Scary Pregnant Googling

Below is a compiled list of word-for-word Google searches I have done since I found out I was pregnant. Put together in this form, they’re kind of frighteningly beautiful. Maybe I’ll submit them to a literary magazine as a poem entitled, “Crazy Pregnant Lady.”

pregnant and feel useless
writing while pregnant impossible
how much caffeine while pregnant
first trimester no motivation
green tea while pregnant
guayusa safe while pregnant
raw eggs pregnancy usa
pregnancy cat litter
toxoplasmosis
first trimester miscarriage statistics
i am so stressed out about this pregnancy i am terrified
pregnant money worries
first trimester afraid of getting fat
prenatal yoga
stress hurt baby in womb
pregnancy brain changes
best cheap crib
diapers safe for environment
cute 1/4 asian babies
can i surf while pregnant
compostable diapers
wine while pregnant
marijuana while pregnant
women’s march safe while pregnant
matcha caffeine content
dull ache in lower abdomen pregnant
acupressure points to relieve queasiness
prenatal depression
tylenol autism
st. john’s wort safe while pregnant
acupuncture while pregnant
when will i start showing
too tired to exercise first trimester
where to find preggie pops santa monica
food cures for morning sickness
can’t stop complaining first trimester
jealous of partner for being not pregnant
learn to love yourself
nannying makes me not want to have kids
lazy pregnancy
how to structure days when depressed
pregnancy hypnosis
writing jobs from home
when is he going to propose
pregnancy model agencies
fisher-price vintage cassette player with microphone
california hospital delivery
best water birth los angeles
doula price los angeles
best midwives los angeles
should mom or in-laws stay with us after birth
quiet hands free breast pump
twins natural birth
do fraternal twins grow at same rate in womb as one
baby names japanese
sun baby names
water baby names
romantic getaways near LA
insomnia 12 weeks pregnant
melatonin safe while pregnant
foods that help regulate pregnancy hormones
How to get married Santa Monica
men’s platinum wedding band 4mm

Magical, Life-Changing News

I’d been lying in bed like an invalid for months. Gone was my interest in writing and life beyond the couch, gone was my strength and my desire to see humans. Even though I hadn’t vomited or bled or had any extra pain, I worried that on a basic level, I must not be cut out for what other women could handle. Psychologically, I was wrecked. I felt I was not enough: I was weak; I was less than. A couple weeks ago it got so bad that I called the depression hotline and set up a psychiatric evaluation. Something didn’t feel right. Why was this baby taking such a toll on me? Yeah, they say the first trimester is hard, but nobody seemed to understand the level of negative emotion that had claimed me as its own. What didn’t seem normal was the complete lack of control I felt over my own mind and body. Even my therapist, who has given birth twice, commented that my level of exhaustion seemed profuse. She wondered if I might have had the flu.

But today, all that changed in an instant.

We were at our 12-week ultrasound. My new doctor put the gel on my belly and moved the wand around. We saw a little fetus on the screen. It was much bigger and clearer than it had been three weeks ago.

“Have you guys had an ultrasound before?” she asked.

“Yes, we had a vaginal one at nine weeks,” I said.

“Just to see the heartbeat?”

“Yeah. We saw the little embryo, but the picture wasn’t very clear.”

She slid the wand along my stomach and the picture changed. “Did you see both the babies?”

I looked at Kai, whose eyes were round as globes. “What?” we both said.

“You’re having twins! You didn’t know?”

We burst into loud, nervous laughter. “Are you serious?” he said. It felt like finding out we were pregnant all over again, but this time, more joyful. What were we going to do!? How did this happen? What was this world we were suddenly inhabiting?

“I’m terrified,” I said, but I was laughing. It seemed like a hilarious joke the Universe was playing.

“Here’s baby number two,” the doctor said. On the screen we saw two distinct sacs with two distinct babies. “These are not identical twins. They each have their own placenta. You had two eggs and they both got fertilized,” she said.

