July 1, 2021
Dear Darkened Rose,
Since I was a teenager, I have written countless prose and poetry bits and journal entries about matrescence and motherhood. Needless to say, I have very carefully awaited this time in my life. Many, many tears have been shed from a deep fear that this time would never come. When whether or not to have children was a lingering question in my relationship with Caleb, I unabashedly terrorized and resented him. As he has maliciously done with me time and time again, Caleb compelled me to set realistic goals before becoming a parent (the cruelty, right?).
So the goals were set and the timelines were sketched. I decided that, in the very least, I wanted to be trying to start a family by age 32 (✓). I wanted to reach a healthy and steady point in managing MDD (✓) and GAD (sort of ✓). I wanted to finally graduate with my Bachelors (✓). I wanted to no longer be using social media (X). I wanted to be married (✓…conceived precisely one day after, no lie). When I really reflect on how gently fortunate we were to have conceived so quickly, I realize I have a huge gratitude cache tucked away in my brain.
However, I regret that in a split second my mind can forget that when faced with vanity.
I forget my gratitude in the moments that I step on the scale and read dreaded numbers or see differences in my body that I struggle to accept. I beat myself up when I cannot push as hard as I was before pregnancy with being physically active. Either because my body can not afford the flexibility for it or, more often, because I am just too exhausted. I do realize these are unhealthy fixations that paint an ugly picture of my views. I think it’s a lesson I am certainly going to have to make big strides with to overcome in the next handful of months. I’m freaking growing a fetus!!!
First trimester felt like if I was not eating every hour or so, little boy V was sending vibes through my body to say that he did not appreciate the hunger strike. On a regular basis, I would find myself having to multiply the nutrition facts on any food packaging by the “servings per container” number, in order to assess my guilt (when that second number is over 5, shame would instantly drown me). The majority of the time this applied to a big bag of white cheddar popcorn on grocery day.
So now my body is thicker. My pre-gestational jeans got super tight as early as 6 weeks (they didn’t stand a chance in this pregnancy). I first made excuses while at my general physician’s office when they asked my starting weight, because it’s really not fair that I had JUST finished doing some crash dieting before the wedding. When I went to the OB-GYN for the first time in the pregnancy at 8 weeks along, I learned to just fib on that a bit. I figured those first few weeks didn’t count. I knew I would try to get a better grip by second trimester.
I’m honing in on my worrying skills.
In my first trimester, nearly every single one of my google searches would end in “…while pregnant,” with some examples being:
- “Lavender tea…”
- “Is blaring Slipknot ok…”
- “Drinking 10oz of expired grape juice…”
- “70 lbs of dog stepping on belly…”
- “How much canned tuna can you eat…”
- “Why the hell can I not eat mayonnaise…”
- “Hiking steep trails while drinking little water…” (after having already done so)
- “Caffeine…” (repeatedly)
- “Gaining too much weight…” (also, repeatedly)
Happiness comes in BIG waves. Bigger than I can ever remember experiencing.
My giggle box has been on fire lately—which was truly a rarity for me before pregnancy. It really feels like that is the perfect antidote to depression and anxiety.
On that note, remind me to tell you about the nightmare I had where I had to get out of bed afterwards from laughing so hard at how ridiculous it was. Caleb thought I was crying. He pulled me close after I laid back down when I finally felt I had the giggles under control. When I realized he was trying to comfort me because he didn’t know I was laughing it just made me laugh harder. It was 3am, so it was similar to that feeling of trying not to laugh in church as a kid (where you just inevitably cannot stop regardless of how arduous your attempts are).
As I am now a few weeks into my second trimester, the kicks are starting to feel less like gas bubbles and more like thumps. I find myself just purely elated (so proud and excited and in awe). I’m ready for Caleb and everyone else to feel him and am anxious for all of the heartwarming moments that this stage has in store for us.
We have an ultrasound tomorrow morning! I cannot wait to see little Mr. V, knowing he’s gotten quite a bit bigger and is moving in a more organized fashion. I’ll report back closer to third trimester and try to supply a few bump pictures when I get a chance. For now, I’m backlogged on photos so I’ll send you some from the past several months that never made it your way.
I wish you were here today so I could ask you—what were your first trimesters like with the three of us?
I love you. I miss you.
Enclosed are cool things.
The Song: Amongst the Waves by Pearl Jam (I have been crying every time I listen to it. THESE HORMONES!)