Thursday, September 16, 2010

OH MY GOD. What have we done?

It was exactly a year ago that I found myself obsessively running 5 miles every morning and surviving off of about 500 calories a day trying to lose an inhuman amount of weight in a very short amount of time. I was also doing daily facials and exfoliating like a madwoman. I know, it sounds like the beginning of a Lifetime movie which involves some kind of dramatic family intervention and me ending up at resort-like rehab facility and through some serious soul searching I heroically overcome my demons. I wasn't crazy. I was just getting married. And I had to look perfect, and this was the most important thing in the entire world. Ever. I did, and it was.

Fast forward to 8 months of marital bliss: Memorial day weekend. The husband and I decided to go see the Symphony under the Stars because it's the the kind of thing young newlyweds do because they are young and in love. It was also SALUTE TO AMERICA night and what is more romantic than the 1812 Overture? (Side note: how come we associate that piece with patriotism? Wasn't it written for RUSSIA's independence?) Anyway, we had bought a terrible yet overpriced bottle of wine and I poured us each a glass and then promptly knocked the bottle of wine over into grass leaving me with a single Dixie cup of rancid grape juice, which was ok because all those cannons were giving me a headache anyway.

The next morning I woke up and I was HUNGOVER. I couldn't believe that I got that sick off of a single glass of wine -- but it was really bad wine so I figured it was the tannins or the sulfates or something. As the day wore on I drank a gallon of water and I still didn't feel any better. I tried to eat a turkey sandwich and it was the most disgusting thing I'd ever tasted. I felt like crap, but something else started nagging at the back of my mind: when exactly was my last period? I added up the weeks and I was late. My pill prescription had just expired and I hadn't had a chance to get to the Dr. yet - but we were using alternate methods of birth control and I knew that it takes your body some time get back on track so I tried to tell myself not to freak out over nothing. The chances of me being pregnant were one in a billion or some official statistic like that.

But I couldn't get the thought out of my head. The next day I had the husband drive me to Walgreens and I picked up a 3 pack of EPT pregnancy tests. He figured I was being my normal drama queen self but he knew if he didn't just let me prove it to myself that I wasn't pregnant I'd just spend the rest of the weekend making both of us miserable. When we got home he actually offered me a beer before I took the test.

Pregnancy test instructions are pretty simple. You pee on the stick and wait five minutes and then you know your future. So I took the test and within seconds a blue plus sign appeared. I figured I'd done something wrong -- because I was getting a result before the recommended wait time. I threw that test out and took another one -- this time I turned it over and waited the requisite five minutes before I looked at the results. Another plus sign. At this point I re-read the entire box, the directions in English and in Spanish and then looked up the directions again online for good measure because I knew I had to be reading the test wrong. They all confirmed that plus sign = pregnant. So I then I turned the test upside down, looked at it from a 75 degree angle and 10 feet back - still a plus sign. I then confirmed with my husband that I did indeed know what a plus sign looked like because I've never been that good at math. Things were getting strange. The next Tuesday before I went to work I took another test -- this one came up with a totally blank result even half an hour later. So I knew for sure I did something wrong -- the logical conclusion was that I just didn't know how to take a pregnancy test. When I got home from work that night I looked at that test, and it had somehow developed a plus sign too. Hmm...

It was time to go to the Dr. because something must be wrong. I knew she was just going to tell me that my hormones were out of whack because I'd just gone off the pill and to stop freaking out. Instead she told me I was 8 weeks pregnant. I wasn't just pregnant, I was pretty darn pregnant. That night I went home and read everything on the entire Internet about pregnancy. Turns out I had pretty much every single pregnancy symptom in recorded history . I'd just been too oblivious to figure it out on my own.

My first reaction was fear. I had not been taking care of myself for the past 8 weeks and I was terrified that I'd hurt my baby somehow. I'd been drinking and smoking a little and god knows what kind of junk I'd been eating. Plus, the internets are particularly cruel to pregnant women - there are 5 million super rare things that can happen to a developing baby that WebMd will tell you for sure are all happening. Thankfully an early ultrasound and an understanding midwife confirmed that the baby was healthy and developing on track.

My second reaction was fear. My husband and I were not equipped to have a baby. He had just finished up his first year of grad school and I was just getting started with my career. We had a carefree existence of randomly taking off on the weekends and drinking for 3 days straight in Vegas. Don't get me wrong, we wanted kids, just later. I had always said that I wanted to be at least 30 years older than my first child -- and we were ahead of schedule. Hell, we didn't have the kind of car you could put a child in.

However, my most intense reaction was pure love. I was instantly and forever attached to this tiny being developing inside of me. I knew that whatever it was I used to think my future was had been all wrong. This was the most right, most incredible thing that had ever happened to me. I instantly devoted my life to giving this child the best life possible. I find myself crying daily at the unfathomable miracle that a baby is -- how so many things in the world had to come together at just the perfect moment to create this little life. And although I knew that I loved my husband from the moment I first saw him, I began to love him on an entirely different level once I found out he was going to be the father of my child. It's like ultralove or something . All I know is that I used to think I knew what love was, and now I know I had no idea.

I guess I've become a cliche. And I don't care.

So now as I approach my first wedding anniversary I'm fatter than I've ever been in my life. I couldn't run five miles even if my feet didn't ache in every pair of shoes I own and I have skin like a thirteen-year-old. And it is the most perfect thing. Ever.