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On being a crappy pregnant lady

01/23/2013

Belle

Letting the Chicken out.

Letting the Chicken out. Note: this is my lovely workplace bathroom. Design snob Belle wants to tear this wallpaper out and paint the walls something more from this decade and less from the 1980’s!

So it happened. It was bound to happen. A belly aching pregnant infertile can only publicly fret so much. A reader gently, but forcefully, called me out last night. She has personally experienced pregnancy after loss and understands my fears. That said, at 17 weeks days it is time I enjoy this.

In two and a half weeks I’ll be halfway through this pregnancy and, if I am quite honest, I’ve enjoyed about 5% of it. I have made a few purchases but they have all been serious bargains that I am certain I can resell and recoup all my money, if not make a little profit. I have created a list of the items we will need to help me stay focused in my bargain hunting. This knowledge, I reason, will also be helpful when it comes time to buy things for all the other pregnant people in my life.  I started the quilt this weekend and the entire time I was scheming up other uses for it – cat quilt or picnic quilt perhaps?

Did I enjoy the time hunting down my first baby bargains? No. Did I enjoy the time spent compiling my shopping list? No. Did I have a jolly good time singing while sewing this weekend? No.

And that, y’all, is just plain sad.

The blog comment weighed heavily on me while laying in bed, surrounded by my snugly life raft pillow and listening to my cat purr. Honestly, at first I was pretty pissed by the comment, thinking that this woman had no right to question my choices. As the minutes ticked by, the angry subsided into a sort of sad acceptance. She was right.

This morning I wanted to do things differently. I’m 17 weeks pregnant. That’s almost halfway there. This is my only pregnancy. My fiercely fought for pregnancy.

I popped in my prental exercise DVD and actually did the kegels when they were called for. I thought about how the labor squats were helping my pelvis prepare for birth. I focused hard on the shoulder work thinking how important these muscles will be when I’m carrying around my baby.

Later I stood in front of the dryer mulling over outfit choices (don’t judge – I HATE putting laundry away and most of the time just get dressed in the basement laundry corner!) Up until today my outfits were carefully selected to make me look as not pregnant as possible. I struggle to hide my growing breasts and the little belly that to me just looks fat but to my husband tells a story of new life. Today would be different, I thought. I put on my yoga pants that can pass as regular pants (thank you Athleta!), a long burgundy tank top and a mustard yellow cardigan. And then I tied the cardigan up so my midsection can show all of its pregnant glory. It felt weird.

The first thing I heard when I walked into the office was from a male coworker who saw me approaching and stopped to say he loved what he was seeing. “What, my cup of tea?” I asked, completely oblivious. “No, the baby bump! It’s showing and it is amazing!”

I slunk back, embarrassed as other coworkers popped out of their offices to see. They all gushed and praised. I blushed and felt REALLY uncomfortable, wishing with all my might that I had not chosen to wear yoga pants to work. Despite my discomfort, I felt a tiny shred of pride. This is my baby. He or she is growing in my body. I made this little guy (granted with a number of petri dishes and some top-notch culture medium). My baby deserves to be celebrated. I deserve to plan and be giddy. It is ok to sing happily while I sew for baby.

And, perhaps most importantly, it is ok to blog joyously about this baby. I try so hard to be sensitive here but am realizing that I need this space as a way to process not just my grief and fears, but also my joy and hope. I hope you will all stick around  while I make a whole-hearted attempt to change my tone. Will there still be bad days where I worry? Of course. But I hope that in time my good days will out number the bad and that when my baby comes I’ll be so blissfully ready that the transition will be smooth and beautiful.

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34 Comments

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  1. perkswildflower #
    January 23, 2013

    So happy that you’re ready to embrace this pregnancy! Life is too short to be consumed by worry. After all this struggle, you deserve your slice of happiness 🙂

  2. Jen #
    January 23, 2013

    Good for you for this shift! I know it’s very difficult to embrace this pregnancy after the loss you’ve experienced, but all signs are pointing to this little chicken really and truly becoming your child! I have to remind myself all the time that this is quite likely the only pregnancy I’ll ever have and I better savor it! I look forward to the joy and hope in your future posts – you deserve it!

  3. January 23, 2013

    Good for you! Enjoy it Belle, it goes so fast, and you will forget it all so quickly. Enjoy that big belly you’ve been dying to have and the perks that come with being pregnant (such as having doors held for you and people giving up their bathroom line-up spots), you worked for this and deserve it – and it is ok to be thrilled about it.

