The Early Days: Ups and Downs
This post was originally written September 18. This is the last of the unpublished posts I drafted, so expect my normal, infrequent posting schedule to resume from here on out.
We got to see the baby a couple weeks ago at my first ultrasound. Such a cute little blob! Everything looks healthy and great so far.
We’ve started telling people, slowly, as we see them and the opportunity presents itself. We spent Labor Day Weekend at my parents’ house and knew we’d get to break the news within minutes of our arrival. No way was I going to get away with turning down a glass of wine after a 2-hour drive without raising suspicions. They were surprised and thrilled and so excited for us.
I love this part — the telling people part. It’s so much fun to find ways to tell people, see their reactions, and share our joy.
A week later, I mentioned to my boss that I had a doctor’s appointment, and she totally guessed what was up and called me out on it. I know that’s technically a big no-no from an HR perspective, but my boss and I are good friends, so it wasn’t a big deal at all. She said “I have a Suspicion [I could hear the capital S in her voice] about you…” and I just busted out laughing. Then I called her back on my cell phone so I could speak freely away from eaves-dropping desk neighbors. And here’s the real kicker: she’s pregnant too, and due just 2 weeks after me. So much for her leaving me in charge while she’s on maternity leave like she did with her first baby! It’s really fun to have someone to talk to about all the first-trimester indignities, even if we do have to be discreet at work because our coworkers aren’t all in on the secret(s) yet.
We get to tell Tim’s parents tomorrow night. We would have told them sooner, but they’re coming to town tomorrow, and, since they don’t live near any of their kids, they haven’t been told about any of their 3 grandchildren in person. The opportunity to tell them about this one in person was worth waiting for. We’ve set up a Skype date with Tim’s sister this weekend to break the news, and my best friend is coming to town next week, so I’ll get to tell her then. (Even though I’m 90% sure she’s already onto me. She knows we’ve been trying, she’s been trying too, we text about it frequently, and she all but asked me straight out a few weeks ago. I deflected as best I could, but it seems I’m just as bad a liar over text messages as I am in person.)
We’re planning to tell my brother and his family when they’re in town for Alexander’s birthday at the beginning of October, and after that, I think we’ll finally be in the clear to talk about it on Twitter/Facebook/The Blog. I was tempted to tell my brother when we were at his house for his and my niece’s birthday this past Saturday, but I held my tongue.
Speaking of Saturday night, we had a bit of a scare after getting home from the birthday parties. (SPOILER ALERT: Everything’s fine.) I ate something that didn’t agree with me, was woken up with a crampy, upset stomach, and saw the last thing any pregnant woman wants to see: red. “No, no, no,” I cried in the bathroom before waking Tim up and calling the on-call nurse. Much to my relief, the nurse was pretty unconcerned and did a great job of calming me down, assuring me that it’s not uncommon for gastroenteritis to aggravate the uterus and cause a bit of bleeding, and instructing me to rest, stay well hydrated, monitor the situation, and try to get some sleep.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night. I downed a bottle of Sierra Mist and a giant glass of water, per the nurse’s instructions, and between my frayed nerves and constantly-full bladder, I was in and out of bed all night. Luckily, the situation improved steadily as the night wore on, and by morning I was feeling a lot less Doom and Gloom about the whole thing.
I spent all day Sunday debating whether to go to Urgent Care, but since things were continually improving, I opted to just wait until Monday when I could call and talk to my doctor. When I talked to the nurse’s assistant Monday morning, she too was unconcerned, which was very reassuring, but she ordered an ultrasound just to be safe. Part of me was annoyed that I couldn’t get an ultrasound appointment until 10:30 the next morning, but mostly I was relieved that nobody at the doctor’s office was in a big hurry to see me. If they didn’t need to see me right away, the situation couldn’t be that bad, right?
By the time my appointment rolled around Tuesday morning, though, I was a nervous wreck. True, the spotting had all but stopped, and I was pretty sure everything was fine, but, oh man, I was still terrified. I was kicking myself for making the appointment at a time that Tim couldn’t be there. I’d wanted to get in as soon as possible, but as I sat in the waiting room, all I could think was how stupid I was for not having Tim with me. What if it was bad news? How was I going to (1) face it alone, and (2) deal with telling Tim?
In the end, of course, everything was fine. We had to take a break mid-ultrasound due to technical difficulties, and when I initially asked the ultrasound tech if everything looked okay, she gave me an evasive “As far as I can tell, but it’s difficult to see much,” which only made my anxiety spike higher. Once the technical issues were resolved, I ended up getting to watch my little gummy bear of a fetus dance around on the ultrasound monitor for several minutes. He/she* has a good, strong heartbeat, is measuring right on schedule, and has lots of energy to wiggle and squirm. I laid there on the exam table crying tears of joy and relief while I watched the little guy dance, and again kicked myself for not scheduling my appointment at a time that Tim could come. He would have loved to see the baby in action like that.
I can’t tell you how relieved I am that everything’s okay, and how excited I am to get to keep telling people our happy news in the coming weeks. Now, if the rest of this pregnancy could just proceed in a less roller-coaster-like manner, that’d be great.
*My boss, who’s notoriously accurate at predicting such things, is convinced I’m having a girl. “Girls,” she says, referring to the roller-coaster nature of this pregnancy, “are more high maintenance.” I’m pretty sure it’s a boy, but I’m notoriously bad at predicting these things, so who knows?
Epilogue, October 22: The rest of my first trimester continued to be a roller coaster. I had another spotting incident a few weeks after the one detailed here (caused by something other than gastroenteritis this time), but this one conveniently started the night before my regularly scheduled 12-week appointment, so I didn’t have to make an extra trip to the OB’s office (or to the ER, as the on-call nurse, who was much less reassuring this time, suggested). Once again, I didn’t have Tim at the appointment with me, but my parents, who were coming to town that day anyway, came a couple hours earlier than planned so my mom could go with me to the doctor. (Nothing will get a mother on the highway faster than a tear-filled phone call from her daughter.) Luckily, everything was/is fine, and as an added bonus, my mom got to see the baby on the quick ultrasound my doctor did when she had trouble finding the heartbeat with the doppler. (That was a tense moment.) The baby’s continuing to grow right on schedule, and the doctor exclaimed about how healthy the kiddo looks, which was especially good to hear that day.
Things finally settled down again about a week ago, and I’m going back to dance class tonight after several weeks of not exercising, per doctor’s orders. (Newsflash: At the end of the first trimester, just when you’re finally starting to get your energy back, is not an ideal time to be told to stop exercising.) I’m not going to push myself too hard, but I’m really looking forward to getting up off the couch and sweating a bit. Hopefully things will continue to go smoothly from here on out. I felt my first tiny baby flutter yesterday (after some particularly delicious enchiladas — baby likes Mexican food!) which is not only exciting but also hugely reassuring. I’m so glad to be getting to the point where I’ll have daily physical reassurance that everything’s okay, instead of having to wait and wonder for four weeks between doctor’s appointments.