Step Two: Embrace the ‘P’ Words (including ‘pee’)

• Pregnant. Since all of this started, I’ve exclusively told people Ben and I are expecting. The P-word isn’t easy for me to say.

At home, I’ll make jokes, referring to myself in the third person. For example, “I hope you know what happens when you leave a pregnant lady unattended with a giant bowl of pudding!” Or, “Yes, I ate all the string cheese. The entire bag. Give the pregnant lady a break!” (Can you tell my appetite is back?)

But, outside of making dorky jokes, “pregnant” is not a word I can say out loud in public and in reference to myself. I don’t understand my hang-up about the word. Perhaps it conjures up graphic images of giant, waddling women with swollen ankles and spider veins. Or, maybe there’s a deep, subconscious bias. I don’t much care. I’m just trying to ease my way into it.

Until then, I’m telling everyone Ben’s pregnant. Yep, he went and got himself knocked up. (So much easier to say!)

• Pee. For most of the first trimester, I was making an extra bathroom run every night. No biggie. Now, I’m up to two or three extra bathroom trips a night, and at least one water run. If I’m not in the bathroom, I’m in the kitchen, guzzling water like an elephant. I’m so thirsty and I need to pee all the time.

Even on our morning walk, I’ve had to duck into the shrubs (in my residential neighborhood!) to make an emergency pee stop! It’s horribly embarrassing, but I feel powerless to behave any differently. Don’t arrest me! Ben is pregnant and I need to pee!

• More Pee. By now (16 weeks), our baby is producing his own urine. At first, I thought this might be why I was peeing so much. I’m peeing for two! However, on further research, the truth is more horrifying. The baby is peeing into the amniotic sack. For the next six months, he’ll be swimming in a warm pool of his own pee, and there’s not a damn thing to be done about it. This knowledge is impacting my ability to function in the world. I know he’ll be adorable and wonderful…but he’ll also be covered in pee. AAGGGHHHHH!!!!

Step One, Make a Baby

Since October, Ben and I have been trying for a baby. Month after month went by and nothing happened, and I fell into an odd calm. I wasn’t going to get pregnant, everything was going to be fine, and, after our designated year of trying, life would resume as normal.

I was totally okay with that.

Between the death of my grandfather and our big move, in early May, I found out I was pregnant. Panic was immediate. The timing was terrible. How can I start a new job knocked up? Won’t they fire me? How could I go through a day without nearly barfing on myself? Agh!

This little alien had a hard time being still for his photo.

Because it was so early and I’m an old lady (the doctor calls it “advanced maternal age”), I focused on moving and getting into my new job. There were no guarantees. Then, we saw the doctor and it became very real. We saw a flipping, flopping, turtle-faced alien in my stomach and all the panic came back. What the heck did we do!

I’ve never even held a baby. I don’t know anything about them. The only diapers I’ve changed were on Cabbage Patch Kids and I suspect those were far more sanitary than the real thing. How are we going to afford it? Who will watch it while we work? We can’t possibly do this!

Then I took a breath and just spent my days trying not to barf. I lost 20 pounds (no worries, though, I have plenty to spare) and settled into a no-food diet. Everything made me want to barf. Smells, words, food commercials…instant barf mode. Luckily, I didn’t actually barf. Not once. I just had a high-grade, persistent nausea around the clock. I feel so lucky?

I also spent a lot of time protecting my boobs. Every movement was orchestrated to avoid contact with the boobs, which had grown exponentially and felt like they were wired in new and painful ways. I never realized how much contact my boobs had with the world in an average day! If anyone approached me, I’d instinctively guard them. Showers were a particular challenge since any direct spray sent me into agony. The dogs and Ben were on high alert: Nobody Messes With The Girls.

Between the nausea and the boob pain, I was definitely concerned. How could anything be worth it? (I didn’t even mention the constipation!)

But, here we are at week 15. I can eat again and my boobs are fairly normal (the weight loss is helping shrink them back to a manageable size). I’m exercising a lot and trying to eat as healthy as possible, though I still don’t have much appetite. I can get food down only if I’m really hungry. I have more energy, though I cry about everything and I constantly feel bloated in the tummy area. I don’t believe I’m showing yet, but it could happen any day now. According to my google machine, the baby is the size of an apple.

Panic mode is setting in again now as I start to consider everything we need to get done before baby  arrives in January. We have to choose a name, stock a nursery, learn how to change a damn diaper and keep the little tater tot alive. I may barf. For real this time.