A low growl emerges from either side of me. It seems to rumble in the same way hunger threatens me. The growl slopes down to a still whistle, which turns into a simple sigh. Though it disrupts the depths of my dreams, it doesn’t bother my sleep. I can keep calm and float back into that wonderful rest I need. I’m dreaming again of the things I forgot to do when the mood changes within the dream. The common things I dream of end and I’m aware of wild animals surrounding me. They draw closer to show their anger towards me. They first let the heat of their breath fill my lungs and they growl by my ears. I close my eyes waiting for a death I cannot escape. A single bite to my neck and I have nothing else to share of my tale. Then the growls subside and silence wakens me. I open my eyes to look around. Another nightmare finishes and the reasons for them I do not know, except to remind me of the stress of these last days. I curl to my side and drop the weight of my exhaustion unto my dearest body pillow. My back aches and I roll again to my back staring at the ceiling. I readjust the pillow, the blankets and close my eyes. From my feet all the way up to my chest, I hear again the rumble. This time it rises to new volumes, shifting its growl to croaks, hisses and gargles. It occurs to me that as I hear these disturbing sounds in the back of my mind, perhaps the instigator lies next to me. I think of the ways that I use to wake him and help him with his snoring, when I feel a tug at my left arm. I ignore it for my thoughts consume me and are of greater importance. I must figure out how to sleep and kill the beast that awakens me. The gentle tug becomes a push. I feel my entire body slipping sideways and when I become the woman overboard I wake up to scream.
“Sorry baby, you were snoring, so I had to turn you.” A grumble from the other side of the bed.
He turned me to my side.
I guess the monster is closer than I think.
Excitement and hormones encourage the blood pumping and the race begins, when it first slows down. When she feels ready to start this stage of her life, she finds out changes take time. Her body gains weight and she looks forward to showing her baby belly, yet the weight does not give her a sweet bump but a hefty look. She feels that everyone that sees her wonders. She can almost hear their assumptions.
“She’s really letting herself go. You think she’s depressed?”
“I thought she was working out, maybe she’s not as much?”
No one asks her what is new in her life and she doesn’t feel ready to share it anyways. Some people know from experience, you never ask unless its obvious. They wait to ask when they a see a woman rushing to the hospital, doing her breathing exercises and screaming. It’s safer for them to ask between contractions than being wrong. The embarrassment alone of being wrong and offending a woman who is not expecting and is in fact overweight is enough to send some to seclusion for days. They know, you do not ask.
At this stage no one can tell except her, the one with ravenous hunger, queasiness, potential mood swings and the frustrated dresser. However, she figures a way to calm the curious by a simple gesture. She rubs her belly and rests her hand under her belly leaving the observer quiet as they see she is expecting. Even so, who dares to ask?
A brain disconnect is an understatement. It’s easy to understand that with the physical changes in your body, stress alters your way of life. There are plenty of thoughts that float in a woman’s mind, more so when there is a baby on the way. Nevertheless, there is a pause. A pause that has no excuse or explanation. It is when in the middle of a conversation you cannot remember the topic anymore. It is where a place you drive to every day becomes a game of Marco Polo as you take the wrong turn and don’t remember the street names. Forgetting or losing keys is a thing of the past. Your present is leaving a toddler outside the door of a car while you strap your seatbelt on and see his or her face looking up at you from outside. Organizing the day is a blank sheet of paper or a blank paper towel, either one serves a purpose if you could only think of what it is you want from it. Tears flow in response to all of it as frustration becomes your ally to the feeling of dumbness. In the end, there is a point to this, your creativity and problem solving skills diminish. If only for a brief time, the baby feeds from your intelligence since conception. It sets in motion a new trait, the mommy brain. Though at times making connections is harder than ever, it also leaves eyes behind the back of your head and the supernatural ability to multitask in the seasons to come.
Author’s Note: Cheers to the mammas that make it work with exhaustion and sometimes with half the brain cells. 😉
When the body makes peace with all the changes to come, a sudden rest takes over. A small bit of bliss gives hope to the life forming within. Most women for the first time stand with their hips forward. They push their gut out and their hands rub their belly. Truthfully there is nothing to show, except that it’s well to gain weight and to loosen a bit. Other women work hard to delay the process. It is a defeat they will not take lightly. No one will say what their body will look like and have dominion over it. We find these two standing beside each other, one comments of how wonderful the changes will be, the other comments on her efforts to support her current lifestyle. There is of course a third, who waits and perseveres to hear her good news. She passes all the tests, she knows her choices and as she looks around at the mothers that will carry their own, her own another will carry. Hers will be one born of her loving heart, her body unaffected but her heart continually struggles. Her heart will bear the stretch marks as she waits. How will these relate when in the end they will hold in their hands someone they expected but could truly never know what it takes to rear it. A child will change their lives but how it will, they are still learning. Guts out, work outs or hearts yearning, let your journey inspire another.
Author note: Do not let your journey be a private one. Can someone’s wisdom inspire you or can you inspire another? We have all different approaches and beliefs, however we share one common goal to love our children.
