Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Years Ago...

Three years ago today, I found out I was pregnant. It's amazing to think that in one instant, our lives changed forever. And even though we had been trying, the pregnancy came as a huge surprise. My body was keeping us guessing, and up until the moment that test came back positive, I had no idea I was pregnant. Instead my brain floated around other less logical causes of my fatigue and general blah feeling. The test was just a last minute check before calling both my OB/GYN (to say that the cycle-regulating drugs hadn't worked) and my regular doctor (to find out why I was so exhausted)...but the only call I made after that test was to my OB/GYN to set up an "I'm Pregnant!" appointment.

I was alone when I took the test, and the simultaneous excitement and fear were something I can barely describe. It's this it's the greatest fear I've ever felt, cushioned by exhilaration. I suppose the two feelings canceled each other out to some degree, leaving me in a state of confusion and chaos. There were so many questions, so much to think about. What do I do now? Do I call a doctor? Do I call my parents? Do I hop online and figure out what I should or shouldn't be eating? When I told Craig he was obviously excited, as we'd been hoping to get to that point for a few months, but I'm not sure either of us really knew what to do next.

The month-plus that followed was ad odd time. I've said before that it was like living a double life. Out in public, I had to act completely normal, as if nothing was different. We didn't want to tell people until the first trimester was over (knowing how common miscarriages are early on), so I had to work and interact with people like it was any other day. But on the inside and when I was at home, pretty much everything revolved around being pregnant. I think the fact that I felt like crap for a good month or so was the hardest part. How do you hide the fact that you're exhausted and nauseous (though I never got sick...thank goodness!) all the time for weeks? It was especially hard on Thanksgiving. I was feeling horrible at that time, but fortunately that day I had a slight reprieve and managed to stay functional in the presence of our families. I ate like a pig, which was fun until the slow digestion I suffered from early on made it impossible to get a good night's sleep. But throughout that first trimester, fear was still a huge issue, and it was a good motivator to keep up the charade. The last thing I wanted to do was spill the beans early and then have to go back around and tell everyone bad news.

I felt bad not telling important people in our lives, but I was nervous enough for all of them put together, so it seemed easier to wait. Our trip to Florida in mid-December definitely made things that much more difficult. It swallowed up any time we would have had to go to Buffalo and tell family in person, and having to make excuses for why I didn't ride Space Mountain wasn't much fun either. I was nervous about flying, riding any rides, having a miscarriage while we were there, and feeling good enough to enjoy it. And add in that it was Christmas season and there were lots of preparations to be done with one less week to do them, and I'm surprised I even made it on the plane. The trip was fantastic, however. I felt good, we did some Christmas shopping while we were there, and saw all of Disney in the best weather possible. I missed out on my beloved roller coasters, but we still had a lovely time away. The trip back nearly killed me (wind in Orlando, and snow across New York--one canceled flight, two long delays, and a bumpy landing in the wee hours of the morning...not fun), but it was a great last getaway nonetheless. And once we were back, it was just another week or so until we could spill the beans.

I think one of the things that sticks out to me most about pregnancy in general was the simple knowledge that every day my body was doing something important. Even in those early days when I had no visible proof I was pregnant other than a Dollar Tree pregnancy test, I had a purpose each day--to treat my body as well as possible so that it could do its job to grow a baby. I loved that feeling, even if it was a daunting prospect. Even without much help from me, my body did this awesome thing, and you can't help but be amazed when you experience it. I could do nothing but sit on a couch all day, and my body still would have done something amazing that day. And I think that knowledge was extra important early on, when I didn't have a kicking baby or swelling belly to remind me of how special each moment was. It made even the toughest days that much more livable.

This time of year when the leaves are spent and it gets dark early, I'm sometimes taken back to that time three years ago when everything was so uncertain, so exciting, and so...different. Despite all of the unknowns, it was a simpler time when the "thing" we were so unsure about was safely concealed and easier to manage (in theory, anyway). Now that "thing" is living among us, and while we have a physical ability to impact his life, the questions still mount and the control is probably less than we'd like. But it's been an amazing ride these past three years, one I'd never give back for anything. And I look forward to doing it all over again...someday.

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