melinda and Missy!), my mom, my friend Denise (who gave me ALL her maternity clothes) and many others were so incredibly supportive and never once laughed at me, at least, to my face. And for that, I’m grateful.
If you are prone to worry, stay OFF the message board for your “birth month club” on The Bump and other websites.
I fell into this trap in my first pregnancy and vowed that if I got pregnant again, I wouldn’t let myself get sucked into reading all the posts about people having miscarriages in the first trimester. It would derail me for an entire afternoon. Just wasn’t worth it. I actually stood by this vow to myself and I’m so glad. I ventured into my birth month club only after I was in my third trimester.
It takes hours to register for baby stuff.
You’re pregnant, you’re slow, you need a #*^!pile of stuff. Plan to have the outing take hours and bring your list (obviously), snacks and water. And a good friend to tell you to rest when you need to rest, but would rather “power through”. My sister literally forced me to sit down and I’m so glad she did.
Epidurals are sent from God.
Epidurals do not always work. In fact, they can be entirely ineffective.
Beyond all comprehension, but totally true. I lived it.
It’s a cliche, but that damn baby is totally worth it.
Even after 12 hours of labor, including 2 hours of pushing and an ineffective epidural. Even after pain that was more than I honestly ever thought was either possible or bearable, the moment they put Jackson on my chest and he let out a huge cry and then looked at me is 100% worth it.