I can’t sleep so I’ve been trolling around on the Internets and I happened upon this tweet from a few months ago and really felt I had to elaborate.

I can not even explain how horrified Adam was when I stood there, in the bastion of all things natural and organic and overpriced that is Whole Foods, and lowered my nose on level with the food at the cafe and sniffed- SNIFFED!- the curry.

Dude, I wanted to know if it was good curry or not good curry- he obviously didn’t understand this because he doesn’t eat curry- and as he watched this apparently horrific scene unfold he hissed at me to stop SNIFFING the food “For gods sake!” and then glanced around frantically trying to see if anyone else had borne witness to this apparently unforgivable transgression.

Then, THEN, when I protested that it wasn’t like I LICKED it, or tasted it or anything, I was just smelling it JEEZE he turned a deep shade of magenta and hissed again “Shh! Shhh! Stop talking about it!” and then he left the area so as not to be associated with me, the lowly curry-sniffer.

Guys, this man has played half of a baseball game with the entire crotch of his pants missing, he regularly eats full meals with his hands (IN RESTAURANTS) and he has done things that are so embarrassing that I have been expressly forbidden from telling anyone. Ever. Or else.

What I am trying to say is that on a shame scale, Adams actions regularly clock in at a healthy six- rarely getting into truly offensive territory, but definitely sitting squarely on the wrong side of good taste. I would put smelling curry at a food bar at like a three, MAYBE a four if my grandmother was watching.

Just needed to make that clear. Good day.

Abracadabra

                   

Yesterday was a challenging day. I received news that my latest blood tests showed extremely low electrolyte levels (for those new to the blog, I have a kidney condition that I try not to whinge too much about. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not) and this immediately sent me into a panic spiral largely characterized by moping about while obsessively wringing my hands and shaking my fists impotently skyward.

I stopped by to see Adam at work and LO! more bad news of the business variety and more panicking and hand-wringing and fist-shaking.

As the day worn on I managed to get my head out of my arse and talk myself down from this panicked, “Everything is going wrong our baby isn’t getting what it needs and we’re going to end up homeless and alone” circuitous train of thoughts running through my head, and I did what I always do when I’m stressed, I made a PLAN.

Plans are my own personal talisman, if I have a plan, suddenly everything is ok, even if that plan reads simply “Stop panicking.”

Yesterday my plan was a little more involved, consisting of a phone call to my Nephrologist and a schedule for more massive doses of medications and increased monitoring and the potential for weekly IV’s (but we hope it won’t get to that point) and then besides the medication, the plan included several deep breaths as well as a silent incantation of “Everything is going to be fine. Everything is going to be fine.”

Because it will be, right? It has to be.

Last night Adam and I were discussing things like what to do with his business and our finances, and what life is going to look like in the next year with one income instead of two. Perhaps it was the way my voice kept creeping up into the upper registers or my anxious hand gestures or the way I ended every sentence with “Yes, but what are we going to dooo?” but he somehow picked up on my panic (intuitive man, this one).

In a surprisingly sincere gesture for someone who spends 98% of his time joking, Adam looked at me and said, “Let me worry about the business stuff, you just focus on growing a healthy baby.”

And I waited half a beat for some sort of joke about “…and bigger boobs too” or “…and by business stuff I meant business time” or some such Adam-style rejoinder, but none came. Just that same calm, resolved look.

                     

It occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one with a plan. In our own way we are both trying to cobble together some idea of what life will look like in 5 months, and although we weren’t waiting until I became pregnant to make big life decisions about the business and moving and buying a house, something about situations like these seems to invite just that sort of change. If not now, your reasoning goes, when?

As all of this was running through my head, I looked at him, this man I’ve loved for ten years and I decided that yes, okay. Let’s go along with your plan.

I’ll let him worry about the business stuff, confident that he is fully capable of making decisions in the best interests of our little family, and I will worry about the baby stuff, confident that he trusts me to make decisions in the best interests of myself and our son or daughter.

And surprise surprise, today I feel much better. And it seems that our two-fold plan has pleased the gods or goddesses, because LO! when I went to take a washcloth off the shelf this morning, something shiny slipped out and fell to the floor. Picking it up, I realized it was my wedding ring, the one I lost four days ago.

