Marissa K., member of the Imagine Family team, shares her story on the joy and fear that accompanied her first pregnancy.
Part One: First Trimester
Each step of pregnancy is a new, exciting and terrifying journey. This is my story of walking, then waddling through my first pregnancy. And while I didn’t struggle with infertility, it is my hope and prayer that my story can be an encouragement to you as you begin your journey to motherhood, regardless of your path.
I had this odd sense that I might be pregnant. I tended to run late if I was stressed, and that week was the start of a work event. One that meant I would also be missing my husband’s birthday. All of this was probably some type of blessing in disguise. I was so busy, I didn’t have time to hope.
By the time Friday night came around, I was too tired to do much of anything but sleep. My husband stayed up late, which normally wasn’t a problem. Except, I woke up early and had to make the decision of whether I was going to take a pregnancy test by myself or wait. I have never been good at waiting.
The next two minutes I spent hovering over the test, trying to remember to breath. Positive. I, we, we’re pregnant.
I considered, briefly, about keeping the news to myself and planning some Pinterest worthy reveal for my husband. I couldn’t. The news was too precious to hide. I gently tried to wake him. After a couple of failed attempts, I let him sleep. I focused my attention on making breakfast and setting the table, all the while letting my eyes and heart wander back to pregnancy test. And waited.
He stared down at the test, back at me, not saying a word. I just smiled and said, “You are going to be a dad.” Then, it clicked.
The weekend was a blur of excited conversations, hours pouring over websites and beautiful dreams of the future.
After the initial excitement, reality kicked in. Not one week after we found out, I was sitting in an urgent care, trying to keep from throwing up. I had the flu, bad. And since I was pregnant, I couldn’t take anything. I was sick for two weeks before I made it back to work.
There is nothing like driving in rush hour traffic for 45 minutes, praying each moment that you don’t throw up. With my stomach turning, I would make my way up to work, clocking each bathroom as I went. I don’t think I let go of my keycard once that first trimester, just in case I have to make a quick exit. Sitting through morning meetings was painful. Most of my attention was focused at whether or not I needed to excuse myself. Sundays were just as bad. I spent the service looking towards the bathroom, counting down the minutes.
Only once did morning sickness rear it’s head in a very ugly way. I ended up staying part of a day in the hospital after getting dehydrated. I couldn’t keep anything down, including water. My husband drove me to the OB, and she sent me straight away to the labor and delivery floor to have an IV. After that, any morning sickness seemed mild.
We had decided to tell people personally. Which seemed like a wonderful and loving way at the time, but trying to hide morning sickness for most of the first trimester was difficult. It took us weeks to get time to tell our family and friends. Last on the list was our coworkers.
Oh, and talk about nerve-racking conversations. I was more terrified than excited to tell my coworkers. Just how exactly do you bring that up in a conversation? Hi, how are you? Did you have a good weekend? Oh, my weekend was good; I spent mine growing a human.
Since it was around Thanksgiving when it was time to reveal the news to my coworkers, I took some of the first ultrasound pictures and sent them via email with the subject line, What I am Thankful for.
Having the courage and the words to share our joy was always overshadowed. I had this crippling fear that I might lose our little one before I even had the chance to meet him or her. I would spend my drive in to work praying for the precious little one that I carried. Praying that I wouldn’t throw up, but Lord, please let my morning sickness be bad enough that my child might live. That fear was almost palpable every visit to the OB, when the nurse struggled to find the heartbeat. Each week was one step closer to a life without eating crackers and sipping ginger ale before moving in the morning or being haunting by the possibility of a miscarriage.
Beyond the fear, there was this incredible exhaustion. I would get home from work, cook supper, and just stare at it wondering if I had the strength to eat. After supper, I would either just go to sleep or nap on the couch while my husband played the piano.
All in all, that first trimester was a bundle of excitement, nausea, worry, exhaustion and fear. And now, as I play with my son, I wish I would have just trust in the Lord with my worries. I wish I would have embraced the joy and the gift of a child more instead of getting so caught up in that paralyzing fear that I might never meet my child. And above all, I wished I would have cooked simpler meals.
As you go through your first trimester, it is my hope that you can take in every moment and enjoy the simple and awesome pleasure of knowing a child is growing inside you. Being afraid won’t change the future, it will only change your present.