I know when I first found out I was pregnant I thought I would have this whole 9-month growing a human thing down. I had done a lot of hard things. Endured personal losses, navigated through the world of single dating in my 20s and early 30s before finding my match, fighting my way up the ladder in my career, battling anxiety, etc. I’m not complaining – I have had a great life so far. But we each have our struggles and I felt like I had overcome them pretty gracefully. Then I got pregnant.
I had always longed for the experience of pregnancy. Growing and dressing a cute baby bump, enjoying the pregnancy glow, indulging a little more with the “I’m eating for 2 excuse”. Then at the end of it all I would get to snuggle and love on a perfect little baby. That is the scenario I had dreamed about since I was 6 years old and realized I wanted to be a mom.
So when I actually realized my dream and found out I was “expecting” I was 3 months into my marriage and totally excited and very clueless. I remember going out to celebrate with my mom and sister 4 weeks in and looking forward to ordering my usual BBQ chicken salad and split pea soup at California Pizza Kitchen in La Jolla, CA. For the first time the nausea hit me like a wave. I ended up eating only the free bread and butter on the table (…and let the pregnancy weight gain begin). The next week I just struggled to get through each work day. I told my husband to stop touching me and that his smell was bugging me, and I was irritable at every turn. My skin broke out like it did when I was 13, and I didn’t get a baby bump, I got baby chub. My whole body started swelling up. At the end of 9-months, I was eating an entire pineapple a day to try to get the baby out (it doesn’t work by the way!), I had gained a whopping 75 lbs, and I looked like I had elephantitis. But the one thing that did come true from the fantasy I had dreamed up over all those years was the perfect baby girl I got at the end of all of it.