Join me in welcoming our newest Great Expectations blogger, Emily Cline! Emily joins us at 22 weeks in her first pregnancy. We're happy to have this new perspective and journey to follow along with in our Great Expectations series. -Cara Terreri, Giving Birth with Confidence Community Manager
I’m at the 22-week mark! This also means I’m officially 5 months pregnant. I am obsessive about any kind of a milestone during this journey, for reasons that you’ll figure out. As I am just starting out sharing today, I need to do some backtracking…
At 32 and 31 years old, my husband and I decided it was time to try for our first baby. We’ve been married 4 ½ years, and we’ve got a house with three extra bedrooms that we thought we should fill up. I had just finished a 2 ½ yearlong doctorate program in education (I still have to write my dissertation though) and, my maternal clock was starting to tick, and loudly! We were stoked when, after 7 months off of the pill, we had a positive pregnancy test! I was already about 6 weeks along when I found out for sure, and we thought we’d wait a few more weeks before spilling the news to everyone, but my body had a different plan. It was like the day I peed on the stick, my brain connected with my body and said, “Hey, we all know we’re pregnant now, so let’s start feeling really sick!” It was SO bad right away, and when I had to take my first day off of work at 7 weeks pregnant, I knew the rumors where I work would start to fly. At an elementary school with an all female teaching staff, my colleagues have been pressuring me for years to have a baby, and they are constantly eying me for any signs of morning sickness and weight gain. I knew they would immediately guess the reason behind my sudden days off work, and the absence of my usual chatty personality, so I decided to just cave in and tell the truth right away. I was never good about keeping secrets anyways, especially happy secrets.
I immediately asked my mom, sisters, and friends about morning sickness tips. I read up on pregnancy websites about what would make me feel better. I ran out and bought saltines, ginger ale, and preggie pops. I tried eating right when I woke up, every two hours, and always bland foods. For a few weeks, I maintained a positive attitude- I don’t feel that bad, I said. I’ll be better at week 12. However, week 12 came and went, with me feeling as bad as ever. So I set another goal: Week 13. That will be my week! This continued week after week, until I wanted to throw my ginger ale in the face of the next person who said to me, “Have you tried keeping saltines by your bed?” Or, “I felt great when I entered the 2nd trimester!” I even took two different medications that I begged my Doctor to prescribe, that many people swear by. My husband became used to holding me at night while I cried, depressed because I just KNEW I’d never feel myself EVER again. He regularly fielded the social requests made by our friends, and told them that we couldn’t hang out until I felt better. He also took over the daily household tasks that we used to share, because after a full day of working (which seems like a blur now-HOW did I teach while feeling this way?), I could only crawl in bed for those few precious hours when I had to wake up and go to work again.
My sweet little 2nd grade class has learned a lot about pregnancy-especially the early stages. They know that early preggos need to eat a lot, even just for a slight easing of the biting nausea. They know that when a pregnant teacher suddenly runs out of the room, that she will be right back after a quick vomiting session in the nearest tiny toilet, and to send a student to let the secretary know to send coverage. I’m very proud of some of the little boys whom I’ve heard quietly whisper, “Oh, don’t ask her right now, I can tell she doesn’t feel very well”, and who’ve asked me, “Mrs. Cline, do you need your water or your Coke right now? I will bring it to you.” Their future wives will thank me someday for this!
Finally, I woke up day 1 of week 20 and felt different…could it be over? I attended a church service that morning, along with my entire family, to listen to my eldest brother preach, and I prayed hard that day. I claimed all day that this was my week. It’s been two weeks since then, and while the 24 hour debilitating nausea and vomiting did stop that week, I still have some nauseous moments every day, I still have very particular eating habits, and car rides past about ten minutes make me want to barf. I’ve had many of the other typical symptoms: agonizing breast pain, nosebleeds, heartburn, and fatigue. While annoying, I can’t complain about them. The nausea has shown me what real pain is like-have I ever really felt sick before?
This is now my mantra: "I can do this for my baby boy. I would do anything for him! And it WILL end." My husband just says that my body is working hard to make the coolest, most awesome baby boy ever. We just can’t wait to meet the little guy. And guess what? Even though I don’t feel my best, baby boy is as healthy and happy as can be in there. And that far outweighs any temporary discomfort I may feel.
Next up: More pregnancy symptoms (what else?) and maternity clothes.