March 12, 2014
The internet is not a good place for first time moms-to-be.
You Google a weird, little symptom, something you really weren’t that concerned about in the first place, and wind up with a bajillion different sites, all contradicting the next and freaking you out with terms like “ectopic” or “gestational diabetes” or “pre-term labour”.
And the forums! The forums can be the WORST places of all! Yes, there are some reputable, heavily monitored places you can go to meet and muse with other moms-to-be, but there are some people out there who are just trying to ruin it for us all. Or who don’t know their body from a hole in the ground, from the way they talk about their symptoms. And who apparently have never heard of punctuation. Or capitalization. Or small caps.
I found books to be better, but which ones out of the thousands to choose from?? I was dizzy with choice (and probably low blood pressure), so I stuck with the good ol’ What to Expect When Expecting. I read it week after week, sometimes skipping ahead by a month or two just to see what they said would be in store. I always knew the size of the baby as compared to fruit or vegetables, and felt totally on top of things! I was as educated as I could be without the help of scary Dr. Google.
This pregnancy? Nothing. I haven’t picked up one book or even had the thought to look up anything online. I mentioned before that I haven’t had The Fear this time – it never did kick in, soooo… I guess that’s why? Why I haven’t quietly opened my laptop at 3am to find out if anyone else was having weird nosebleeds every time they sneezed? Haven’t flipped frantically through the pages to weeks 13 and 14 to see if my morning sickness will be completely gone? Why I haven’t wondered what kind of delicious fruit my baby resembles today?
It’s a lime, by the way. At 12 weeks your unborn baby is about the size of a lime.
I Googled images of limes and was going to put a picture up of, well, a boring ol’ lime, but this gem was mixed in with all the citrus shots so… well, I didn’t really have a choice, did I?
I’ve heard it’s this way with your second pregnancy, and I can imagine the same with all subsequent pregnancies, too. The more kids to care for, the less time you have for things like READING or TAKING TIME FOR YOURSELF or FEELING LIKE A NORMAL PERSON IN GENERAL.
I swear, if it wasn’t for the first trimester awfulness I would totally forget that I was pregnant most of the time. Seriously. I don’t have time to focus on this pregnancy because I’m constantly thinking about Bee, about what to feed her or what clothes to put her in for the day. Is she getting enough playtime, enough hugs? Is she hungry again? Constipated? Hydrated? Is her diaper wet? Is she tired? Oh great, she fell. Is that another tooth coming in? Where is Bee? What’s the noise in the kitchen that sounds like the oven turning on? Is the door to the basement closed? Time to go to the park! Time for a nap! A snack! The zoo! Sleeeeeep for Mama..zzzzz………
I felt really guilty when I learned about the lime, actually. Like I’d been neglecting this child already, or something. I mean, I had no idea!! I didn’t know if it was the size of a lime or a lemon or a kumquat or a head of lettuce or, or, or….
The beginning of pregnancy is so weird. You’re growing this life inside of you and it truly is the most incredible, miraculous thing in the whole wide world… but you don’t look pregnant. If anything, you maybe look like you’ve had one too many beers last night. That, and you’re often sidelined by nausea and napping or chasing after your other kids. It’s like it’s not actually happening, like you’re not actually pregnant.
That sounds weird, and maybe I’m not doing the best job describing it. But that’s how I’ve felt these last couple of months.
So that’s why today, when we went for our 12-week ultrasound (surviving yet another massive Polar Vortex storm. UGH), it was such an enlightening moment not only for me, but my husband, too. How often do we forget about the Dads/partners, who can’t even experience the bad shit let alone the good shit?! Seeing that little baby – not a bean, not a spec, not a floating little blob – bouncing around on the screen, was amazing.
“Oh, so that’s what’s going on inside of me!”
We both beamed heartily; I may have actually squealed. My husband couldn’t take his eyes off of it, except only to smile at me with love. The technician was great, she got the sense that we weren’t about to shell out $30 for a CD rom of ultrasound images (!!!!??!), so when she left the room she just happened to leave the screen on and turned directly towards us. Prime photo taking opportunity.
I’m not going to show you the picture we took. It’s really just another ultrasound image, like any of the thousands you can look up on scary Dr. Google. Besides, it’s kinda nice that we have that for just us, my husband and I. We have this little photo of our baby, and I can look at it whenever I remember, “oh yeah, I’m pregnant,” and let it soak in that this is real. This is happening.
We’re having another baby. And today, we got to say, “hi.”