I'm just about to head into my third trimester, and here's what I've gleaned from pregnancy thus far.
1. There's nothing quite like that positive test after any amount of time trying.
I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling I had when I looked at those two lines after six months of trying to get pregnant. I stared in disbelief, believing that it must be a mistake, but after three more tests and a phone call to my sister, it sank in that yes, I'm really and truly pregnant. I even cried twice -- once out of sheer excitement and once out of sheer terror.
I thought of the other people who've had this moment. A friend of mine just gave birth after a few years of trying. Another friend recently announced that her wife is pregnant and due a few months after I am. I think what their moments must have been like, and the incredible joy they must have felt looking at that stick.
I also wonder if they had the same realization I did -- that they were joyfully clutching and staring at something with pee all over it.
2. Morning sickness sucks, and is also a lie.
I will freely admit that my excitement over the positive pregnancy test had faded somewhat by my third pregnancy-related confrontation with my toilet, oh, somewhere around week six. I will also admit that I stupidly believed that morning sickness was defined by its name.
Do not believe this crock of sh*t, ladies. It is terrible, it's name meant to lull you into a false sense of security. I can't even tell you what your triggers will be, since they're different for everyone. All I know is that junk food (even my favorite junk food), various smells and sometimes even the soap in the shower made me sprint to the toilet like a nauseous gazelle. As happy as I still was that we're having a baby, I found myself looking desperately down at my belly daily and saying, "Why? Why are you doing this to me?"
3. The second trimester is not actually a reprieve, but a different set of crap.
Along with probably every other mom-to-be out there, I've been reading whatever I can get my hands on to give me insight into pregnancy. Almost everything I've read has mentioned that the second trimester will be a "reprieve" from the first trimester's morning sickness and fatigue. Websites, articles, blogs and even books say that I'll be more active and energetic, and many have even suggested a babymoon.
Let me put it out there that yes, I do have a bit more energy than I did. However, I'm not a happy, bouncing energy ball, and if I don't get my nap in the afternoon (which is something I only rarely needed pre-pregnancy), I have a really tough time hanging in there. On top of that, I have dealt with round ligament pain, backaches, headaches, occasional dizziness, pregnancy brain and trouble sleeping because of crazy dreams and groovy heartburn. Occasionally they all happen at once.
Not much of a reprieve, is it? I'm not thinking a babymoon will help... not that I have the energy or desire to take one.
4. My husband is a saint.
I always knew he was a great guy -- I probably wouldn't have married him if he wasn't. I did not, however, know the depths of my husband's patience. Through all of my grouchiness, irritability, sickly whining and out-of-nowhere, for-no-reason crying, he has been nothing but supportive and sweet. The poor guy hasn't only taken my moods on the chin like a champ, he's done what he could to alleviate them, from bringing me ice cream to being silly and trying to make me laugh to just giving me a comforting hug or foot rub (those foot rubs are pretty great). Not once has he lost his cool with me -- and there have been many opportunities for him to do so.
On top of that, his concern knows no bounds. With each symptom, especially some of the more scary ones, he has been at my side. He has looked up everything I've gone through and probably knows my symptoms better than I do at this point, which I think helps him maintain some of that epic patience he has with my grouchiness. He's even gone to several doctor appointments with me. He's really and truly been amazing.
Ladies, take the time to give your partner some credit. Believe me when I say that they'll appreciate the fact that you recognize how hard you are to put up with -- and you really, really are.
5. I am... not a saint.
Speaking of hard to put up with...
I'm awful. I wish this wasn't the case, but I find myself, at least three times a week, apologizing to the hubs and saying, "I know. I'm all fragile and irritable, and I'm sorry. I don't know what my problem is," while he just nods and proceeds to take us both out to dinner so I don't have to cook (or maybe he's afraid I'll poison the food). To be perfectly honest, I find my moodiness irritating, because I know I'm normally a pretty chill, low-to-no-drama kind of chick. Of course, this just exacerbates things, and I end up more moody, more irritable and also guilt-crying because I feel like I'm a terrible, awful person who doesn't deserve this saint of a husband who takes her out to dinner so she doesn't have to cook, even if he is only doing it because he's afraid she'll poison the food.
6. I'm happy.
With everything I've written, and with everything I will write, it must be known that I am happy. I'm not just content -- I'm truly happy. I've come such a long way to be here, and I recognize how unbelievably lucky I am to have this life.
So, with all the morning sickness, stinky dogs, sleep issues, various aches and pains, moodiness and weird strangers, I'm one happy chick who loves being my hub's wife, and I cannot wait to be a mom.