What I didn’t expect now that I’m expecting
- This is an exercise in faith – I like to think of myself as being fairly rational, however my first trimester certainly tested that belief. I had taken three pregnancy tests on the first day that suspected that I was pregnant and they all were immediately and strongly positive – like within 2-3 seconds or less there was a second dark line or dark plus sign. Although I knew the chances of a false positive are extremely low and the nurse at my doctor’s office told me there was no point in taking another test if I had three positive ones already, I still had a lingering fear that somehow they were all wrong. I lived with a fear of premature celebration – that somehow either this pregnancy was never real or would be shortlived. My rational self knew I was just being paranoid because there was no sign of anything being wrong, but I just couldn’t help the anxiety.
- Men experience pregnancy differently than women do – I heard somewhere that a woman becomes a mother the moment she finds out she’s pregnant but a man becomes a father after the baby is born. Yes, that’s a generalization but I’ve discovered that there’s quite a bit of truth to it. The moment I found out I was pregnant, I’ve felt more maternal than ever. I feel even more protective of children than I ever did and I think about the future of this child quite a bit. I don’t think that’s true for my husband, C. There is such a long period of time (well, seems that way at least) where pregnancy is so abstract. For me, the pregnant one, I at least get the “comfort” of eventually feeling my body act pregnant. My poor husband does not. I think as it becomes more obvious externally that I’m pregnant and he can finally feel the baby move (I can!), the baby will be more concrete to him. I don’t think he’ll fully get it until baby is actually out in the world and needing him.
- I know what depression feels like – Wow. I have been hit by the pregnancy hormones. Yes, I have had off and on moodiness and I cry more easily at baby-related stories. Yes, I have snapped at C for minor things and I have made him switch a tv channel because the show we were watching featured baby killers. However, I have experienced at least two full days of feeling incredibly depressed. I’ve never felt like that before. It was more than sadness – it was like an overwhelming numbness, listlessness, near hopelessness interspersed with loads of crying for no discernible reason. I’m glad those feelings are not constant and I don’t feel like that now.
- My skin would change like it has – I don’t really suffer from “bad skin” but pregnancy has given me the clearest skin of my life. Too bad there’s a trade-off. I also have the driest skin of my life. For a while I think I was discovering new dry patches daily. Vaseline is now my best friend.
- I would fall in love so quickly – I’m in love with this kid. I’ve been in love with this kid the moment I found out he/she existed.