Discovering that you are pregnant with Baby No.4 just 24 hours after suffering an awful, angry bout of the stomach flu is an interesting experience, mostly because of just how crazy my stomach felt at that point. 24-hrs-post-nasty-flu had me still feeling pretty weak and wiped, not to mention queasy, so although I was thrilled to see the word “pregnant” pop up on the test, I was slightly intimidated by my tummy, thinking Oh, No! I’m just finding out and I already feel this awful?!
If you’ve been with me and this blog for a few years (and a couple pregnancies), you may remember that my first trimester is never a kind one. I’ve never gone so far as to take anything for my “morning” sickness (such a ridiculous name for it, given how inaccurate the term is), but I’ve been close to doing so and for good reason. Weeks 8-14? They tend to be nothing short of the zombie-mommy-zone for me. But then Week 14 comes and goes and so too does the constant nausea, lack of appetite, and resulting weight loss. The second trimester and I are friends, to say the least. And let me be clear – I’m not saying I feel sorry for myself here, because while I obviously wish I felt better during those six weeks, I know it could be so much worse, like some of my dear friends who go at least halfway or all the way through (bless her sweet heart) with constant, terrible sickness. So while it may not be fun, at this point in my mamahood, I pretty much know what I have in for me, which is also my saving grace because I know I can handle it. [Note: those read a lot like famous last words, don’t they? So much so that I should probably delete them, but they’re already out there, so I guess I’ll leave it. If Lincoln taught me anything, it is that every pregnancy is different, so perhaps I’ve not just condemned myself to two-trimester sick-period but rather none at all? That’d be nice!]
Anyway – rambling mommy-brain redirect – to feel so crappy so quickly after finding out the pregnancy alarmed me. It also sent me into instant action mode. I decided, what can I do to possibly combat or at the very least prepare for this? My first answer? Food. I made a vow to myself that day, even post-flu, that I would do my best to eat and keep eating. I realize that might sound silly to some, but I’m not kidding when I say first trimester weight loss. It has happened every single time, so I’m taking the next few weeks, until the nausea really hits, to eat. Not whatever I want, but as varied and as healthy as I can manage, because I know I’ll need those calories to keep going in February and early March. Does that mean my belly might stick out a little sooner than ever before? Hi, this is Baby No.4 we’re talking about – isn’t that a given?! [post script: wrote this over three weeks ago and yes, the belly is definitely here already, but whether that is food-driven or just that my belly knows where to go, well, I’m not sure. let’s just say, if we hadn’t announced this week, I am pretty sure everyone who sees me now would have known anyway!]
My other food-related solution/inspiration centered on Freezer Meals. Prior to both RL and LT’s arrivals, I made a couple handfuls of meals to stock our deep freeze so that I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking post-baby as much. But since my cooking usually gets as exhausted as the rest of me in the first trimester, I decided to try something totally different this time by stocking up pre-morning-sickness, too. And thanks to the beauty of social media, I had people sharing ideas with me like crazy and managed to get eight recipes (some made double batches) done within a week of discovering I was pregnant. Pretty awesome, eh? This way, even I don’t feel like eating, my family will have food and I won’t even have to get off the couch to prepare it. Sounds like a win/win to me and even better if I actually feel up to eating some of it.
One of the other realizations post-discovery of Baby No.4’s presence involved yoga clothes. Ha! I only need an ounce of inspiration to want more of those, but this preparatory move, although it included shopping for one of my favorite things – really was meant to be pragmatic. I have a couple of maternity yoga pants, of course, but hi, this is my job now, so I hit up Old Navy and Destination Maternity to see what else I could find and managed to score a couple pairs of pants as well as two tops from ON that yogis will be seeing on me later this spring/summer a LOT. The funny thing was, when the first package arrived and I took the items out of their bags and held them up for inspection, my first thought (after wondering Oh.my.gosh. Are these pants from Old Navy transparent?!) was, these look too big. And then I full-on laughed at myself because no, I’m sure they are not. Or at least they won’t be. How quickly one forgets just how much one’s body must change and grow to produce another human, tiny as they may be when they first arrive. Those pants and tanks? I’m sure they’ll fit just fine in due time because, as I said, thankfully my morning sickness does not last forever!
As it stands, three-plus weeks after first writing this, I am feeling ok-ish. Tired and queasy and cranky due to not sleeping (and other fun hormones)? Yes. Ask my kids and they’ll tell you YES. But hanging in there as best I can. And my OB appointment last week showed that Baby is doing well, too. But you guys, look at this ultrasound! Anyone else think the OB was trying to play a trick on my husband who couldn’t stay for the actual ultrasound?! I promise, in real time, there was one happy little peanut, not two!