She lingered for a while on the front baby, who was doing flips, clearly visible. The doctor said she was 80% sure of its sex: most likely a girl. Then she moved to the baby in the back, who was lying in child’s pose with his butt above his head. She couldn’t tell the sex of that one. I think of him as a boy right now. We shall see. She played both heartbeats out loud, and they sounded so strong. She said they looked like two beautiful, healthy babies.

And I am a different person now. I’ll tell you why.

I had been flogging myself nonstop for months. But suddenly, I stopped. The depression, the lack of motivation, the exhaustion, the out-of-control way I behaved when I thought the world was ending…it wasn’t because I am weaker than everyone else! It wasn’t because I am less-than! I hadn’t lost myself! I WAS GROWING TWO BABIES AND TWO PLACENTAS! I was barraged with double the hormones, double the fatigue for good reason!

In fact, now that I know this, I can reclaim my true birthright as a superhuman! I may have been slow to work, joyless, and ill-feeling for a while, but even through those symptoms, I kept doing my yoga, kept walking, kept eating healthily, kept looking for solutions for my maladies. I felt like giving up a few times, even uttered “I want to die” a few times, but I never did.

And now that I know there are two babies in my belly, it feels right. I had felt so lonely, worrying what my stress would do to this one baby. Now I picture these two beautiful quarter-Japanese little humans bringing so much laughter and light into our home, being there for each other, really making us a family. I feel nothing but excitement.

For now, all my fear is gone. I can do this.

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A few months ago, every egg I cracked for a WEEK had double yolks. Do you think it was a coincidence?

Fear of Losing Myself

I grew up with a mom who loved me and my sister more than anyone could possibly love anyone. She would sacrifice anything for us, whether or not we asked for it. Even into our thirties we remain her reason for living, and she spends most of her mental energy worrying about us. I will never be able to repay her for her selflessness, and though I know I have done what is right for me and don’t regret it, I will always feel guilty that I left her and went to live my own life, thousands of miles away.

I hope that I can love my kids as unconditionally as my mother has done. But my greatest fear in having kids is losing myself in that version of love that dissolves my personhood.

The hormones have led to a lot of unnecessary worry about everything, and this has been one of the hot topics. My mom has told me over and over, “You’ll feel differently about your needs and wants after the baby comes.” And I know I will. But every time my mom asks if I need something, all I want to say is, “I need you to take care of yourself.” Seeing her excited about something, proud of herself, and healthy, would be the greatest gift she could give me.

Love manifests in so many different ways for different people. But for me, I don’t want it to manifest as protecting my child from every uncomfortable feeling. I want my version of love to be strong enough to watch them make painful mistakes and to be there when they need me.

My mom gave me every opportunity she could, from sports to art to music. She made sure I had more than what I needed. But I saw her deny herself so much. I want to give my kids those opportunities, too, but I also hope I can model self-love for my children, to show them what it looks like to be interested in life, what it looks like to grow and take risks. I want to continue doing what feeds my soul, and to encourage them to find their own passions, which may or may not be similar to mine.

I want to raise adults who feel empowered and ready to live their lives for themselves when it is time to leave me. I don’t want them to feel encumbered by me; I don’t want them to feel guilty for living their lives instead of mine. I want them to feel steady in themselves, to trust in what they learned because I trusted them to learn it.

I was so lucky to have the mom I had. I know I’ll make mistakes daily; I just hope I can strike a balance between being a mom and being me.

 

I Shall Overcome

Dear First Trimester,

Today marked the start of a new week and a new philosophy for me. It’s taken me two months, but I’ve decided I am done playing victim to your terrorism. You can try all you want to destroy me, but it ain’t gonna work anymore. Because I have armed myself with the tools to combat whatever you’ve got to throw at me.