  4. January 23, 2013

    You are so brave! You did a good thing today. So proud of you!

  5. Bethany #
    January 23, 2013

    Yay!! I am so happy to read this post! You have worked hard for this baby…it is time to enjoy 🙂

  6. Nicki #
    January 23, 2013

    Thank you! This gives me hope for the future when I may be pregnant again (we’ve lost 5, and have none here on earth). The fears that you talk about I understand fully, and seeing you CHOOSING to rejoice in your pregnancy reminds me to find joy in the little things (and big things) around me. Thank you for the reminder!

    • January 23, 2013

      Nicki, check out Beyond This Desert. It is a blog about a couple who suffered many miscarriages and lost twin boys at 16 weeks. She also had to undergo radiation for a brain tumor! They weathered the storm and just had twin girls! They maintained a strong marriage and faith through some really difficult times.

      • Nicki #
        January 24, 2013

        Thank you, Amber – I’ll look into that blog!

  7. January 23, 2013

    Looking forward to reading a happier, more optimistic Belle:) You deserve to enjoy this- I’m glad you decided it’s time.

  8. January 23, 2013

    You go, Belle! Embrace this pregnancy and chicken! I am proud of you for at least trying. Some days will be hard, but the good days make it all worthwhile. And, welcome to parenthood..this is only the beginning.

  9. January 23, 2013

    FINALLY!!! 🙂 You have worked SO long and hard to get pregnant, Belle, it’s time you jump for joy in your blog. I understand your need to be sensitive to all of us still waiting for our bumps, but I honestly love the joy that radiates from you preggy ladies. Ok, yes, sometimes it makes me want to curl in a ball and leave the world for awhile but mostly I want you to ENJOY your miracle. For as long as Chicken sticks around. And stop beating yourself up – you actually HAVE enjoyed your pregnancy. Even with the anxiety it brings sometimes. But you radiate with joy when you’re not thinking about it. I know this. I saw it. So up that 5% woman!! When you don’t let yourself get scared and anxious, you are just like every pregnant woman and it’s beautiful to see. xoxo

  10. January 23, 2013

    Here here! Way to go, BELLE!

    Cute outfit, dreadful wallpaper. So glad it’s not your house (but I knew it wasn’t without the explanation!)!

  11. January 23, 2013

    This post made me so happy, Belle! I will absolutely keep reading if you start posting happy, excited pregnancy posts because you have worked so hard for this little chicken and you deserve to be full of hope and joy. Also, your outfit is so adorable! No wonder people were complimenting you–you are a super cute pregnant lady 🙂

  12. January 23, 2013

    This makes me really happy Belle! I love seeing that little belly grow! It is really strange at first when people start to comment on your belly, but it will get fun. I still blush just about every time. I too hate putting laundry away. It usually sits in the basket unfolded for a long time.

  13. SRB #
    January 23, 2013

    Embrace it ALL, feel it ALL. It’s all part of the experience. And if you feel up to it, blog it all. This is your life, your blog. I’ll be reading. 🙂

  14. January 23, 2013

    Oh oh oh…this almost had me in tears! I am soooo happy your finding your turn around point and starting to embrace this wonderful time in your life! I know its hard when so much is happening but at the end of the day,this is what you have battled for and as you say, you are only planning on doing this once so its TIME!!
    And your bump looks beautiful!

  15. January 23, 2013

    Yay! I’m glad you are trying to embrace it! I hope you continue to do that, you definitely deserve all the happiness of being pregnant 🙂 🙂

  16. karaleen #
    January 23, 2013

    It’s me…the brazen commenter who called you out. But please know…I did it from a place of understanding (because I have been there) and love. I soooo enjoy your blog and have followed you since before you were pregnant with PIP. I felt your loss along with you. I love your cats (I’m secretly a cat lady but married a dog guy…so had to compromise). Please know I didn’t want to make you mad….I really just wanted you to have joy….to be proud of your changing shape, to be excited…..like I am for you. I know it is so hard for true empathy, compassion and caring to come through on a written page from a person you only know as a commenter and a random gluten free recipe sharing emailer. But….please do know….it came from a place of caring and concern. I am so happy to see this post today….and your little baby bump is sooooo darling. I can’t wait to see it grow :).
    hugs,
    Karaleen (see…I didn’t even hide behind and anonymous commenter mask)

  17. January 23, 2013

    The first step is always the hardest! Hopefully from this point on you can truly enjoy. I think all of us reading can relate to your anxious feelings, not wanting to get too attached or excited, whether it be to a baby or the hope of one (like in the 2WW). Relax and enjoy. I absolutely love being pregnant. It is such a magical time. Embrace it.

