|Don't be fooled. The photo has nothing to do with the post. I just like it a lot.|
Even after four and a half months, it’s still strange. I feel like a walking science experiment. Of course, there are all the bodily changes. The belly that suddenly popped and added inches to my hipline in a matter of days. The congestion that leaves my sinuses feeling like little elves shoved forty million cotton balls up my nose while I slept. The lightheadedness when I stand too quickly. The tender and ever-growing boobs that, for weeks, felt like miniature boxing champs were using them as punching bags. Each week it seems to be something different but all with the same underlying culprit: hormones. Oh, your hips are sore? Hormones. Oh, you get winded walking up a flight of stairs? Hormones. Oh, you have a headache again? Hormones. So far, I’ve been lucky, though. At least, that’s what I tell myself. The changes and discomforts haven’t been too severe, other than the first five weeks or so where morning sickness made me seriously reconsider moving my bedroom and office into the bathroom. (Side note, I’m convinced a man coined the term ‘morning sickness’ because it’s the biggest misnomer I’ve ever encountered. It doesn’t just hit in the morning and it definitely doesn’t magically go away when the clock strikes noon, either.)
Then there are the mental and psychological changes. I think I was in denial for the first few days, still convinced the five or six daily trips to puke my brains out were due to the stomach flu or food poisoning (salmonella!). But when my stomach flu didn’t go away after a week, I had to accept the reality facing me on that little plastic stick. I was never one of those women that dreamed about being pregnant, or about being a mother for that matter. In fact, for a long time -most of my 20s- I adamantly did not want kids. I was perfectly happy with being the cool auntie. That attitude eventually started to change, but rather than doing a 180 and becoming a part of the I Need To Be A Mommy Club, it evolved into more of a state of ambivalence. I could imagine a happy life either way - with or without children. The Husband, on the other hand, really wanted a family. He wants to be a father and, to be honest, I want him to be one, too. I think he’s going to be pretty dang great at it, actually. Since I could really go either way, we decided to let God/Nature/Fate/Whatever You Want To Call It make the decision for us.
Back in September, I had a Skype sesh with my bestie who had just recently moved back to the States. We were talking about all things life-related, as besties often do, and she asked if The Husband and I were thinking about having kids. She and I have always been on the same page when it came to that subject. Though The Husband and I weren’t ‘trying’ as some might say, we weren’t not trying either. It had been a while since we started not not trying and my body didn’t seem like it was going to cooperate. Of course, I stressed about it. Because I stress about everything. And because for so long it seemed like something that could/would/should happen so easily. No one really talks about how not easy it can be sometimes. I told her my thoughts and feelings then said, ‘Whatever. I’m letting it go. I’m not worrying about it anymore. Whether kids factor into the picture or not, whether biological or adopted, we have each other and we’ll have a happy life together either way.” Little did I know, Nature would make up her mind just a few weeks later.
So when it actually happened, when that plastic pee-covered stick said ‘Pregnant,' it took a while to sink it. And it’s still taking a while to get used to. Though I fully accept I may never get used to it. There’s an element of surrealism to the whole idea that an entirely new and different person is literally living inside my body and I don’t know that it’s something I can ever really ‘get used to.’ Nor do I think I want to. The awe of it is kind of mind-blowing.
I felt The Little One move for the first time a few days ago. It felt like I was being poked from the inside out. Which I guess is pretty much exactly what was happening. I’ve seen it move on the blurry black and white screen at the doctor’s office, but never actually felt it before then. Everyone kept telling me that when I did feel the “flutter kicks” it would feel like gas, or maybe a little muscle spasm, but it wasn’t like either of those things. It was it’s own distinct new feeling that was all at once familiar and unfamiliar. I’d never felt anything like it in my body before, yet I knew exactly what it was - and who was causing it. The little flickers of movement made this whole surreal experience slightly more real, but still strange nonetheless.
The science experiment continues.