You tried today. You hit me with the nausea first thing, but I ignored you and ate an egg and some toast. And no, I didn’t scramble the fucking egg like some overzealous American pregnancy books said to. I ate it RUNNY! You know why? ‘Cause I like it that way. And yeah, you tried to punish me, bringing the nausea back around on multiple occasions, before lunch, after lunch, in the evening. It’s so clever how you’ve never actually made me vomit, you passive-aggressive minx. You keep the nausea at such a low level that I swear sometimes it could be in my head, but something in my body feels so unsettled and nasty, like a fading hangover, that if I don’t eat some sort of carbohydrate every two hours, I fear death. runny-egg-yolks

But it’s my mind that is strong. You can do me dirty all day, First Trimester, because the only bad things that can truly happen to me are my own thoughts. So starting this week, I choose to think something new. I choose to fill my days with productive plans. (Yeah, I even bought a new planner!) And these plans are going to be things I enjoy, things that enrich me, things that connect me to others. So far, I’ve scheduled some volunteering, lunch with a friend, some pregilates (that’s pregnant pilates), and a date with my man. I also found some new opportunities for work.

I dare you try to foil my plans like you did with that headache when I was seeing a movie with my friend this evening! Because I have H20 and I’m not afraid to drink it! And remember when you hit me so bad with fatigue midday that I couldn’t stand up straight? You had claimed victory when I skipped yoga to take a nap, but guess what? I did my own yoga session when I woke up. Not only that, but I also got to cuddle with my hot man, who took a nap with me!

I’ll admit, you went hard. You took control of my mind and body to an extent that PMS had never been able to achieve, and I know she’s and you are business rivals, so good on ya. I spent stretches of time so depressed that I hardly recognized myself. But I’ve had it with that. I am back from the dead like Michael Myers.
And guess what, First Trimester? You are about to be history. You have one more week before there’s a new sheriff in town, and I hear Second Trimester is much fairer and less dramatic. I sincerely hope it’s a few years before we meet again.

Sincerely,
Crazy Pregnant Lady

 

Miracle/Coincidence: How I Found Out

One sunny, clear day a couple of months ago, I was running errands, feeling energetic and cheerful.

I got a phone call from my little sister. (My sister is 29 and lives a couple thousand miles away from me, but we are very close.) She said she had something surprising to tell me. “How would you like…to be an aunt?” she said.

My eyes welled up at the stoplight. “Are you serious?” I asked. I was surprised because my sister was, at the time, training daily to get her black belt in Krav Maga. She hasn’t spent much time talking about a desire for children. Also, she’s in a relationship with a bloke she’s frequently been unsure about. Nonetheless, I felt a surge of happiness on her behalf when she confirmed it was true. “Are you happy about it?”

She told me she was. “You know what’s strange?” I said. “I am very attuned to my cycles and all that, and I’ve been waiting four days for my period.”

“Wouldn’t that be weird?” she said.

“Yeah. But it’s probably just stress or something.”

Inside the grocery store, I called my boyfriend and told him the news. He was also surprised, but seemed positive about it. I didn’t tell him that I myself was purchasing a two-pack of home pregnancy tests.

Back at home in our little one bedroom apartment, he was sitting at the desk doing some homework for a class he’s taking. I walked past him into the bathroom with the little box.

“Are you taking a pregnancy test?” He sounded shaky.

“Yeah. But don’t worry. It’s just to make sure.”

I peed on the little stick, whose tip reminded me of one of those invisible ink markers from elementary school. I put the cap on it and set it on the sink while I waited atop the closed toilet seat, watching it.

The first line appeared immediately. And in only a matter of seconds, a faint second line was starting to materialize. I thought it was my imagination. But a few seconds later, the second line was almost as dark as the first. I referred to the box as a guide. “Two lines = pregnant.”

My heart stopped. I didn’t know how to feel.

I walked outside the bathroom and set the positive test in front of my boyfriend at the computer. Then I began pacing. “Oh my God. What the heck? How?” I was bewildered. My sister had just told me about her pregnancy an hour ago, which was enough of a shock, and now this?

My boyfriend said, “Is this a joke?”

“No,” I said.

“How did it happen?”

“I don’t know!” I felt a spark of happiness but also a flood of terror. I didn’t want to appear too happy, in case he wasn’t happy. For some reason I worried he’d think that I planned this without him, since technically I’m the one who is supposed to be vigilant with charting my temperature and cervical fluid and making sure we use birth control accordingly. I flopped face down on the bed. Then I sat up again and looked at him.

His face looked disoriented for a second, but then a smile broke through. “Well,” he said, “I guess we’re doing this.”

