December 8, 2011 (5 weeks, 1 day):
Through my own subconscious act of genius, I have a pre-existing appointment with my doctor today. All the books warn that most doctors won’t see you until you are 8 weeks pregnant, so I feel like I’m sneaking one by the system in seeing her this early.
My doctor confirms the pregnancy and I express my concern about not having any symptoms. She tells me to cherish this time because apparently they are coming soon. I’m ready. It’s not that I want to be sick, I just want to know something is happening.
Okay, I guess I do want to be sick. I want to puke my guts out the way the books and the movies say I’m supposed to be doing.
C’mon Baby, let me know you’re in there.
December 21, 2011 (7 weeks):
My dreams are becoming increasingly odd. Last night I dreamt that my parents got back together (actually, it was more of a nightmare). In the dream I am so distraught that I drink an obscene amount of alcohol.
At some point during the dream, I remember I am pregnant, and panic over my mistake. Then, still sleeping, I stop and acknowledge that this must all be a dream.
This thought is promptly followed by a wave of nausea and a very hazy, “Then why do I feel so hungover?”
I open my eyes abruptly then. This is not a hangover. This is morning sickness.
January 4, 2012 (9 weeks):
I can’t believe I wished these symptoms upon myself. On days when I make it out of the house, I want to stop every pregnant woman or mother I see. I want to take her by the shoulders and plead, “Does this get any better? Will I ever feel normal again?” But then I think about the months ahead of heartburn, maternity underwear, and labor. I flash forward through the next 18 years of blood, sweat, and tears with raising this child, and I decide I don’t want to ask.
Instead, on rough days, I think about what color hair our child will have, about the kind of person I want them to be, about the momentous and joyous ways our lives are about to change, and I feel relief. I feel relief because that little old Chinese lady that is always somewhere in my head (the one that squeezes every last bit of toothpaste from the tube, clips coupons, and asks for doggie bags at restaurants) reminds me that really, this is a tremendously good deal.
January 27, 2012 (12 weeks, 2 days):
What a relief. We had our 12-week ultrasound yesterday. It’s alive. It’s human. Honestly, I was beginning to doubt it. After not being able to hear the heartbeat on the Doppler at 9 weeks, I was assuming the worst. When the doctor performed an impromptu-ultrasound to calm me down, that little circle on the screen looked more like a piece of shrimp cocktail than a fetus. Since then, I’ve been preparing myself for the doctor to turn to me and say, “You’re not pregnant; you just can’t digest shellfish.”
This time, the image on the screen actually resembles a baby. A real, live, bouncy little baby. It’s flipping and flailing all over the place.
On the way home, Matthew turns to me and says, “I think we’re going to have our hands full with this one. That little peanut was full of beans.”
“Full of beans,” is a British expression I’ve never quite understood. I say, “Of course we’re going to have our hands full. We’re having a baby.”
My husband isn’t one for dramatics. He doesn’t trust in intuition, and he sure as hell doesn’t have a sixth sense.
Which is why it is particularly unusual when he replies with blithe confidence, “No, with this baby in particular.” He smiles. “I just have a feeling.”