How are you feeling?

I feel great! Right after Thanksgiving the nausea started to disappear and I’ve now reached the point where I’m hungry, SO HUNGRY, all the time.

Are you having any cravings?

Juicy fruit, specifically oranges, clementines and pineapple. The other day my grocery store had canned pineapple on sale 10 for $10 and I swear it was like an early Christmas present. When I was feeling sick I survived on plain bagels and ginger ale. That’s it. I would try to throw in some healthy stuff when I could manage it, but man, did I love those plain bagels.

What are the most surprising symptoms you’re experiencing?

Dizziness when I stand up has been the most annoying. At this point in the pregnancy my blood runs quickly to the baby, but returns slowly back to me. Because of this, my brain doesn’t get its usual rush immediately when I stand up so I often find myself leaning on the wall for a few seconds until the dizziness passes.

Symptoms come and go as the weeks pass. In the beginning I was bone crushingly tired. I would sleep for almost 12 hours at night, wake up, nap in the early afternoon, and barely make it to 10 o’clock at night. Growing a person takes a lot of energy! I was lucky never to get crazy breast pain, but my skin did decide it would like to revisit my adolescence and break out. A lot. Only, it apparently forgot what adolescence was like and decided to make it worse this time around, with breakouts in my hairline and along my jaw. And those kind of zits? HURT. A LOT.

And since it’s not recommended you use any acne products while pregnant, the best I could do is wash my face with a mild cleanser and pout. Thank goodness for Bare Minerals.

There’s also the constant peeing — first from hormones, then from your growing uterus and later from a baby sitting on your bladder. I hear you usually get some relief from the bathroom later in the second trimester, so I’m waiting for that to happen.

And yes, friends. I’m not going to lie to you. Pregnancy = constipation and well, that’s never fun. My recommendations for anyone going through that is lots of fruit and high-fiber cereal in the morning. It makes things a lot easier, I promise.

Did it take a long time to get pregnant?

Um, no. It took six weeks.

Can I touch your belly?

Do I know you? If yes, then you may. If we’ve only just met, then, um, no. I don’t think so. Thanks anyway. And I know! It’s hard, not squishy! So weird!

Are you going to have a natural childbirth?

I’ve only just started thinking about what my birth plan will be and doing a lot of reading on different birth methods. But here’s what I know: I want to labor naturally as long as possible. If that means having a completely natural childbirth, awesome. If that means that I’m in labor for 40-something hours and I finally need some medical pain relief, that’s OK too.

I’m a firm believer that every birth is beautiful and you are no less of a woman if you need some pain relief. Yes, I know there are risks to the baby by using an epidural, and that’s why I am pro-natural birth…unless something happens. I know women who have delivered naturally, others who received the epidural from the start, and another that went into labor early and far from home, labored for hours, PUSHED for hours, and ended up with an emergency C-Section.

There are no absolutes in childbirth.

Unfortunately, I have already been judged, maybe even by some of you. Birth is such a personal experience, but it doesn’t stop people from telling you how to do it. The worst are the women who have never been pregnant, never been through childbirth, who are quick to tell you what’s best. I’m sorry, when was the last time you pushed a child out of you? Never? Then maybe you want to keep those opinions to yourself.

I am full of questions. I pick the brains of everyone I know who has given birth and see what worked for them. But in the end, it’s what’s going to work for me, and I’m confident that whatever that ends up being, will be fine.

How has Michael been?

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. He’s so happy and kept me in ginger ale and love when I was forming an intimate relationship with the inside of our toilet. He rubs my lower back and shoulders when they get sore. And the other day, when he noticed for the first time that my stomach was changing and looked at it in wonder, well, I just about cried. (Oh yeah, file that under symptoms. Emotional!)

Are you going to find out what it is?

Oh yes! In about seven weeks we’ll have an ultrasound that will determine the sex and I can’t wait. I have a feeling it’s a girl, which is strange, since for years I was convinced my first child would be a boy. My mother-in-law thinks it’s a boy, so there’s no one consensus. I will honestly be happy with whatever we have…I just want to know!

Are you going to share the name with us?

Nope, sorry! You’ll find out when it’s born.

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