For nine months I had to say no to so many things. “No” to walking the kids to the park near our house because I might get sick and there was no bathroom. “No” to places with my kids like I Fly and bouncy houses and roller skating because pregnant people can’t do those things. “No” to going to the mall or fast food restaurants because the smells made me sick. “No” to going on a vacation because pregnancy makes me more paranoid than usual and I couldn’t get myself on a plane. “No” to cuddling with my husband because I was nauseous and my skin crawled and I could smell his breath two rooms away. “No” to staying up after the kids went to bed because that’s when I was the sickest. It felt like I was saying “no” to everything fun in life.
How quickly did I feel better after baby? It’s like this: When I was in the pushing phase of labor, I asked for a sip of water. I had one and paid for it with a round of heartburn so bad the nurses were scrambling for a barf bowl. A couple minutes after Leo was born I asked for a sip of water. I drank it and didn’t have an ounce of heartburn. I tried another sip of water. Nothing bad happened. I drank the entire cup of water. I had not been able to drink a glass of water like that for nine months. If something as benign as water upset my system that much during pregnancy, you can imagine how bad everything else was.
For nine months I was a slave to nausea. I planned everything around how I felt or how I thought I’d feel an hour or two hours from then. I woke up every day feeling nauseous. I’d eat something and feel slightly less nauseous, then the nausea would build up and build up until I ate again and felt slightly less nauseous, and then the nausea would build up and build up…
I hated eating.
Pregnancy is five weeks behind me now, and I still get excited about the little things. Standing up from a sitting position. Lying on my stomach. Eating at McDonald’s. Going to the mall. Taking walks with my boys. Feeling hungry. Smelling. Having pillow fights. Staying up late. Singing. It all feels brand new to me, like I’m experiencing all the wonders of the world for the first time. It’s as if Leo and I are both newborns.
I’m done with “no” for awhile. “Yes” is my new favorite word.