May 20, 2012

Baby Love.

I realized I was pregnant with this one on March 20, three days before Tessa turned two.

My period was only a week late, I estimated. Though I wasn't used to keeping track of it really, I knew that there had been that one night a couple weeks back, after a campfire at a friend's house, when it was possible that Nekos and I had conceived a baby. At that very party, half-drunk, I'd pressed my hands against a friend's pregnant belly. She and I stood under a canopy of tall trees. While she stared up at the full moon, I stared at her belly. "There's magic happening inside you," I told her. "You know that, right?" I obviously had baby fever, even though we had planned to wait a little longer. Once we get it into our heads that a baby is waiting in the wings of our lives, Nekos and I tend to be more careless. That's the way it was with Tessa, too.

After Nekos left for work that day, I packed Tessa into the car and drove to Rite Aid to buy a pregnancy test. I'm a compulsive pregnancy test taker. I probably take a half-dozen a year. I don't know why. Some times I want them to say I'm pregnant, sometimes I don't want them to. I wanted this one to say I was pregnant. And it did, faintly, but enough so that my heart cartwheeled into my throat. Only Tessa was there with me, and I scooped her up and held her to my heart and offered my gratitude to God, and then, of course, called my mom.

By the time Nekos got home from work that day, Tessa and I had worked out a scheme. When we heard Nekos's keys in the door, she'd run to greet him like always. But this time, she'd have my pregnancy test in her hand and she'd say, "Baby!" Which she did, just perfectly. Nekos took a second to put his bag down and started to kneel down to see what she was bringing him when he registered what she was holding. He looked at me, standing expectantly in the doorway of our living room, "You're pregnant?!"

"Yes!" I said, crying. Because I always cry about babies. And because I was relieved that his first reaction was pure joy. Our apprehension would come later.

That night I sat in bed, propped up against the pillows, and made a list, jauntily "setting my intentions" for this pregnancy. Here, let me go find it.

OK, I'm back.

I wrote then,

This time ...

I will not worry or fret about what-ifs.

I will document the pregnancy in writing.

I will stay fashionable.

I will read more about breastfeeding and figure out how to make it work this time. 

I will workout religiously to help with insomnia and stress and keep weight gain to 25 lbs. 

I will take supplements to help with moods so my mom doesn't think I'm a beast this time around.

I will visit the chiropractor for help.

I will make things for the baby: blankets, clothes, toys, a mobile.  

Ha! Hahahahahahahahaha. Ha. Haha. Haaaa.

These "intentions" lasted for two weeks. And then I got sick. I'd been working out at the YMCA four times a week, and felt proud that all the employees there knew my name and Tessa's. But I stopped going, abruptly. Instead I spent my time Googling things like "When does morning sickness peak" and "When does morning sickness end" and "Morning sickness cures," hoping for different answers. I stopped wearing makeup, and I stopped making anything, much less for the baby. I stopped blogging about anything because I wasn't doing anything other than sleeping and feeling sorry for myself. The good part: I kissed my insomnia goodbye. I haven't lost a wink of sleep during this pregnancy because I've been so exhausted. I used to have to take two Xanax and read for 30 minutes just to take a nap; now all I have to do is close my eyes for 30 seconds and I'm out.

I also remember, in that first week after I knew I was pregnant, feeling miserably sorry for myself and shedding actual tears that I couldn't drink a Yazoo Pale Ale, which is, like, the best beer in all the land. Luckily, the idea of beer or any alcoholic beverage soon made, and still makes, me want to

And though I'd been dogged about giving up Diet Coke pre-pregnancy, wouldn't you know I started drinking it again when I got pregnant? Because it was the only caffeine I could stomach and because I needed desperately something to help me stay awake to care for Tessa, even though some days all I could do was lie on the floor and read her Berenstain Bears books and throw blocks and stuffed animals in her general direction.

This time I have read less about pregnancy, but I've still been reading about it because it's just so neat-o, and because, like I told that poor pregnant girl that fateful night, pregnancy is magical. (I loved Beth Ann Fennelly's Great with Child and totally recommend it, by the way.) I haven't joined any online birth clubs like the ones I populated when I was pregnant with Tessa, but I have worried. Because that's what I do. I've worried about miscarriage, and I've worried about how the medicine I'm taking for nausea and headaches might be affecting the baby. I've worried less than I did the first time though. I know better now than to Google rare genetic diseases and cleft palates and stuff like that.

And I think I might be ready to get back to the gym. I miss it. And I mean it about "staying fashionable," even though that sounds silly. I dressed like a bag lady during my last pregnancy. I didn't know what I was doing. This time I'm going to keep maternity clothes to a minimum and try to work with looser regular clothes.

This, it turns out, is another of my imperfect pregnancies, of which I am so swell at pulling off. And so be it. I am so happy to be in it, warts and all.

Do you think this new bean is a boy or girl? We are thinking boy. I change my mind every week about what I want, but this week I want a son.