Real Life: About this tiny human

I’m accepting that I want to go to bed before the sun sets. It takes me a while to fall asleep—because hi, the sun is still up—but it feels good to just lie down and let my brain relax.

I’m learning to listen to my body on a daily basis. One day I want fried chicken, one day I want waffles for dinner, one day I want nothing to do with raw vegetables. Some days my eats have a variety of colors, food groups, and nutrients. All days are equal.

I’m keeping my heart rate low on about 95 percent of my workouts. I’m running slowly, walking much, swimming a bit, and trying to do some strength training here and there so that all of the above feels a little bit easier. I have a yoga pass that could use some action.

I’m not sure if the stress and fatigue comes from hormones or the fact that we just bought a fixer-upper and are about to enter the kingdom of chaos. Construction starts next week!

Life updates

I’m noticing little shifts in my body. Right now it feels awkward, but most of my clothes still fit well. I feel uncomfortable in anything tight because it doesn’t feel normal to me. If I see friends, or wear something other than running shorts, I’m rotating between four or five outfits. They may not be noticing.

I’m still completely in awe that we’re pregnant.

I’m growing a tiny human, day by day.

— — — — — —

Then

I was amenorrheic for six years. I didn’t have a menstrual cycle for six years; I only got my period if I was on birth control pills. Those were a bandage. I had no idea what the problem was or how to fix it, so for a long time, I didn’t bother. (Neither did any of my healthcare providers.) When my period did come back, I was secretly thrilled. I couldn’t tell anyone what I was so excited about because for another six years, I didn’t mention anything was ever off.

I got older and wondered, often. Even when the thought of having kids was a little terrifying—because I lived like the 20-something city-dweller that I was—I wondered. Would I ever be so lucky? What kind of long term damage was done (if any)? What if…I can’t?

I wouldn’t know until it was time to know.

Now

We didn’t take any fertility tests. I didn’t spend months tracking ovulation, because I’m kind of lazy like that. We chose to try and see. We tried for a few months. (To answer the question I have received MOST often, by far: YES, yes we were trying. Yes we were having sex, intentionally and for pleasure. Without “protection,” with a goal to reproduce. YES.) I still didn’t know. Each time my period showed up, on time, I wondered again. Is this a futile effort? (But hey, at least it was showing up! That’s still exciting to me, years later.)

I knew before most of the typical symptoms arrived. I knew because I had cramps for a few days in a row—an unusual PMS symptom for me. I took our first test on a Sunday night, which goes against pregnancy test advice. I saw a VERY faint positive; it made me feel a little bit crazy. Am I imagining this? Is that line there or NOT THERE?

I took three more tests the next day. One first thing in the morning, as instructed on any list of tips for taking pregnancy tests. Two more that afternoon, ten minutes apart. HCG levels don’t increase in a span of ten minutes, but I double-checked anyway. I called my OB office and made an appointment. I’d go in for two blood tests, two days apart, because it was so early that my hormone levels were relatively low.

There was no mistaking the “positive” result, though.

“Congratulations,” they said. “You’re pregnant!”

We’re pregnant.

We have a fetus (ahem, tiny human) the size of a pea pod. I love this tiny human WAY more than I love peas (which is not at all). It’s growing rapidly! It was a “lime” last week. Every Monday night we guess what the next random food analogy will be. Tiny humans are fascinating. 

We’re a little over 13 weeks pregnant, to be exact. We just entered our second trimester.

Our story is our story. Amenorrhea didn’t stop me from being able to get pregnant in a “normal” amount of time, whatever that means. I feel incredibly lucky that this is our (and my) story, right now. I keep in mind that anything could happen at any moment. We talk to our fetus to let it know we’re moving into a house soon, with a yard and a room that will (hopefully) be a nursery. We’re waiting patiently for its time. We’re as ready as we’ll ever be to become its parents.

We’ll know whether we have a male or female babe next week.

Well, the envelope is stashed away in my suitcase, so we COULD know right now. Today. At the gentle demand of my sister, we’re waiting for a family visit. (We’ll know the gender sometime later in life. No rush, babe.)

