So far, nothing has made me want my baby to be here like building the crib has. I find myself staring at the crib and picturing him laying there more often than I expected. Isaiah’s work schedule was really busy, so my stepdad helped me put it together. The assembly in total took less than 45 minutes.
After much debating, we decided to go with the Oxford Baby Willowbrook 4-in-1 Convertible Crib. This piece is gorgeously finished in the color graphite gray. To top it all off, we got an amazing deal on this one.
Original Price: 349.99
Purchased for: 199.99
COVID-19 is no joke, especially not to pregnant women. Our main job is to keep the little guy inside of us safe, even though they put us even further at risk. Cases are even higher than when we went into lockdown eight months ago and I work in one of the top three places COVID is commonly spread.
I was recently told by my employer that being afraid of COVID is a “personal fear” and that they likely will not be taking any more measures to protect us beyond making masks mandatory for employees (but a suggestion for not the people we come in contact with and have to stand within 6 feet of throughout our shifts). I understand that they are trying to please the guests, but seriously? No plastic/glass between myself and them? Or a sign that tells them to stand back a few feet and not breathe in my face?
My original plan was to work until I physically can not, or until I go into labor. It was not an easy decision, but honestly, I’m terrified. I’ve already stopped going out except for essentials and I don’t leave the house without a mask. It’s a shame others can’t do the same.
I am lucky enough to be in a position with the company where I can start my leave early. Starting November 25th, I will be on maternity leave until (most likely) May of 2021.
My plan for now is to do online work and try to boost my book sales on different platforms, ultimately monetizing my blog. We’ll see how that goes. I really appreciate everyone’s support, personally or by just reading what I write.
1. Eating for Two is a Myth
I was beyond excited to finally have an endless stomach and eat whatever I wanted whenever and always have an excuse. Apparently, the average extra calorie intake should only be 350 calories per day. This is the same as eating one sleeve of PopTarts (two pastries).
2. Sleeping Comfortably is Impossible Regardless of Bump Size
Before becoming pregnant, my go-to sleep position was on my stomach with my leg up. I would pay pretty good money to be able to do that now. One of my first pregnancy purchases was a U-shaped pillow, and it has been one of my best investments. When my boyfriend isn't moving the arms of it that keep my on my side throughout the night to cuddle, my back and belly are held in place effortlessly. Unfortunately, I am getting to the point where rolling from one side to the other leaves me as breathless as running up the stairs at work.
3. Forget About Your Favorite Methods of Reducing Stress
What I wouldn't do for a steaming hot bath and watermelon White Claw after a long day of growing a human. Getting an afternoon blended energy drink to keep me going? In my dreams... Those contain well over the 200mg limit I have. Going for a run or having an extra long workout? My lungs no longer have the capacity. I guess I will stick with listening to music or screaming.
4. Foods That Made Me Throw Up in the First Trimester Will Never Taste the Same
Must I go on?
5. Bathroom Runs are Constant
I'm really looking forward to not having to waddle to the bathroom 20 minutes after every time I sip my water. I really need to invest in a toilet putting-practice golf game.
6. Hair. Everywhere.
As thrilled as I am about the hair on my head growing faster and fuller than I can maintain, I had no idea I could grow (this much) hair in places like my upper abdomen, shoulders, or below my chin. I feel like a monkey. On top of that, I can't effectively shave anything below my waist!
7. Lightning Crotch
There's no nice way to put it, occasionally it feels like someone is trying to scrape the inside of my hoo-hah with a cactus. It's like vaginal period cramps on crack.
8. Extra Hormones Don't Make You Extra Horny
Try the opposite. I feel bad for my man because I'm only ever in the mood every fourteen days or so. Maybe not that little, but damn near. On top of that, sex can get pretty uncomfortable between finding a position that doesn't squish the baby/add extra weight to my body and the extra blood flow in that area that can cause lady-parts to swell.
9. Self Love is Complicated
I have felt out of my own body for six months now. I can't remember what it was like to look in the mirror and not compare myself to other pregnant bodies/my pre-baby body. Little steps towards learning to love and live with my new body feels like learning a foreign language.
10. How Easy it is to Fall in Love with Someone the Size of a Cantaloupe
As much disgusting and uncomfortable things my body is going through, nothing beats feeling those kicks and nudges throughout the day as he grows and gets cozy.
Most facilities I have entered lately ask the same few questions before letting me through the door: “Have you had any fevers, nausea, body aches, shortness of breath?”. Short answer would be no, but most COVID-19 symptoms are also side effects of pregnancy. It’s been tough deciphering what I should worry about and what is normal.
I pictured pregnancy to be a beautiful celebration most of the time- lots of family and friends always being around, shopping, parties. Current circumstances are preventing all of it. Never have I been so anxious about anything. I am scared to go see loved ones who leave the house for non-essentials, and more afraid to be in public without a mask and lots of distancing. There aren’t enough studies on how Coronavirus affects the fetus or the mother for me to have any peace of mind. I feel robbed of one of the most important times of my life.
On top of the extra anxieties of being at a higher risk while pregnant, I feel completely alone. My boyfriend is not allowed at any doctor visits or ultrasounds. We had to seek out private facilities so he could see our son live. I am absolutely terrified for February to come around, and not have my mother in the delivery room if these restrictions don’t change. I could only imagine hearing terrible news and not having anyone to lean on in the moment. I understand that this is to protect the staff and myself, but this isn’t how it is supposed to be.
There’s very few things to do besides wait it out and do my best to keep the baby and I healthy.
After a brief glance to my stomach, my coworker had the nerve to ask, “Are you sure you’re six months pregnant?” AM I SURE? DID THIS MAN REALLY JUST ASK IF I AM SURE I AM PREGNANT? You know, I too hoped I would have a glamorous, rounded bump by the mid-end of my second trimester, but my son must be happy with the space he has currently.
