No one is ever really ready. That’s the consensus from women who have been there before. The ones who have trudged the trail with swollen feet and burgeoning varicose veins. Best friends, mothers, the checker at the grocery store. You’re never ready. Nothing can prepare you for…t.h.e moment you find out you’re pregnant.
I most certainly was not.
Whether you’ve day-dreamed about a bump, been through countless fertility treatments, or whoops’d your way to a moppet, there is no book, no anecdote, no 140 character tweet that accurately synopsizes what you will feel. The world blossoms and folds upon itself simultaneously. Your eyes get fuzzy. Sound no longer has meaning. It’s as though every dandelion wish you’ve ever made has come true, and you’re surrounded by a blizzard of every seed. You can hardly see. At least that’s what happened in my case.
When the sonic boom dissipated, it was replaced by a wail, louder than a siren and more terrifying than a bat’s screech. “BUT I am a faulty vessel.”
When the sonic boom in my bathroom dissipated, it was quickly replaced by a wail, louder than a siren and more terrifying than a bat’s screech. “BUT I’m a faulty vessel.” I burst into tears. Not your typical tears of joy moment.
As a Type 1 Diabetic (I was diagnosed at twenty-two), I am considered high-risk. Pregnancy is a scary concept for any new mother, but high-risk has a rather ominous ring to it. My blood sugar hadn’t been the best (though it most certainly hadn’t been the worst), and motherly instinct kicked in immediately. I was panicked that my poor food choices had already caused unintended harm. This was not the case.
Now that I am officially (and safely) in my second trimester, I’m happy to share anything and everything I can. Maternity style, how I stay healthy, maintain my blood sugar, work a full time job, and still find time to make it to the gym, read, and nap when needed. Pregnancy allows you to believe in yourself in a way you never thought possible.
That’s not to say it’s simple.
One day, it’s the easiest thing you’ve ever done. Forget rose-colored glasses, you don’t need ’em. The next? Life has never been harder. There are aptly-deemed rough patches (aka the entire first trimester), and easy parts (the second), but even as wonderful as I feel at this point, I also threw up in the bathroom today at work. Culprit? Pre-natal vitamins, which are the ficklest pickles you will ever swallow. Some days they go down so easy, you forgot you took them. On other days, it tastes like weird minerals and fish oil are on rotation in your mouth for twelve hours straight.
I’ve had no weird cravings, unless you count ketchup. I developed a gluten allergy so terrible that my skin broke out in hives and I couldn’t wear a stitch of make-up for three months. Not really what you want to happen as you adjust to your body changing. Sometimes a bit of cover-up can really change a day. I decided that I would not be investing in fancy stretch mark creams. If they’re coming, they’re coming, I said, but I’ve still been lathering myself in Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter. Does it work? I have no idea, but my skin is softer than ever and it costs me five dollars.
Everyday brings something new and amazing. Like the first time we felt the baby kick from the outside– all child-like wonder returned to our eyes.
Pregnancy is beautiful. It is incredibly natural and at times, it is so so hard you never want to ever get out of bed again.
And yet, every morning I get up, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, full of baby, and ready to take on the day. –Arianna Schioldager