I walked over and hugged him tightly. He hugged me back. Something in me felt like I should apologize, God knows why. I didn’t. I just looked at his gorgeous face and breathed it in, not knowing what to say. Then I got up and poured myself a glass of water.

“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to finish this homework before I can really process this,” he said, turning back to his books.

I took a picture of the positive test and texted it to my sister with the message You’re never going to believe this.

 

Why I Didn’t Go to the Women’s March (Fear of Miscarriage)

I’m suffering from a case of FOMO today, looking at all these photos of friends who went to the women’s marches across the nation with their signs, in droves, standing for something. What did I do today? So far I woke up, talked with my man, sorting out some things we had been arguing about (because I’m fucking crazy thanks to these hormones), and ate some pancakes. I did not take a stand, other than “liking” the photos of my fellow revolutionaries.

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Statistics I’ve read say that anywhere from 10-25% of pregnancies don’t make it past the first trimester. And every single pregnancy book reminds you of that. So I have to wait until the stroke of Week 13 to even feel a little relieved.

As yet, I haven’t made it public knowledge yet that I’m pregnant. A lot of women tell no one until the first trimester is over. I’ve told my family and friends. I couldn’t keep it to myself. Not because I’m bubbling over with excitement, but because I feel isolated enough already, living as a tired-as-fuck, sicky, emotional basket case who can’t join in the party or go on the ski trip or stay up past 7:30 pm. If nobody even knew why I was acting this way and I couldn’t even get any sympathy, I’d die.

So I take the risk. I tell people when I feel like it. It one of the few exciting things in my life right now. I look at my man and say, “Should we tell them?” and then he nods, so I say, “We’re expecting a baby!” and wait for the mixed reactions. Some people squeal with delight and jump up and down and hug us and say, “You’re going to be the best parents!” and others  are like, “Oh wow. Congratulations,” then go back to whatever we were talking about before.

And I don’t want to have to tell any of those people that it isn’t to be. I don’t want to even type these miscarriage fears because I’m afraid I’ll manifest them. But I think of it every day. I feel my belly, which isn’t even showing, to see if it “feels” pregnant. I look for blood on the toilet paper and I have a fright every time I turn over in bed and feel a pain in my side. I worry myself into a frenzy about nonsense, thanks to the scary American pregnancy books that ban everything from runny eggs to a bite of brie. I worry about my relationship with the baby’s father because I’m acting like a complete alien and I’m afraid he will leave me. And what would be worse than losing the baby? Losing it and then losing him, too, because what if he’s actually only with me because he has no choice? Then after all my crying and terror, I worry that my body is going to be toxic to my baby. Or even crazier, I worry that all my complaints over the discomfort and loss of sanity of pregnancy is going to get me in trouble with the Universe. I’m afraid God is going to punish me for not running around glowing. I’m afraid it will be decided, “If you can’t even handle the first few months, you are not a worthy mother.”

I know that the majority of these lost baby cases are due to chromosomal problems and they’re out of my hands. I know all the previous paragraph’s worries are pretty much bullshit. But that’s me now. I rarely used to worry. Now it’s the first thought when I wake up.

Please God, Make It the 2nd Trimester

I am writing from inside a dark hole. The hole is my mind. I have been here for 11 Weeks, with a few escapes into the sunshine, thank God.

I’m 11 Weeks pregnant. And I want this baby. I’ve wanted to a baby for a while. My innermost desire had whispered the wish to the universe so many times that I know it heard me and sent me this gift. And I’m grateful, though it still doesn’t feel real to me. But the hormones that are pumping through my blood are not happy hormones.

I have worried. I have shaken with terror. I have cried bottomless toddler-style screams. I have lain in bed all day and all night on end. And what’s wrong with me? That’s what I want to know. I got what I asked for. I get into specifics–I didn’t say, “Universe, please send us a baby when we are financially doing great and feeling personally successful and at peace and everything is perfect.” I just quietly asked for a baby once in a while, indirectly, while writing in my journal or something. I’d just write how I wanted to have children, just sometime down the line, with this wonderful man who has changed my life for the better in so many ways.

