Me: “Soooo…what’s this stuck to your homework? Looks like a chewed up snack of some sort?”
Kid: “Ewwwww no!”
Me: “Ok, phew.”
Kid: “It’s a booger.”
Me: “Soooo…what’s this stuck to your homework? Looks like a chewed up snack of some sort?”
Kid: “Ewwwww no!”
Me: “Ok, phew.”
Kid: “It’s a booger.”
Our first OB appointment was at 8 weeks (Jan 16th), and it is an understatement to say we went in pretty clueless.
When the doctor approached me with a HUGE dildo-looking instrument to perform the transvaginal (re: up-the-hooha) ultrasound, we did not realize that was a thing (doctor-dildos OR transvaginal ultrasounds). Movies always show the ultrasound with goo on the belly, and it’s safe to say that everything we know about the medical side of pregnancy comes from movies. (But like, well-researched movies such as Knocked Up.)
When the doctor asked me to scoot down and spread my legs wide, Eric, who had been standing near my belly, quickly scurried toward the safety of my head like a frightened crab.
Everything in that gif is on point because I swear the sonogram tool was the size of that truck (and from what I hear, my vagina, at the end of all this, will resemble that tire).
Me: “I just have one request– please please only find ONE baby in there.”
Eric: “And I’ll take a Bitcoin if you see one!”
So yeah our doctor hates us.
We’re pregnant! With a girl! (Which is great, as long as she is nothing like me).
We’re definitely starting to feel the excitement now that we are entering the second trimester and I no longer want to Linda Blair vomit all over town and have stopped drooling like Homer Simpson at a pig roast (oh, you didn’t know involuntary drooling was a pregnancy symptom? Well, neither did I until I got up to pee for the 47th time one night and essentially slipped in a pool of my own saliva).
So on that note, hey, here’s something no one tells you: the first trimester fucking blows. No, I’m kidding. Tons of people DO tell you that, minus those goddess-moms who feel great and glowy from day 1, but let’s be real, I’m not friends with those people. Because ew.
So yeah, most people say the first trimester is tough but guess who sort of secretly thought she’d be different, based on absolutely zero evidence?
In fact, not only did I have zippity do dah ZILCH reason to think I’d have an easy first trimester, every thing I’ve experienced in life up to this point perfectly illustrated that I would be literally THE WORST. My run-of-the-mill non-pregnant existence– like, a day I’d describe as “feeling pretty good”– is essentially already a mild version of pregnancy (exhaustion, stomach issues, headaches, irritability, anxiety, moodiness, profuse sweating, overactive bladder….). So I told myself, based on whatever the opposite of logic is, that because I feel pregnant NORMALLY, when I actually AM pregnant I will feel BETTER. It’s similar to the kind of logic one uses when they’ve had 18 too many tequila shots or are Forrest Gump.
It was just hopeful optimism– something I don’t usually partake in, so I’m not sure why I chose THIS particular circumstance to start lying to myself.
Here’s the logical conclusion that a rational person would come to, and perhaps then wisely prepare herself for– If you feel sort of physically crappy in your day-to-day regular life, in no circumstance are you going to feel LESS crappy when you add a nutrient-sucking fetus into that equation (and by “into that equation” I mean “into YOUR UTERUS.” The uterus that is INSIDE YOUR BODY, GUYS! I will never get over this. The “What’s Happening to My Body Book For Girls” Mom gave me at age 14 did NOT adequately prepare me for understanding how this is a thing humans can and should be doing. It’s fucking Animal Planet over here, except I have to go to a job every day and politely respond to people without vomiting on their face).
So anyway, yeah: “Feel Semi-Crappy Normally + Fetus Monster in Belly = Feel Crappier” is not exactly as obvious, concrete and indisputable as “1 +1 =2” but it’s pretty damn close, Forrest.
So weeks 5-12 were miserable. And I don’t say that to sound ungrateful, because believe me, I know how lucky Eric and I are that this happened for us, and happened so easily (more on that in a future post entitled “My Geriatric Uterus is Wearing a Catcher’s Mitt”). We are of course thankful for that, this is something we very much wanted, and we are both beyond looking forward to being parents (in that terrified-excited kind of way you look forward to riding a super-rickety, still-in-the-test-phase roller coaster that you heard many people have died on).
But I’m not going to sit here and say this early part is magical. If you’re looking for that sentiment, I’m not entirely sure why you read this blog. Maybe this is your first time here and you know nothing about me, so if that’s the case, let me catch you up: My name is Emily. I don’t do whimsy.
