I met my boyfriend online in December 2015. My son was born January 2017. I will let you guys do the math! See I’m the friend that cries wolf…You know, always the pregnancy scare, never the pregnancy. I was always in a relationship, so I am the step below the, “who’s the father?” friend. I had been playing Baby Russian Roulette, if you will, in my last relationship for the past 5 years. Over that time, I had honestly started to think that maybe I couldn’t have a baby. The thing about that game is, as long as you have the right players, eventually the outcome is different than every other time.
I found out I was pregnant via home test on 6/7/16, a mere 6 months after meeting my boyfriend, and a week after my 27th birthday that I spent drinking and crying most of the time. (In hindsight, I should’ve known then). We confirmed the news 2 weeks later; I was indeed pregnant and due on January 31st, 2017. I remember thinking, OMG I’m pregnant… I was instantly bombarded with emotions: fear, anxiety, confusion, nervousness, shock, and dare I say it, excitement.
I’ve always wanted to be a mommy, but the timing was completely crazy. In an ideal world, I would be married and planning this child, or at least had known the father for as long as I would be carrying his child. But nope, neither circumstance was mine. I was not married, nor had I known my boyfriend more than 9 months; my family hadn’t even met him yet. So as you can imagine, telling our families was interesting to say the least.
Once we fully digested and accepted the news, told our closest friends and family members, I did what any other pregnant woman would do; I bought prenatal vitamins, downloaded a pregnancy app, started making a registry, and I hopped on Pinterest to review my secret “future baby shower” board. (Don’t judge me! There’s one for my future wedding too! Pinterest has secret boards so that crazy people like me don’t look crazy to others planning something that isn’t happening.)
Overall, my pregnancy was very smooth and relatively symptom-less. I was mainly just very tired and equally irritable (and to be honest, I don’t know if I was irritable because of the hormones or because I was sober all the time) I didn’t have any crazy cravings or lots of morning sickness; there were days in my first trimester I would grab my boobs to make sure they were still sore. I spent most of the first few months starting my registry and reading random facts about our developing fetus on my new favorite app, Ovia Pregnancy. If you are expecting, I highly suggest you start on your registry ASAP. As much fun as I thought registering for cute little baby gifts would be, it wasn’t. Making a registry is stressful. It’s not like there’s only one stroller, car seat, ect. you can choose from. No, you have to research each one, read the comments, choose a color…it is all very exhausting to do when you are growing a human. I ended up creating two registries and having three baby showers.
My second trimester brought a relief to the exhaustion, increased potty breaks, and my favorite symptom: movement. I remember the first time I felt movement, I was at work. I felt like bubbles in my stomach, and I thought, “that was weird.” Then it dawned on me that I just felt my baby move and I told everyone!
My second trimester was also when I found out what I was having. We found out the gender of our child at 21 weeks. (Contrary to my boyfriend’s belief that gender is known upon conception) I would love to say I honestly “didn’t care about the gender, as long as he or she was healthy…blah blah blah”. No! I wanted a girl. He wanted a boy. My best friends planned a gender reveal party for us. On the day of our gender scan, I had the nurse put the gender in an envelope. I gave the envelope to my friend’s mother, and we waited about a week to find out what was in that envelope. On September 25th, surrounded by our closest friends, and about 15 cans of silly string, we found out we were having a boy, and I found out I was allergic to silly string! (Totally worth it! In hindsight, I wouldn’t trade my son in for anything! He is perfect!! (he might read this in the future haha!))
As my appointments go from monthly, to biweekly, my symptoms expanded to include shortness of breathe, heart burn, and acid re flux. My third trimester also reintroduced exhaustion, and incredibly increased my urinary output! Third trimester is an over all uncomfortable period. So close, yet so far. I work in retail, so with me being on my feet all day, I wanted nothing more than to sit at home and be pregnant.(You know, sleep, eat, GROW A HUMAN, and then go back to sleep.) I was counting down the shifts until I could do so. Dec 31st, exactly one month before my due date. Until then, I had to continue to travel down two floors to get to the bathroom every 30 min. One time I used the restroom; left; walked 50 feet and felt the urge to pee again. OMG!
The most exciting part of this time for me were the more frequent and strong movements. This little boy was so active! We would sit for hours, my boyfriend’s head on my stomach, listening to and feeling his kicks. He was camera shy; every time I would try to record a movement, he would stop immediately. Even when we would get a sonogram, he would cover his face with his foot or hand. The one thing I am so glad I did was I contacted the college near us around finals and was able to get a free 2 hour 3D session done by students. We got the cutest pictures!
On December 31st, I went on maternity leave. I was 35 weeks, and I had an entire month to be productive.* I still had his clothes to wash, I had to schedule a hospital visit, find a pediatrician, and overall nest and get ready for his arrival. I had my weekly doctor’s appointment on January 4th.He checked me, told me I was 50% effaced, I was not dilated, then he asked me “are you feeling contractions?” I responded No, because as a first time mom, I have no clue what contractions feel like. I mean I felt cramping and pains, but I wasn’t too sure what a contraction felt like. Well, three days later, on January 7, I got to experience first hand just what a contraction felt like. And let me tell you…you will KNOW when you’re having a contraction. It kinda feels like your worse period cramp that over time just gets more and more intense and rhythmic. Not exactly fun, but they call it labor for a reason. Nothing about the word labor screams this is going to be a good time!.
*Now I would suggest that around the 30 week point that you start getting your hospital bag together and putting together a birth plan for the planning mother. Babies are considered full term at 37 weeks however, it does not hurt to be prepared! I did not do this.