16 weeks of being pregnant: a recap

I’m not pregnant, but my wife is. So, in reality, we both are. It might be T’s belly that’s forming a telling little bump, but make no mistake, we are both undeniably pregnant.

Sometimes that’s really fun, like going and having an ultrasound. All the voyeurism without the goo–neato! Sometimes, though, it’s a lot of work having to lift and carry everything, and the zero help with the cat box thing stinks, etc., but since I like taking care of T, that’s okay too. I don’t even mind that she banned dinner for two months. I could have done without a few of her ill-timed meltdowns, but overall, T’s been very strong and rightfully expects me to be as well. We’ve always been good about making the other rise to the occasion.

Being pregnant has meant a lot of changes, obviously, some which I anticipated and some, not so much. For example, I don’t drink a bottle of wine a night or smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, which is both good and bad. Good because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger, and bad because psssssst…..I’m not really pregnant and sometimes I want a glass of wine or two or three. But that bugs the shit out of T, so I try to avoid it. Same with all things smoking related. I’ve done a decent job of giving up smoking, a few slips notwithstanding. We spend money differently too, in part because of my current unemployment status, but as much of it has to do with shifting priorities as well. A ten dollar bottle of wine could buy a package of diapers; do I need a new pair of flip flops this summer when my old ones are holding up just fine? You get my drift.

We’ve been gobbling up information about Egghead’s progress, eagerly awaiting each Dr.’s visit, and working to make room in our small home for the baby. What the books don’t tell you about pregnancy is that there is this emotional housecleaning that takes place as well. I know that has been true with me at least. All kinds of stuff has surfaced in my life, some in the form of unpleasant memories, and some actual people/incidents rearing their heads again after being dormant for years. Why now? Why, when I have so much to look forward to and planning to do must I spend valuable time thinking about a shitty past that I can’t change and have already dealt with/confronted/analyzed the crap out of?  But there you have it. Just as I excavate boxes of old stuff, throwing most of it away, I too must sift through the mental and emotional clutter and figure out what the hell it all means. I feel this is very important to my becoming a mother. I don’t even have a choice about it really. It’s happening whether I want it to or not. Someone should write a book about the mental and emotional preparation that happens during pregnancy. Not a single book warned of this.

Additionally, I’ve managed to rack up some of my very own pregnancy symptoms. Here’s a short list:

  • food aversion (eggs)
  • multiple trips to the bathroom/waking up at night
  • exhaustion/sleeping often
  • nausea (this is explained by the Chanti.x I was taking to quit smoking)
  • heartburn

There are others, which I can’t recall off the top of my head, but wow. I’m not sure if this makes me a codependent weirdo or just a sympathetic partner. I can say that I thought pregnancy would be a lot funner than it is turning out to be. It’s stressful to try to change all of my bad habits at once, sort through painful emotional clutter, do all the house cleaning, and desperately look for a job  all while being a loving partner who doesn’t get mad when she’s told that she’s not “stepping up.” It’s really hard, in fact.

But that’s not a complaint about pregnancy or about my wife. It just happens to be a fact that, at least for me, getting ready for this baby is hard work. I can just hear those in the Mommy Club saying “Just you wait! Oh you haven’t seen anything yet.” Well, one step at a time. We’ll commiserate on the “really hard stuff” later.

I love T beyond measure, and that she is making this baby for us, this baby that we’ve wanted for so long, is at the forefront of almost every thought I have. I adore her, adore listening to an hourlong cost/benefit analysis of the all-in-one diapers and the tri-folds with a cover. I love bringing her pickles, rubbing lotion on her belly, and reaching over in bed to rest my hand on her growing stomach. I love all of this. It makes every difficult, challenging, unpleasant thing I’ve had to endure since Dec. 31, 2008 worth it.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “16 weeks of being pregnant: a recap

  1. Great to hear from you! As the non-bio mom, a lot of this rings very true for me, too. I not-so-fondly remember the first trimester…having to take over making dinner and doing kitchen chores (which are normally not my areas), coming home from work to find my wife passed out on the couch, freaking out internally when she began throwing up for 24 hours straight and driving her to the ER, etc. The 2nd tri was easier, though not easy…and it was then, and now in the 3rd tri that the emotional housecleaning is going on for me, too. I’ve been feeling more withdrawn, very focused on “nesting”, and have zero tolerance for bullshit in my life…knowing that nothing really matters as much to me as my wife and our baby. And you’re right…I didn’t expect to experience things like this and there were no warnings it would happen, though I can’t say I’m surprised.

    On a side note, couvade didn’t really happen for me. Like I said, I’m just really focused on nesting these days. But something really unpleasant happened just this month! My freaking cycle is WAY shorter than it ever was. I’m usually a 30-32 day girl, this time is was more like 26-28 days. Not cool! I can only think it’s because of all the hormones/pheremones my very preggo wife is releasing. So…just a friendly warning ;-)

  2. R

    So very sweet…. awwwwww!!!

  3. poppycat

    No doubt about it J, you are both pregnant. I can totally relate to the unwanted emotional past rearing it’s ugly head at a such an inopportune time. I guess it is somthing we will have to deal with, like it or not. I want to give you props at your efforts to quite smoking. I am sure it is not an easy task and I am hoping my lady will be able to do the same although I am not going to require it of her. she’s pretty stubborn and I wouldn’t get far if I demanded it.

    Keep up the good work my dear. You are being a great partner and T wouldn’t be able to do it without you. It’s a lot or hard work for you both and it will be so worth it.

  4. Lyn

    I’m pretty sure that surviving the first trimester *does* count as the “really hard stuff”…

    (and Gail also currently has a raging case of Couvade)

  5. jay

    good to hear from you! yep i was there too with the symptoms. in fact, i had more than vee! fun, fun, fun. perhaps not. and yep, you are both pregnant… just, one of you is doing the baby growing part and the other is doing extra cat box crap. i’m not sure how that’s fair but it all works out in the end.

  6. reproducinggenius

    THank you for your replies, ladies. I hope I don’t come off as sounding complainy. As hard as this all is, it’s the kind of hard that is welcome, and not anything I can’t handle.

    Jodi

  7. Pingback: Full Term « 1 In Vermillion

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