So why do I find myself yelling “I hate you!” to this man?
Then directly after, why do I find myself yelling “I hate myself!!” Crying, begging, screaming, over and over, “I hate myself! Help me! Help me! Please just connect with me!” to a man who is standing here, not even looking at me. All I can think is He doesn’t love you. You’re not good enough. He regrets this pregnancy. He wishes he could find a way out. And none of this is true. I know none of it it true. But it comes and runs over me like a truck, and I am at its mercy, and I can’t save myself because my “self” is gone. Where has she gone?

First of all, who was she? I would describe that self as such:

I was a very active, energetic, ebullient gal. I smiled at everyone. I ran, surfed, hiked, skateboarded, biked, and loved the sunshine. I would try anything once. I meditated daily, did yoga often. I was loving. I was a writer and an actress. I wrote almost every day. Acted as much as I could in little films and sketches.  I was fearless. I left my small town and everything I knew to follow my dreams in California. I committed to things I loved and saw them through. I spent three years working on a novel and published it! I had tons of friends of all ages. Smoked weed once in a while or had some wine. Was kind and fun with kids, who loved me to be their babysitter. I was blunt and said what I was thinking, often with no filter.

And of course, like everyone, I had a darker side. It only surfaced about once a month when I was hormonal. This is what it looked like:

I had a temper that flared up, when I was being ignored or felt small. I needed to feel loved because I didn’t love myself enough, and when my needs weren’t met, I said things I didn’t mean–hurtful, cruel things to the man I love. And when I made these mistakes, I beat up on myself, punished myself for days, hated myself because I couldn’t control these outbursts. I felt like a child, and began to blame the overprotected way I was raised, or the fact I was adopted, or anything I could blame for my self-doubt, for my neediness and tantrums. I found it difficult to forgive myself, even though forgiving others came easily. I never felt like I was as good as others. I wasn’t as “worthy.” Something was “wrong” with me. None of my accomplishments were “real.” I felt like an awful, evil person, masquerading as someone kind, accomplished, and carefree.

But I was working on that. I was going to therapy weekly, getting acupuncture, doing yoga and meditation, journaling, talking, going deep to find why I somehow didn’t find myself as worthy as other people. And I was making progress, since the symptoms of my affliction only showed up around PMS time. The rest of the time I was the positive, active, happy version of me.

The problem is, when I became pregnant, my entire life became PMS time. On bath salts. I read somewhere, and I don’t know how accurate it is, that the first trimester of pregnancy is the hormonal equivalent of taking 40 birth control pills per day. Personally, I went off birth control years ago, because ONE pill per day was making me crazy. So where does that leave me now? Just multiply all my bad qualities by 15, and imagine being trapped inside that person’s mind 24 hours a day.

Self-hatred is my new M.O. Now, I’m hating for two! Because what’s worse than feeling like an unworthy piece of shit? The guilt I feel for feeling that way in the first place, for not being joyful and “glowing.” I’m now, as my brain sees it, an unfit mother in the making, heaping worry on top of worry. Not to mention, my body is stuck in an eternal hangover. In addition to sleeping an average of 12 hours per night, plus naps during the day, I wake up every morning not knowing if I’m going to feel able to eat anything, and what I can eat without feeling sick is mostly carbs which leave me feeling bloated and disgusting. My brain is a pile of mush. I have no drive anymore because I feel like I have the flu or something. So I can’t write, which is the one thing that brought me satisfaction. I can do about one thing per day. I take a walk and watch a movie and stuff my face with carbs, hoping to feel better.

My poor partner bends over backwards to try to make me feel better, to try to understand what he can never understand. I thank him and do what I can to show him my appreciation, but at least once a week, I go off the rails and begin freaking out, sobbing, and inevitably blaming him for something he didn’t do. Which adds to the guilt-shame cycle, which adds to my self-hatred and feelings of being less-than, which makes me feel temporarily suicidal since I see no way out, which makes me flare up even worse, since I feel guilty and shameful and sick and nasty all the time.

It’s the stuff of nightmares. Many new parents fear losing themselves. I fear I’ve already lost myself.