Warning: This article contains references to bodily fluids emitted during a woman’s first trimester of pregnancy.
I worked full-time while pregnant with my son. I got up at 5 a.m. and took a park-and-ride bus that smelled like feet and old sandwiches, all the while praying that I wouldn’t projectile vomit on my fellow commuters. My husband and I are nine weeks into my second pregnancy, and I can already tell this time around is going to be just a little less enchanting.
At church the other day, a woman gushed to me about her first experience at growing a child. She said things like “full of life” and “ran marathons in my third trimester.” “How nice,” I wanted to say. “During my first pregnancy, I threw up in my lunch bag three times on the way home from work.”
Of course, it’s not her fault I drew the short straw both times. But now, instead of throwing up into corporate office toilets, I am throwing up into toilets I know haven’t been cleaned in weeks. At least at work, the bathrooms were cleaned by the night crew. At home, I am the night crew. And the day crew.
My house is slowly crumbling into a pit of graham cracker crumbs and un-swept dog hair.
People tell me all this misery means the baby is a girl, but I know the truth. Part of the miracle of birth is forgetting how it feels to be pregnant–like you’ve just eaten an entire Thanksgiving meal but are forbidden to use the restroom.
I know this too shall pass, and one day I will again be able to eat a Big Mac without seeing it return moments later in its full form. And I’ll be able to walk more than 10 steps without needing to sit down.
Carrie Taylor is a native Texan and mother of one.