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Gemma’s Beginning

Gemma - 16 weeks along

Gemma – 16 weeks along

The irony of pregnancy is that it is so common and mundane … you see pregnant women every day, yet when you are pregnant yourself, you realize it is one of – if not THE – most incredible experience of your life.  I mean you are making another human being in your belly for God’s sake.  When else are you more connected to your biology, physiology, animal instincts and most likely your spirituality? (Although admittedly swelling and indigestion rarely lead to thoughts of your divinity.)  You are bringing a new soul to Earth through a body that you are making in your own body.  Pretty rad, indeed.

For me, pregnancy was amazing, magical, sometimes uncomfortable and basically like witnessing a live science experiment underway in my body.  I knew I was pregnant practically from the minute it happened. We were so lucky with Gemma … or as I truly believe, we witnessed divine intervention.  We’d been talking about when we would start our family – ideally after we married, but Marco was still working on his PhD.  I stressed to him that Mother Nature was not concerned that he would be finished with his dissertation soon. She had her own agenda.  I’d just turned 37 and hoped for two children since Marco and I are both only children (no aunts, uncles or cousins) – so we needed to get busy … literally!  Having no idea how to get pregnant, only know-how about how not to get pregnant, I turned to my trusty go-to friend, Google.  Up came a website offering a downloadable .pdf entitled “How To Get Pregnant.”  Check!  I paid my five bucks and downloaded the instruction booklet which detailed all the signs to look for to determine when you are fertile.  Low and behold it was describing what was happening with me at that moment.  A few days later on a Tuesday evening in July (July 20, 2010 to be exact) we … cue the Al Green music … and thanks to perfect timing I ovulated the next morning around 8am.  Gemma was on her way.

Six-months pregnant

My body began changing immediately.  Most resources say the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period, or even that it’s impossible to know if you’re pregnant before a missed period.  But there may be many tell-tell signs before then.  Because I specifically felt ovulation (in my right ovary) I knew there was a good chance something could happen.  I stayed tuned to a play-by-play of bodily clues over the next several weeks. Here are some of the symptoms I experienced: change in my digestion, heartburn, fuller and sore breasts with nipples that were … a dead give-away, stuffy nose, dry mouth/watery mouth, dizzy, hot, low energy, occasional highs of feeling elated from hormones, waking very early in the morning for no reason, loss of appetite, lower abdominal cramps and bloated belly which I could not suck in to save my life, and just a sense of knowing I was pregnant.  Sounds like a blast, huh?  Although I was uncomfortable at times I didn’t mind and was grateful for the signs my body was giving me.  Even though I felt sure I was pregnant I was still scared to take a pregnancy test.  After reading pregnancy tests could be wrong I decided I would wait it out and go to the doctor to be tested.  I assumed they would give me a blood test which would be certain confirmation.  Two and half weeks after I ovulated I went to the doctor.  They were pretty puzzled that I was sure I was pregnant but had not taken a pregnancy test yet.  And I was puzzled when they came in with a stick to pee on … not exactly the high-tech method I’d hoped for, but if it was good enough for them it would be good enough for me.  It was positive.  (smile)

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