  18. January 23, 2013

    Yay for Belle’s baby bump!
    “I try so hard to be sensitive here but am realizing that I need this space as a way to process not just my grief and fears, but also my joy and hope.”
    I haven’t been a member of the infertility blogging community for long, but I know that many bloggers are concerned with this very thing. Your blog is YOUR blog, your space to write about anything and everything you want. I know you care about your readers and don’t want to cause anyone pain, but the best gift to us is to be honest and open. Personally, I need to hear it all, the fear and the joy. You are on the path ahead of me, and I look to you to see what obstacles I may face, and how to overcome them. I don’t mean to put pressure on you, but I think you already know that many of us look to you for inspiration.

  19. January 23, 2013

    Congrats on bringing out the baby belly! You look adorable! (in fact, I hardly see a belly at all! )

  20. jak #
    January 23, 2013

    first of all, THOSE ARE YOGA PANTS?! they look great, and i think i need to git some.

    second, but more importantly i am glad you are starting to dive into this. it’s time. yesterday we had our 19+ wk u/s. that did it for me. the peanut was touching its face and its ears, turning its head, using its legs to hide its baby junk and be difficult, hahaha! if you dont embrace this now, i’m sure you will embrace it fully at your next u/s. start embracing it now though. its time:) chicken is real and getting more real every day….

  21. January 23, 2013

    YES! Be proud and happy. I agree it’s time to savor every moment

  22. 35life #
    January 23, 2013

    I’m so glad to hear that you embraced it all today! You deserve to start enjoying this!

  23. January 23, 2013

    What a cute bump! It really makes up for the shitty wallpaper. 🙂

    I’m all for 100% honesty on blogs, so whether you’re feeling panicked and sad or full of unbridled joy, that’s what you should write about. You’re doing this for yourself, not for others. Now, start looking into maternity wrap dresses, too! DVF should really do a line of those for the Gap.

  24. January 23, 2013

    Please enjoy. I vicariously enjoy it through you. And I hope someday I write a similar post on my own blog!

  25. January 23, 2013

    Yes, enjoy your pregnancy, dammit! 🙂 I know it’s hard, especially with so much worry and wanting to be sensitive to others. But it’s such a special time and you deserve to be happy. We WANT you to be happy!

  26. January 23, 2013

    Belle, you look beautiful.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, but this is my first time posting. I’m so proud of you. Surely, you’ll have more crappy pregnant lady days. That’s okay. I certainly don’t mind hearing about them. But this hopeful post is so lovely. Remember these thoughts when the others start creeping in again.

    You and I would have had due dates within the same couple of weeks, but I lost my first pregnancy back in October. On my birthday. I’ve not been at this for as long as many. We’ve been trying to conceive for a little over a year. So I cannot speak for others who have been trying for longer. But I can assure you that, at least from my particular perspective, your happy pregnant lady posts, your belly posts, your well-written words about Chicken do not make me feel empty. Or sad for myself. They make me feel hope.

  27. January 23, 2013

    YES!! Embrace and be positive and excited about your pregnancy! Otherwise you might look back after Chicken is here and want to kick yourself.

    Cute belly!

  28. January 23, 2013

    It’s about time!!! I can’t wait to read about your amazing little bundle of joy YOU created!!!

  29. January 24, 2013

    So happy to hear that you’re choosing joy. You deserve that.

  30. January 24, 2013

    What a lovely post!

  31. January 24, 2013

    I love this post!!! And a very cute picture. I didn’t have any losses before my pregnancy, but I still had some fear. It can be hard to let go and enjoy, but I think once you start making an effort to be happy about this pregnancy, it will become easier.
    I too found it strange and embarrassing when people commented about my tummy. I also didn’t know what to tell them when they asked “how are you?”, because I didn’t want to go on about it (in case someone was going through IF) and if they were fertile, did they really really want to hear about it? Bleh,
    Enjoy!!!

  32. Lisa @ hapahopes #
    January 24, 2013

    Yay! You look so great!!! Dude – nasty wallpaper, but if you tackled that you’d also have to tackle the floor… and the tile baseboards (what the heck are those?!?!?)

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