From talking about survival rates after a cancer diagnosis to a new survivor status with a growing life in my belly… Life, at times, leaves me speechless. My every day is so much more than I could have ever dreamed: My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in early June. We are nearly 7 months pregnant, and our little one is in the 75th percentile in respect to size. Let’s just say he is as happy and as healthy as I am.
Check out my belly!
None of this would be possible without my husband Tim, and not just because the alternative introductory event would have been immaculate conception. He is my one true love. My best friend. My partner in all things silly and sweet. My sounding board and support. My business advice column. And soon enough… our first child’s father.
I often tell people pregnancy, for me, can be summed up simply in my morning ritual:
I give myself a quick glance in the mirror.
My inner monologue: “Well, hello, that happened.”
Moving on. Now.
Get those pants up or stretch that dress over the belly and head to work.
Pregnancy is beautifully confusing. Female bodies are amazing as they shift, grow, widen and pump hormones here and there to make a nice little nest for baby-baking.
Looking back at pregnancy week 5, my reality had become: What the heck is going on in there?
You read through the do and don’t list from the OB not long after peeing on that little stick, and it’s a lot. I am a healthy human in terms of self-care, but the state of my body, my food and my movement would mean so much more. It was not about me anymore. Not one bit. I was on a new journey…
Hello, virgin Bloody Mary or oh-so-fruity Pina Colada. Goodbye wine and champagne to toast life and its memorable moments. Sorry, sushi. I do love you so. I miss you too overloaded bagel with lox and cream cheese, but we will see each other soon. My celebratory liquids and foods saw a massive overhaul or were simply told bon voyage as they do not blend with baby safety. Plus, there is that issue of smell in some of these very categories. My husband has always called me truffle nose. It is a super power I would not have ordered and a sense that has heightened in recent months. I smell everything!
Strong-smelling food… feet…. and chemicals continually blow me away not to mention breath. I can likely guess the ingredients in your breakfast even when the clock strikes noon. Then, there are those beautiful, oil-based candles that used to smell like heaven and angels. I keep it in though… not saying a word, realizing pregnancy introduces you to some new levels of crazy. I hold my breath instead, and pray it goes away realizing that my body is working in the weirdest way.
By Week 7, I had developed a growing aversion to anything that was not ice cream, a potato or pasta with sea sickness and flu-like fatigue nearly 24-7. It is that deadly carb and sugar-filled category that every girl is told to stay away from to work on her skinny, but, as I found out, this temporary but uncontrollable change in preferences did not initiate the devilish fun I had expected. Oh well! These are, of course, fleeting biological changes, and if cancer surgery taught me anything, there is always a better tomorrow, and that tomorrow is today.
I feel great most of the time as I near the 7 month mark, and Tim and I have passed the test, I like to say. We have spent countless hours in doctor’s offices where I underwent plenty of medical testing, but every result… positive, and as a result, soothing. It allowed us to laugh and laugh hard.
Tim: “Are you sure it’s mine?”
That very interesting comment in front of a receptionist at an OB specialists office as he held onto a credit card to pay a $40 deductible. Funny guy… right? Hm. We all laughed after, but you should have seen her face.
Then, there are our embarrassing Google searches, the books we bought (that Tim has read)… and overnight chats that always start with me saying.
“I can’t sleep. Can you tell me a story?”
Yes, Tim loves every minute of it.
Baby-baking is certainly strange, exciting and even exhilarating. It initiates some interesting belly-focused bafflement that starts with that first gurgle or vibration, and weeks later, a clear kick or punch. Then, you know you have officially arrived when you experience a dropkick-tumble-martial arts combo at the most random time or what may have been an overnight soccer game in motion.
…And like most soon-to-be first-time parents, Tim and I have gotten plenty of advice about all things baby. We appreciate it too, but he is convinced that every parent you meet is really telling you the same story. Insert knowledgeable parent comment here:
It is the most incredible experience you’ll ever have. It is also the hardest thing you’ll ever do, and things will never be the same.
A Giant leap of faith it is… Parenthood is not to be taken lightly, and I can tell you wholeheartedly, I was never ready until now. I have found faith, truth, knowledge and love with another.
June 2019. We will join the ranks of parents everywhere.
Our baby boy… a compliment to survivability, sacrifice, hard work and true love. He is a special gift… a tiny miracle who will become our tomorrow and forever the center of our world.