No, no, no! I’m not the preggo one. That takes guts…and,well, a uterus. I will joyfully leave that up to women and transmen who are up for the challenge. I bow to you!
Since I’m a brand-spanking-new-to-be-dad (could I add another hyphen?), I thought I’d start sharing a bit of life as the spouse of a pregnant person.
Finding out was truly the ultimate. You FINALLY see a second, pink line and your jaw drops. It’s kinda sorta like the way you felt the first time you went to Disney World…only this is ten times better.
It’s like you have that whole, “I believe it! I don’t believe it! I believe it! No, really?!?” You start to feel a little bit cuckoo inside…or maybe that was just me because my wife told me in the wee hours of the morning?
She jolted out of bed and said, “I think I’m pregnant!” at 2am. I mumbled something…and rolled over back into dream land. Next thing I know, it’s around 4:30 and I hear, “Tristan…can you please look at this and let me know if I’m crazy or not?”
I tried to swallow the cobwebs that had formed inside my mouth, went to the bathroom, rubbed my eyes and looked at the preggo pee stick on the countertop.
All of the sudden, my eyes almost popped out of my head! “Oh my God!!! You’re not crazy! I see it!!! Two lines!!! You’re pregnant!”
Yeah, we didn’t go back to sleep. We danced around on cloud 9 (maybe even 10) until we had to get ready for work.
T0 tell or not to tell, that is the question
Not telling anyone is like having the ultimate secret. They say to wait until the first trimester is over with just in case of a miscarriage…and we totally tried this…and we waited…and we made it…I think, two days?
The excitement is overwhelming!!! Sicily got a blood test and it was officially confirmed (not like the 10 preggo pee tests were wrong, or anything…) It’s like you can’t hear that your pregnant enough once you first find out. She peed on test sticks for the entire first month!
The First Trimester
Hormones, cravings and shopping…OH MY!
The first three months so far have been my LEAST favorite of pregnancy. Sicily was on progesterone to help sustain the baby and reduce the risk of miscarriage. All this did was make her hormones rage and I had that every day feeling of the dreaded “I do everything wrong!” (I even breathed incorrectly)
The food cravings began and we started to hit every Persian and Mediterranean buffet we could find. There was hummus always amoung us…and yes I rhymed on purpose.
As she slowly started to put on weight, well, so did I. This was the beginning of my “sympathy weight gain” which I wasn’t sympathizing with her…I just felt like I needed to eat for 2…or 3…or 4 myself!
Feeling your pants tighten and moving up a size doesn’t make you feel so hot. I will discuss this more in just a minute or ten (depending on how fast you read).
As a new dad and son of a mega-shopaholic mother…I decided to start hunting down some good deals for the baby.
What a big mistake!
All that did was make Sicily go bonkers since the first 3 months is a kinda scary time. She thought I would jinx the pregnancy by going ahead and buying stuff.
So, I snuck in a pair of baby boots and hid them in a drawer. Who knew she would look in there??? I sure didn’t and I learned to put the brakes on shopping!
Instead of shopping, I uploaded every free pregnancy app I could find and added it to my Droid (whose name is Herman since he is part of the family, even though my wife hates him). I have a countdown widget on my phone and as of today we are in week 24 and have 113 days to go!
Another thing to help the excitement and pass the time was reading all of those books out loud to her. WOW! Who knew there were that many books out there on pregnancy! Of course, THE book all the moms-to-be call the “pregnancy bible” is What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
Personally, I detest this book. To me, it’s a gi-normous book to make a preggo person scared out of their wits. SURE, it’s informative…but, maybe a little too much. Sicily glued this book to herself because she adores it that much. I think she started to bond with that book more than with me! (no joke)
The chick books I dig are The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy. Yup. If I’m going to read up on this stuff, I have to be able to chuckle about it to stay interested more than 10 minutes. SORRY. I have ADHD!
The ULTIMATE thing that happens during the 1st trimester is the ultrasound. Seeing your little nugget for the first time is beyond words (though, I will try to find some)…it is…fan-freaking-tabulous!!!!! Yeah, I had tears in my eyes and I gripped Sicily’s hand and watched our lil peanut on the screen!
Speaking of nuggets, you will be informed by all of the e-newsletters you get and your phone apps what the size of your bambino is week by week. You will be amazed at how many food items your baby will be the size of….my favorite was the orange. They said, “Your baby this week is the size of an orange. Pick one up, look at it, now eat it.” Seriously, folks. Kinda sick, eh? 🙂
The last thing I recall for the first BIG 3 was the heartbeat. Yup. Hearing that rapid thump, thump, thump makes your heart follow right in sync. Between the first ultrasound photo and hearing the heartbeat, you KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the real deal. There is no turning back. A baby is really in her belly!!!!
The Second Trimester
Amazingly, the day the 2nd trimester appeared, it’s like a big DING! went off on the microwave and suddenly, Sicily liked me again! The progesterone days were over with and her hormones got to settle down a bit. She looked at me with a sparkle in her eyes instead of a hiss and snarl in her voice. Ahhh….maybe this won’t be so bad after all?
The first thing when you hit this point is a sigh of relief! At this point it’s more rare to have a miscarriage, so for us we started to settle in and enjoy the ride more.
