I’ve been a little busy with my first trimester of pregnancy, but it is time for me to return to my love of writing! And hopefully I can keep writing even post baby. Needless to say, once you find out you are pregnant, your entire world immediately shifts. Ours was a bit of a surprise only because we weren’t really trying anymore. It was kind of like if it happens in the next year, then it was meant to be. If not, we’re done. Alas, it was meant to be.
I was one of the very lucky ones. I had no morning sickness. My primary symptom was exhaustion. And a bit of nausea. But the vomiting is what I was most concerned with going into it, working in an office environment. There isn’t an easy way to quietly vomit in your cubicle if you won’t make it to the bathroom. I had some interesting other things happening because of some polyps I had pre-pregnancy. There was regular spotting, and mild period-like cramping for just about my entire second month. The few times I had moments of freaking out, I’d have an ultrasound and the baby would be just fine. I even had some stabbing pains all night once and insisted on coming in. Sure enough, everything looked okay. I also had some odd tissue come out of me (noticed it after going to the bathroom). That was crazy. The first time it was small, like the size of a quarter. The second time it was much larger, like the size of an Oreo. That freaked me out too. I was like-is this my baby? What on earth came out of me? My doctor thinks it may have been one of my polyps. But again, the baby was just fine.
My advice (because I’m an expert now, duh) to newly pregnant women is try not to freak out right away. All the books and blogs and even legit websites will scare you into thinking cramping=bad news, or bloody tissue=bad news. I can tell you I’ve had my fair share of it and I made it to week 16 so far.
Other than not being able to do more than walk from the couch to the bathroom to the bed, the first trimester went well. I genuinely cant complain because I thought it would be 1000x worse. Now I’m into my second. My energy has returned, thank goodness and I can once again be productive. My boobs hurt all the time. And I pee every 30 minutes.
The ultrasounds have to be the single coolest invention of all time. I had a co-worker joke with me that in her day, “you didn’t get to see the baby until it was done cooking in the oven.” Technology has come such a long way and we are so lucky to be able to take advantage of it. Hearing the heartbeat is the first thrill. Seeing the baby wiggle is awesome. On another visit the baby kicked off the side of my uterus and flung itself back like it was having a party for one in there. We sat there with our mouths hanging open like WOW.
I had gone off all my medications the second I found out I was pregnant, including my anti-depressant and anxiety pills. It’s been okay until recently. I’ve been having bouts of depression that come and go, and it’s becoming more frequent. It’s incredibly frustrating that I cannot control it. That I’ve only been off my medication for 2 months and my mind is already regressing. I always worried about passing this on to my child. It’s the last thing I want her or him to have to deal with, knowing what a struggle it has been most of my life. I’m seeing my therapist (who is a godsend) this week so I’m hoping that helps a bit. I’m also looking into light therapy: buying a lamp that gives off the right kind and amount of light to help depression. I’ve never been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder but I know I hate the winter because of how dark it always is, and I always get worse. So I want to give it a shot. Going back on a medication is a last resort for me and I’m hoping like hell I can avoid that route. But if I get to a breaking point, I have to take care of myself in order to take care of the baby, and be able to function. Of course that gets me thinking to postpartum depression and breastfeeding. I know because of my history of depression, I’m more susceptible to postpartum issues. My gut tells me the second the baby is born, I will be going on my meds which means no breastfeeding. But there’s time still to sort all that out and I have to stop my mind from worrying about it prematurely.
On the topic of breastfeeding…I knew very little. Almost an embarrassing lack of knowledge. I started to read up on how often you breastfeed, how you know when the baby is done, what supplies are needed, where the bottles come in, when to pump and so on. All I can say is, that is a fuckton of work. And that is the only word to adequately describe how much work it is to breastfeed. I honestly can’t imagine trying to recover physically-whether it’s a healing vagina/rear or stomach recovery from surgery and dealing with all the crazy hormones, and lack of sleep and then tacking on a baby to your breast who you have to keep alive via said breast 10-12 times a day. Just wow. I’d love to say I’m up for the task, but I’m sweating just thinking about it. I think I’d like to try it and see how I do and see how it goes but have some formula as a back up just in case.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that most people love the pregnancy news. Even complete strangers light up and shower you with congratulations. That part has been fun.
Many things we’ve read say to start looking into daycares. I know millions of kids get taken care of by someone other than their parents, and they get along just fine. But man is it scary to think of handing your child over to someone every day and hoping for the best. And the baby isn’t even here yet. Can you sense my intense worry wart propensity?!
I told myself I would not read about anything having to do with labor until the 3rd trimester. I’ve always been petrified of giving birth. I’ve also never had surgery. So either prospect is enough to give me a panic attack. Again, I have to remind myself that millions of women all of the world give birth every single day. I’ll get through it. Or so I will tell myself until I’m blue in the face, and remain blissfully ignorant until I absolutely have to know how things go down at birth.
An idea I got a while back talked of a dad who created an email address for his soon-to-be baby and wrote to him/her on a regular basis. Kind of like a diary or journal of what dad was thinking, feeling, going through along his journey as a new dad. I just adored this idea and thought how special of a gift would that be to give to your kid. So we stole it. I created an email and both my husband and I occasionally write to our bean sharing everyone’s reactions to the news, what our plans and hopes are for him/her and more.
We are about a month away from doing the 3-D ultrasound and finding out the sex of the baby. I cannot wait. I’m so excited to see the baby up close and personal and start calling the baby he or she. Until then!