There is an incredible truth that baffles professionals. It is the reality of how a woman in her first trimester can relate in every way to a Zombie. She wakes up and the taste in her mouth from last night’s dinner propels her to the toilet for a morning outpour of leftovers. Once she feels the sweet emerging relief, she drops again to face the odious throne. It is difficult to maintain any resemblance to a female creature when all energy flees like a bandit from the crime scene. Behind her she drags her slippers as she makes her way into the kitchen and smells the neighbor’s breakfast. They’re having eggs with sausage and the taste of sausage lingers on her tongue and she flips to her side to drain whatever food remains into the sink.
The day continues and she manages to keep the sprite and soda crackers steady within her except the weight of her head seems too much for her to carry. At work a sitting area with a large couch calls her to rest her feet and lower her heavy head. She sits for a moment, until she opens her eyes to find her boss staring at her. He expresses his concern for her health and she thanks him stating its one of those crazy days. She rushes to the nearest fast food place crossing sideways through traffic to make her turn and arrive at a place she doesn’t frequent but a force within her drives her to it. She eats like a starving child the dripping pickle with chocolate ice cream while she cries at her disgusting self. Feeling ashamed at the events of her day she walks to the parking lot spitting left and right like a camel, feeling every second a lesser woman. She reaches her car door when the sudden rise of pickles volcanoes out of her body to the unsuspecting bush nearby. She rests her body on her couch finally at home, where her husband finds her. One of her legs rests on the arm rest, the other did not make it to the couch, her head hands low on the edge of the right side cushion and from the moss of hair he hears her weeping. She mutters about her day, her exhaustion, her need to use the bathroom every minute , her constant thirst and worst of all she feels all these at once. He brings her water and she cries mentioning her talent for water recycling.
Author’s Note: The funniest part is that mothers will do it all over again for the love of another child. I would. What was it like for you? Or is there something that was difficult that you would do all over again?
Fear thy name is mother. Motherhood begins with incredible news and devastating warnings. The first advice may come from this first fear, loss. Many women know too well the fear and the reality of loss. Their tender hearts encourage the first time mothers even though they need encouraging as well. However, the first motherhood advice can overshadow the wonderful news to delay for the ‘just in case’ situation.
“Sandy, the first 12 weeks are critical, make sure you take care of yourself and get informed.” The doctor places his hand on her shoulder and shakes her husband’s hand.
“And congratulations.” He walks away.
“We gotta get books, magazines and subscribe to all the things they have listed on the resource list.” The mother to be jumps from the examining table.
“Alright, we got time.” Her husbands stands up from his comfy chair.
As they walk out, they see an acquaintance.
“I didn’t know this was your doctor too.” She says while filling out forms.
“Mrs. Gaines here is information about the first trimester and our contact list.” The secretary speaks to the mother to be.
“You’re pregnant, congratulations, but I’m sure you don’t want anyone to know yet right? You probably just found out and you never know…”
“Miscarriage sweetie, its like every 4 out of 5 women miscarry on their first.”
Sandy looks about the room. There are three pregnant women in their last trimester waiting plus the old acquaintance. She would be the fifth or fourth.
“So who should we tell first?” He holds his phone as he takes a picture of the positive pregnancy test.
“No one, I guess.” She sits in their sofa and drops to the side to rest only half of her body.
“It’s our news, don’t let the hag scare you.” He watches space out. “Even if, we shouldn’t be afraid and hope for the best.” He holds her again for another crying session.
Author’s note: When blessings come, a voice of ‘well meaning’ warnings may crush the joy of them. Believe the blessing, enjoy the joy and don’t allow fear to overshadow the good things.
TTC=Trying to conceive
(Half the battle of motherhood begins in understanding what every other mom already seems to know, the acronyms).
The trying fun begins, where some don’t even have to try. Time passes and the fervent expectancy turns to worry. Glowing sticks for measurement and accuracy reign in the closet. When temperature is best and the color shows just right, what was fun can become a task. A list of recommendations and traditions, all to expect that glorious moment when you flop head to head over a toilet. For some a journey of self discovery begins as they find themselves insufficient in their efforts. No amount of hugs can comfort those that cannot, but the love of those around can shine a different perspective and new hope. Others discover that in time their desire is in fact shocking and scary.
“Once you’re there you can never take it back.” The TCO woman remembers what a coworker said earlier that day.
At home she tests once more. Their third attempt in a few months and its positive.
“Is that right?” She asks her husband.
“Yep.” He walks away and sits on the couch.
She holds the positive test in her hands shaking and sobs.
“Baby, what’s wrong?”
“I’m going to be a mother.” She sits down on the floor crying.
“Yes, that’s what we wanted. Isn’t that good?”
“But I don’t know if I’m ready.” She bawls.
He walks toward her, laughs and holds her.
Author’s note: It’s funny when you find yourself where you want to be but have no clue how to live after that. Anyone know what that’s like?