Then next thing I noticed was Sicily’s baby bump forming. Watching a natural, competitive bodybuilder form a bump on her belly is actually quite fun! More for me than for her…(bahahahaha!)
Actually, Sicily has embraced the bump…and everything else that has changed. Some things, I don’t see at all and I think it’s a figment of her imagination, yet I have learned (or been trained) to be empathetic with all of her feelings…even if they sound cuckoo to me!
At 16 weeks, we went for a 4-D experience and THAT was incredible! That is when we found out we were indeed having a BOY (though, we both already had a gut feeling!)
Speaking of GUTS, let me go back to that…”sympathy weight.” Yeah. Good times. So, around this time is when my “big boy britches” were starting to get snug and I realized if I didn’t soon get a grip and drop the fork, I was about to look pregnant, too!
People tell you to sleep all you can now, but Sicily didn’t wait to start “nesting” until her 3rd trimester…she started in her FIRST. I have torn the house apart and been putting it all back together. Time for the gym? Only at 4:30am which I have forced upon myself a handful of times. But, it comes to a point where you realize that your health is important and you have a bun in the oven that NEEDS you around…for, like, a long time. So, I decided to start eating better and wake up earlier so I can be my very best and reach my goal weight by his birth.
Another incentive for me is the fact that Sicily still goes to the gym 5 days a week. Count them…1, 2, 3, 4, FIVE! Seriously? I’m not even kidding! I wish I was, but I’m not. I have the preggo lady outdoing me…and that’s just plain SAD! Kudos to her and BOO-dos to me. Bad, Tristan! *slap on the wrist*
On a “lighter” note: I think she fell in baby love with the bump when she first felt the baby’s first kicks, which she said felt like gas bubbles. The first time I felt our bambino kick was the evening before my birthday (around 18+ weeks). That has been my most favorite part of these 3 months!
The first time I felt it, I could tell it was this miniature, tiny foot softly thumping my hand. It felt like the size of a small grape (yup, another food comparison…you get used to this in pregnancy).
My heart melted and I still can’t get enough. Every time she tells me he is moving, my hand is drawn to her belly like a magnet!
One thing that I don’t think you “get” until you see it first-hand is what the GLOW is all about. YES, pregnant women DO glow! Sicily is like a beautiful version of my adolescent glow worm…and I can’t get enough. I stare at her dreamily and to me she is the most gorgeous I have ever seen her. There is just something extremely radiant about her being preggo and I have told her that I now want a whole litter just so I can keep her pregnant! (She, on the other hand, would probably shoot me in my sleep).
OH! I forgot to mention this part, but once you find out what you are having (if you choose to) the shopping can begin. This is especially fun, I’ve noticed, for first-time grandparents.
For us, we are thrifty people, so we have been bargain hunting and I believe we have saved hundreds (if not thousands) of buckaroos by buying clearance and gently used items. This, my friends, is the way to do it. Otherwise, you will become baby bankrupt!
Everything is a fortune! Plus, they make you feel like you have to buy a zillion things that are “must-have-items” …. seriously? Sorry, but I don’t remember having my baby wipes in a warmer when I was a little tater. I have a feeling my parents wiped my poopy butt with a cold, wet wipe and I turned out just fine. (Atleast that’s what I keep telling myself)
When Sicily said, “Enough is enough!” for the 30th time was when I felt we needed different types of strollers because I felt (was brainwashed?) they were crucial to have. I told her we needed a travel system, a jogging stroller, a lightweight stroller…at this point she said, “Can we PLEASE just wait for him to get here?” I debated with her and urged her that it’s smart to go ahead and have EVERYTHING before he gets here because we won’t have time once he is here.
After much deliberation, I realized what was truly going on within myself. I was STOKED and SCARED beyond belief at the situation and baby shopping was my therapy. And, yes, therapy is not free.
At this point of the adventure, my mind started to wander as I read through my personal books for soon-to-be fathers.
I started to ponder about life with a baby. I even thought of life as a trans father of a baby boy. Would I truly be able to measure up? Could I answer all of his questions in the future? Would I be lacking something?
I soon came to the realization that everyone has questions before they are a parent. We all strive to be “perfect” and yet when we aren’t (because, let’s face it…who is?) we feel like failures.
Yes, as a trans dad I will measure up, I can answer his questions and I will not be lacking anything. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
I know I can always ask a relative or friend for answers when I have a question. I also had to reassure myself of who I am and regain my confidence in myself. I had come this far in life and becoming a daddy will be the next thing I’m triumphant and victorious with. I will not fail.
In all honesty, even though I’ve had my ups and downs with my own parents…they didn’t fail. When a parent truly does their very best and does so with what they feel is all the love in their heart…they aren’t failing. Sure, they made some bad decisions and messed up…sometimes, BIG time….but, they are HUMAN. And…so am I, most days. So, I can only do my very best as a dad and I know that first and foremost it’s about loving my son unconditionally and helping to guide his footsteps in his own journey of life so he will have what it takes to one day spread his wings and soar.
To be continued
As we approached the 3rd trimester in just a couple of weeks, my baby posts will become the “TransParent Files” series. Sicily just might post some, too! There is much more to come…and Sicily is becoming a bit terrified at the realization her beloved bump is about to DOUBLE in size! (insert cheesy, horror movie music)