So that leads us to the texts below. I was too tired, nauseous, and, quite frankly, sad to do any real writing these past two months, but I did somehow find the time to annoy/harass/alarm/frighten/disgust Eric with every single feeling I experienced as I experienced it. There was no emergency-bathroom situation that he was not a part of because A) THAT’S HOW LOVE WORKS and B) the late Steve Jobs definitely invented iMessage for the purpose of toilet updates in real time, so what am I going to do, NOT honor him?
So below is a chronicle of highlights (and I use that term VERY loosely, because I know of no society that would list “violent dry heave” as a highlight) of the first trimester, through text.
I’ll admit that reading through these was hard because, now that I am in a better place, my assessment is that I sound pretty damn whiny in a lot of these exchanges (and by “exchanges,” I mean me texting novels of complaints and Eric not knowing what to say because there is literally nothing TO say, but I just needed someone to listen and also not divorce me after listening. God bless his soul).
I imagine his face while reading was a mix of this , this and this , but he never let me know it, and that’s all that counts. 90% of marriage is knowing how to swallow your feelings and lie convincingly when your partner needs you to.
I actually ended up removing the majority of the sad, exasperated texts because they were just far too frequent, don’t make for great reading, and I think you can get the gist of my mental state by just perusing a few. And the texts aren’t ALL misery– there’s humor sprinkled throughout, because I’ve done my best to try to laugh when I can, which is SUPER hard when you feel like death, but becomes possible when you have a partner with the temperament, light-heartedness and excitability of a newborn corgi.
But bottom line– this shit is hard. For ANYONE. Is it harder for someone with mental health issues? I’m honestly not sure. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t had some seriously depressive thoughts these past couple months, but I think early pregnancy can do that to anyone– veteran mental-health-sufferer or not– because the hormone surges are nothing short of batshit insanity. Sprinkle in some isolation (not sharing this HUGE thing going on in your life straight up sucks), the removal of your usual get-through-the-day crutches (coffee, wine, Advil, vigorous exercise, writing, openly venting to anyone who will listen including the internet) and add some persistent anxiety over not having that possible miscarriage that Google (and every Jew) loves to warn you about, and you have a perfect shitstorm for needing emotional life support. I legit don’t know how anyone keeps it together in the first few months (but if you’re one of those people, no judgement at ALL. Just a lot of jealousy and maybe also a touch of spiteful resentment and hatred).
And so if one struggling woman reads this and can relate and feel a bit better about the fact that her early pregnancy is/was no walk in the park either, then I’ve done the job I always set out to do– reach someone with the ugly, vomit-ridden truth.
So here’s what you missed– enjoy!….?
(note: Days refer to when we found out– so Day 2 is the 2nd day we knew we were pregnant)
Marriage is 40% about love and 60% about having someone around to stop you from eating a wheel of Gouda for dinner and then dipping potato chips in gelato.
When/if I am pregnant one day, no one will be able to tell, because my daily life-long M.O. is already to be tired, nauseated, moody, and dressed in a shapeless sack.
And that’s been my plan all along.
I lost my FitBit and now I have no way of measuring my self worth.
“Emily, no. NO. Jesus christ, just…no.”
— Friend, when I asked if I can wear my FitBit to my wedding.
Me: “Can I drink coffee with the Invisalign in?”
What the dentist said: “No. It will stain them. If you drink liquids with the braces in, they need to be clear liquids.”
What I heard: “Instead of coffee, start your morning with white wine.”
Don’t mind if I do!
We ordered a sampler platter from the local Persian restaurant because we were told the hen is delicious. Eric opens up the platter….
Eric: “Where’s the hen?!”
Me: “What do you mean? It’s right there.”
Eric: “That’s chicken, not hen.”
Me: “Hen is chicken.”
Eric: “No it’s not.”
Me: “Yes. It is. A hen is a female chicken.”
Eric: “What? No. That’s like saying a bird is a pigeon.”
So Eric got a new job recently, and HR informed him that in order for me to be on his health insurance plan, we would have to get actual documentation stating that we are domestic partners. This came as a surprise, because at Eric’s last job they were like, “Oh, your girlfriend wants health insurance? Cool! Health insurance for dayzzzzzzz!” We literally didn’t even have to show proof that we were living together. I’m not even sure we had to prove we were human beings. I could have been Eric’s pet hamster Chubbles*, and they would’ve covered me. For whatever reason, they just took our word on the honor system, which is the way it should be. (hahah no, I’m kidding. That is DEFINITELY not the way it should be. If it was that way, I would have put myself on the health insurance of every person I’ve lived with since college, including that summer subletter who drew a huge penis on my window).
So we went down to the City Clerk on Wednesday and diligently signed our Domestic Partnership license. It was a beautiful day. The clerk could not have been less interested in us, and was scrolling on Facebook the entire time she processed our paperwork. Which immediately made me like her. I was super hopeful that when the license printed, it would accidentally have one of those creepy FB stickers on it.
