I can remember the day I found out I was pregnant for the first time. It stands out from all others as the day my life would change forever. And that it certainly has. We had been trying to fall pregnant for just over 6 months, which may not seem like a long time at all but we were REALLY trying! I mean it was getting to the point where my husband was like Babe can I just read the paper in peace? And still nothing was happening. After the tenth pregnancy test and some doctor’s advice, we decided to just relax. No more taking my temperature or timing my cycle. And no more peeing on sticks. I was done peeing on sticks. Sticks that only ever showed one stupid line.
About two weeks later, Brendon and I were having lunch at Canal walk shopping mall where I had surprised him on his lunch break. Something we often had the luxury of doing! While we were there he needed something from the pharmacy and something told me to just get a test while we were there to do at home. We didn’t say anything to each other at the check out counter. We both knew I was breaking the rules. It was a silent agreement: he wouldn’t ask unless I had something to say. Something important. We later sat down for our lunch and chatted enthusiastically barely taking breaths. Work, world cup, dinner plans, our housing situation. Anything that would distract from the one thing we really wanted to know the answer to. So eventually our conversation ran dry and we sat in silence. I looked down and closed my eyes. Don’t do it Brendon. Don’t do it. And as though he heard what I was thinking, threw down his sticky plum wrap and shouted Can you go take the damn test already??
I entered the ladies rest room, heart pounding. Something felt different this time. I did my business and waited for 30 seconds. Yes I know you are supposed to wait for 2 minutes blah blah blah! But I’m sure you all know what those two minutes feel like. Eternity. It took a while for my eyes to focus; the excitement had me all dizzy. And then I saw it. A light pink line next to the darker one. I didn’t even wait another moment. I ran out the toilets screaming, completely unaware of the people around me, waving the test stick in the air screaming, I’m pregnant! I’m pregnant! People stared, some smiled and some of them even clapped. That look on Brendon’s face when he saw the look on mine is also a sweet moment I will never forget. When it hit me, the fact that I was sharing this intimate moment with a dozen strangers, I smiled and calmly put the stick in by shopping bag, using it as a shield while we stared in amazement. So it really was an unforgettable day. As it turned out I was already 7 weeks pregnant and completely unaware. So much so that I had been drinking a bottle of red wine every night (in my quset to follow doctors orders and just relax!) I went home and did 3 more tests and with each one the line got darker. I landed up with a small shoebox full; I just couldn’t believe it was happening to ME. I had heard of and seen a million pregnant women. But this was happening to me for the first time. I felt like I was making history.
So falling pregnant now for the second time, I was surprised at just how special it was all over again. I expected it to be an old news situation. Been there. Done that. Have the stretch marks to prove it. But instead I called Brendon with same excitement in my voice, the same thrill of the unknown, the same sense of anticipation as when it happened for the very first time. Was there really life inside me? Were we going to be parents to a tiny baby all over again? In a way, the feeling was even greater, knowing now what I have to look forward to. Understanding the fullness of what motherhood entails and all the amazing things that come with it. Am I going to have another little person in my life who I love as much Noah? Someone who is going to bring me endless joy and teach me so many things? I was stoked.
And all the first time moments in this pregnancy have been amazing too. Just last week I was sitting with a group of girls and in the middle of a heated discussion felt the baby kick properly for the first time. It wasn’t a little kick. It felt like I was going to be sent me off my chair. The funny part was, I took a swipe at my tummy like my friend sitting next to me had punched me and sat up with such a jolt. It still felt so new and strange. So exciting. I think Suzanne sitting next to me thought she was going to get slapped. I’m still laughing, just thinking about it. It can happen anytime. Those moments, if you can avoid hurting your friends are just so special.
There are many other (not so nice) things that are the same second time around too. Heartburn, headaches, exhaustion, frequent peeing, sweet cravings, dull hair, dry skin and an ever-increasing tummy. I mean I think its safe to say that I’m not one of those women who glow and radiate in my pregnancies. My husband tries to tell me I do but lets be honest, that’s just to keep the kitty claws at bay. And the reason I may appear to be glowing is because despite all these awful pregnancy symptoms, I’m happy! Not because of all the fish oil and water, not because I haven’t had a bottle of chardonnay to myself in 5 months or crawled into bed after 3am since getting knocked up. NO. It’s because I’m happy.
And then there are the things that are quite different this time round too. For one, having a toddler buzzing around you like a Tasmanian devil 24/7 doesn’t allow you too much rest. Gone are the days where I could lie on my back for hours in the evening waiting for the baby to kick and dreaming of his face. There are of course moments in between the madness that I sit and close my eyes and get lost in the wonder of it all. I definitely don’t have the luxury of getting lost in baby books or planning a designer nursery and wardrobe. This kid will be lucky if he gets so much as new bibs and baby bottles. And lets face it, I’m probably going to put on an extra 10 kilos this time round because well, I cant even remember what the inside of a gym looks like. It would be a lie if I said I didn’t care too much about that last one.
I’m sure it’s the same for all of you. There are some really rough sides to being pregnant: its not all-smooth sailing for most women. And for those of you who lose weight in pregnancy, experience hair as bright as the sun and skin as radiant as the moon, don’t have any discomfort, and sleep better than you ever have in your life? Well I don’t really want to know you. And you are no longer welcome on this blog. EVER. Sorry that must be the hormonal bitch in me coming out. I take it back. Truth is I’m sitting here with heartburn from hell and just had to cancel my hair appointment for tomorrow (lets be honest, not even the hands of my hairdresser wizard could save me from this hair disaster). That and the fact that I’m officially out of my skinny jeans at just half way through this pregnancy, has me a just a tad envious at the thought of YOUR kind. But one thing is for sure; I would do it all over again a thousand times if I could. There I no greater feeling in the world than knowing you are creating life inside you. A life that will enter the world and change you. Forever.