Jon and I just got back from my 12-week checkup where we heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling right now, a mixture of disbelief, fear, excitement, terror, heartburn, and ongoing nausea, but I can definitely say that those thumping little pulses make it so much easier for me to go another day hunched over the toilet with my spleen halfway up my esophagus.
In the four weeks since I last saw my doctor I’ve gained back four of the 10 pounds I lost in those first few weeks of pregnancy. I’d say that the majority of those pounds are made up of hot dogs, refried beans, sauerkraut, and nacho cheese Doritos. Sadly, everything they say about pregnant women and cravings and the complete erosion of decency is absolutely true, and last Saturday night I found myself standing utterly defenseless in the lobby of Kentucky Fried Motherfucking Chicken ordering extra crispy chicken wings and buttermilk biscuits. Honestly, that was the only thing I could have eaten at that moment, fried chicken made specifically by the Colonel, and I can’t remember a better tasting meal in the last 10 years of my life.
Another thing that has happened in the last four weeks is all my clothes have started to fit differently, even though I’m still five pounds under my normal weight. I can’t wear any of my jeans anymore, and even the cute little capri pants that used to hang on my hips are hugging my belly so tightly that I walk around like I’ve got a corn cob stuck up my ass. (mmmm, corn on the cob) I still refuse to buy any maternity clothes, however, because I’m morally opposed to wearing any sort of clothing that by design invites strangers to coo and put their hands on my belly. There will be no cooing in my presence, people, and for crying out loud, NO BELLY TOUCHING.
I definitely thought that the nausea would have begun to subside by this time, but the last two weeks have been by far the worst of the whole pregnancy. And there is no way to describe what this type of nausea feels like, just how torturous this sickness has been. And whenever people ask me, always expecting me to nod quickly in return, “Don’t you love being pregnant?” I feel like I need to stand up for every woman who has thought to herself in dark moments that being pregnant is the worst lot in life and give them a lengthy, gory detail-ridden treatise on why in reality this whole process TOTALLY SUCKS, starting with what it tastes like to puke up banana pudding.
But today, in those two or three seconds where we heard the trumpeting cadence of life coming from my abdomen, I completely believed all the hype, that this never-ending nausea, this tightening of my favorite Lucky brand jeans around my expanding hips, this craving of all things Kentucky Fried, it’s all totally fucking worth it. We’re having a baby.