I wanted to document a few things so I don’t forget them in about 12 minutes as I am wont to do.
Thing I didn’t expect with pregnancy: People asking me how I am feeling ALL THE TIME. I don’t really know what to say. Full? Like my body has been overtaken by an alien? Not sick?
Help me out here: What’s the right answer?
Thing I didn’t expect: to not mind the belly rubs. Ok, from certain men, it would be weird. But from my women friends, it’s totally cool. Normally, I wouldn’t want anyone’s hands near my personal space. But look! This amazingly awesome thing is happening to my body and I have very little to do with it. I want to share. Feel him kicking! Check out this mysterious body part and marvel with me for a minute.
Another thing I didn’t expect: body confidence. Partly because this is the only time in life when having a protruding stomach is perfectly acceptable, but also because my body is doing something amazing. I’m proud of it. (Note to body: not so fond of the gestational diabetes you decided to produce, or rather not produce required insulin Mr. Pancreas, but I’ll give you a pass on this one. As long as the little guy shows up ok.)
Sickness: didn’t really have it. I remember feeling a bit nauseous on about twice. That first day, I walked to the grocery store on my lunch hour and bought saltines and ginger ale. I remember walking down the street and really hoping no one would put two and two together by looking at my purchases yet, since we weren’t ready to tell the world yet. Those saltines sat in my desk drawer for the next few months, because I never needed them. Wait… I think they are still there.
I dealt with nausea just like I did went I lived on a ship for two years: keep something in your stomach, and you’ll be fine. The hardest part was on a work trip in Egypt, when we were working and traveling all day and I couldn’t keep snacking. That plus the evil traffic fumes in the evenings were pretty killer.
Really, on the whole sickness issue, I decided early on that many of the things pregnant people complain about were more of a mental issue. I wasn’t going to give in. People say you are going to feel sick, so you feel sick. People say you are going to be tired, so you give in and take a nap.People say you can’t exercise so you don’t!
That said, I did have daily headaches during parts of the first and second trimester, but at a certain point, they went away. I also had really mild bloody noses for a few weeks. But none of it was anything to complain about or that disrupted my life. I kept myself busy and didn’t give in to the temptation to nap all the time or quit exercising. Apparently I had heartburn for a few weeks without realizing it. I guess I didn’t know what heartburn was. It wasn’t bad enough to interrupt sleep or anything like that.
I didn’t use pregnancy as as excuse not to do things. If I wanted to do it, I did it. But that’s probably just my perverse nature, anyway.
What’s really annoying to me? Being told I can’t do something or I shouldn’t do something. Like, my coworker worrying about me walking up the stairs, in some crazy 1950s idea of child bearing. I’m having a baby, I’m not sick. Or my boss, after watching me trot to my office to grab my phone, telling me it makes him nervous when I run. What if I tripped! I told him this kid is protected by the most sophisticated suspension system every designed.
My body is now public property: I’ve heard it said before, but I really wasn’t prepared for all the comments from everyone, including total strangers. In one way, it’s nice, because it’s an easy conversation starter with people. I’ve gotten to know the Y workers and some of the Y regulars really well over the past few weeks. One of them even brought me a bag of baby clothes her baby outgrew! People at work are super interested in me, and every time I walk around the office I have to stop and have several conversations with people about how I’m doing (see: HOW ARE YOU FEELING?).Why didn’t you ever ask me how I was doing before?
Comments I like: “Wow, I couldn’t even tell you were pregnant until you turned to the side.” “You are a super cute pregnant person!”
Comments I dislike: “Oh my gosh, you are HUGE!” -delightful coworker who hadn’t seen me in a month. And: “You look like you BLEW UP over the weekend!” -another equally delightful person at work. And one final one:”How you doing, little mother?” -another coworker who I never talk to. “Little mother” feels so insulting. I’m more than the sum of my stomach, er, parts.
All I need now is a T-shirt with a few pre-printed answers on it to help me deflect the random awkward conversations in the store/Y/work:
“IT’S A BOY”
“YES, WE HAVE A NAME (but no, I’m not going to tell you)”