Some folks go into pregnancy ready for anything and everything. They plan ahead, subscribe to pregnancy magazines, and sign up for prenatal yoga, all before that pee-stick yields a plus sign. They ask their mom-friends and relatives advice and dream about what they’ll name their baby-to-be. Then there's the rest of us. You know, the ones that go into the whole pregnancy thing kicking and screaming. There were things I just wasn’t ready for when my pregnancy test turned positive, so to say I was fearful, hesitant, and overwhelmed would be a substantial understatement.
If I'm being honest, and I always try to be, I have to say that I’ve never had a planned pregnancy. I wasn’t one of those girls dreaming about the day I would have a husband (or wife), kids, a dog, and a white picket fence. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, it just wasn’t what I was thinking about in my late 20s when I first got knocked up. Instead I was dreaming about the next big party, the next loud concert, or the next time I would travel somewhere solo. I loved my independence (still do, actually) and wasn't planning on giving it up anytime soon.
So getting pregnant was, well, shocking. I wasn’t ready for any of it. Not pregnancy, not motherhood, nothing. But here I am, years later, with a toddler who I wouldn’t trade for the world and, honestly, this whole mom gig is pretty great. I’m loads happier than I ever was before I became a mother, even though it took some heavy adjusting and I went through some unbelievably painful experiences. Parenthood isn’t for everyone, to be sure, but if your test says positive, and you know you want to remain pregnant but you're worried about how it’ll go, know that you’re not alone. Most of us are not ready for pregnancy either, but rest assured, we all make it through.
My Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Nausea
I’d heard about morning sickness before, but I figured it was, you know, only in the mornings. Little did I know that this god-awful hangover-like nausea would follow me morning, noon, and night.
My Nose's Super Smelling Powers
Nausea sucks. Nausea when you can smell the tuna casserole your downstairs neighbor is cooking, or the stew your co-worker brought in and has since microwaved in the office's kitchen, is just heinous. I swear I became part blood-hound while pregnant and it sucked.
My Friends' Reactions...
Some of my friends were super excited about my choice to become a mom. Others? Well, not so much. And years later, looking back, it still hurts to think about how a few of my friends reacted to the news, especially because I already felt terrified and alone and really needed the support.
... And The Distance That Inevitably Came Between Us
Your friendships will change and shift when you become a parent. Adding a tiny human to the mix always does. Years after my first pregnancy, I feel pretty distant from 90 percent of the folks I once called my best friends. They don’t call, text, Facebook chat, tweet — nothing.
I know many of them still care about me, and I care about them, but we’ve obviously grown apart. That said, I’ve gotten closer to a small group of other friends who really get me and I am thankful for that.
I used to party pretty hard so I thought I could continue on without much sleep. Yeah, I was wrong. Sleep is a glorious thing and I am sad to report that I don’t think I’ll ever get much of it ever again. Pregnancy tired sucks, but parent tired doesn’t get any easier.
My Unexpected, Deep Depression
I was not at all expecting that my positive, sunny disposition would go completely south after I found out I was pregnant. My hormones did quite a number on me. While I am in a much better place now, it took me a log time to get out of prenatal and then postpartum depression. So long.
My Pregnancy Complications
Prior to actually becoming pregnant, I thought I would find out I was knocked up, spend nine months growing a human, and then boom: a baby. I’d only known one person to have a miscarriage, so I didn’t know about the potential risks or genetic problems or terms like “threatened abortions” (also known as intense bleeding during your pregnancy). I certainly didn’t understand things like cervical incompetence or any of the other things I would go on to experience.
Losing My Job
I was working full-time at a co-working space, and really rocking my job, when I got pregnant. When my pregnancy became a “complication” for my employer (because I had to be rushed to the hospital and missed a shift) I was “let go.” While they masked their reason as one thing, I knew, especially given the timing, that they did not want me to stay on while pregnant.
My Love For My Baby
I lost my first baby when I went into preterm labor at five months gestation, but I loved her then and I still love her now. Two years later, I would give birth to my rainbow baby: my son. And I love him just as much and unconditionally. I was not prepared for the kind of sacrifices I would be willing to make for that love, and for how fulfilling that love would make me feel. Seriously. If nothing else, you’re never prepared for all that love (and that’s not a bad thing).