Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's like holding your breath for five weeks

One thing I have learned about myself is that if I can't speak freely on this blog about what's on my mind, it's hard to speak at all.

So when I found out I was pregnant last month, and we decided to keep a lid on it for awhile, it gave me a crippling case of writer's block. It sucks when all you can talk about, think about, fret about, dream about and beam about is a big, fat secret.

But now it's out, and I hope you'll allow me to finally take a few giant, gasping glugs of air here, while I remember everything I can about the past five weeks:

- I took the test on Valentine's Day, when I was three days late. I knew I was going to test that morning, but didn't tell Sal because I didn't want to get his hopes up for nothing. I tossed and turned all night because I was so anxious for morning to arrive, and as 5:30 a.m. rolled around, I couldn't take it anymore. I went to the bathroom, peed on the stick, and then watched the digital monitor flash a little clock at me for about a minute. Then it blinked, "Pregnant." I did this funny shriek-sob-gasp thing, clasped my hands over my mouth, and then stared at my face in the mirror for awhile. Then I checked the stick again. Still pregnant. I raced into the dark living room, then back to the bathroom to check the stick. Then to the living room, then the kitchen, then back into the bathroom to check the stick. Did a few more laps like this, not sure why, it just seemed like the thing to do. I finally made it into the bedroom to wake up Sal, who stumbled sleepily into the bathroom with me to check the stick. Still pregnant! These new digital tests are the best, because it actually has the word RIGHT THERE. So much cooler than pink lines.

- The first thing we did after this was go out to breakfast, where I triumphantly ordered decaf.

- We were both off that week, me for winter break, and Sal on furlough. So with nothing but time on my hands, I read everything I could get my hands on about being pregnant. Days later, I slid into a truly bitchy funk. I was worried, cranky and very unhappy. (Then I'd feel guilty for being unhappy at being pregnant, which made me feel even worse. It was one hell of a spiral.) Then I realized something kind of important: Most of the stuff written about being pregnant and giving birth is quite alarming. "Your hair will fall out!" "Your marriage will suffer!" "You'll never sleep again!" "Your finances are screwed!" "YOUR VAGINA WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!" I suspected I had just OD'd on the whole topic, so I put myself on reading restriction for a week or so, and that lifted all the clouds.

- Speaking of reading, Sal got a hilarious and very informative book called "Dad's pregnant, too" by Harlan Cohen. It kicks the crap of "What to expect when you're expecting." A sample passage from a section entitled "Tip #27 THE ME-TOO EXPECTANT FATHER: She Doesn't Give A Shi* If You're Tired":

"If your partner is complaining that she has a headache, don't say 'My head hurts, too.' If your partner is tired, don't tell her how tired you are, too. If she says she's nauseous, don't be nauseous, too. When she complains about aches and pains, don't talk about your aches and pains (even if you're a professional football player). If she says she can't sleep at night, don't tell her how you can't sleep, either. If she talks about her big belly and stretch marks, you can talk about your big belly and stretch marks, but only in an attempt to make fun of yourself (weight jokes about her are never never never never never never funny - she might laugh, but she'll kick your ass later)."

- I miss drinking. A lot. Nobody ever seems to write about this, because I guess you're supposed to feel all "Tra-la-laaaa! I'm a perfect and serene mommy-to-be who is thrilled to trade her martini glass for a nice, warm mug of pregnancy tea!" Surprisingly, drinking fruity non-alcoholic cocktails makes me feel tons better. Like I didn't get kicked out of the party. Also, for obvious reasons, one of the first people we told was my favorite bartender at my favorite bar, and he made it his mission to come up with interesting, delicious "cocktails" that he discreetly serves to me before I even have to ask. Awesome.

- Speaking of drinking, my husband is a genius. Early on, I was fretting about how I'd get through parties and dinners without people noticing that I wasn't drinking. Sal had an idea that must have pained him greatly, which was that he'd give up drinking for Lent. This took all the pressure off me, as everyone would stand around aghast at the diet coke in his hand, and they barely even noticed that I wasn't drinking either, to be "supportive."

- Except for the most debilitating exhaustion I have ever felt in my life and some queasiness that seems to have subsided in the past week, I am mostly feeling OK. I have only barfed once, and to be honest, I thought it was kind of cool.

- The first thing I read about week five of pregnancy was how the embryo was no bigger than an appleseed, and that's how we now affectionately refer to the baby. As in, "Uh, Sal? Appleseed's craving a nice cabernet."

Maybe that's all for now - oh, except to answer the big questions: I'm almost at 10 weeks, due Oct. 21, and we aren't going to find out the gender till the baby is born. And no, we do not expect Chickens to be thrilled about this.


Robyn said...

Wow, you must have a really glamorous life, if you have that many dinners and cocktail parties to worry about.

And as I said before, congratulations on your appleseed!

Craig Lancaster said...

1. Congratulations!

2. Holy crap!

3. Congratulations!

missfelice said...

WOOHOO!! Its awesome!! Don't read those books, they'll make you least they did for me, Travis wanted to burn all of them...CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Chris and I totally bought the Lent thing. Totally.