Everything is going to be fine. (It has to be).

Weeks 9-14

Here’s the second installment of weekly updates, bringing us up to speed.                                          

 9 Weeks

Adam is adorable and has taken to calling me whenever he passes a grocery store to see if I need anything picked up. 

After a few days where I panicked because my morning sickness disappeared, it’s back with a vengeance and I start most days by spitting bile into the toilet. 

Even as I do this I think “I don’t mind… I don’t mind”. I am so aware of how tenuous this new life, how extravagantly lucky we were to conceive at all and to have seen a heart- a real beating heart! 

As a result I am superstitiously careful not to complain too much, not to whine, to couch any negative statements with a thick cushion of cheery proclamations like “Yes I’ve been getting sick…but it’s worth it for a healthy baby!”.

I have become a lucky charm clutching Pollyanna – determined to appreciate (even if I don’t enjoy) every second of this headachey, bile-infested first few weeks. 

10 Weeks

                            

 This week our embryo graduates to “Fetus” status! I mark the occasion with a celebratory midday nap.

This is also the week of craving a specific food sooo intensely, going out of my way to procure said food (often at great expense, both financial and logistical) only to take one or two bites and get absolutely sickened by said food. 
From love to hate, craving to repulsion, all in the span of mere moments. It’s like having gold turn into shit in your hands or mouth, or whatever, it sucks (but I don’t mind! I don’t mind!) 

We are in the kitchen one sunny morning, Adam is sipping his coffee and feeding Gus. As a special treat he puts some plain yogurt on top of his kibble, and as he sets the yogurt container down beside me I get a whiff and start dry heaving.

I don’t have time to make it to the toilet so I run to the sink. Adam stares in astonishment as my retching becomes more violent and I realize that since he’s usually gone before me in the mornings he’s never seen this before. As he stands there with his mouth agape, watching me, fat drops of blood begin to fall into the sink- my nose is bleeding. 

And then I see myself from his eyes, bloated, last-night’s mascara caked around my eyes because I was too tired to remove it before bed, puking and bleeding into our kitchen sink.

I start crying.

“DO something!” I wail and Adam stands immobilized for a few more seconds before he reaches into his pocket, gets his phone and starts TAKING A VIDEO. 

Sweet Jesus fuck. I can’t believe he’s still alive.

11 Weeks
                          

We hear the heartbeat.

I am lying on the couch in my midwifes office as she places the doppler on my stomach and immediately we hear it, a loud primal thrumming.  Tears stream down my face as we listen to it echoing through the room, strong and loud and steady.

We are lucky, I think to myself, so lucky.

Adam sits across from me, beaming. 

On the ride home we can’t stop imitating the sound, a strangely oceanic “Woah woah woah woah” . It makes puking in the gutter right before we went inside the office totally worth it. It makes everything worth it.

“Thank you” I whisper silently dozens of times that day, remembering the sound, “Thank you”.


12 Weeks
                               

I spend Easter weekend at my in-laws, staring wistfully at the feasts they are famous for preparing. I still have no appetite, nausea still plagues me and I munch on saltines and soup, get to know the toilet in the guest bathroom on more intimate terms than I had ever wanted. 

Towards the end of the week though, something changes, I feel…energetic! And while I still throw up about once a day, the ever present queasy nauseous feeling abates… I eat vegetables! I eat VEGETABLES!

I have energy! Is this what awaits me in the second trimester?!

I wake up full of pep, take Gus for a long walk, mow my lawn, clean my whole house top to bottom and do all of those niggling tasks that I’ve been putting off for the past one and a half months. I feel like Wonder Woman!

13 Weeks
                              

We decide to tell coworkers, friends. It’s harder than I thought, letting go of that fragile secrecy. It feels precarious and exposed having something this….delicate, just out in the world. I forbid my mother ( Facebook addict extraordinaire) from posting anything, it feels too invasive, too personal to splash all over a social networking site. (Here, apparently, it’s fine ;)

When I do tell people, I am amazed over and over how much happiness spills over, how truly, genuinely excited people are. After all the worrying, it feels amazing to not have to hide something, to be able to talk about it, finally.

