If I had to sum up pregnancy with you in one word, I would say it was overwhelming. I felt incredibly awkward though physically I managed to get by. I was utterly exhausted the first few weeks of the first trimester. In the second trimester I was sore as my skin stretched to accommodate my growing belly. Walks that were easy in the past required holding my belly and stopping several times to rest. The final weeks of pregnancy I learned what acid reflux felt like. These things were to be expected but what I didn’t expect was for the “morning sickness” to last the entire 9 months I was pregnant with you. We’ve barfed a lot of places together, Jalen. In the car. On an airplane. Suddenly, without notice I would often have to abruptly end phone conversations at work just to get to a trash can in time.
I felt like a hot mess but your Dad thought it was great. His perspective was that I had morphed into some sort of superhero and my superpower was that my body was rejecting anything that wasn’t good for us. During a visit to the state fair, he raced from food booth to food booth to buy something for me to eat and he only got more excited when every attempted failed at staying in my stomach! I was so sad, I love fair food. Your Dad thought it was fantastic.
“Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.” – Carrie Fisher
So yes, the physical part was a challenge but that didn’t overwhelm me. What felt overwhelming was all the feelings and thoughts and reflections that came with pregnancy. We thought a lot about our childhood, what we liked and what we didn’t. We thought a lot about how we were raised. We thought a lot about our values and those we wanted to instill in you. We thought about all the things we wanted to teach you and hoped that you will learn as you grow older. Most of all, it’s most important to us that we are the best parents we can be for you and making sure we get this parenting thing right can be overwhelming.
Nervousness aside, pregnancy with you was enjoyable. We painted your nursery a soft yellow and painted a light blue sky with sparkly clouds on the ceiling. I decided to do a John Lennon theme for your nursery. Little animal drawings he drew for his son decorated your walls and sheets. Your animal mobile played my favorite song “Imagine”.
I found a lot of comfort in knowing I was never alone. I enjoyed carrying you and your Dad would sometimes look over to me and say I was so lucky because I was able to hold you throughout those 9 months and he couldn’t. You were always moving, I didn’t have to take time to count your movements because I could often feel you moving. I noticed you were particularly active every time I listened to “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables.
Your due date was November 30th, 2011 and we could not wait to meet you.