Your baby is:
- A rogue band of cells, a’huntin’ and a’feudin’ and rapidly dividin’ while traveling the wilds of your fallopian tube, headed towards the uterine promised land.
- About the size of the head of a pin.
- Possibly already the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
- Still pretty clueless.
Welcome to the two-week wait! This is the mind-numbingly annoying stretch of days between ovulation and peestick time.
Let’s just get the nonsense out of the way: Exercising won’t knock the baby loose. Drinking a margarita (or hell, plural margaritas) before you know you’re pregnant won’t make your baby’s brain grow inside out. Sleeping on your side/back/stomach won’t cause/prevent a miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy/a baby with flippers.
The human race? We are actually a fairly hardy bunch. We existed for many many years without early result pregnancy tests and six-week ultrasounds and Folic Acid supplements. Obviously, stuff happens — and many times that stuff gets dealt with very early on in life in the form of a spontaneous miscarriage, but there’s very little YOU can do at this point to sway the outcome. So pop a prenatal vitamin, take a swig of whatever beverage you damn well feel like swigging, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
And this goes for anyone who already knows they’re pregnant and is now scouring through the earlier weeks in a panic because of “something” they did wrong before they knew. That hour in the hot tub…that fall on the icy sidewalk… the vodka shooters at your friend’s bachelorette party. Did I hurt my baby?
I was right up there with the Best of the Neurotics during my first pregnancy. Every twinge and cramp meant hours of worry and fretting. I checked the toilet paper for blood every time I went to the bathroom. A fall down some stairs at a restaurant brought me to hysterical tears and sent me to bed for the rest of the day. And you know what? It didn’t change anything, except that all my memories of early pregnancy are colored with a lot of stress and fear. I went on to give birth to an honest-to-God tank of a baby, and to wish that someone had just slapped me early on and told me to CHILL OUT.
So my goal for this pregnancy is to do just that: CHILL OUT. And to remember that not everything is within my control, that Every Bad Thing cannot be avoided by obsessing over fruits and vegetables and low-mercury fish alone, and that expecting the worst does not make The Worst hurt any less if it happens. So…deep breath…enjoy it, Self. (As much as you can enjoy something that makes you so gassy and tired and bloated.)
And for any pregnant woman joining me along the way over the next 30-odd weeks or so, hopefully I will be the written-word equivalent of that slap in the face. You chill out too! That’s an order! Look at how chilled out I am! Eeeeeeeee!