During all those years of dreaming about a child of my own and all those months of TTC, I somehow formed this preconception of what I would be like as a pregnant woman.
- My husband and I would use those nine months as incentive to go out on dates often, because we won’t be able to afford a babysitter. Pregnancy is the time to live it up and be together.
- My nutrition during pregnancy would be superb. Over the past one to two years, I have cut out all fast food and all pop, started eating only home-cooked food, got all my servings of fruits and veggies, switched to whole grains, really limited caffeine and sugar, etc. Part of TTC was a fertility-friendly diet, and part of my general lifestyle is to eat healthy foods. My baby was going to have nothing but the very best straight from conception onward.
- No more walking through the baby aisles at the stores hoping and praying and feeling sad. I’d now skip through those aisles as I scanned objects to my baby registry and dreamed about rocking my baby in the bedside rock’n play and watching my husband give our child a bottle. My joy would be uncontainable, and I’d break into song and dance right there in the store, and my joy would be so contagious, all the shoppers would join in with me.
- I would never feel lonely because no matter where I go while pregnant, I’ve got my baby with me.
- I would always be excited and grateful to be pregnant.
I was a stupid, stupid fool. If you’re laughing at me right now, it’s okay. Laugh. Laugh away. But don’t worry – I’m no longer delusional. I had quite the wake up call to reality.
- The most romantic thing my husband has done for me in the past three months is cleaning out my puke bucket and bringing me some mouthwash. He went to work every day for three months while I either stayed at home on the couch, in bed, or on the floor throwing up, gagging, or dry-heaving. Then he’d come home, and my routine would continue. We would go to bed, and my routine would continue until I passed out from exhaustion for a few hours. Then I’d wake up to get sick again. I felt like the most disgusting creature on the planet. I would go an entire week without a shower or brushing my teeth because I simply could not do it. Go on a date? Are you kidding me?
- My nutrition went down the toilet. Literally. I could barely swallow anything let alone 4.5 servings of fruits and veggies. Fast food became a staple in our house, because I was too sick to cook, and my husband was too busy to learn how to cook. And pop? Carbonated beverages stayed down longer than flat beverages. Bring on that fizzy high fructose corn syrup!
- I was too sick to go anywhere. If I absolutely had to leave the house, buckets went with me. Everywhere. Always. It even took too much energy until recently to start a registry online.
- Pregnancy is one of the absolute loneliest times I have ever experienced. Not having proper nutrition would mess with anyone’s mental health, but add that to my pre-existing clinical depression, and my brain making the proper chemicals is simply hopeless. Being too sick to see anyone makes one very isolated. Sure, my baby is always with me, but that doesn’t mean much after being a shut-in for practically three months. My main company was the one-year-old I nanny. (Thank goodness toddlers don’t realize how gross dry-heaving is or that it’s abnormal to have a bucket in every room.) I stopped going out to lunch with the mom of the girl I nanny. I stopped going to church and Bible study. Because we’re in a new state for a one year internship, I have no local friends. All I wanted was for someone to sit with me and watch Netflix with me and cook for my husband and clean for me. At one point, a friend did drive five hours to do those things for me. The weekend she was here was marvelous.
- This is the one that came as the biggest shock to me. From the moment I saw that positive home pregnancy test, I thought, “I can’t do this! I’m not ready! I’m scared!” That first day, both my husband and I were both excited and completely terrified even though this was something we both wanted and prayed for. Once the sickness set in, I started wondering what the world record is for dry-heaving because I’m pretty sure I’ve won an awesome prize from Guinness World Records. Then I started wondering how long I could live off a few bites of food per day. Then – to my shock and horror – I started thinking about easy ways out. Not tempted, but they were thoughts that came in my mind before I could kick them out, and I hated myself. But I also had to constantly remind myself that I loved my baby. I hate admitting this, and do so only because I’m sure other women have felt similarly.
Now that I am really starting to show, and now that the sickness isn’t as severe, the excitement is starting to grow. I can normally eat a meal or two each day. I post on my FB about what developments take place in an unborn baby, week-by-week. I look at pictures of the things on my registry and imagine myself and my husband using them with our baby. Every night, I take the ultrasound picture out of my devotion book and pray for my baby and for my baby’s future spouse.
I have also come to accept that just because I don’t like being pregnant doesn’t mean I don’t like my baby. They are two different things. I love my baby and will do what’s best for my baby. But if I don’t enjoy being pregnant, that’s okay.
Most of all, I have come to realize what hard work body-building is. I have a lot of respect for women who were even more sick than I was and/or who were sick their entire pregnancies. It’s truly amazing how God designed women’s bodies to shelter and nourish a baby as it develops. Once this baby comes in September, I’ll be so in love, all these struggles will simply turn into a distant memory… then I’ll re-read these entries and think, “Was it really that bad?”