Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 10: School and Pregnancy

I had about a week between the ultrasound and the start of my Spring semester, a week to finally let the thought I was pregnant settle in. Of course, that came with a whole host of other fears. I still wasn’t past the first trimester, so there was still a good chance I would lose this baby, too. But my more pressing issue was having to sit in classrooms for most of the day twice a week while battling nausea and keeping my symptoms under wraps.

I was lucky. The first trimester was kind to me. It was almost as though the universe decided I’d gone through enough with my loss that it gave me a relatively easy first trimester. I was nauseous most of the day, but only threw up once. I suspect, though, that it might have been due to a slightly too old egg I’d thought was tempting for breakfast. I’d had a few close calls where I had almost thrown up, but always managed to get my stomach under control. I had also discovered peppermint did wonders for me. I can’t say my dentist approved that plan.

The hardest part was dealing with the frequent urination. My classes were long. They only met once a week, so they were somewhere around 3 hours. We had a break halfway through, but it was sometimes delayed. I had never been the kind of student who would get up in the middle of class to go to the bathroom. I was afraid that if I started streaking across the classroom to get to a toilet, people would notice and start asking if I was okay. Other than a casually dropped mention to my friends, I was unwilling to tell anyone or speak further on it. So, I did my best to make sure my behavior was no different than before. I suppose that’s the problem with a single cohort of around 30 students that mostly moved from class to class together. We were too familiar with each other.

When I was 11 weeks pregnant, my class had a little celebration for two of our classmates who had gotten engaged on Christmas. One of my friends quietly asked if I was ready to share my news, too. I wasn’t, but that was okay. I hadn’t yet finished the first trimester and, as she was a mom, she understood. The hard part was all the food everyone had brought. It smelled good. It smelled awful. I was hungry. I was nauseous. I wanted to eat, but the thought of eating made me feel green. I hated the first trimester.

And then I hit 12 weeks. I had another doctor appointment that confirmed everything was going well. I just needed to gain more weight. I had thought I would be ready to share the news with my classmates. My husband and I sent out cute Chinese New Year cards to our families to wish everyone a happy new year and to announce our little one. But I wasn’t ready to tell my classmates yet. I was irrationally afraid that something bad would happen if I said something. No, I would wait until the 20 weeks anatomy scan, when I could see my baby next and assure myself everything was going well.

And it was back to masking my symptoms. Fortunately, it was a long, cold winter, so I was able to easily hide my tiny little bump. I was very slender, so was afraid I would start showing quickly. Again, the universe blessed me. Not only was I able to use my winter clothes to hide my body, but I had a very small, very neat bump. Of course, it became a little harder as 20 weeks approached and Spring was slowly coming with the start of March. But I was busy with school. Along with everyone else, I was panicking about the quickly approaching qualifying exams. Someone had calculated we had one less week than the previous cohort to study. To say everyone was in a mild panic by March would be an understatement.

As thrilled as I was to have a happily swimming baby in me, the magic of motherhood was far, far away.

For more about my journey into finding magic in motherhood, head over here.

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