I got a call from a friend who is pregnant for the first time. She is excited, a bit scared, and trying to ingest so much information about what to expect over the next eight or so months that her head is going to explode. She’s been trolling parenting sites, reading books, making lists of questions for her OBGYN, and all the other neurotic things we do when we find out we’re about to become a parent. So, since I love to tell a story, I decided to share my first time experience.
After being married for eight years, my husband and I decided to "just see what would happen if we tried." Four weeks later, I was peeing on a stick (yes, that’s what you have to do—there’s no delicate way of saying it) and frantically dashing to the phone to call Mr. Let’s See What Happens. Yep, I was knocked up.
Holy Moses! I was going to have a baby! Me! I didn’t even know if I really liked kids and I was going to be a mom? Oh no, what about a couple of weeks ago when we met some friends for a very long afternoon of cocktails that ended with a taxi ride home? Man, I was screwed.
My first trip to the OBGYN went something like this:
Dr.: You’re pregnant.
Me: Thanks. EPT told me that four weeks ago.
Dr.: It looks like you’ve gained six pounds.
Me: No I haven’t! My scale says I’ve only gained two.
Dr.: What do you say we split the difference?
Me: I’d really prefer to think I’ve only gained two pounds.
Dr.: This is no time for vanity.
Me: Uh, okay.
I walked out of the office doing the math in my head. If I gained four pounds in seven weeks, I was gonna be huge by the time this baby popped out. Ugh, I need a trip to Dairy Queen.
You feel fat. Guess what? You are! Next week, you are going to be even fatter! If you’re growing a healthy baby you should be growing. Deal with it. In eight months or so you are going to be covered in baby throw up, taking care of the nastiest little smelly poops you’ve ever seen, and scrubbing breast milk out of your favorite shirt. You better leave all vanity behind now.
I soon learned it is not wise to share your baby names with ANYONE. Everyone (even my best friend) had an opinion and no problem sharing them. With endless stories from people who had no vested interest in our baby, we decided to tell everyone our son would be named Hector. After that, it didn’t matter what anyone said.
In about the fifth month, my husband left for the weekend. Normally, in non-pregnant times, I’d make plans with friends, hang out, watch bad movies and drink wine, but not this weekend. Driving home from work that Friday, I’m pretty sure an alien took over my body because the next thing I knew I was at Sears buying a sewing machine followed by hours spent at multiple stores looking for fabric and buttons. Though I hadn’t sewn since seventh grade home-ec, by Sunday night I had made a quilt, matching pillows, curtains, and a really ugly baby bag. Good Lord, what was happening to me?
In the seventh month, I got sex on the brain. No, I’m not talking the sex of your baby—I’m talking sex—that thing that got you where you are now. For some reason no one (NO ONE) ever told me this was going to happen.
It goes something like this: There you are in all your pregnant glory with your black stretchy pants, ill fitting shirt over your enormous boobs, and bags under your eyes, when suddenly you are staring at your hubby like a wild cat in heat. Your husband is totally confused. 15 minutes ago you were crying because you saw some Disney World commercial. Five minutes ago you were throwing a fit because you wanted Chinese food and not barbeque for dinner. And now you want sex? But the baby! Forget the baby! Let’s turn on Marvin Gaye and get it on. (Yes, once again, you are wondering where that relatively sane person you knew seven months ago has gone.)
Looking back on this part, I can only figure that this is our body’s way of telling us to do it now, because for the next 18 years there will be any number of things that will prevent you from doing so.
By the time I was about to deliver, I had been through every emotion known to man, eaten more strange things because they sounded sooo good, forgotten the simplest things, and beat myself up about whether I was going to be a good mom. Yes, in general, I had what I consider to be a pretty normal pregnancy. In the end, I got a great kid. That’s when the real craziness begins.