Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yes,You Can Be Three Months Pregnant And Not Realize It: The Story of La Pauline et La BeBe

This is my kid: Due June 22, 2009

I found out this past Tuesday that I’m pregnant. Three months to be exact and due at the end of June, the day after my birthday. This is as much of a shock to me as it is to you. You’ll notice I’m not married, but I do have an amazing boyfriend, TR, and we plan to get engaged by Christmas. The pregnancy has a lot, but not all to do with that. We most likely would have gotten engaged in 2009 anyway. After all, he has my cats in his apartment. I can’t lose anymore orange and white Persians. They’re rare.

There will not, however, be any sort of shotgun wedding, in case you were wondering. They're tacky. Instead, we're just going to be French about the whole thing, have the baby in June and get married later on, maybe in 2010. I've always been the sort who wants a real wedding in a pretty dress at a nice venue. No compromises.

The first thing people ask when I tell them that I’m pregnant is, “Didn’t I noticed the missed periods?” The short answer is no, because I didn’t actually miss one until November. I got it right on time in September, and the October one was light, perhaps a little too much so. October was a busy and stressful month for me: I moved, deals were coming in like gangbusters and I was teaching two writing classes. I was busy. I lived on coffee and carbs. An irregular period was nothing to be alarmed at, even though in all honesty, I’ve always been as regular as Greenwich Mean Time.

Fair enough, but what about the morning sickness? See, that’s the thing: I didn’t have any. Not a drop. True, at times I had tiny waves of nausea that passed quickly, but they were the kind of tummy aches you get when you’re hungry or stressed out or really need a nap. Apparently my mother was the same way: no sickness whatsoever. She also had three kids via natural childbirth. Coming attractions, perhaps?

My OB/GYN, Dr. Yuri, who is Russian and awesome, told me that it’s not uncommon for women not to have any sickness, especially if they’re like me and work out regularly. The endorphins essentially cancel out any icky feelings, to put it simply. In fact, the Sunday before I found out I was pregnant I ran four miles at the gym, as had been my norm. Dr. Yuri suggested that I cut that out, since apparently it’s the fast track to a miscarriage. It sounded like he gave that talk often, as I know I’ve seen visably pregnant women at road races. I can still exercise (whew!) I just should steer clear of long-distance running. And Pilates, not that I do that anyway.

Given that I had no morning sickness and only missed one period I figured I was maybe one month along. The two home pregnancy tests I took the Saturday after Thanksgiving turned positive almost instantly, but what does a piece of plastic know? New York City being what it is, I couldn’t get in to see Dr. Yuri until a week and a half later. In his office he confirmed that I was pregnant and then turned on the ultrasound to see exactly what we were dealing with. On the screen the image you see above popped up. There it was, my little 8-bit baby, hopping around on the screen like a Super Mario Brothers character. It turned around and waved it little arms and legs. We could see it’s heart beat.

Dr. Yuri measured it. “Three months,” he said.

“Three months?!?” I said loudly. I think they could hear me in the waiting room. I slapped my hand over my face. “I feel like the most irresponsible person in the world. Who goes three months without knowing they're pregnant?”

“I’ve had women in here at six months,” he said flatly. “Sometimes the period doesn’t turn itself off.”

He printed out a few more screen shots and handed them to TR and I. TR was taking the news surprisingly well. Dr. Yuri also handed us some literature, including, accidentally, a copy of the magazine, Conceive: The Art Of Getting Pregnant. It seemed we had that part down.

So there it is, the whole story about how TR and I went from being a young New York City couple to expecting parents. Fertility is very much a use it or lose it situation, so we’re taking advantage and playing the hand we’ve been dealt. It should be a good one. My family is over the moon with excitement. Baby showers in Old Greenwich are already being planned. I would love a pram, comme ca.

And for the record, I am not, under any circumstances, moving to Brooklyn just because I have a kid. People keep suggesting it, like it’s some sort of young family leper colony. TR and I are Manhattanites, and the last time I checked prams were allowed on Manahatta.