The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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I don't know why I thought easing out of my first trimester would mean the weepies would subside, along with the nausea. This morning, after my husband, Aron, and 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Sylvia, left for daycare, and I was picking up Legos in the living room, I left Sylvia's "The Sound of Music" soundtrack playing. I started sobbing at the reprise of My Favorite Things, when the listless kids are trying to buck themselves up with the song -- because they think Maria has gone back to the abbey for good. And then she reappears! She's back! The kids clamor and the music swells. Whiskers on kittens! And I weep on my knees, reaching for the Duplos.
As good a beginning as any
I started writing this blog
six weeks ago
, when I was still knocking on wood every other minute, not quite ready to believe that I was really pregnant. Since then, writing this column has been my secret outlet, for my and Aron's eyes only. The folks at FitPregnancy and I agreed that it would be bad form to publish the blog during my first trimester -- chances of something going wrong in the first weeks are a lot higher than later on, we reasoned, and I'd have some time to get used to both the pregnancy and writing about it.
All of this makes sense. But now that it's time to go public with it, I'm having second thoughts.
We told almost the entire Western world about my getting pregnant within weeks of finding out ourselves (sorry if the newsletter didn't hit your mailbox!). I've never been good at keeping something this big under wraps. So it's not that I'm private on that level.
I'm pretty much over my lingering doubts about the pregnancy. I have no reason to worry: I'm young and healthy, if (these days) almost totally sedentary (perfect for someone blogging for FitPregnancy, right?!?); I had an early ultrasound, which was on target; my pregnancy with Sylvia was uneventful. But still, I find myself wondering if my midwives would let me have another ultrasound, you know, today. Maybe they should make it a new classification of ultrasound -- the "Pre-Blog-Goes-Live Sonogram."
And that's because it turns out I'm kind of superstitious.
It's not just a Stevie Wonder song
I once read a book about how the ways in which we arrange and decorate our homes say a lot about human psychology. Human beings, it said, crave both prospect (a big, bright space with an interesting view) and refuge (a snug, protected haven). The writer asserted that having the option of occupying either space -- the snug or expansive one -- while being able to see into the other is what makes a house feel like home.
I feel like I spend a lot of my time veering from refuge to prospect in my own life. As a writer, I have a bookish, let-me-just-hide-in-the-cave-of-my-existence side. But, maybe also as a writer (and the coincidence of who I happen to be), I like my share of attention, and playing things out in public forums. So this blog seemed like the perfect thing: writing, about my very own self and family, for an audience? Sign me up!
And I am enjoying it. But I'm also crossing my fingers that all of this rejoicing in my pregnancy and my family while exposed and visible in the prospect won't, say, bring the wrath of a vengeful God down upon me. I'm also hoping that having an easy first pregnancy doesn't mean that I'm due (by the laws of that same vengeful God I apparently believe in) for an unpleasant and scary second one. That the existence of my wonderful, funny, healthy first child (see above) doesn't then necessitate a difficult, humorless, sick second one. You see where I'm headed with this?
Figuring it out as I go, a second time around
What I remain fascinated by, being pregnant for a second time, is that it's different. I don't remember being so weepy last time, or so sick in my first trimester. I don't remember the ridiculous rolling pimple break-out I'm having on my back, or being quite so tired.
I thought I knew what I was in for; I thought I'd get to just relax and enjoy this pregnancy, since I knew the ropes from my time hosting Sylvia. That's where the blog came in -- I'm not a freaking-out-first-timer, I thought; I'm an old hand! I could write the blog in my sleep, right?
But I'm sort of delighted to find out that I was wrong -- that this pregnancy is going to have a way of its own. I have to say, it makes me impressed by the little person I'm growing. He or she is going to show me a thing or two; I'm not going to get away with "coasting." I'm suddenly excited, almost to the point of giddy, to meet whomever it is tumbling around inside of me, growing toenails and a cerebral cortex.
Please, share your comments below: If you're pregnant, is the experience what you expected? If it's not your first, is it the same or different from last time?
Join writer Emily Bloch each week as she chronicles her pregnancy.
Next week: "I have Max's brother in my belly" and other Sylvia musings on pregnancy