Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I hold this life...

Andrew and I got to see our baby for the first time last week. Have you ever seen a 13 week old fetus stretch its arms and legs? It is by far the coolest thing I have ever witnessed. As I am now nearly in my 15th week, I can't imagine the changes that have already occurred since then. To actually see this human form living, moving, growing inside my body was absolutely surreal. To watch my big, strong husband floored by the sight of his child was mesmerizing. This is life. I hold this life, literally, within me. How amazing is that? 
As I look in the mirror each morning and attempt to stretch my normal clothing over my ever increasing belly, I still find it hard to believe that in only a few months, we will be holding this child in our arms. This tiny child, currently the size of a softball, will grow inside the comfort of my womb until the day we welcome him or her into this beautiful world. What an amazing gift this life is. This is love.
13 weeks, 4 days

Monday, September 20, 2010

Until the Well Runs Dry

I have a beautiful life. I truly do. This life will take on an entriely new meaning in March. I will no longer be just a daughter and a wife. I will be a mother. With that title come so many hopes and fears and with those hopes and fears, an onset of emotion. I am and have always been my mother’s child. Along with the many wonderful traits of hers I carry, I wear my heart on my sleeve. While I have never been ashamed of this inability to hide my feelings, I was unprepared for the avalanche of emotions that would rush through me as I serve my term as a human incubator.
I have read in the many many pregnancy books in the stack beside my bed how hormones will send me into a whirlwind of emotions; and I will admit I have shut my office door a few times while crying over absolutely nothing, but I had not experienced the uncontrollable, loud, sobbing crying that leaves one gasping for air until last night. I sat on the bed, folding laundry and flipping through the movie channels. I came across one I had wanted to see for a while: Everybody’s Fine with Robert DeNiero and Drew Barrymore. It looked like it would be a funny, light-hearted story about a dad who travels the country visiting his four grown children. It is one of the most heartbreaking movies I have ever seen. Blame it on the hormones if you will, but I cried uncontrollably throughout the entire movie.
It begins with a recently widowed man preparing for his four children to come visit him for the weekend. One by one, they all cancel for one reason or another, so he decides (against his doctor’s orders) to go on a trip to surprise them all. He starts in NYC then to Chicago then to Denver then finally Las Vegas. None of them can take the time to visit with their sweet dad. The kid in NYC never even comes home. **Spoiler Alert** They have all lied to him about the details of their lives (the Chicago “conductor” is really only a drummer, his “happily married” daughter in Denver is separated from her husband after he had an affair, his dancer daughter in Vegas not only has an infant son he knew nothing about but also has a girlfriend, and we learn that the artist in NYC is in a Mexican prison on drug charges).  Heartbroken and exhausted, he flies home from Vegas only to have a heart attack on the plane and wake up with three of the four children by his side. When he asks about the missing son (the one in the Mexican prison) his children finally tell him the truth: he overdosed and died. Really? This movie should come with a warning label: Not Suitable for Hormonal Pregnant Women.
It left me hoping that our children are never too busy for us. It left me wondering when the last time was I told my parents how much I love them. It left me in utter disbelief that the world into which I am bringing this child could be so heartless. I much prefer the movies where life is beautifully and unrealistically uncomplicated. I choose that world.

Needless to say, I spent the greater part of last night clutching the dog and going through half a box of Kleenex. I then called my Dad to remind him just how much I love him, ate a giant cookie and watched Glee to clear the horror from my mind. Just typing this is making me tear up again. After this and last week's My Sister's Keeper incident, lesson learned! I will only be allowed to watch Disney movies from now until I’m guessing forever because I am an endless fountain of tears and I’m not really expecting that to go away any time soon.
Man, pregnancy sure is fun.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bull in a China Shop

Today, I googled “clumsiness during pregnancy” and was surprised (and slightly relieved) to find that it is normal to feel “scatter-brained” and clumsy beginning in the fourth month. As this is my first pregnancy and I am among the first of my friends to take this journey, everything is a mystery. Every new thing that I feel, see, think, smell makes me immediately wonder if it is a side effect or if I’m just going crazy.
This has been my impressive week so far: Monday, I locked myself out of my office. It took me 20 minutes to find someone with a key to let me back in. Tuesday, after losing my grasp and literally throwing my knife at a lunch meeting, I left my office keys at the table and only realized this after I had made my way back downstairs to my office. Yesterday, in an attempt to carry toilet paper, my cell phone, and a glass of milk upstairs, I somehow managed to spill milk all over myself and the stairs. Today, while trying to grab a metal ruler from a cabinet in my office, I dropped and then caught said ruler, stabbing myself with the metal corner in the process and drawing blood. In the past two weeks, I have broken 2 glasses and one bowl while emptying the dish washer. Hide your kids. Hide your wives. I am dangerous.
The early stages of pregnancy are definitely odd. To look at me, I look completely normal. If you look closely, it appears I have eaten a big lunch or maybe downed a 6 pack of Budweiser, but those who aren't staring at my slight "bump," I look like myself. You would think this was a blessing, but it turns out it’s a lot harder to explain your weird behavior without being accompanied by an obvious belly. I am sure I will eat these words in a few months, but I look forward to the starkness of a protrusion. At least then, when I inadvertently hurl my dinner fork at you, it will be painfully obvious why I have lost all sense of self control.
Still, at almost 13weeks pregnant, I lie awake some nights and wonder if it’s all really happening. Have we really been trusted to nurture and raise a human being? Do I actually have a child relying on me for life? All the strange side effects, and weird smells, and countless bathroom breaks aside, I am loving this baby so much already it hurts.