All the mamas I’ve talked to recently have told me how “lucky” I am to not have much of a bump, but deep down, I wish I looked like a basketball was under my shirt. I want someone to think I am smuggling a pumpkin out of the pumpkin patch this fall.
I feel pressure to have something to show for my pregnancy, like the bump represents it. I am usually so good about ignoring the negativity, because I know it’s out of my control, but I’m still not sure why most think that the minute you get pregnant, you’ll look like you’re one squat away from labor. Bumps come in all shapes and sizes and they’re all beautiful, but people love to share their opinion.
It’s not fair to make me or any other pregnant woman feel ashamed of their bodies. I am growing a fucking human, what are you doing?
Around the eight week mark I remember thinking, “Oh this is what they meant by morning sickness.” I was feeling a little on the nauseous side, but was still managing to work regular hours, eat my regular diet, etc. Boy was I wrong. Around week 11, I thought I was laying on my deathbed. I had only eaten white rice and saltine crackers for six days straight. I was drinking Gatorade concoctions that we’re just as easy coming up as going down. Every time I thought I was feeling better, I spent two more hours puking.
I don’t know the words to describe how lazy I had become. I was disgusted with my body and everything about myself. If I smelled something too sweet or too sour, I threw up. If I added something to my boring rice, I threw up. If I walked up the stairs too fast, you guessed it, I spent 15 minutes with my head in the toilet dry heaving.
This was around the time I got my puppy, Copper. Copper was only 4 months old but we considered him my support dog. He knew before I did when I was about to hurl. Instead of sitting by the bedroom door to go downstairs, he whined at the bathroom door. Every time I pulled out the pillow that I sat on to protect my bum through everlasting puking, he trotted right behind me and laid quietly next to me. He put his head in my lap, and lightly licked my knee.
Believe me, I tried everything to combat the nightmare of morning (which should be called all day) sickness that I read in every pregnancy book or blog. Nothing had helped me besides sleeping for 27 days. My temporary relief was a combination of Unisom and Vitamin B, but all it did was knock me out.
I wish I had advice for everyone else struggling with morning sickness, but all I can say is a little prayer for you. I’m starting to understand what Coach Carr from Mean Girls meant when he said “Don’t have sex. You will get pregnant. And Die.”
My first call has always been my mother. We’ve always had the type of a relationship where I was never afraid to talk to her about anything. I quickly realized telling her I am pregnant happened to be the only time I have feared telling her something. The last thing I wanted to hear was her disappointment in being the mother of a pregnant teenager. I felt she would be supportive, but show her concern.Two days after finding out, I had breakfast at home with my mom and stepdad. I couldn’t find a good time to ease into the conversation, so I dropped the bomb.
“I’m pregnant.” Jerel’s eyes immediately drew to my mother who waited for what felt like hours to say, “okay”. Of course she had questions, but none I didn’t expect. What do you want to do? I don’t know. How do you feel? I’m not sure. How does Isaiah feel? I don’t know. Luckily, the conversation ended in happy tears and one thrilled grandma-to-be.
A week later, I surprised my sister. I set up the camera which made her nervous, and handed her a wrapped gift. She opened it up to find a Hydroflask that she had picked out earlier that day with me. She was too confused to look at the sticker on it that read “Auntie Meg,” but once she did, she went into a light shock- asking if I’m lying, continuously saying “no,” and speaking with a silly accent. Once she heard the due date, she expressed her excitement.
Following the announcement to my sister, we told Isaiah’s brother. We bought a shirt that read “Only the best brothers get promoted to uncle,” and surprised him with it in the gym parking lot after he finished his workout. As excited as he was, Mike’s friend’s reaction was much funnier. His jaw DROPPED.
Isaiah’s mom had invited us over for lasagna one night so we surprised his sister and mother then. Before dinner, we gifted his sister a keychain. It took her a lot longer than we expected to process what the keychain that read “You are my favorite aunt” meant. She kept saying “aunt” trying to make it make sense. As soon as she caught on she bounced around and gave hugs. After eating dinner, we gave his mom the book we customized. Inside the cover of the children’s book I Love You, Grandma, we wrote “For Grandma Rhonda” and included a photo of an ultrasound. Needless to say, tears were shed. After all, this is the first grandchild!
The last thing I thought I would see in the middle of a global pandemic was two lines on a pregnancy test. I shared countless memes about “quarantine babies,” but never thought I would be carrying one.
On June 18th, my roommate convinced me to take a test because my breasts felt like they were on fire for two days straight. I was expecting my period the following day, so it was hysterical that I was taking one in the first place. I always thought that if I was to get pregnant in the future that my reaction would be tears. Tears of fear or happiness. I laughed hard and long enough for my abs to burn, squinting to see if that second line was really there.
Immediately after realizing how real this is, I called my primary care doctor to get a test there to confirm. Before I could put my thoughts together, Isaiah had come home from work. We had plans for dinner at our favorite restaurant. It was hard to act like panic wasn’t setting in so I stayed quiet as I finished my makeup. I didn’t know how to tell him so I simply handed him the test- nothing fancy. Like most, he quickly asked if I was serious. My answer was met with silence. Over the course of the next two hours, the only words I heard were his order to the Red Robin waiter. We stopped at Target to get more tests and every single one read “positive.” We spent the rest of date night crying in bed and making a plan.
On July 16th, I saw my baby for the first time. There wasn’t much to look at besides a flickering shadow of his heart beating at 152bpm. They gave me my due date of Feburary 14th, 2021, Valentine’ Day.