No greater shock exists I don’t think than seeing a positive pregnancy test. For days I thought it couldn’t be true… I tested and tested some more. Seven or so tests later, I found myself convinced. I lay awake at three or so in the morning– insomnia apparently being an early pregnancy symptom I’d never heard of. Sitting alone with this life-changing news was at once special and scary. Once I told my husband, to his true surprise and joy, the idea became much more real… and emotional.
Those first weeks, amidst a wave of nausea and exhaustion and weird symptoms no one ever told me about, it hit me hard that our life together would be permanently changed. I clung extra tight to him and tears flowed as I worried about how our dynamic would shift. The other devil on my shoulder made me feel guilty for having these feelings at all… that it was selfish to feel this way. So I sat with these ideas a lot. I let myself feel them and cry into his shoulder. The insomnia and perpetual exhaustion strengthened the feelings, I realize that now. From my journal:
It’s been me and him for over ten years. Part of me wonders why one would knowingly change that. I know this is likely a normal process, a sort of grieving of your life together pre-baby. But it’s a bit of a struggle at the moment. I wonder how we’ll acclimate and get myself worked up about it. I perpetually give the disclaimer “Of course I am happy” before sharing my feelings in fear he or the universe, think me ungrateful… or, worse, our baby think he or she in any way unwanted. Neither of those things are true of course. We just share a bond that I cannot fathom changing and for that, I worry.
I retreated into myself and spent a lot of time home alone during the glorious Montana summer. It was a challenging time… especially when I just wanted to feel happy. I am, in fact, among those who have always known they wanted to be a mother. But my husband was there, as he always is, comforting me and doing his very best to make me as comfortable as possible. I can’t really express just how much I love this man.
Then at about twelve weeks or so, something changed. That feeling of uncertainty shifted. Instead of fear I felt immense gratitude and excitement. We’re having a baby! At the same time I started feeling less tired and sick. I started spending more time outside as the fires cooled. And then, this happened (journal excerpt):
Today has been a huge day. First we had our follow-up prenatal to listen to the heartbeat. I lay there hoping she would find it. Then suddenly… ba bum, ba bum, ba bum, ba bum…! 174 beats per minute! Our strong little baby.
And in no time at all, the first trimester came to a close. I felt better, physically and emotionally. My body made noticeable changes much to the delight of us and friends. We bought a house that is undeniably us. Things have come together.
At twenty-one weeks, these feelings have long since faded. But it’s important to recognize them… to recognize that the highs and lows are all normal and to be expected. I can say now, this is all part of the transformation that is motherhood… I think.