So the first trimester is over.
I look so crazy in this picture. Look into my eyes and try not to be afraid.
I seriously can’t believe it sometimes. It felt like an eternity, probably both because I was anxious and felt terrible and was exhausted, but probably also because the entire time I’ve been pregnant, I’ve also been dealing with the loss of my mom. On Tuesday it will have been 11 weeks since she left us. (It’s easy for me to calculate the number of weeks she’s been gone because I was exactly 4 weeks pregnant when it happened.)
One of the things I’m the most thankful for is that I was able to tell her about the baby. My doctor had told me about a week before that I probably wasn’t pregnant, and my initial reaction was honestly relief. This was in the midst of adjusting to the shock of my mom’s terminal status, and I wasn’t disappointed to not also be dealing with pregnancy at the same time, despite the fact that it was really the only thing in the world that I wanted
(aside from running a half marathon which now won’t happen for a while!). But the second thing I thought was, now I’ll never be able to tell her. And that thought made me really, really sad.
I didn’t get to show her my ultrasound pictures (although I had an extremely vivid dream that I showed her my first set, which comforted me a lot). I won’t get to tell her the gender when we have our anatomy scan. She won’t be at my baby shower, if I have one. She won’t be there at the hospital to meet my baby when he’s born, and she won’t be around to help me take care of him when he comes home. And I won’t get to tell her I’m pregnant when we have a second baby. But she did at least get to share in this pregnancy, even if it was for less than 24 hours. I will always cherish that.
(She bought me a few items of maternity clothes and a little pack of onesies at Target last year when I was pregnant for the first time. The onesies have been in the back of a drawer ever since, too painful for me to look at, but now I am so, so glad that I let her buy those for me before I knew anything about what the coming year would bring. I plan to dress all my future babies in them and I am never throwing them away.)
Anyway: the long-awaited second trimester. Food tastes good to me again (even coffee!). I have some more energy (we went running* last weekend!). I’m showing! So far it’s a lot of fun – still waiting for that so-called burst of energy, but the insomnia I’ve been experiencing this week is probably impeding its arrival. Overall I’m feeling much better than I have in a long time, both physically and emotionally. I realized last night I’m actually really glad that my first trimester coincided with having to cope with this loss, for a few reasons: one, it excused me from having to try and pick up the pieces right away; I was too tired and sick to have to worry about Getting Back Out There or anything like that. Two, it gave me something positive to focus on when I literally wished I was dead. (Sorry for that harsh reality of grief, but it’s true.) Third, and maybe even most importantly, it DISTRACTED me. I am a big believer in distraction – not to an unhealthy extreme, of course, but reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting was a much happier experience than reliving late July and August in my imagination, over and over and over again.
And now that I’m almost 15 weeks along (never thought I’d get to say that, and I’m thrilled that I can), I feel more ready and more capable of being out in the world with people. Leah and I were out last night with some girls who don’t know what happened, and instead of feeling like I was trying to hide an extra limb, I felt … normal. The grief is still there, of course (I so, so wish I could call her this morning just to tell her coffee tastes good again!) and I’m sure it always will be, in a way. But I’m seeing a glimpse of what life can be like, of what happens next.
Steve is on his way home from lifting at the gym and we are headed out for a run/walk in this beautiful sunny weather. I can’t wait.
*OK, it was a two-mile wog, but I was ECSTATIC that despite the fitness I’ve lost in the last two months, I didn’t feel like I was going to die! Whee!