I have a confession to make:
As badly as I wanted to be pregnant, I was absolutely not prepared for pregnancy. Not one bit.
It’s mostly my stubbornness to blame. It’s not like people didn’t try to warn me that pregnancy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They did. I just didn’t listen. (Really though, when you want a baby so badly, are you even capable of being rational about it? I think not.)
They tell you there will be morning sickness. You think you understand, but quickly realize that you absolutely did not understand. You had no idea that the 24/7 nausea would render you useless and miserable. You had no idea that you could sustain yourself for SO many weeks on a diet of sugary beverages and food with no color in it.
They tell you that you’ll be tired. Of course you’ll be tired, you think to yourself. Growing a human is hard work. But tired can’t be all that bad, right? And then the next thing you know you’re breaking a world record for most naps taken on a single Saturday.
They warn you of impending moodiness as they glance knowingly at your poor, unsuspecting fool of a partner. You think, yes, yes—hormones. DUH. Then suddenly, you are angrily hurling laundry at that poor, unsuspecting fool of a partner as you run out of the room and throw yourself on the bed sobbing. You barely even recognize yourself. Your partner has no idea which of your moods is coming or going. You are either madly in love with him/her or you are blinded with (temporary) hatred because of the way they swallow their oatmeal.
And then there are the things that no one really warned you about. The headaches. (Not everyone gets them, but I sure as hell do.) The constipation. The hair—OMG, the hair. Clearly the bearded ladies of circuses long past were all just pregnant. And let’s not forget the sleeplessness!
Sometimes, it’s all a bit much. I had to lie down after less than an hour of light work in the garden yesterday because I was suddenly so sore and crampy. Last week, I had to stop and rest on a neighbor’s retaining wall 20 minutes into an evening stroll with Catch and the dogs. I constantly have to force myself to be even vaguely productive. I have no desire to see friends or do—well, anything.
There are these moments, though. Like last night when I was curled into Catch as she absentmindedly played with my hair and our baby girl was kicking away inside me. Or when my mom excitedly told me how the wall that she’s never been able to find artwork for has officially been declared the grandbaby wall. It’s those moments that make me wonder if there is any better feeling in the world.
Sometimes, I look at pictures from a year ago when I was running like mad and drinking wine with abandon and I crave that life like a pregnant woman craves donuts. (Trust me—I know.) On the surface, all of those photos look so idyllic that they can almost fool me into believing that the girl holding that glass of wine while the sun shines in the vineyard isn’t actually sadder and more desperate than she has ever been in her life. But I know the truth.
Now here I am—miserably and blissfully pregnant with a pounding headache, a wiggling baby girl who just reached viability, and a heart more full than it has ever been. And I’m glad I didn’t really pay attention to all of pregnancy’s warning labels because I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.
(Although having said that, will you hold it against me if I trade the headache for a couple of Tylenol?)