14 Weeks- This week!
                              

I feel as though I suddenly have a little round belly that I can’t suck in anymore. It’s still in the phase where I just look like I have a tiny potbelly instead of a baby, but it’s strange nonetheless to see my silhouette changing.

This is also the week I lose my wedding ring. Doing laundry one morning I go to fidget with it and feel in its place a bare naked expanse of finger. I never take it off, have no recollection of removing it, have no idea where it could be. I’m heartbroken and I scour our house from top to bottom looking for it but as yet, it remains hidden.
We bought our rings made of recycled gold from a lovely woman on Etsy, and had them engraved with one word inside. I toy with the idea of simply ordering another, but like an obstinate child I don’t want a NEW ring, I want MY ring.

I’m desperately hoping I find it soon.

(…and now we’re all caught up! BOOM!)

The Terror

                                       

When I found out I was pregnant I was immediately drawn to search out others like me, I instinctively craved a community of women going through what I was

I’m the first of my close friends to have a child, and although I’m fortunate enough to know a few incredible moms in real life (Including you, Audrey and Christine) mostly I sought this company online.

In the early weeks, as I hungrily scrolled through innumerable mommyblogs I felt like I was missing something, there was so much being unsaid about this experience.

They wrote (like I wrote, and will write) about expanding bellies, morning sickness, nursery decor. And these things are important, witnessing your changing body and morphing appetite and making preparations to welcome a new being into your home and your hearts is no small thing- it’s important and everyone writes about it because regardless how much you read it’s always different when it happens to you- if only because it this time it IS happening to you.

But in addition to staring at this new body in the mirror, watching in shock as my belly begins to poke itself insistently into the world, as a thin network of blue veins begin to reveal themselves just below the skin of my chest, in addition to all of this, everything I do is now tinged with the knowledge that soon I’ll doing this plus.

Dishes plus diapers. Laundry plus more laundry and more laundry and (I hear, I have been warned) ever more laundry. My days will be filled with all of the innumerable daily tasks I do now PLUS breastfeeding and shushing and rocking a tiny squalling creature on just a few hours of sleep.

This part of things is terrifying in its incomprehensibility.And I didn’t find much written about this, the terror felt when you look at the days and weeks and months after your due date, and that makes me wonder if I’m the only one sitting here quietly panicking.

Yesterday I drove to work after somewhat of a late start ( due to a night where “morning” sickness made a very surprise, very unwelcome return) and as I navigated the turns to get to Adam’s work I found that I was going through a half finished to-do list in my head.

I was thinking of the laundry overflowing our bedroom hamper, my car that I still haven’t vacuumed out after our Easter trip to see Adams family, our lawn, scraggly at the edges and in need of a trim. I found that without even being conscious of doing so, I was berating myself for this list, for all the things that remain unfinished, half-done.

And that berating, that nasty inner voice scolding sounded mostly like a panicky refrain of “If I can’t even get this shit done now, how will I do it when…” ?

When the baby won’t stop crying. When I can’t leave the house on a whim. When noisy chores have to be scheduled around naptimes.

I very rarely feel like I have it all together, most days I feel like I’m trailing one step behind, promising myself I’ll do XYZ when I have more energy. When I have more time.

And sometime within the past few weeks, perhaps as this pregnancy seemed to edge beyond that trepidatious first trimester, it became apparent that that fuzzy blob we first glimpsed six weeks ago will probably be lucky enough to develop into a child I will one day (in five and a half months, in fact) hold in my arms… It’s exhilarating.

And terrifying.

Because I don’t know how I’m going to do it. Perhaps this is why it’s not written about, because you never know how until you just…do.

We visited my sister in law shortly after she had twins a few years ago, and as we sat in a rare moment of stillness while they were both sleeping, I looked at her and her spotless house and two older children and just this whole world she was holding together, and I said in awe “I don’t know how you do it.”

She chuckled and said “I don’t know why people keep saying that. What’s my other option?! I do it because I have to.”

And that’s exactly it. I’ll do it, because I have to. But right now, from this side of the fence I have no idea how. And that’s terrifying.