This is it. I’ve been waiting to announce my pregnancy ‘publicly’ for a while. Waiting for some sort of ‘sign’ that everything was moving along as it should before I took a risk and wrote about it before the requisite 12 weeks were up. The truth is, I’m not much of a secret keeper when it comes to my own secrets. Basically, I peed on a stick and texted my girlfriend the second that little plus-sign reared its head. Then I called my mom.
News like this, the all-consuming kind that transforms your life in a matter of seconds, is not the kind I can keep to myself. Over the course of the past few weeks I’ve called my grandma (who was thrilled but warned me not to tell anyone else until three months were up), I’ve told my girlfriends, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, and colleagues. I ‘liked’ a Bunch.com blog post on Facebook entitled “I’m Six Weeks Pregnant: Why I’m Telling You All This Now” and had a few friends and relatives assume I too was pregnant. (Talk about ‘broken telephone.’) I am adamant that there is no such thing as sharing good news ‘too soon,’ and I’ve spent the past few weeks rehashing my logic to anyone who would listen: I would definitely need the support of friends and family if something were to go wrong with this pregnancy and why should I hesitate to share the good news and then only share the bad news?! I read and reread Sarah Remmer’s courageous post about miscarriage and decided that whatever happened, I’d be ready for it.
So when I was away on vacation last week and noticed some spotting I took a deep breath and told myself (and my husband) that we’d be fine, no matter what happened. Luckily this spotting was minor, but it was enough to capture my family doctor’s attention and have her send me for an ultrasound. All along, I’d wanted an early ultrasound, just for the peace of mind. But my doc had told me this wasn’t her practice, and that unless I had spotting or was unsure about when the baby was conceived, I’d have to find the peace of mind within.
I lay quietly on the ultrasound table, not wanting to read too much into the technician’s facial expressions as she prodded and probed in search of my right ovary (which was apparently hiding that day). I didn’t want to ask. But I was desperate to know. There had to be a baby growing inside of me. Why else would I have spent the past six weeks hunched over every toilet in my house with my toddler rubbing my back asking me if I was ok? Why else would I have spent the past six weeks unable to concentrate on anything, falling asleep mid-afternoon, and snapping at my husband for no reason?! All that suffering (I mean joy!) had to be for something...
“Is your daughter excited about this new baby?” That’s what the technician said to me before she turned the screen around to show me the little heart beating, steadily. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
So I’m letting that 9-week ultrasound serve as the ‘sign’ I was waiting for to make my news public.
I’m pregnant. Baby number 2 is due on or around April Fool’s Day. It will begin a new chapter in my life. I’m excited and terrified. But currently I’m mostly just nauseous. I am way more grumpy than I remember being last time. More sick to my stomach. More exhausted. I assume that’s because I have a 2-year-old and the pure joy of being pregnant and expecting another baby is somewhat overshadowed by real life and the fact that I’m already a mom. I’m hoping that I’ll get more excited as the time goes by. And convincing myself that I’ll be able to handle a second child and all that comes with it. I adore my daughter more than anything in the world...even though she drives me crazy sometimes. And though I can’t imagine loving anyone quite as much...I’m sure that will change.
Just 18 more days until the first trimester is complete. And with it, I pray, will go the nausea and vomiting! I’m waiting for that surge of energy that comes with the second trimester. I’m excited to have a belly and not just look fat. I’m gearing up to do this all over again. And trying to convince myself to enjoy it...each milestone...with a beginner’s mind. Instead of assuming I know what to expect and just wishing this pregnancy to go quickly... I’m going to try really hard to be in each moment. To enjoy the process. To allow myself to get really excited. And to let my fears about not being able to cope with two kids, not being able to divide my time, not being able to balance work and another baby...go!
Trimester one complete in T minus: 18 days, or 432 hours, or 25,920 minutes. But who’s counting?!
When my daughter was born, my girlfriend (who doesn't have kids of her own, but has a penchant for finding really unusual and super-cool gifts) bought her this little green, hardcover book called An Awesome Book. It seemed a bit advanced for my newborn, so I tucked it away on her bookshelf where it stayed for some time. Now that we're reading what seems like dozens of books each night, and I've read every book in our massive book library what seems like millions of times, it was time for something different... So, I pulled out the Awesome Book!
I was blown away. Not only is this book hand-drawn in a quirky way that makes it unlike any of the other children's books we own, the story is totally inspiring. The main message is "DREAM BIG!" But, it's told in a way that really makes you think. It tells the story of how so many people on the planet have given up on their ability to dream big dreams, in order to be more practical and pragmatic. Instead of dreaming up fantastical things like "Magic watermelon boats..." the author says, we dream instead of "Owning matching silverware." (Visions of torturous hours spent wedding registry shopping pop into my head when I read this line!)
I'm not sure if my 2-year-old really 'gets' the message yet, after all she's too little to have been jaded by the world around her and she's still lucky enough to have magical dreams and imaginary friends, but this message of dreaming big has really inspired me.
When I looked up the author Dallas Clayton, a scruffy looking dude pictured in the back of the book, I found this amazing video (below). What an inspiring dad! What a great message for anyone trying to make a difference in the world! What a perfect way to kick-start the back-to-school season when it's so easy to get caught up in doing things the "conventional" way. This guy Dallas had a dream...he followed it because he cared...and look how well he's done as a result. He didn't let the fact that no one wanted to publish his book stop him from writing it and distributing it. What a great lesson for all of us creative people sitting on brilliant ideas and dreams...wondering how we'll make them a reality. The answer it seems is so clearly stated at the end of the book: "And if they say that all your dreams are too big to come true...You tell them that I told you...That's what dreams are meant to do!"
You can buy An Awesome Book in most bookstores and it's also available to read online for free!
Please share this message with your kids and let's all start dreaming big again!