As everyone says, it’s very weird to keep this to yourself for a long time, but now that we’re more open about it, it feels weird to say (or write) it! I’m excited to write more about this, to have a fresh account of what I felt when I felt it, what I learned about myself and my body as I learned it. I keep learning what it truly means to be an intuitive eater. I want to keep chronicling that too, with these added details!

— — — — — —

Some of the best reactions have come from our friends who are parents. THEY ARE PUMPED. Everyone is excited, but our parent friends take it to a new level. This tells us either they know what’s ahead and can’t wait for us to know how great it can be or they’re pumped that we’ll understand their special version of hell so very soon. Maybe both? I can’t tell yet. I did read this thing from Heather Havrilesky (of Ask Polly) yesterday, and can at least relate to one point. She writes, “It’s like jumping out of a plane and then gushing about how you wanted to vomit the whole time.” That experience was fucking incredible.

In my own words (about skydiving): {you} feel nothing but someone attached to you and fear in its purest and calmest form coming to terms with what you’ve decided to do. That fear takes no less than an instant to accept your decision and call adrenaline up to the plate. Suddenly you’re not scared, you’re just ready.

My mind can wrap itself around that, for now.

— — — — — —

Questions? Advice? Personal health/nutrition challenges you’re working through that you need to vent about? (I’m not sure if I can be helpful, but I can listen, read, and respond if you want to talk it out.)

Much more to come…

Comments

  1. July 13, 2017

    YAY! So so happy for you three! Keep the updates coming — I can’t wait to hear more. Already, the way you write about the babe is so accepting and loving — I’m sure you’ll be a fabulous mom!! xo

  2. Liz
    July 13, 2017

    Ha, it’s a little of both. You will never understand or be able to imagine it until you live it. The highs are higher than expected, but the lows are lower than I could comprehend. It’s a wild ride, and you’ll love it.

    • July 14, 2017

      I worked with a parenting therapist last year (as part of my job), and I remember her saying (something along the lines of), “I thought I knew what to expect. I WORK with new parents every day. And I’m still floored by both how hard and how wonderful it is.” She was cleaning up Cheerios off the floor while we talked on the phone. 😉

  3. July 13, 2017

    I am so incredibly excited for y’all!! I literally LOL’d reading whether other parents are excited for you to share this joy or “special version of hell”- you nailed it on the head. It is absolutely both, and I wouldn’t trade the journey of motherhood for anything in the world. Being a mom will be more challenging than anything you can imagine, but the reward is 110% worth it. One of my favorite sayings about motherhood is it’s like a little piece of your heart has been removed and is walking on the earth.

    I know you and Mike are going to ROCK this whole parenting thing- we are super happy for you guys! 🙂

    • July 14, 2017

      Thanks, Blaire girl! <3 I love that description of parenthood/motherhood, too. Hope we get to see you and your girls again soon!

  4. July 13, 2017

    Heather,

    Tears flowing – having known you since 1st grade, I know you will be such a wonderful mommy! I’m so excited for you and Mike and what the future holds for this little angel and your little family. I also love sharing this adventure with you through this blog.

    Lots of love,
    Liz

  5. July 13, 2017

    Congratulations! Being pregnant is seriously the most amazing time. Despite the discomfort and occasional nausea, being pregnant was one of my favorite parts of life so far. No one else feels what you feel, so enjoy because soon you’ll be like me looking at your almost 1 year old and thinking “how the hell did you get so big?!” I can still feel her tiny elbow running against my belly.. and now days it’s jabbing me in the face when I try to put her in her car seat 😂💗

    • July 14, 2017

      Thank you, Kelsey!! It really is amazing. Most days I’m just completely in awe. Some days I forget (since we’re still not showing too much yet), and when I remember I’m like WHOA. HUMAN. In there! It’s fascinating, to say the least. 🙂

  6. July 13, 2017

    Loved reading this and that you were so open about your fears after amenorrhea! Some people aren’t so lucky, so it makes me even more happy for you. I really can’t wait for you to write more about intuitive eating during pregnancy, too!

    • July 14, 2017

      Thanks, girl! In some ways I feel like I’ve already been writing about it, just with a few specifics missing, haha. But it really has already taught me so much. 🙂

  7. July 13, 2017

    CONGRATS! This was such a fun post to read.

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