Writing the title of this post gave me a serious wave of anxiety/excitement/disbelief that I’m actually 23 weeks pregnant. That’s almost 6 months. Way beyond halfway done. I honestly can’t believe it. I’ve meant to do more insightful pregnancy updates on here, but the past few months have flown by so fast I could barely even catch my breath and collect my thoughts about it. It’s been a whirlwind of doctors appointments (more in these few months than I’ve usually had in 10 years – thankfully), body/wardrobe acclimating, savoring these last months as a family of 2, and of course all of life’s other non-pregnancy related complexities. Overall a very fortunate and positive whirlwind, but a whirlwind nonetheless. Today I wanted to take that moment and share a bit about my experience thus far…
Being pregnant has been different than I thought. Easier in some ways, harder in other ways. It’s easier than I expected because:
1. I have never gotten sick since day 1. I recognize how incredibly lucky I am for this and I know I won’t be able to expect the same luxury if I ever get pregnant again. Some of my friends have been sick throughout their ENTIRE pregnancies and I simply cannot imagine how hard that must have been. The only symptoms I have felt are occasional fatigue, the feeling of a small human sitting on my bladder, the dreaded weight gain, and temperamental skin.
2. Life resumed as normal in a lot of ways after the first trimester. The beginning was somewhat stressful and scary (not knowing for sure that it’s not going to go away and not being able to be out in the world with the news while trying to get used to it all). But at the 12 week mark, we found out we are having a girl and finally got to tell all our friends and family. Then things calmed down and we went back to our normal lives, only now with the added anticipation, curiosity, and excitement of what’s to come.
3. An amazing husband. Ian has been simply the most ecstatic dad-to-be, always wanting to know everything that’s happening with me and our baby, reading up on things, researching baby products… He’s obsessed with it all and so supportive of me, and I’m so grateful for that. This has brought us closer in so many ways, and made me feel so excited to be parents together.
4. The fact that we got pregnant at all. So many couples don’t have it so easy, and we take moments all the time to appreciate that we were basically given a free pass. You never know what it’s going to be like until you’re doing it, and we had always worried about that.
It’s harder than I expected because:
1. Losing control of my body. Even though I haven’t been sick, I wasn’t anticipating how odd it would feel to have this “alien” take over me and rely on me for survival before it even feels real. In some ways, this is part of what makes it so special, but it’s also something I really struggle with. While the dad gets to enjoy these 40 weeks of doing whatever he wants to do – eating whatever, drinking whatever, having “last hurrahs,” getting in shape before fatherhood, etc… I’m already a mom. The minute I became pregnant was the minute I had to stop doing a lot of things I enjoy having as a part of my routine. While it might feel trivial and silly compared to the miracle that’s going on inside of me, it really is hard to give up that freedom and control, especially when I know even harder times are ahead. As I type this, I’m on a plane to Nashville for a bachelorette trip for one of my good friends. I would love nothing more than to enjoy my first time in this city through a carefree, summery, artisanal cocktail-fueled lens, I have one foot in this massive responsibility of growing a child, and the other wanting to really embrace this time as sort of the final chapter as someone who doesn’t have these kinds of responsibilities. For some, this part is a piece of cake. For me, not so much. Maybe there’s a deeper Peter Pan complex going on here, but whatever it is, it’s hard for me. It’s not so much the restrictions themselves, but the sobering reality of this stage in life. It’s not about me anymore.
2. The fear/anxiety for what’s to come. I’ve never really been the mommy type. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. The motherly side of me is completely unknown as of now and it’s going to be a brand new identity. This thought scares me to death. What if the maternal side never comes? What if it comes but I lose my old self in the process? What if the transition is just more than I can take?
However hard or easy this all is though, it’s happening. It’s moving forward at a fast pace and my life is never going to be the same. So the only thing to do is embrace the change. I’m enjoying the process of learning new things, becoming a part of this new “club”, planning and daydreaming about how we’ll take on parenthood in our own way, and just generally getting excited to meet this girl.
Those of you who have done this before, I would love to hear your experiences and any advice you have! As always, thanks so much for reading, guys. I promise my updates won’t always be so deep and dramatic but I just felt compelled to share where I’m at with it all.