beginning-- by a

My mom gave me the great idea of starting a "baby journal" and writing down a little bit about what's happening in here every day. This isn't as detailed as that, but I want to share a few thoughts. Here's why.

One thing I've been really grateful for is people's willingness to share their stories about birth and pregnancy on their personal blogs. While I know everyone is totally different and certainly doesn't share every detail online, it's been a real help to me to be able to read about others' experience to kind of help prep myself for what I'm doing/ about to do. So, in the spirit of paying it forward, and hopefully being able to help someone else, some details. Disclaimer: if pregnancy doesn't interest you/ grosses you out, stop reading.

We found out we were expecting on September 19. I had been exceptionally hungry for a few weeks and couldn't put my finger on why. Normally that doesn't happen until winter starts :) so I texted my mom and asked if she thought I could be pregnant. She pointed out that if I were pregnant, it would mean that my body was duplicating billions of cells so it would make sense to be hungry. I had kind of convinced myself that I was going to be pregnant! So we decided to buy a pregnancy test on the way home from somewhere, and as soon as we were a few blocks from the pharmacy, I told myself, "There's no way you're pregnant. It's not going to happen this time." (I've taken a couple pregnancy tests before because I'm crazy.) And I really wish I hadn't told myself it wasn't, because when I took the test when we got home I was kind of 100% shocked. I set it on the counter and waited the three minutes, and Nate came in and sat on the floor with me while we waited. My timer went off and he grabbed the test off the counter before I could and stared at it. I snatched it and stared at it and said "NO. THERE'S NO WAY." and thereupon freaked out. Kind of totally lost it. I had never been so shocked! I kind of started crying and after about 20 minutes I called my mom and told her. She and my dad were so so happy--their first grandchild! It took a bit for me to relax but then Nate and I just kind of sat on the couch and looked at each other. We talked for an hour or two and decided to call Nate's parents the next day. I also told my grandma right away and she has been my biggest cheerleader--her first great-grandchild! (The support from our family and friends and even strangers has been such a cherry on top. We're so lucky.)

A few weeks later we told our families and they were of course over the moon. It was really fun to tell them, especially my younger siblings who were all jumping up and down about being aunts and uncles. My youngest brother, who's nine, still calls every week and asks, "So, Alex, how big is the baby now??" (It went from the size of a lentil to the size of a grape very slowly for him.)

When we found out, I was five weeks along, and at six weeks I started throwing up every day. Up until about 14 weeks I was throwing up every single day at least once a day and experiencing nausea essentially all day long. Maybe I'm just a softy but it was hard being that sick. And my mom had all seven of us without a stretch mark or a sick day so I was a bit disillusioned. And at the beginning certainly very surprised/ stumped about why I was experiencing so much morning sickness (though Nate almost killed his poor mother, so no doubting this baby will take after him in lots of ways). I got prescribed Diclegis at 11 weeks which helped immensely. Also the saltines and ginger ale were more than just an old wives' tale, they were the only thing I could keep down some days. And almond milk was a life saver after throwing up to help get rid of the awful taste in my mouth. I know a lot of people have it way worse than I did, and even sitting/dying on the floor in the bathroom, all I could think about was what a privilege it is and how lucky I am to have an indicator that my baby is growing. And how incredibly lucky I am to be married to the father of my baby. Not to mention that he's willing to do everything from rub my back in the middle of the night to getting me a glass of water and pack of saltines to meeting me at the OB on his lunch break to "see" baby. Nathan has been absolutely superhuman--I can't imagine what I did to deserve such a caring partner. 

I'm 15 weeks along right now and feeling medium good/ great. It changes daily but mainly I am having a lot less nausea and a lot more fatigue, which is perfectly okay with me. The newest thing, which started about a week ago, is that at night time my abs/sides feel really sore, like I just did two hundred sit-ups, and the only way to get comfy is to slouch way down on the couch and hold onto my belly. It's pretty hilarious looking. Also I get way bigger at night time. This week is really the first week I've actually looked pregnant when I wake up in the morning. Also, the hunger. Oh my gosh the hunger. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced. And it's been going on pretty much the whole first trimester, off and on depending on the nausea. If I don't eat every hour... actually I don't even know because I am just usually eating. It's amazing how much I am able to listen to my body now that it's constantly telling me exactly what I need right this second! Time to eat carbs. Time for a drink. Time to sit down even though you're on the corner of Wabash and Lake and there's no place to sit down. Time to barf even though you're in a cab to the airport and the driver doesn't really feel like pulling over. Time for a nap even though you had one two hours ago. Maybe I don't know him very well yet but little guy is decisive. (I have a bit of a bad habit naming stuff (furniture, clothes, our car) and referring to it as "he," so sorry if you're a girl, baby, but Mom has been calling you "him" for a couple of months now.)

I was 110 when I found out I was pregnant and lost 7 pounds by the time I was ten weeks. I've now gained it all back and am at about 116, which is a relief because I was worried about not gaining enough the first few weeks. Luckily I've more than made up for it with alllll the cheese and french bread my little heart could want. I started to get a bump about four weeks ago that only I really noticed, and about three weeks ago it was really showing to people who know me. Now I can't button my pants and I've had to start buying some new pieces of clothing/ borrowing Nate's. I'm trying really hard to only buy clothes that I can wear after I'm pregnant since maternity clothes are so expensive to me (and also still don't really fit very well?).

Nate absolutely loves ultrasounds. Even hearing and seeing the little guy's heartbeat flickering at the doctor, it's still kind of hard to believe I'm actually pregnant. It hasn't sunk it, to be honest. The book says that that's normal for a while, but I'm a little worried about it I guess? Although I had fun wondering if my brothers and sisters were going to be a boy or a girl when my mom was expecting, we're not going to do a surprise. Nate really wants to find out because he likes gathering facts (in every aspect of life, not just baby) which is a good thing because sometimes I can blow right past important details. So we can find out now, if we want. But I'm just barely starting to feel ready to find out. I know it's going to become real once I know if he's really a he or a she, and I can't say I'm totally ready for that yet. It just doesn't seem real! I'm wondering when it will?!

16 week bump. It took both of us and a little bit of crying to get that stupid zipper to close.

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