What a wild, amazing few weeks it’s been! We have been so overjoyed by and thankful for the outpouring of love and excitement for our quarantine baby news! I’ve also been so heartened to hear from so many women who experienced similar fears about conception/fertility/motherhood that I had. It’s simultaneously such a personal AND collective experience as a woman to go through pregnancy. It’s different for everyone, but I also think we experience so many of the same big questions and concerns.
I wanted to take the time today to answer some of the questions I’ve been getting and just document where I’m at with pregnancy, symptoms, feelings, etc. to remember later on in the future! I’m 15 weeks + 2 days and cannot believe I’m inching closer and closer toward that halfway mark. It’s feeling more real each day (and each time I have to pee… which is a LOT!).
I am actually doing SO, so well… now. I found out I was pregnant around 5 weeks and from then until about week 10, it was rough. I had horrible nausea (no vomit though, thankfully) and crazy food aversions. Seriously, NO foods sounded good and I had to ask John to either grill his food outside or make something mild or else I’d feel so, so sick. I could only eat fruit and plain, beige (i.e., boring) foods. Even the smell of coffee nauseated me, and I LOVE coffee! I was also extremely tired all the time, which is not normal for me. I am pretty active and like to do a lot, but I was getting in bed at 3 p.m. every day to work (and sneak cat naps) from bed.
But ever since reaching 10 weeks, I’ve gradually gotten more and more energy back and my appetite has pretty much totally returned. HALLELUJAH. I really like food, so that was getting a little depressing. No sickness anymore, either! (I refuse to call it “morning sickness,” because that’s the most misleading name ever. I felt sick allll day.) I’ve been exercising and taking Piper on walks pretty much daily, which I am so grateful for.
Short answer: December 28!
Okay, the craziest thing (or maybe only crazy to me) is that my original due date (calculated using a pregnancy app based on my most recent period) was December 31. Then, at my first doctor’s appointment, my doctor said the baby was measuring a little smaller. She said I probably just ovulated later and gave me a due date of January 4. THEN, at my 12-week appointment at a clinic that specifically does genetic testing, they gave me a 4D ultrasound that they said was a lot more accurate than the normal ultrasounds at my doctor’s appointments, and the baby was measuring a whole week ahead, giving me a due date of December 28! I was STOKED.
I know to most people this is just a few days’ difference, but to me gaining a whole WEEK was beyond thrilling. So much changes with the baby’s development every week, and this meant potentially having a 2020 baby rather than 2021. (Although, my mom was a week or two late with her 4 pregnancies, so maybe not.) And honestly, time has felt like it’s going so slow, being pregnant in a national quarantine, so one week bumped up was a big win. I’ll take it!
We aren’t! Neither John nor I ever wanted to know the gender, and we talked about it before getting pregnant. After getting pregnant, I was like… Wait, are we still sure about this?! I think if John had been dying to know, I could’ve been convinced to find out. But he stuck to his guns and doesn’t want to find out until the delivery. I have a couple mama friends who didn’t find out, and they’ve said it just adds this extra element of excitement and motivation to the day. I think it will be so fun and special to find out on his or her birthday!
I WILL say, my family members pretty much all think it’s a boy. John and his dad firmly think girl. My gut was set on thinking boy the first couple months, but then I read that bad acne and sore boobs early on (sorry, but both symptoms that I’ve had!) often means a girl. So, I’m torn! I love to speculate and joked with my sister I should start taking bets — all funds can go to the baby’s college fund. Ha!
After having such intense food aversions in the first trimester, I am loving all food now. All. Food. By the way, can we discuss how it’s rarely talked about that food aversions and extremely heightened sense of smell are major pregnancy symptoms?! I HAD NO CLUE. Am I the only one?! I only knew about morning sickness, and even that I expected to dodge because my mom never had it and loved being pregnant so much. Joke’s on me! I experienced all of the above.
As for cravings… I guess I’ve been eating more fruit and salty snacks than normal. And ice cream. But I can’t tell if it’s a craving or if I’m just like “treat yourself” because I’m pregnant. I also must start most days with a chocolate chip peanut butter Perfect Bar (my all-time FAVORITE protein bars — they are so good, y’all). Okay, fine, I’ve also enjoyed a donut or two more than usual these past few months.
They’ve been okay! I just wear a mask the whole time. I was really nervous for my first one, I think mainly because I didn’t know what to expect, and John wasn’t able to go with me to my first two. I asked my doctor at the first appointment if she expected he’d be able to come to any, and she said probably not until delivery, which was really sad but not unexpected with all that’s happening. I was able to take photos and videos at those appointments, and of course take ultrasound images home to him.
And then the day before my 12-week ultrasound at the genetic testing clinic, they called and said I could bring a guest! That ended up being the coolest one for him to come with to, because the sonogram was so much clearer and the baby was bigger than I’d seen it in my last couple appointments. I’m not sure if he’ll be able to come to all of the remaining appointments because I know the state is cracking back down on Covid restrictions again, but we were both super thankful he could at least come to one and see baby after not thinking he’d be able to come to any.
This has been a struggle for us because even if Coronavirus wasn’t a thing, all of our family and most of our friends don’t live anywhere close by. We’d either have to ask a lot of people to travel (which felt like a big ask, especially now) or do something virtually (which sounds so awkward to me — but, I know there are ways to make it more fun). We’ll probably end up doing something small and record a video to send out as a “virtual” shower or sprinkle.
I WILL say, creating a registry has been so, so, so much fun. And also eye-opening. I’m pretty minimalist, but there’s so much gear you need for babies. Especially the first. I mean, I knew that but it’s even more apparent when you start picking everything out and adding it to a list. If you’re curious about what we chose to register for, you can look at ours here.
I’m going to write a full post about this eventually because it’s such weird territory as a contractor! I will say, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I realized I better get a plan in place. I’m really close with my clients, but I also understood there’s no obligation on their end to stick with me through such a big change with a shifting work schedule and maternity leave (which could very well add more work to their plates). They’ve been SO supportive and understanding, though, and I’m confident we will all be just fine!
In short, I hired a writer friend who has been helping me with new client work these past couple months. Toward the end of the year, she’ll help me get as ahead as possible with all of my other client work, and then she’ll be a stand-in for me when my clients need anything while I’m out for about 3 months of maternity leave.
I’m sure I’ll check in and help with a few projects during that time, but I also want to have the opportunity to be as present as possible with the baby. After those 3 months, I’ll ease back in and probably work part-time with my other writer, tag-teaming client work together. Any other contractors or freelancers out there with advice for maternity leave?! I’ll take any and all tips, please.
Overall, I’m just feeling super excited and thankful, and a little restless! I’d imagine pregnancy feels long no matter what. But being stuck at home and unable to plan for much has made time feel like molasses. I’m hoping that keeping busy with work and home projects will help the time pass quickly. And READING. I’ve been reading so much. If you have good book recs (fiction or non!), please let me know in a comment or email! And if you didn’t see my last post about finding out we were pregnancy amid a worldwide pandemic (!), you can read it here!