One of the first things I did when I found out I was pregnant was to dive into all the pregnancy books that I had and abuse the google search engine. A lot of the info concerned the baby, but I skipped over that minor detail and went straight to the grit of it - what the hell was going to happen to my body??? How much weight was I going to gain? Was my skin going to attack me? Was I going to swell and look like a jumping castle? Would I get to be too intimate with my toilet bowl? So many questions and yet the answers were mixed and somewhat worse than I had feared. When my first prenatal visit came, I asked the doctor so many questions and looked so pallid, that she immediately prescribed me a google-free period for at least a few weeks, warning that people that had bad experiences loved to go on diatribes on the net, while the people that just hummed through it were busy doing other things (and humming through them supposedly) and couldn’t care to type just how great their experience was. I was skeptical about the humming, but I took her advice, lowering my google intake of information, although I was fast becoming a target market for all things maternity for even the most lethargic algorithm.
The first prenatal visit is quite charming. I had mine at five weeks. They swab you, prick you and have to go the intimate route to view the baby. We were on the lookout for a heartbeat. My husband spotted it before the doctor. I was so excited to see a pulsating little dot on the screen, that I began to laugh. You do not want to laugh when the doctor has something jammed up your wazoo. Not fun for the doctor and certainly not fun for you. There is lots of fun during the visit though - you see your baby for the first time and they get you high - for free! And I’m not talking about the excitement of seeing your baby. I’m talking about floating in the sky and being a blubbering laughing mess until you pass out. It was the first time anyone had taken ten vials of blood from me - and it just flowed. The nurse taking my blood had a magic touch but boy could I feel the effects after she finished. I was completely zonked out. I kept staring stupidly at my Bugs Bunny bandaid, forgetting that I should have voiced my allergy to band aids before the incendiary device was placed upon my inflammable skin and tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get up off my chair. Finally, giving up, I recovered in the room, slumped over my concerned husband, who looked as if he had also lost blood merely by looking at how much they had taken from me. After a while, I began to laugh uncontrollably and he decided it was time to go home. It was one of the coldest days in a particularly ferocious winter and we couldn’t get a cab anywhere. So my husband took his high wife on the mid afternoon subway wherein I laughed, then slumped down and passed out and then stumbled out of the subway, laughing all the way home, greeting our neighbours with a suspiciously wide grin proclaiming “I don’t even know what’s so funny”, until I fell on the couch and passed out.
And so the glorious ride of the first trimester began….