Once the pregnancy was confirmed, life began to change daily. The visual changes much slower than the physical and emotional changes. I was transforming from the girl who was terrified of being pregnant and becoming a mother into a safehouse for my little peanut. Almost in an instant it was no longer about me. It was about this little tiny life inside of me. My thoughts and my emotions were consumed with this person that was no bigger than my fingernail. I immediately started reading every book I could get my hands on, surfing the web at work and combing through every baby site out there. I was absolutely amazed by the process that I once feared. I could not even fathom the change my body was about to experience and could not have been more grateful to God for equipping a woman's body with the tools and processes necessary to nurture a child from the second her life began.
Keeping this baby a secret, even for just a few weeks was so difficult for me. I had to tell my boss since I was going to be out for doctor appointments, and since we weren't telling anyone until 8 weeks, I had to keep my lips buttoned for 3 torturous weeks. I couldn't do it though. I was weak. The second I got in the car after my first doctor appointment, I grabbed my phone and searched my contact list furiously for my friend, Lindsey. I landed on her name, hit send, and for the next 5 minutes, I have no idea what I said. I know there was squealing involved, a few tears, and excitement that could not be controlled. It felt so good to tell someone, and I knew she wouldn't tell anyone since she lived 3 hours away, nowhere close to our families or any other friends.
After the initial shock, reality set in. The constant, gnawing hunger, the ever-swinging pendulum of my innter thermostat, and the continuous nausea brewing in the pit of my stomach. My only vice - ice cream - in all of its glorious forms. I was so sleepy some days. I remember sliding my keyboard to the side of my desk, and just putting my head down on my desk for a nap, praying that my phone would not ring and that my boss would not walk in and catch me. I would come home from work, starving of course, but I was always faced with the difficult choice - to sleep or to eat. This is where my sweet husband would swoop in and save the day. His culinary skills and patience were definitely tested. I would be sent to bed the second I walked in the door, only to be awakened about an hour later to the sweet smell of dinner that I didn't cook! Eating food that I had cooked was barely possible, so the nights Chris would cook and let me sleep were my most favorite nights. Propping myself up to eat, most nights in the bed, took all of the strength I could muster, and I would usually pass out again sometime between 8 and 9. I have never felt so exhausted in all of my life.
The day I awoke to just hunger and not that barfy feeling was so exciting, and then I made it through the entire day without needing a nap! It was strange yet welcome feeling. Entering into my second trimester, I felt like the energizer bunny. I wanted to go every where and do everything! Shortly into my second trimester, the pregancy became obvious to everyone else. My little belly pooch was becoming a definite baby bump. I had already gone up 2 bra sizes, and now the rest of clothes were snug, to say the least. Sundresses and flip flops became my best friends, but the unsolicited advice from every human that had ever come in contact with a baby or a pregnant woman, were not my best friends. The next identity change began to transpire. I no longer just blended in to the rest of society. No, I began to stand out, or rather poke out. My belly began to attract a great deal of attention. I have seen pregnant women all of my life, and if I have ever done the things I am about to write about to you when you were pregnant, I apologize. My second trimester was relatively uneventful except for the very obvious physical changes. But with those changes came some of the strangest human behaviour I have ever witnessed. I guess because I was so aware of my body and the daunting presence of my ever-growing belly, I became much more aware of the reactions of others to my 5 foot frame and basketball belly. I have never in my life been stared at by so many people that I did not know. I have never had so many fingers pointed at me and my body. And I have never felt so on display and so aware of the eyes watching me and following me. When you just want to go on with your life and cross things off your list, the ensuing discussions in Target or Kroger, make it rather difficult. I mean, I don't spot a woman with a giant butt, point my finger at her, and say to my friend, "Wow, her butt is so big. I bet she is miserable." If I see a man with beer gut, I don't stare and whisper to Chris, "His belly is so big. He looks like he is about to POP." So, if it is socially rude to that, let's just add another social rule to the books. If you wouldn't say something to or about a woman with a giant butt or a man with a beer gut, then don't say it to or about a pregnant woman. And while we are adding rules to the socially acceptable rule book, unless you are related to the pregnant woman, the father of the baby bump, or a dear friend that asks permission, do not touch or rub a woman's baby bump. Just as I would not point and comment about man's gut or a woman's butt, I would not pat or rub either of these appendages. For someone all respect for a person's personal space become null and void when there is another human growing inside you.