the whole nine yards

I still remember the moment I found out I was pregnant. We had been trying for a few months, not solidly but mostly just no longer trying to not get pregnant. We wanted to keep it fun. Friends who had been really consumed by falling pregnant said it just added so much stress and when the months passed and periods came, it was upsetting. I didn’t want to feel like that so we tried to just let things happen. And happen they did. 

It was May 23, 2013, and I had this feeling from the time I woke up. I looked for a pregnancy test but couldn’t find one so went to work and tried to distract myself. Through the afternoon I had this taste in my mouth, like I was sucking on coins, a taste that would soon become the norm for weeks on end.  Hubby and I had to go look at a rental house after work as we’d just sold our home with a 30-day settlement, the whole time my body already knowing what was going on. By the time we got home, hubby went to get dinner and I found a test. I knew you were supposed to take it in the morning but I couldn’t wait til then. Within a few seconds, two lines popped up. I sat there on the toilet just staring. Honestly, my first thought was… fuck. A week or so earlier, we’d decided to stop trying as the month prior had provided massive change in our life, now was not the right time to have a baby. The following day I already had an appointment booked to see the doctor to get a pill script. That appointment ended up being to confirm those two lines that appeared on the two tests the night before. 

I took the test and went and sat on my bed. I just kept staring. I felt anxious. All I could think of was all the reasons why this wasn’t supposed to be happening right now. We were unsettled, moving home, Carl was made redundant the month prior. The control freak in me reared her head. I just sat and stared. It felt like the longest twenty minutes of my life. 

Carl walked in the door with dinner and started unpacking it at the kitchen bench.  I walked into the room and just stood there. He looked at me, immediately asked what was wrong. I held up the stick. The grin on his face was immediate. His eyes lit up. He laughed and just said “Seriously?” The tears welled in my eyes and I told him yes. That’s why I loved this man. He always calmed me. He was so laid back. When my controlling tendencies came out, he settled them. His excitement was infectious and instantly I forgot about all the reasons why we shouldn’t be having a baby and instead couldn’t quite believe that I was growing a little babe inside. I was going to be a Mother. 

I’d heard many women say they just loved being pregnant, that they felt their best with a growing belly. For me, I didn’t hate it but I certainly didn’t love it. I loved my belly and watching my body grow but it was all the other stuff that came along with it. Early on I had the usual stuff, nausea, vomiting and a constant feeling that I suffered from narcolepsy but by the 12-14 week mark, my pelvis became very loose. I’ve always been super flexible but this caused me more pain than benefit as my belly grew. I had pinching in my sacrum to the point it immobilised me. It lasted from week 12 through to when we welcomed Baker into the world. I was told that you really get the energetic feeling around 20 weeks and it’s the time you feel your best. I got about two weeks of it before getting sick with a nasty virus, contracted in my work office from someone who felt it impossible to keep their illness to themselves at home. We weren’t saving lives at work; it wasn’t that dire to be there. But of course, they came, shared their germs and half the office got sick and was on medication. But not me, I never realised pregnant women can’t take anything. I was off work for two weeks, Mum had to fly down to look after me and I ended up in hospital to have x-rays and bloods taken as my obstetrician was worried I might get pneumonia. But that, none of that came close to the one thing I felt all pregnancy, and that was, well, the fact that I might be going crazy. 

My emotions were all over the shop. It didn’t even feel like there was a shop. I was on edge all the time, my fuse shorter than normal and I would cry a lot. It wasn’t anxiety, when I think about it. I just felt like my emotions sat right on the surface and the smallest thing would set me off. The peak though came one morning when I was sitting at the bench eating breakfast and I was crying into my cereal bowl. Not like, just a little tear, it was cheeks covered, nose running, crying. Carl asked me what was wrong. Truth was, I didn’t know but even him asking me made me want to stab him in the neck, or the eye. Either would do.

Why does no one tell you about this before you fall pregnant? The only help I got that this was normal and I wasn’t completely fucking losing it was reading Kaz Cooke’s Up The Duff. She made light of the psychotic feelings and being run over by your own emotions. That it was common to want to kill your husband, even though three minutes prior he was the greatest man to ever to live. The hormones just swallowed me up. Of course I had days that I felt good but I mostly felt like I couldn’t quite get a handle on myself. I hated it. But maybe, just maybe, it was teaching me the first lesson of motherhood. You cannot control a baby and the sooner you learn to roll with it, the better. 

Since exiting my pregnancy induced craze phase, I’m honest about my experience with my friends who are pregnant because feeling like you’re the only nutter isn’t much fun. And I’ve found the more open I’ve been, the more common what I went through is. I’ve even had friends say things like ‘Thank God it’s not just me!’ So ladies of the preggo sisterhood, share what you went through, the highs, the lows and all the freaky shit in between.

My pregnancy ended much the same way as it started. I had high blood pressure throughout that just got higher towards the end. Foetal monitoring and unexpected hospital visits led to me being induced at 39 weeks, 4 days. My labour though, that’s another story for another day. 

Images of me by Lemonadelane