Most things can be characterized by the general rule of “beginning, middle and end”. I assure you pregnancy does NOT fall into that category. It’s more like the very beginning, the real beginning, the middle, almost the end, and the definite end (because one way or another it certainly does end!) each step has its own share of emotions and trials attached. Let me give you a preview.
The Very Beginning
You find out you’re pregnant! Extreme elation and joy is all you’re feeling! Well in my case here’s how it went down… I had just discovered I was pregnant and desperately wanted to tell my husband, but he was not home – even though he was supposed to be home an hour before. I tried calling and texting him to see where he was, but all calls went straight to voicemail and all texts went unanswered. So, one key thing to note about ALL stages in pregnancy is that you are 100% permitted to blame any crazy thoughts or actions on “pregnancy brain.” It’s a thing and it’s at times the best scapegoat for your moments of insanity. I experienced my first round of pregnancy brain when my husband remained completely unreachable for the better part of an hour. The happiest moment of my life was suddenly overshadowed with thoughts of my husband upside down in a ditch somewhere and me being a widowed single mom… Seriously those were my thoughts. Turns out he “accidentally” blocked my contact info on his iPhone and was in fact alive and well, and of course extremely happy to receive the news of our having a baby!!!!! We spent the weekend travelling around telling family members the good news and basking in the joy of our upcoming bundle of joy.
OK, that’s the very beginning…
Now the Real Beginning starts.
You start feeling nauseous. Coffee starts to make you want to hurl, but how can you function without your morning coffee?? You aren’t telling work or friends about being pregnant but how can you hide it when all you want to do is throw up and sleep in a curled-up little ball? Suddenly your clothes start to feel tight, not in the cute “hooray I’m pregnant!” way… but in the “wow she’s really just let herself go…” way. This lasts a few months. I personally spent this time learning a new job that I had just been moved to in my office (ironically enough I was asked to cover a maternity leave for someone who just left… whoops!!) and was having a hard time focusing. I ended up telling a few people here and there just so I had someone to confide in when I was having an exceptionally yucky day.
Now comes the fun part: the middle!!
You finally get to let the cat out of the bag and tell everyone your amazing news and the reason you are half asleep at all times. Bosses handle it very diplomatically and smile as they should, while inwardly panicking about covering your role when you leave. Around four months pregnant, I had an amazing experience. I was in a store with a girlfriend and the male cashier asked “so how far along are you?” While trying to act calm cool and collected I responded with “wow you are a brave man! But I’m four months along thanks for asking!” The moment of actually looking pregnant was finally here!! I felt great, I looked great. I had tons of energy again and felt genuinely happy and excited every day!! This is the time when you can discover the sex of your baby too. We found out at five months that we are having a girl and the fun of planning out the nursery begins! I was very spoiled with three baby showers and an incredible amount of generosity from those around me. This is by far the best part of pregnancy. The shopping and planning, feeling the magical movements going on inside your ever-growing body, the pleasant thoughts of your perfect future as a mom! You can read about what food size your little miracle is being compared to. It’s cute to think of when it’s a lima bean or perhaps even an apple or a kiwi.
Fast forward about five months and enter the almost end.
Now being nine months pregnant, the warm fuzzies have started to wear off. Suddenly the maternity clothes you spent a small fortune on are too small (even though the sales lady promised the would fit through to the end of the pregnancy…) and the inability to get comfortable has set in. You read on the website you’ve been following regarding the size of your baby that your little bean has reached butternut squash size or some other unfathomable food size to have exiting you in a month or so. You love your unborn child more than anything in the world… but you secretly pray every single night (and a few times throughout the day for good measure) that she comes early and allows you some relief from perpetual discomfort. I understand that sleep will never be the same for me for the rest of my life once my daughter comes, but I hope I might be able to lay down in a comfortable position. Right?? Swollen ankles, short tempers, never being able to regulate your body temperature, walking up the stairs slower than your 90-year old grandma, peeing every ten minutes or so… Yep these are things you will experience during the almost end. But keep in mind too, you will constantly feel the LIFE that you have been slowly creating and nurturing for the better part if a year in your womb. You are connected with your baby in ways fathers never will be able to. Hold onto those precious thoughts when she’s jabbing your bladder at 3 AM.
Personally, I feel I’ve been stuck in the almost end for quite some time, but I’m probably just oversensitive at this point. Another week and a half and I’ll be able to experience the definite end!! Which one way or another will result in the biggest payout for the biggest job I’ve ever had to do in my life. And I truly can’t wait.