When I think about my pregnancy with Julia, I smile. I think about how my thin limp hair transformed into full, lucious locks of silk; how my brittle fingernails grew strong and thick; the way my tired and overworked body suddenly plugged into this amazing energy source where I could work all day, make love all night and still have time to fold and re-fold a dresser full of baby clothes five or six times. I think of the smiling faces, nodding with approval at the sight of my baby belly and the warm hands that couldn’t resist giving it a pat – a truly liberating experience after years of sucking that gut in to hide the mass. Pregnancy: such a happy, hopeful, I-Am-Woman-Hear-Me-Roar kind of time.
This morning, as I clung to the toilet, I remembered something mid-dry heave: The first trimester. All that happy junk I mentioned? That was the second trimester. I seemed to have forgotten those first three months, but it all came rushing back to me as quickly as my breakfast rushed into the toilet. I thought about the morning I puked in a Wal-Mart bag all the way to work. I remembered how angry I was at Dave during those first three months; how I threw shoes at him, threatened to leave him and actually did once for about an hour. I remember the cold feeling of the bathroom floor as I rocked back and forth on hands and knees and begged God to please, just let me poop and I remember how Dave and I deemed the phrase “ring of fire” as code for “God just answered my prayer.” I’d unlocked the box that was holding all those memories of sleepless nights, feeling bloated and not yet looking pregnant, but just looking fatter, and the crying. Oh, the crying. Lots and lots and lots of crying.
Tonight, as I sit here drinking my one billionth bottle of water, crying over Sanjaya’s faux hawk on American Idol, and worried sick that I wasn’t able to actually eat anything at all today knowing my unborn child is starving, I am trying to remember that the second trimester is coming. Only 55 days away…