You had to know that when I fell pregnant (as they put it here in the UK), there were bound to be some good stories on the way.
People are exceptionally nice to pregnant women, maybe too nice. I mean, it’s awesome, but after 6months of being babied yourself, no wonder it can be such a rough transition to being at the whim of the hugely high-maintenance tiny humans.
But that wasn’t the point. The point is people are really nice: they carry things for you and give you the best seats and, most of all, ask how you are feeling. I’ve been lucky – so far my symptoms have been mild. I’ve mostly dealt with fatigue, hunger, and minor annoyances as my body adjusts. It’s not normal, but I’m adapting and mostly feeling good.
Besides caring how you are or reminding themselves how far along you are, the most common questions usually involve some of the more iconic symptoms of pregnancy: cravings and morning sickness. Cravings have been a more popular topic in my experience because A) it does not involve nausea/vomiting, and B) most people probably figure you would have covered that in the “how are you feeling” response.
I haven’t really had any super-crazy cravings. There have been no trips to the store in the middle of the night. I have not slathered any ketchup on my brownies. There have not been any “find me an oreo & nobody gets hurt” moments; however, I have said, “I would punch someone in the face if I could have a chili dog right now.” I also have ardently wished for teleportation to hurry up, so I can go to a Razorback football game & eat one of those corndogs that’s longer than your arm – but that is actually not a new wish. Woah, apparently I have a thing for hot dogs.
There have been changes though. Having trouble finding something that “sounds good” to eat. Going through phases of eating a lot of a certain thing that I didn’t necessarily bother with before; those have included pickles, butter popcorn, eggs, and cookies & milk. And at the beginning, my blood sugar was even more high maintenance than normal. Some kind of food every 2-3hours, or we were red alert for She-Hulk mode.
I do have one fun story to share. So, here we are at our gender scan, chatting it up with our nice tech, and she tells us about a lady she scanned who had craved mayonnaise on everything … everything. Now, I’ve always been a fan of mayo, I even embraced the dipping your fries in it that we encountered in Belgium & the Netherlands, but it has no place at all on my apple pie. That is the kind of thing this lady was doing; Lord, help her arteries! However, on our way home, I couldn’t get mayonnaise out of my head. When I was a young kid, I would make mayonnaise & lettuce “sandwiches” – that’s in quotations because it was just mayonnaise spread on lettuce rolled up. I guess that’s really more of a wrap, but 10-yr-old me didn’t know any better. So, we were thinking along those lines. I thought a nice sandwich would do the trick, throw some mayo on some spongey white bread with ham & pickles. Problem one: no white bread. Problem two: the whole heat your deli meats during pregnancy thing – the very thought icks me out, plus you just can’t get the right kind of deli meats here, the normal kind. I did have good mayo & some nice pickles… So, I made a compromise. Sam had to run to the store & get me some lovely white bread, and I had a mayo & pickles sandwich. I gotta say, it was delicious. I even had a second one a few hours later.
It’s really tempting during pregnancy to just eat whatever the heck you want. Who’s going to judge you, you’re growing a person?! But, you have to remember that your little person needs good nutrition to grow from the size of a poppy seed to the size of a small pumpkin (yep, I’ve totally gotten into the fruit & veg size comparisons that I previously found annoying – oh how it changes when it’s you : )
Another prevalent factor of pregnancy that everyone knows but a lot less people talk about are the hormone-hijacked emotions. I’m guessing people either ask the daddy out of earshot or just don’t want to wake the sleeping dragon. I have had some irritability. It usually pairs up with my fatigue, so if I take a break (& eat), I’ll usually recover my mood. There have been some recent developments…
The day before the mayo/pickle sandwich incident, we had plans to picnic in a park in Cambridge while watching a performance of Romeo & Juliet – fabulous, right? I wanted to plan some event-worthy snacks & such for our outing. Sam had very specifically stated, “babe, I don’t want you to overdo it with this; just do easy stuff.” What am I, fragile?! (the safe answer to this is “no, you are special”) So, Sam gets home & all my plans have not yet come to fruition and we are behind schedule. I have a full-blown breakdown. I’m not a crier, but here I am, uncontrollably bawling. We’re talking hands over face, full waterworks, each word punctuated by a big sob: I. Just. Wanted. To. Be. On. Time! My husband is staring at me bewildered, probably thinking “who on earth is this person because this is not the woman I married,” trying very sweetly to console me. So apparently punctuality is extremely important to me.
The same weekend, I had a meltdown when something broke in our house. It wasn’t irreplaceable or even expensive, but I was reduced to helpless tears.
I guess my 16-17 week mark just decided that it was high time for some good stories. Luckily, we seem to have returned to a fairly normal level around here, and I have not started putting pot roast on my pound cake. Maybe I should find some wood to knock on now because we are only just nearing the halfway mark. Things could get interesting around here!
I love my dog.
If you cannot appreciate a dog or are confused by people who love their dogs, just quit reading now.
My dog is one of my best friends, and, since Sam travels for work, is my most constant companion.
My dog is sweet and loving and warm and goofy and chill and smart and clumsy and neurotic and mischievous and lazy and demanding and playful and active and adorable and precious and tolerant and patient and snuggly and attached and pretty much just awesome!
Here are some of the many lessons I have learned from Jack:
- There is no point wasting time being uncomfortable.
- Be friendly to everyone, even if you are skeptical of them at first.
- Keeping yourself well-groomed is time well-spent.
- Always get your beauty sleep.
- Be patient & forgiving.
- Give kisses freely.
- Be loyal & protective.
- A good treat is worth earning.
- Take time to play.
- Love fully & unabashedly.
- Appreciate the simple things in life: a new toy or rediscovering an old one, a good meal (soft food, in his case), a patch of sunlight, a good nap, a romp outdoors, and spending time with your favorite people.
I hope Jackson brightened your day as he always does mine! I know we won’t always have him, no matter how hard we wish we could, but even then, he will always be our first baby… our Jackson.