But alas, no. Disappointment abound.
Meanwhile, Eric and I tried to make small talk with her, as an attempt to engage her in this somewhat meaningful moment in our lives.
Us: “We’ll be back here in 5 months for our wedding license!”
Us: “Thanks yeah we’re excited too!”
This lady was the physical and spiritual embodiment of “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” We gave up, took our license, posed for obligatory photo and left.
Clap, clap, done! Easy as pie! Right?
Wrong. That’s not how my life works. You should know this by now.
Eric skipped back to his office, Domestic Partnership license in hand, only to find out that HR had given him false information– “Oooooh, our bad. Turns out domestic partnership only gets your partner covered if you’re gay.” And apparently, shouting back, “Ok, ok– we’re gay! We’ll be gay!” doesn’t solve the problem.
What DOES solve the problem? Getting married.
Eric: “But we’re basically married!”
HR: “When is the wedding?”
HR: “Cool. She’ll have health coverage in June.”
Eric: “HAVE YOU MET HER?! SHE NEEDS IT NOW.”
Ok obviously the conversation didn’t exactly go down like that, but the point is that the rules insist we show legal intent to wed (aka, get a marriage license)– and I, as someone prone to mental/physical/invented health issues, cannot wait until June for coverage.
Can I get temporary insurance until then? Yes, of course. For a CRAPLOAD of money. And what is the point, if we are getting married soon anyway? Why not just get the license a little earlier? We already live together and love each other and occasionally want to kill each other and that’s all marriage really is, right? (If not, don’t tell me. I’m a learn-the-hard-way kind of girl, which is why my life tends to be a complete disaster but also interesting).
So, with the most romantic of reasons driving us forward, we went back to the City Clerk this morning to obtain a marriage license. (No, this does not mean we are married. This means we have a document to prove INTENT to marry. Everyone calm down, Mom.)
Not many people get to experience the City Clerk office twice in 3 days, but I guess most people just aren’t as lucky as we are.
So there we are this morning, sitting in our seats, waiting for our number to be called, and, like all couples about to take that first legal step in joining their lives forever, we were on our iPhones playing Words With Friends.
With EACH OTHER. We’re not heartless sadists.
As I sat there waiting for Eric to play the next word, I took a moment to look around and do some people watching. There were several couples there who were getting not just a license, but having their official ceremony as well, so they were wearing nice white dresses and suits. Naturally, I then questioned my own appearance, which led to an existential downspiral (aka, a typical
Friday morning). “Is it ridiculous that it didn’t even occur to me to look nice for this event? I just threw on jeans, a sweater, Uggs and headed out the door. Does that say something about my maturity level and my preparedness for marriage?”
“Oh, Emily, stop it,” I counterpointed in my head, because having full conversations with myself is normal. “That’s just your anxiety going into overdrive. Yes, you’re dressed casually, but so are most people here. You’re a perfectly mature, responsible adult who is more than ready to enter this very significant stage of life.”
And that’s when I spotted the gigantic glob of Junior Mints melted into my pant leg.
Yes. It’s as big as it looks.
Some background context here, because I’m sure you’re having difficulty understanding how it’s humanly possible that I did this to myself without noticing:
Last night, Eric and I went to see Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway (fucking phenomenal, by the way). And like all people watching a show with themes of loneliness, pain and depression, I like my trauma with a side of Junior Mints.
Kramer gets it.
At one point during the show, I accidentally dropped one of the Junior Mints (again, Kramer-style) while attempting to put it in my mouth. I thought it fell on the floor and so I quickly forgot about it– but, apparently, it got squished between the seat and my leg for the rest of the night, where it slowly melted (because, as you can always assume, I was very sweaty) and spread across my pants. And yeah, I did wear the same pants two days in a row without washing them. You do it too, so SHUT UP.
“But how did you not notice it when you were getting dressed this morning, Emily?”
Because it was early, I hadn’t had coffee, and in general I am not a noticer of things.
“But how about when you took them off last night?”
I AM VERY BAD AT LIFE, OKAY?!
Which brings us back to this moment in the City Clerk’s office, when Eric and I are about to be called forward to sign a marriage license, and I have what appears to be a giant ball of (minty fresh!) shit spread across my pants.
Eric suggested I go to the bathroom and try to clean myself up.
I suggested we take a photo.
Needless to say, the papers still got signed (not by an officiant– just by us, Mom!) and Eric is still willing to marry me.
Now let’s see if I can make it down the aisle without a giant shit stain on my wedding dress.
* Chubbles = actual former pet of Eric’s