Hormones make people feel things. Like feelings. Under the current onslaught of hormones I’m feeling feelings. The feelings I’m feeling are the following: orneriness, impatience, frustration. I am wearing the horcrux necklace. I am wearing The One True Ring. I am burdened.
It physically hurts in the morning to wake up and have to accept that the world expects me to leave my bed and be a contributing citizen. I like my work, my walk to work, my colleagues, my apartment, my city, my life, my days, but what actually gets me out of bed is the promise of cereal. Nothing trumps cereal. But then I’m sad again after breakfast because my next breakfast isn’t for 24 hours and I’d be a horrible parasite host if I ate cereal for every meal.
Every activity between cereal eating is a task, the worst of which is having to choose clothes to wear that are deemed appropriate. This is excruciatingly hard work, and no argument exists that can rationalize this standard that prevents me from wearing a tank top and leggings at all times. And shoes are stupid. This is what the incurable affliction of hormones has saddled me with (besides barfing).
Sometimes in an effort to stop feeling so many feelings I imagine I’m a sitcom actress playing a pregnant character and all of my feelings and associated behaviors are situational and exaggerated and thus humorous. But so far my imagined audience has been bored and unconvinced and I hate them.
I am comforted – about as equally as I am disgusted – that I can’t do anything about the felt feelings, so at least there’s that. And Captain Crunch. (Which has 100 percent folic acid in every serving.)
I may take up growling.
Now that the bump looks like a pregnancy and not like I ate too many cinnamon rolls without moving, I decided to make Tim take some pictures. Yes, I am wearing the same dress in two different colors. Do maternity clothes make me look fat?
“By far the most common craving of pregnant women is not to be pregnant.”
- Number of days nauseous: 77
- Average number of times per day I Googled “[food product] pregnancy” before I ate [food product]: 4
- Number of food aversions established: 3
- Number of states the embryo visited: 3
- Number of chances of being asked stand in a TSA backscatter X-Ray machine: 6
- Number of TSA backscatter X-Ray machines I was asked (and thus refused) to walk through: 3
- Number of TSA pat-downs resulting from my refusal: 1
- Number of weeks I was “on antibiotics” and couldn’t drink alcohol: 2
- Number of those weeks I spent in Key West: 1
- Number of times family, friends, and co-workers asked me directly whether I was pregnant: 0 (THANK YOU.)
October 6, 2011
Two days before the six-year anniversary of the first time my husband, Tim, and I made out, I took a pregnancy test. It was a Thursday morning, before I began getting ready for work. I laid the stick on our ugly green bathroom counter, closed my eyes for three minutes, took a picture of the two pink lines with my cell phone, and texted the picture to my husband.
I’ve never been one of those women who is completely in touch with her body, nor have I always treated it that well, but I knew I was pregnant before the test confirmed it, before I missed my period even. I didn’t feel any different physically; I just knew. I must celebrate this in writing for it’s the first and may very well be the last time I just know anything.
Even though I knew, it didn’t mean I wasn’t excited about the pregnancy’s officialness. It was got-a-job-I-wanted, kissed-a-boy-I-liked, won-the-game, received-an-award excited all wrapped into one feeling yet completely different. This was holy-crap-I’m-going-to-grow-and-birth-a-human-being-and-it-may-look-like-me excited. On my walk to work that morning I listened to pop music on my iPod instead of my normal BBC News. Take that, real world.
The day progressed in an excruciatingly normal way. Morning turned into afternoon and I still hadn’t heard from Tim. By the time lunchtime came I was tired of having the secret to myself. Cell phone reception at the school Tim teaches is often poor, but not nonexistent, so I was starting to get annoyed with him for not checking his phone—because of course he didn’t see the photo then ignore it. He didn’t know I was taking a pregnancy test that morning and likely assumed my text was to ask him to get ice cream or tell him I was going to happy hour, but life partner rules dictate that you answer any text within 12 hours. He was cutting it close.
I got home from work, started doing the dishes—which is a guaranteed way to make yourself even more annoyed with whatever you’re annoyed with—and stopped midplatewash to check my phone yet again. Tim had checked into the train station on Foursquare. His cell phone was functioning and he had used it and not to text me back. As I drafted divorce papers in my head I politely texted the father of my embryo.
“Did you get my text message?”
“Yes, but only half of the picture loaded.”
Before committing to what kind of pen I’d use to sign the divorce papers, I called him.
“You didn’t think to maybe ask me to resend the picture?”
“No not really I figured you’d show me when I got home.”
“That’s not the way it’s happening. Check your e-mail.”
Sure, I could have told him on the phone, but I was annoyed, doing dishes, and not about to let my husband know he was going to be a dad in any other way than by a photo of the pregnancy test sent to him before he saw me. Never give up on cute.
Needless to say once he got off the subway and saw the picture, Tim ran home and breathlessly hugged me while the water still ran in the sink. At that point, though, I was totally over the whole baby thing and was pissed at him for ruining my announcement plan. I eventually got over it, but I know you’re on my side on this one.
Tim and I were engaged for a week before we told anybody. (He proposed without a ring. The next weekend we went and bought one, then went and bought a shared cell phone plan, and only then did we feel we had proven our commitment enough to share the news.) That week is one of our favorites of the all the weeks we’ve spent together. We thought that perhaps keeping my pregnancy a secret would be similar. It wasn’t.
We decided not to tell anyone I was pregnant until Christmas. We’d be with family in person, it was right after the first trimester, and, most important, we could be cute about the announcement by giving grandparent- and aunt- and uncle-themed gifts without letting on that they weren’t real gifts.
Some people tell sooner. Some people post a photo of the pregnancy test on Facebook. We didn’t. Waiting seemed like the right thing to do, even though it was very, very hard. You can only skip a certain number of happy hours before friends and colleagues start to wonder.
Of the many moments it was hard to keep my pregnancy a secret, the hardest moments were the following: (1) two friends announced their engagement and I couldn’t steal their thunder and say “How exciting! I’m having a baby!” (2) my brother announced his engagement and again I had to let another keep the thunder, and (3) at a holiday party friends were sharing their highlights of the year and I couldn’t share my true highlight, which would have been the best highlight and I would have won. I would have WON.