Being pregnant is like living in two parallel universes, especially in your first trimester when no one knows you are expecting. One is your regular life, where you go about your day at work and around friends living like you had before, with the exception of pretending to drink alcohol and hoping no one notices you haven’t drank in weeks. And, only you know this giant secret, one that many women have at some point in their life, that they have a new life, a new person, being created inside of them – as they give that presentation to their team or share a laugh with friends, holding a glass of wine without taking one sip.
Even though I’m 34, and will be nearly 35 by the time I deliver, this whole life inside of me thing hasn’t really hit me yet. Yes, I’ve seen the tiny little life form in multiple ultrasounds, thanks to being treated by a. reproductive endocrinologist. But, it doesn’t look much like a baby yet, and I don’t feel that different other than constantly coming down with illnesses due to my immune system completely shutting down (apparently a normal side effect of pregnancy.) Morning sickness has not come on strong yet (knock on wood) and while I have moments of feeling queasy, nothing has hit like what I’ve seen some of my friends experience. Then again, this is the week that’s supposed to start peaking, so who knows.
My husband doesn’t seem concerned about bringing this child into the world, and I think that’s because maybe it’s too early to think all the things through. We’re still in that stage where miscarriage is a high risk — but just like I feel like I knew I was going to get pregnant, and that I did get pregnant, I have this sense that this baby isn’t going anywhere. I’m not a religious person and of course, I could be wrong (no one feels like they’re going to lose a baby), but I just get this overwhelming sensation that – to continue my Star Wars theme from yesterday – the force is strong with this one.
There are so many things to figure out. Namely, I want to get a head start on child care. With our take home income of $10k per month, it’s not the end of the world to pay $2k-$3k for child care each month (apparently what it costs around here – basically it’s double our rent, which I hear is normal), but it’s still going to substantially cut into our savings and downpayment fund. The good? news is that if I were to lose my job, at the least we could save the child care cost — but we can’t really afford to live here without my job (for the long term) so that’s moot. Maybe this is just a mom thing but I’m concerned about where to send baby during the day in his or her young life. I haven’t spoken with HR yet but I’m all but committed to taking 3 months off after birth.
But while pregnancy will be a long journey, those first three months, I hear, will disappear in a blur of sleepless nights. Then, it will be time for me to go back to work. My husband, in his brilliant sense of timing, has decided to return to school for teaching this summer and next year in an accelerated program, meaning he’ll get his credential in one year, but he’ll also be teaching and taking early evening classes to achieve this. Even if he kept his currently flexible job, where he mostly works from home, I’ve read plenty about how working from home and also being a caretaker isn’t compatible, especially in the first year.
My parents don’t live in the area, so they are unable to help (not that they’d want to if they could.) We plan to tell his parents on Christmas that we’re expecting. I don’t want his parents to feel like we need their help — but it certainly would be nice. Unfortunately, his mother lives in an unsafe house, dirty and a hoarders paradise, so we’ve both agreed we will not be able to have our child visit there until they are much older. His father lives in a small, non-air conditioned one bedroom 55+ apartment. But his dad may be interested in helping out with the baby during the day, at least a few days a week, especially if we are able to pay him the going childcare rate, or close to it. That may be an option. He’s a good guy–quirky as all hell–but truly good person–and someone who I can see being a wonderful grandfather to my child. Still, we can’t rely on him every day for our child’s life. We have to figure out daycare.
Husband will probably talk more about daycare with me once we announce the pregnancy to his parents and have a chat with them about how much they want to help. Originally, I thought I’d stay home two days a week to work from home and take care of the kid, but it sounds like I’ll need in-home help on those days too. I’m still incapable of imaging this world with baby–making pumping a normal part of my workday, multiple times a day–and coming home exhausted to greet a screaming child who isn’t interested in my desperate need for sleep.
But despite all of that, I’m so incredibly thrilled to be pregnant. I wasn’t one of those kids that always wanted a child, but I think, in a sense, I’ve always wanted to be a mother. My friend said I am a motherly type, for what that’s worth. I’m excited about all those moments of getting to know a child, and the fleeting years where you are a child’s everything, for better or worse, and that love is special only to a mother and her child(ren.) It’s going to be hard as hell, but, I feel so incredibly fortunate that after years of thinking I’ll never be able to have kids, that this one stuck. I can’t wait to meet her, or him.