17 weeks and counting
“I really wish you wore pants so you could do more of this stuff.” – My husband, Tyler
At 17 weeks pregnant, I no longer wear pants around my home. Only when I go out in public do I pull up those pesky pants with the restrictive waistbands. When I’m at home, attempting to be comfortable as comfort grows more elusive by the day, the first thing to go is the pants.
When the doorbell rings, I wait for Tyler to answer, despite the massive window through which I can be seen and the stranger at the door can be seen. When Luna is barking in the backyard, disrupting the semi-quiet afternoons of our neighbors, I wait for Tyler to go and check on her, to quiet her.
As he got up to check on Lu yesterday, he walked out of the room and said, “I really wish you wore pants so you could do more of this stuff.” I giggled to myself, happy to remain cozy on the couch under my soft blanket. Later that night I would cough and feel a little pee come out as I did so. I fervently believe he has the better end of this whole pregnancy deal.
At 17 weeks pregnant, I can’t feel her kicks or movements yet, but I know she’s there. I know she’s there as my waistbands become increasingly constricting so I unbutton and unzip my pants on any drive home. I know she’s there when I walk through the maternity section at Target, feeling massive annoyance at the complete lack of anything I would actually want to wear. I know she’s there when I brush my teeth and gag, praying I don’t end up vomiting. I know she’s there when I do end up vomiting, developing an intimate relationship with the white ceramic toilet of our upstairs bathroom. I know she’s there when I feel suddenly dizzy, when I feel exhausted and my boobs are killing me, when the smell of…anything really, seems overpowering and I need to cover my nose. I know she’s there as my uterus grows and hardens below my belly button. She’s there, just below the surface, thanking me for keeping her safe, listening to my body, and allowing her to take up some space for a few (9-10) months.
I still remember the ache and sorrow of those negative pregnancy tests before she came along. The disappointment, the tears, and the unbelievable drag of time as we’d turn our eyes and hearts to the next month, hoping for that magical moment when the screen would read, “pregnant”. She has been in our hearts since before she was even conceived. That is an amazing, immaculate, beautiful love.
And I’m terrified. As I turn my eyes toward what’s ahead, I’m terrified of post-partum depression. As someone who struggles with anxiety and has had moments of suicidal thoughts, I’m afraid of those weeks and months following her birth when hormones throw my mind… in whatever direction it will be thrown. I think I’m more afraid of that than of bringing her into this world. I try to remember we have doctors who will be there to support me with medication and my therapist who will help me navigate those moments. It will be okay. I will be okay.
This journey has been wonderful, miserable, beautiful, awful, sickening, delightful, pantsless, and filled with growth. And it’s only been 17 weeks. There is still so much magic ahead and moments I will classify as “the absolute worst”, despite surviving my first trimester (the actual absolute worst). Still, she and I are in this together and I am infinitely grateful for her. Tyler can deal with my lack of pants, while she and I keep growing.