I found this while going through some of my old writings. It was written in 2014 while I was entering the last month of my pregnancy. I feel a need to apologize ahead of time for the lamenting pregnancy post. I did, however, greatly enjoy reading this. Now that I have a toddler… well let’s just say I laughed about all of my complaints about pregnancy… and laughed and laughed and laughed… Oh Pregnant Lauren, being a mom is so much more work!!!
Wait a minute, where did the past seven months go?! Not only does it seem like just yesterday I found out that I was pregnant, but it seems like just last week I was TRYING to get pregnant and day dreaming about all the glorious things that I would be doing with my pregnancy. Taking cute photos every week of my ever growing belly (check). Writing a heartfelt letter to my unborn daughter, journal style, for her to read on her 16th birthday (check). Being completely done the nursery in record time so that I would be 100% ready to go if I happened to deliver early (huge check). That was the dream. I was going to be a perfect mom-to-be. I was going to glow and have perfect hair (like my mother experienced). I was going to have a connection to my body and my unborn daughter like no other woman had ever had before. Mostly, I was going to spend every moment of every day enjoying this pregnancy that I had worked very hard to achieve.
I say very hard but the reality is that my struggle with infertility was no more a “struggle” than the leggings I am currently wearing at work are “pants”. It took a year of haphazard, lackadaisical trying before a few months of peeing on all the ovulation kits I could find. But more on that later.
The reality of the situation could not be further from what I imagined. First of all, I did NONE of the things that I thought I would. I took a good four or five pictures of my belly as it started to grow, but rapidly lost interest. I never even started a journal. My sister very thoughtfully gave me a book that told me what was happening every day of my pregnancy and had a few lines where I could document my weight and measure my belly, but that fell by the way side after a few months (sorry Katie, I didn’t want you to have to find out like this). I lived part of that perfect dream for a few months where the fiancé and I would lay in bed at night and I would read to him that day’s happening in my womb. It was all very touching except usually he was on his phone playing Angry Birds and I was secretly trying to rush through it by skipping entire paragraphs. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in what was going on with my baby, it just wasn’t that interesting. The nursery, for the record, is mostly done. I had a lofty notion that it would be complete and filled with everything I would need, including all of the babies clothes pre-washed in Dreft, a few weeks after I found out what we were having. Instead I did not do ONE. SINGLE. THING. In that nursery. Thankfully the fiancé has spearheaded that project and has been working on it for me (sometimes without my knowledge). My major contributions have been picking a theme (Wizard of Oz) and going upstairs one day with a sharpie and writing on each wall what color I would like them to be painted. This reality in no way compares to my original vision of me up there with a bandana in my hair, using a step stool to reach the high parts (never a ladder because pregnant woman do NOT use ladders if they care about the health and wellbeing of their unborn children). I would be either humming some jaunty tune to the baby while I worked or I would be listening to a radio station that only played songs that would work perfectly as a soundtrack to this project. The fiancé wouldn’t be helping because he would be at work or off doing some other fatherly project. The reality of what happened was he came home from work early every day for a week and worked on the nursery while I was still at work. I would come home, bitch about dinner not being ready, and lay on the couch eating pickles until it was feeding time. Dream verse reality is a funny thing. I never in my wildest dreams expected to not be the glowing, happy, woman from the shampoo commercial that my mother always told me that she was while she was pregnant. First of all, it’s all I knew of stories of pregnant people. Second of all, that has to be hereditary, doesn’t it? I ended up with her ovarian cysts, why wouldn’t I end up with her ability to own pregnancy? I think the answer to this is simply because not only is every woman different, but every pregnancy is different as well. Well, that’s the practical reason. My sneaking suspicion is that the universe hates me and is therefore punishing me for some perceived slight (could be the fact that for most of my adult life I have had the metabolism of a Greek Goddess, with the ability to eat candy and carbs at every meal and gain nary a pound). Regardless of the reason, I can say with some certainty, that I absolutely hate being pregnant. I hate the fact that I’m hungry all the time. I hate the fact that my hands swell and my engagement ring gets so tight I have to take it off. I hate that I can’t get into a comfortable position and when I DO magically manage to achieve comfort in about five minutes I am uncomfortable again. I hate the fact that after a lifetime of mocking Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) as being some made up disease that people claim to have for attention, I ended up with it. I really hate my Gestational Diabetes diagnosis and that I have to follow a special diet that includes NONE of the foods that I love. I suppose the reality is that I don’t want to write my daughter a letter because I don’t really have anything worthwhile to say to her yet. Do I love her completely and unconditionally even though I have never met her? The short answer is yes. The long answer involves my theory that all of the hormone surges we experience during pregnancy that make us want to drive our cars head on into a wall or murder the person that sits a few cubicles over because he is mocking a project you just completed, also make us love this little thing growing inside of us so much that we could never imagine doing something that could cause them harm (like driving our car into a wall or serving twenty five to life for murder, although if Ben doesn’t shut his mouth I will reconsider this theory).
So here I am at almost 32 weeks thinking about all the things that I wanted to do, and didn’t. All the things that I expected to happen, that didn’t. And all my hopes and dreams, well, that really aren’t anymore. At this point I’ll trade in all the journals, progress pictures, and completed projects for this little adventure in life making to come to a head. I just want my daughter. I want her to be happy and healthy and to think I’m the most hilarious person in the world. Plus, there is always her first year of life, where I can document every little smile and giggle and take monthly snap shots that I will compile into a darling little banner to hang at her first birthday (thanks for yet another unrealistic goal for me to now aspire to).