I am thirteen weeks pregnant with my first child (and my husband’s first child as well). We are a bit late in the game (I’m 35; he is 45), but I think the wait has proved beneficial for both of us.
I never anticipated being a mother. We actually had a conversation on one of our first dates of how neither one of us wanted children. But then life bloomed, and one day we realized we wanted to try having a child together.
And then the trial turned real: two pink lines stared up at me, shouting of promise, the unknown, incredible fear, and incredible grace.
The first trimester proved to be difficult. Nausea was my constant friend, as was Fatigue. These two characters rushed me like an NFL offensive line. I still don’t really know how I made it through 6 classes a week while scarfing down as many mixed nuts, dried fruit, clementines, pieces of toast, and servings of mashed potatoes that I could. Food Aversion came next, preaching that avocados and any kind of meat products were of the devil. If I wasn’t eating random concoctions of a variety of bland, carb-like products, I was sleeping. Or sleep-walking. Or lecturing while sleeping in my head. Several nights I got the chills so bad after teaching; it’s like my poor body was dehydrated from sleep.
Then, once week eleven hit, the offensive line retreated, and I rushed forward in defense, and I won. I’m now taking time again to, oh, get dressed in decent clothing, brush my hair a bit, and put on a bit more makeup. My grey hairs are running rampant on my head; I shall tame those wild beasts this weekend. Because now I can. Now I can do laundry, wash dishes, and clean the bathroom. Oh, the poor bathroom. I’m glad we have two bathrooms in our home. Mine has been in quarantine for several weeks.
One of the first things I thought of when becoming pregnant is writing poetry and/or songs about being pregnant. I think I’ll do that once the semester is done. But I want to express what is going on in my body.
Like what I experienced yesterday. I went to the gym for the first time in a full month, and I could tell my center of gravity is different. I have all these extra fluids and a little body mass in the center that is taking over my coordination. I wasn’t totally Yogi-balanced anyway, but now I can’t even put pants on while standing up. So I took a leisurely stroll on the treadmill while the woman beside me ran a 10K at full speed in 15 minutes time. Or something to that effect. I wanted to hold up a sign that said, “I cannot exert myself too much because my baby might overheat,” or “I’m just now enjoying being pregnant, so I’m enjoying my treadmill stroll too.”
I have a belly too! I’m in maternity pants! Which are so amazing. I mean, really. Why haven’t I worn these before? My pants feel like the best pair of pajamas I’ve ever encountered. I love the band that hugs my midsection. I love semi-waddling across campus (I’ve had to slow my walking way down; I was getting cramps all over my legs). I love rubbing my little Buddha belly.
We don’t know the gender of our baby yet, so we just call him/her Little Bean. Bean is a treasure already. I talk to Bean all the time. Now that Bean’s ears are fully developed, I’m singing all the time. I have music playing all the time. I’m dancing too…when no one is looking, of course.
Am I terrified of labor? Oh yes. Let’s not even go there yet. But I have at least 5 more solid months to get ready for labor and for Bean to exit the watery world and enter the solid world that sometimes gets watery, like in rain and in sadness.
I never thought I would be so excited to be with child.