If you’re some kind of Twitter Sherlock, it’s possible you’ve figured out what my big news is by now. At least 50% of my tweets (at least before the election, ugh) were about being tired, going to bed early, or eating candy and baked goods and Mexican food. If you’ve seen me in the last month or so, you might even have noticed that my clothes don’t fit and I have no fucks to give about that fact. But for every tweet you saw, there were about ten more I didn’t share because YOU DON’T TELL BEFORE THE END OF THE FIRST TRIMESTER WHAT ARE YOU A MONSTER WHO WANTS TO CURSE YOUR UNBORN CHILD?
So here’s where I’ve been, lo these last 8 weeks…
Holy crap, I’m pregnant. And in Boston for the Boston Teen Author Festival. Where I’d planned to drink cocktails and sip wine with sassy writer folk. Thank you to Emery Lord and Zoraida Cordova for barely batting an eye when I ordered a cranberry and soda with lime at the bar. And Victoria Schwab, you cannot know how desperately I coveted your Moscow Mule.
Trying to put it out of my mind. Mostly feeling nothing. After an early miscarriage last time around, I’m trying to focus on getting past this week. I become insanely superstitious, because when everything is out of your hands you try to grasp for the illusion of control. There are lots of wishes on eyelashes and stepping over sidewalk cracks. I am 90% useless when it comes to basically everything else.
Oh, hi, I’m tired. This is about the time when I started getting into bed around 8:30pm every night (which quickly pushed back to 7:30). I’m also starting to get a little queasy, but am otherwise ok. But I totally spilled the beans to Jackson Pearce, because I’m not a good secret keeper, and I needed to tell someone!
Nausea. All the nausea. All the time nausea. I do a lot of deep breathing, drinking of ginger ale, chewing of peppermint gum, and otherwise slamming food into my face because surprisingly, the thing that most quells the nausea is eating. I might have to name this child Taco, because that’s basically all I want to eat. I think my body is 70% queso at this point.
Still nauseous, still eating everything all the time. Food is now serious business. When I get home from a run to a Wendy’s drive-thru and discover my cheeseburger is not plain (as I ordered it), but in fact has everything on it, I throw it across the living room. It is not my finest hour. (In my defense, it was still in the wrapper, so I didn’t make a giant mess). Also got to see the little bugger on an ultrasound and confirm everything is as it should be. I cry tears of joy. The family is told. Plans begin.
Halloween. I bought 5 bags of candy. I had 4 trick or treaters. I consider this an epic win. While in Kentucky for the Kentucky Book Fair, I went to Whole Foods, filled up a bag from the cookie bar, went back to my hotel, got into my jammies, climbed into bed, and watched Grey’s Anatomy and ate cookies until I fell asleep. At 8:30pm.
The election happened. I stayed up later than I have since I found out I was pregnant, only to discover the unthinkable happened. I cried myself to sleep (hard), and spent the rest of the week feeling like garbage, inside and out, wondering what kind of world my children (because now there would be two of them) would inherit.
Nausea is starting to subside, but with that comes the maternity pants. MATERNITY. PANTS. Things happen a lot earlier with the second kid, that’s for sure. I’m pretty sure everyone who sees me suspects something, but I can’t be bothered to care. I’m still so salty about the election that I’ll fight anyone who dares say anything to me. Also, I cry at everything. EVERYTHING. Every story about the election, every sappy commercial, most stories on NPR. I cannot get through Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of It’s Quiet Uptown without full on weeping. I even cried over the showcase showdown on The Price is Right because it just seemed so nice for that lady that she might get to go to Sicily! (She hadn’t even won yet, they’d only just ANNOUNCED the showcase showdown when the tears sprang to my eyes).
The end of the first trimester, which feels like a marathon (of course, the marathon is only just beginning, and with birth at the end, it’s more like one of those marathons where you finish and crap yourself while hobbling over the finish line wondering why you did this to yourself). I’m now able to stay up past 8pm. But, as I suspected over the last 8 weeks, nothing good is really happening after 8pm.
So there it is. Eight weeks worth of ridiculous moments that I wanted to share with you, but couldn’t, because like I mentioned, superstition took hold of me. The first trimester went a lot faster this time, but I was also a lot more nervous during it, thanks to the aforementioned miscarriage. This morning I was practically holding my breath while I waited for the midwife to locate the heartbeat, but there it was, pounding away. It made me think about John Green’s post-election video, and his meditation on hope. Because in times like these, it’s really all we have. Well, that and the fight. You bet your ass I’ll be doing the fight, no matter how tired or big I get, I won’t stop fighting. Because I’m now responsible for two people in this world, and I’ll try my damnedest to make it a good one for them and for everyone else.
This is definitely not the kind of sentiment I imagined myself sharing when it came to spilling the news. I, like most everyone else I know, thought I’d be talking about how my new kid would never know about this thing called the glass ceiling. I thought this new kid would show up to a world that wasn’t perfect, but was at least trying every day to be better. Instead we have this. And so I fight.
By the way, We Need Diverse Books is receiving matching donations up to $1000 today, thanks to Justina Ireland. I gave, because what else can I do at this point but try to make books better for kids who really need them. Go donate today, ok?