Contributing moms and moms-to-be

I’ve wanted to expand Woah Baby! at some point to include contributing writers or guest writers, to expand it’s interest and helpfulness to like-minded moms or future moms out there. Today I have my first contributor’s post. For now, this mom-to-be is anonymous, but I’m so glad she is sharing her experience here.

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(c) Red Turtle Photography

9 weeks

So – what is pregnancy like so far?

A few minutes ago I wandered into the kitchen with a vague hunger. I ate a few spoonfuls of applesauce out of the jar. “Good,” I thought, “I’m eating fruits and veggies.” I used to eat produce at every meal. I grooved on greens. Now they make me sick. I poured a small bowl of cereal and sat on the couch to eat it. As soon as I was done, the bowl, with its leftover almond milk, looked disgusting to me, so I quickly hid it in the sink.

My head is pounding. Vague hunger and pointed nausea take turns making themselves known. I am more tired than I have ever been – permanently exhausted. Apparently I have 50 percent more blood inside me than I did before I got pregnant. I’m not showing yet, but between the nausea and gas and bloating (they don’t tell you about the gas, it’s not as adorable as the baby bump), regular clothes feel constraining, so I’m already rocking a pair of pregnancy jeans. I alternate between those and yoga pants. I mostly wear a sports bra because the extra support feels good on my burgeoning boobs (which, let’s face it, were already pretty burgeoned to begin with).

Today I unloaded the groceries and walked the dog and both felt like major accomplishments. Last night I managed to rally for a rehearsal and by the time I had commuted from my couch to the rehearsal space, I felt like I’d had enough activity for a week.

It is hard to believe there is a baby growing inside of me. But we heard its heartbeat, at the doctor’s office last week. It’s official. The pregnancy tests weren’t a mirage. This is really happening.

I wonder why nature makes the experience of pregnancy so unpleasant. Is it to steel you for the loss of control ahead? Or, rather, to remind you that you aren’t in control, and never have been? Shouldn’t the experience energize and inspire you for the journey you’re on?

The first few weeks I knew I was pregnant, I was in a beatific stupor. Dumb happy. Nothing could ruffle me.

Then reality hit me like a ton of bricks. “Oh my god. Our lives will never be the same.” I’m a freelancer – how the hell will I handle maternity leave? How will we afford childcare? Will I ever get to perform again? A rational voice inside me told me, “Shh, you’ll figure it out,” but irrational, fearful voices chanted right alongside, constantly. A child had a meltdown on the street and I thought, “What have I done?”

Then fear subsided, and an image settled in: I am holding our baby in my arms, and my husband is leaning over to kiss her. This soothes me, and makes me smile.

“How are you feeling?,” my brother in law asked me today via email. I replied: “Nauseous. Exhausted. Stuffed up. Ecstatic. Nervous.” Out of control. Humbled. Amazed. Worried. Sick. Excited. Peaceful. I sit on the couch, my head aching, contemplating what to order for dinner that sounds good and will still sound good in 30 minutes when it arrives at my doorstep. Something starchy, I know that much. Sorry, baby — as soon as I feel better, I’ll get some health food coming your way. For now, let’s hope carbs and sugar are just what you need to form into a healthy, beautiful you.

Did I mention the gas?

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Here’s what I was writing, around week 9.

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