As I continue this “Pregnancy Diary”, it strikes me that pregnancy is a very polarizing event. Some people live for baby stories, and others really couldn’t give a crap.
And yet, for too many others, it is painful to be reminded of what you want so badly but can’t have.
I was nervous to start this series for all of those reasons, but my friend Lizzi wrote a powerful piece recently about the painfulness of infertility and the even stronger painfulness of being shut out of others’ pregnancy joy, just to avoid hurt feelings. Girl got Freshly Pressed for that gem.
So as I do this, I will do my best to not leave a single detail. This will be a Behind-the-Scenes journey, the unpretty but certainly hallowed transformation that we Buttons are about to go through. You deserve more than the shiny, Pinterest-perfect photos, and the “I loved pregnancy so much, I never even got sick!” spiel that’s enough to make you vomit yourself.
You deserve the truth.
Therefore, I feel it is my duty to inform you that immediately after I revealed that little plus sign to my husband, he did 4 things in the span of 10 seconds.
He: said, “WHAT! Omygod! REALLY?”
He: gripped me tightly.
He: got a little weepy.
He: said, “I’m so sorry, love,” threw back the covers, ran down the stairs and slammed the bathroom door.
I *literally* scared the shit out of him.
A visit to the clinic later that day confirmed that I had indeed NOT peed on a faulty stick. Thus began the lovely process of having 5 sausage-sized vials filled with my blood, and looking for the right prenatal vitamins. Getting overwhelmed was pretty easy.
We finally found a prenatal vitamin that had the least amount of unpronounceable/non-medicinal additions in them, as well as folic acid. Now apparently, you’re supposed to be taking folic acid BEFORE you get pregnant, to make for better chances of conception, and to prevent neural defects in your baby once you DO conceive.
However, like a fool, I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant, so I was weeks behind on taking my folic acid. Baby Button, if you come out with part of your spinal cord missing, that’s my bad. Hope we can still hang out.
I started to get really excited. A baby. A little bit of me, a little bit of him, a little more of who knows what, all mixed together into something that will no doubt be cute.
Also, I’ve been doing the whole “menstrual cycle” horror show for nigh on 15 years now, and when my body heard the news that it was getting a 9-month reprieve, booty was like
What a precious, naive child I was.
I basically traded feeling like crap for one week a month, to feeling like crap for 3 months straight.
I am now in (what feels like) a never-ending whirlwind of hunger, exhaustion, emotions both disastrous and euphoric. My pelvis hurts. My ribs ache. My skin is tingly. My poop is stuck.
I, an exotic mixed-race Mexican, will boil if I’m out in the sun for longer than an hour without the use of an umbrella and/or sunscreen. Sunscreen. Like a basic white person.
Can we talk about water retention for a minute?
It’s July. It’s starting to get hot, and I like to be active, especially in the summertime. Lately, though, my ankles look like marshmallows that have been put in the microwave. Every muscle below my knees is so tight and swollen that I’m afraid to touch them, for fear that they will do a good ole Senator Kelly from X-Men.
My brain is tricking me because so much more blood is going to my uterus rather than to my think tank where it’s [also] needed. I’ve forgotten to lock my car door, words to my favourite songs, the names of favourite actors. I’ve entered the wrong PIN twice in a row. I’ve nearly sliced my leg open because I was so desperate to eat the steak sitting on my lap in a tinfoil take-out box. But so far, my crowning achievement has been following my husband straight into the Men’s Restroom at a Red Robin’s, right in front of a male staff member.
What, don’t ALL couples go to the bathroom together anymore?!
So far, I’ve been able to laugh at everything I’ve experienced. I’ve got a good sense of humour, I can laugh at myself and also I have boobs for the first time in my life, which is a *perk* neither myself nor my husband are complaining about. The lining on my new bra is definitely silver.
However, on Friday, some things started happening that were a little less…exciting.
I started spotting blood in my underwear. Not much, but enough to cause my heart to race and my worry to get kicked into full gear. I called the 24/7 Public Health Line, and they asked me a multitude of questions about my health and what I was feeling, which I was gratefully able to say “no” to all. No cramping, no vomiting, no blood clots. No to many things I’d never even thought of.
They encouraged me to see a doctor within 12 hours, and if I’ve soaked a pad or tampon within 3 hours, to head straight to the emergency room.
4 days later, I still haven’t even used one full pad. Every breath is a “thank you.”
Since I’m still doctor-less at the moment, I’ve been going to a walk-in clinic at the local Superstore. He’s kind of old, so it was weird to keep a straight face while he put his gloved hand up inside me. “You’ll get used to this,” he said. “Okay, relax your tummy.”
“Wow, you’ve got really tight tummy muscles. Do you go to the gym?”
Newwwwwp, but I appreciate what you’re trying to do.
“Everything looks okay and sealed up. It’s not an ectopic pregnancy [where the egg fertilizes and starts growing in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus], so that’s good. I’m gonna send you over to book an ultrasound. Normally it would take weeks to book one, but I’m going to put “threatened miscarriage” on your chart JUST so that they schedule you in quicker, okay?”
I swallowed nervously. “Okay.”
He smiled, and on his way out the door, said, “I’ll see you in 7 months.”
I’ve had two samples of blood taken, 3 days apart, so they can compare my hormone levels. Apparently, if my pregnancy is being “maintained”, then the HCG hormone will double every day. The blood tells many stories, and I don’t know mine yet – except that my Type is A positive, which I’m told is very good to have, and I keep telling myself that I have A+ blood, so really there’s nothing to worry about, right?
My first ultrasound is tomorrow. I think I’m excited. I was more scared, but I’ve been hearing many stories from friends today who said they spotted early on in their pregnancy as well, and their first ultrasound confirmed a resilient little heartbeat. I want that more than I want my next BM.
Just so I don’t end this on a scary note, here’s me and #BabyButton, our blobby little blueberry-becoming-a-raspberry, along with my spectacular new bewbs and my kick-ass bubble butt.
And here is Daddy Steve, wondering just how that happened. *wink wink*