~ I Want Symptoms
When I was 10 my mother came down with an awful flu-like sickness. She was pale and weak, she threw up all the time and it took all her strength to stay out of bed for any amount of time. Normally she was the kind of very busy mom who was always cooking or cleaning in the kitchen, straightening up around the house, doing the laundry and probably a million other little things that my brothers and I were completely oblivious to. She rarely had the luxury of being really sick so this extended "flu" was strange, not to mention bothersome, as it completely disrupted our usual routine of demanding things to eat and hounding her for ideas of what to do when we got bored. I'll never forget the afternoon my father announced to me and my youngest brother, who was 7 at the time, that the reason Mom was so sick was because she was going to have a baby! Could anything be more wonderful for an eleven year old girl than to have your very own, real life, newborn baby to play with?! Needless to say, my mom's pregnancy and the birth of my sister were defining points in my life. I had always loved babies and little kids but I got to experience second-hand the magic of what having a baby was really all about and now it's my turn!
Getting pregnant has not exactly been the "piece of cake" or "accident" I had hoped it would be, but now here we are six weeks along and not much has happened. The thing about an IVF pregnancy is that it's hard to tell the difference between real pregnancy symptoms and the side effects from all the hormone injections. Progesterone can cause bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, frequent urination and nausea. All of which I have had except the nausea. A lot of people ask how I'm feeling and whether I have any symptoms. I know for sure I'm more tired than I have ever been in my life but, other than that, I can't bring myself to trust any of these as actual symptoms until I get that first sonogram. I know that every pregnancy is different and some women with beautiful, healthy babies never had a single pregnancy symptom at all, but when you've worked so hard to get this far you'd make any sacrifice to get some kind of guarantee or tangible proof that you are really, truly pregnant. I would gladly re-enact my mom's night-of-the-living-dead scenes if it meant that everything is okay and going along as it should be.
I thought it would be fun to take belly pictures to document the changes that my body is going through since they will be drastic and I'll probably never remember what I looked like before. I've always been a skinny girl, not by any means because of diet and exercise, just lucky genes, I guess. Of course, I wanted the very first picture to be of my nice flat pre-pregnant belly the problem is, I don't know what happened to that stomach.
Surely at only 6 weeks my belly wouldn't be showing signs of pregnancy but no matter how hard I try, I can't suck that little bump in! I gave it a few days to see if it was bloating from the progesterone injections that might come and go but, unfortunately, it looks like it's here to stay. So here is my first belly picture looking more like a character from The Simpsons (skinny arms and legs with protruding belly) than a lovely first time pregnant mom-to-be and by this time next week I will be back with, hopefully, some actual symptoms to complain about and a full report from our very first sonogram!