Dear ESME Sisters,
Welcome to the most exciting, nauseating, fascinating, heartwarming, fearful, emotional, anticipatory, exhausting, pee-inducing moving ride you will ever take: pregnancy!
Here are my thoughts on pregnancy—it’s the most natural thing in the world; it’s experienced by millions of women across the globe every day and has been for eons. Athletes run marathons while pregnant, executives manage companies while pregnant, scientists conduct experiments while pregnant, actresses make movies while pregnant, and women just like you go to work, clean your house, go to the gym, and live life while pregnant. And yet, it’s a miracle of gargantuan proportions. You are growing a human being. There are bound to be some bumps along the way. (See what I did there?)
If this is your first go-around, you likely will have a lot of questions. That’s what I’m here for. Not just me, but the entire ESME family and community. This is not the time to go it alone; this is the time to lean on your support network and reach out to others.
I’m the Solo Mom of two fantastic and exasperating teenagers, and I remember my pregnancies like they were yesterday. With my daughter, I had morning sickness throughout my pregnancy, and not just in the morning. It was relentless. I even had to give up my treasured manicures because the odor of nail polish sent me running to the bathroom. With my first pregnancy I was never without my trusty reference books, tracking every infinitesimal development of my little wonder. I’d look at the pictures of the little cashew-shaped fetus and imagine my own baby growing, sprouting eyes and limbs and a personality all her own.
With my son, I developed gestational diabetes and was put on a strict diet that limited my carbs to such microscopic levels that it may as well have been a no-carb diet. I craved sugar so badly that I packed a bag of Milano cookies in my hospital bag to eat after the birth. Unfortunately, I ended up having to have an emergency cesarean section and was knocked out on morphine for hours after the birth. When I awoke I asked for the cookies and was told I inhaled them as soon as I came out of surgery while simultaneously pushing the morphine button. I guess no amount of pain was going to keep me from those cookies!
Both pregnancies and births were difficult and challenging. I had moments of extreme exhaustion and also fear. Here’s the good news—I got through it. I survived and have two gorgeous children who enrich my life in ways I never dreamed possible. And you will get through it, too.
I have one rule here: there are no stupid questions. Sure, your mom and half the people you know went through pregnancy, but this is your pregnancy, which makes it unique in all the world. So ask away. And if you just need to vent, you can do that, too. And be sure to check out Sister Chat and our various Tribes.