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Introduction
~ Meet Michelle

Hiya,

My name is Michelle and welcome to my pregnancy journal! I'm 31 years old. This is my first pregnancy and my due date is February 1st. I am so excited to share my pregnancy with you. One of the reasons I wanted to contribute is my need to have shared experiences with other mommies-to-be like me. In writing this journal, I want to share my experience of being pregnant from a real life perspective. My husband, Henry, and I have been married a short time before we got pregnant. We said "I do" in March and in June we said "OMG". Financially we are not ready for a baby. Henry, is a full-time student and part-time UPS guy and I'm a secretary for a bank. A friend told me we should work out a baby budget. Huh?! What in the heck is a baby budget?! I don't have a budget for myself, so what would I honestly put on a budget for the baby? Yeah I'll tell you what's on the baby's budget: she'll get whatever I don't eat. Yeah . . . well we could have used an extra year to plan it properly, but that's the way real life works. I wish we did have more money, but we're determined to make it work. Besides if I waited until I was financially fit to have a baby, I might have waited until retirement age!

Henry and MichelleMy situation is not unlike the majority of women who are pregnant for the first time and completely clueless about every aspect of pregnancy and impending motherhood. It's terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I was six weeks pregnant when I first found out. I hadn't seen my period in a while and rather than taking an ad out in the missing persons section of The New York Times, I decided I should take a test. Of course my timing wasn't the greatest cause I did it at work and screamed like a little girl in the bathroom stall. I immediately called my mom, because even if you're on fire, your mom will always have something supportive to say in times of uncertainty. Telling Henry was the easiest part. He was surprised, but like a good hubby totally supportive. Thus the drama of pregnant life began that following week with the morning sickness. Ugh! Ugh! And more UGH! I equate morning sickness with having the stomach flu . . . for three long exhausting months! It's the worse part of being pregnant so far to my memory. In fact that's all I'll say about morning sickness because I'm scared talking about it will make it come back.

Henry and MichelleIn the subsequent months many changes took place in my body. My usually clear and bright skin turned dark and muddy with blemishes I haven't seen since eighth grade and I gained weight. That's the worse part. Now I'll tell you: I'm not a stick. I was a pretty healthy plus size beauty queen before I got pregnant. Now I feel like I'm teetering on fat blow up doll and super sized beach whale. I hate not fitting into my normal size 20 jeans! I went to Catherine's to purchase pants for work. That's the store my mom shops at! It's depressing. I just keep telling myself that once Nubby (our nickname for the baby . . . silly I know. Remind me to tell you how I came up with that one later) is born, I'm going to sleep on a cot at the gym. I already have a good amount of stretch marks on my body just by being a plus size beauty. But I honestly didn't know I could develop more than what I already had. I have stretch marks on my biceps! Seriously! I'm scared they're going to be on face next! My aunt told me I should have been using cocoa-butter on my body, but I was being weird about purchasing it. It's expensive! That'll teach me! Now I lather up in stretch mark cream. Henry says I smell like a coconut, but I don't care. I don't want stretch marks on my wrists next.

Henry and MichelleSo yes, there have been lots of changes in my body, but the best change of all IS being pregnant. We love Nubby so much. I think she has actually made Henry and I closer. She's the common bond that we share. So I would take all of the abuse of being pregnant and go stark broke only to get the best present of all at the end of nine months: Our Nubby. I look forward to your comments and welcome all feedback.
Michelle

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