I took my first pregnancy test on a November afternoon. Jay was with me. We laid in bed staring at the ceiling, talking through all of our emotions.
“What if it’s positive?”
“I really don’t think you’re pregnant… you’re always late on your period.”
“But what if.”
It took me a long time to build the kind of courage a person has to muster up within themselves when they’re about to face a completely life altering moment in the form of a white stick that you pee on. No gray areas, no maybes, just a clear, “YES, a human is growing inside of you” or “NO, proceed with your day, fetus-free.” All I needed to do was look at it.
Tears well up in my eyes every time I think about that moment when I first found out I was having you. I remember the faces of all of the people I told in person. Each time, it felt like there was a love-meter attached to my belly, and with every gasp, every wide-eye, every happy cry/squeal/hug and anticipation for your arrival, that meter would go up and up and up. I was so afraid at first. I had your Dad hold me for a long time as every cell in my body shook in fear that I wasn’t prepared, or that I wasn’t ready for this just yet. But I knew in my heart that I wanted a child at some point in my life. A person that held my DNA inside of them, a part of me that will grow with them as they moved through life even when I was gone. A little human to teach, to love unconditionally, to share the world with, to hear my voice of reasoning always in the back of their minds. My first trimester was terrible. Constantly feeling like my insides were brewing pure toxic, hot, acid. The nausea, wanting to gag in between sentences when talking with others. Feeling like I couldn’t eat anything except the foods you’re not supposed to eat during pregnancy like french fries and fast food burgers and ice cream and candy and every chip known to man. The sight of a vegetable made me want to run to the toilet. The weight gain and none of your clothes fitting anymore. Feeling my most ugly. My body now turned into a temporary residency for this person I haven’t even met yet. How glamorous. But oh geez, despite all of the first trimester’s torment …. I am just so, so excited to meet you, baby.
Wala, here are the only “progress” photos I’ve taken since I found out. I actually was 2 months into my pregnancy already when I concluded that something weird was happening inside of my body. I was feeling overly fatigued even when I would get enough sleep and felt like my insides were brewing up something weird. Was it heartburn? Protonix didn’t help. Tums? No relief. Rearranging the furniture that was my organ system to fit a growing fetus? Yup, that’s it. Also, the actual desire to get myself ready feels like such a task these days and my belly as of now just feels more like a post-buffet belly than a baby belly. But the bump is steadily growing.
I’m writing this at 20 weeks and I am so grateful to be halfway there. At times, the months have felt lonely. Your life shifts in many ways the moment you find out your pregnant. I’ve had an incredible support system, especially with Jay and my family, but I couldn’t help but feel the weight of all of the change, physically and mentally. In a lot of ways, I felt kind of outcasted in all of my feelings and experiences. You never truly realize what a pregnant woman goes through until you go through it yourself, and I am one of the first of my friend groups to have a baby. Luckily, one day I get a phone call from one of my oldest friends from middle school who had her first baby last June. She called me sniffling the moment I texted her the news. Talking to people that have been through it helps a lot. A lot, a lot. Talking to her made me feel like I wasn’t so alone in my experience. The sick days, the constant fatigue, the moodiness, the breakdowns, feeling insecure in this changing body, not being able to attend social gatherings like you once were able to do so freely before, exercising without feeling so sick, traveling, etc. But this experience had opted a new kind of gratitude that I never had before. I feel so thankful for the things that are in front of me, instead of dwelling on the things that I’m missing out on. I try my best not to take anything for granted, especially the days that I feel rested or get enough sleep. Or buying comfortable clothes. Or being able to walk without shooting pains in my leg and butt when baby is sitting on a nerve. Or seeing the people I love. Or receiving texts from people asking how I’m doing, just to let me know that I hadn’t been forgotten. It means a lot to me. Even you, reader, mean a lot to me!
It has taken me up to this point to truly embrace my pregnancy as a gift. My second trimester has been going a lot better than my first and I’m beginning to feel like myself again. Last weekend, I felt baby’s tiny kicks for the first time after Jay and I had IHOP. My L&D coworkers said the first kicks could easily be mistaken for gas bubbles in my intestines, but as my hand focused more on certain spots in my belly, yes.. those small “bloops” I was feeling was definitely baby moving in there. And now that I can feel him or her, it all became so much more real and personal.
I didn’t expect all of this to happen as quickly as it did but now that I’m here, I feel like my heart glows from the inside out. I cry all the time, happy cries. I didn’t think I could have so much emotional investment in the tiny human growing inside of me, imagining all of the possibilities of what he or she could be like and everything that we’ll be able to teach them. It’s a new adventure that both Jay and I are going to be taking part in, and I truly have the most patient and loving partner to go through this with. We’re both excited to be parents and we can’t wait to meet you Little One. You are already so, so loved.
First ultrasound picture of baby at 12 weeks.
Edited this post later on when we did the gender reveal and found out we’re having a BOY! Blessings on blessings. Little baby Perrenoud arriving June 2019.