For the longest time I've wondered what it would feel like to be pregnant.
Would I be sick often? Would I be overjoyed or scared? Would my family be happy? Will everyone love my baby? How does it feel to have a life forming inside of oneself?
A couple of months ago I started feeling a bit strange... craving apple pies (which I hated, and still do, actually) should have been an indicator that it wasn't just me inhabiting this body anymore. Still, I resisted to a pregnancy test. I've had a few pregnancy "scares" in the past year and every time the test came back negative I felt a bit of hope leaving me. I know having a baby is not as exact a science as some would think. It is really quite complicated: you have about TWO days in which you are at a prime to get pregnant. Your weight and stress levels have a lot to do with how quickly to get pregnant and if you have an irregular period (like I was having) it can be even tougher.
My husband and I were in no hurry, but it still hurt to see that negative on a pregnancy test. So as you can imagine, when my husband demanded I took a pregnancy test before we left for vacation (Walt Disney World and I'm an adrenaline junkie... you get the drift!), I did it begrudgingly.
I went to the pharmacy and bought the test. Then I had lunch. Then I ran some errands. Then I visited my grandparents and THEN I took the test. I did everything the little instructions said and placed it on a flat surface and went about my business. About five minutes later I came back. And there it was... the elusive second line was clearly in place. According to the test I was pregnant. I called my husband feeling both happy and terrified at the same time. What if it was a false positive? He wouldn't have any of it, and made me go get a blood test STAT. Which I did. And it was POSITIVE.
At this point I allowed myself to start dreaming. I told my grandparents, my sister, my mom, my dad... everyone! In retrospect maybe I should have waited, it was only my fifth week and things can go wrong. Thankfully nothing has so far and people have been SO supportive of me, my husband, my puppy (she's my angel!) and my baby that I can't regret telling everyone so early! I wouldn't miss this for the world!
So I take it one week at the time. At week six I saw my baby for the first time: he was just a little dot on a black thing that I knew was the sac. The doctor pointed to a tiny, flickering dot and told me, sounding just a little surprised: "His heart is beating already, and its visible!" So thus far my baby was fine.
At nine weeks I went back to the doctor (he wanted to see me as soon as I came back from vacation to make sure everything was in apple pie order... apple pie... ugh!). I was shocked to see how big the baby was in comparison to three weeks earlier. Once again, we saw his heart beating and it was the most beautiful thing in the world.
At week thirteen we went back (once a month, the doctor told me) and I haven't gained a pound (which doesn't make the doctor concerned but doesn't make him happy either, he hopes I'm eating as much as I should, which I am). The baby was kicking and punching around and his heart was beating beautifully. I could see his spinal cord and his limbs clearly. I've been feeling little fluttering since week ten so I was happy to see him move around so much: vindication! I'd been right: the little guy likes to MOVE!
After Christmas, the doctor told me to visit his other office, which has a much more modern equipment. He wanted to see the baby more clearly, to make sure he's developing correctly. At seventeen weeks, he said, his little parts should be visible.
I have never seen something more beautiful. His heart, his ribs, his spinal cord, arms, legs, placenta, umbilical cord AND his little boy part was showing! He moved around like it was no one's business. At first he was laying upside down, then in the middle of the sonogram he flipped right side up. The doctor switched the machine to 3D and I saw his little body and tiny features with amazing detail. To our amazement, he lifted his little face and for a moment it looked like he smirked before turning around and giving us his back! It was kind of like: "enough pics for one day! Thanks for watching!" My husband (who has been with me to EVERY appointment), the doctor and I burst out laughing! That's my baby!
Now, as I write this, he is moving up a storm. And he moves even more when I speak to him. I can feel him more every day and now my husband can feel him too when he touches my bare tummy. We look at each other in amazement. God is so amazing to create life in such a way! Even my Yorkie seems to know something is different. She lies down on my tummy and presses her ear against my skin and then gives me the funniest look when the baby kicks. It's definitely no longer me living in this body: I have a beautiful, special little resident in here with quite a bit of personality and a lot of energy!
So... how does it feel to be pregnant?
1. I haven't thrown up. Not even once. The doctor said I've been lucky and I know I have!
2. At first I was excited, then scared, then terrified, then extremely excited again, then wary and desperate to know my baby was doing alright... There is no way to explain how strange this has been for me and my husband. We want this baby so much! We experience every day to the fullest, marveling at the tiniest things... the baby moving, my dizziness sometimes, how my body is changing, how many times I visit the ladies room... We are no longer four living in this house (God, my husband, my puppy, and me), our baby is very real and very much a part of our lives.
3. Strangely enough... being pregnant feels... Natural. It feels different to have a little body inside your own, of course, but natural at the same time. Your body knows what its doing, its not something you have to really think about. If you eat a lot you put on a lot of pounds but your body tells you exactly what amount, when to eat and even what to eat. You just have to listen to it. Thus far I eat almost exactly the same way I did before, and my doctor says it fine because although I have a baby, the baby is extremely small and doesn't need me to eat an extra piece of chicken, another piece of pie or another spoonful of rice just yet. There will be a time in which I'll get hungrier, but it doesn't mean its a free for all: pregnancy is not a free ticket to eat EVERYTHING you want. Not everything you WANT to eat is what you SHOULD. And I'm well aware of that. My craving? Chicken somedays, homemade hamburgers the other, broccoli one day, soup another. The least healthy craving? Chocolate. But I deal with it drinking a glass of chocolate milk once a day (low fat, low sugar chocolate, of course!).
I feel very lucky, and very blessed, and extremely happy. Life is not any easier, and I know it will get more complicated as time goes by. But for now I'm enjoying my baby one day... one week at a time.