We agreed on keeping the pregnancy a ‘secret’ until we were out of the danger zone of the first trimester, but of course there were a few more persons we had to tell. I for one needed help, since I had no clue what to do.
For the next few days, all I kept thinking was: there is a real live parasite growing in my tummy.
In fact, this is how I announced it to a few of my closest friends: “Guys there is a parasite growing inside of me.”
“Lecia! Please do not go around calling the baby a parasite! And please, please do not write it in any of your blog posts. Ever!”
“Relax, Fran. Jeesh. It’s a good parasite, but a parasite nonetheless.”
Sure, a baby is an amazing blessing, a miracle even. But, you know what else an unborn baby is? A parasite. Don’t believe me. Go ask your doctor. My friends (including those who have babies) all know that I refer to unborn babies as parasites. I wasn’t about to stop simply because the baby was now mine.
Have you met those women who are so obsessed about babies, the minute they discover they are pregnant, they immediately start researching and reading up on everything they need to know? Yeah… not me. Thankfully, my friends were both excited and helpful. A friend sent me a really cool book called, "The Pregnancy Journal" and Garfield immediately started downloading every baby app he could find. I particularly like The Bump and What to Expect. Basically, they tell you everything you need to know with tons of updates in digestible pieces.
Knowing that I was a bag of mixed emotions, Garfield was super-duper nice and unusually patient. The cynic in me is cringing even as I write this, but yes, I was all mush when he sent me flowers at work, and I think I fell in love just a tad bit more, each day, that he would causally pop by work to bring me lunch. He'll tell you it was to deliver lunch, but I know that was his way of checking in on me.
But he was also annoying. Like waking me up at 3 a.m. to reel off a list of foods I shouldn’t eat, then making a pop quiz of it later in the morning.
“Babe, you remember the list of things you shouldn’t eat?”
Or waking me up from my deep, deep sleep to insist that I take the prenatal vitamins.
Man! That night, I was so mad, I slept on the couch. I really hate those things.
On a more positive note, now that I knew exactly what was happening to me, I didn’t have too many more psychotic episodes. Well, save for cravings and the day I cried for eggs.
On this particular Sunday, I woke up craving an egg sandwich. I was heading to my girlfriend’s house to get my makeup done for an event and stopped by Burger King. I don’t know if I ordered the wrong sandwich or they gave me the wrong order, but when I got to my girlfriend’s home and anxiously tore open the sandwich wrap, there was only ham. No eggs. I burst into tears.
Terri erupted in laughter, even as she tried to assure me that all was well, “Don’t worry Lecia, we have eggs!”
You know my crying was bad because her husband abandoned the football match he was watching to fry me an egg.
I rang Garfield, “Burger King forgot my egg!” I blurted out in between sobs.
“And you’re crying?” I could tell he was trying to mask his bewilderment.
“Yes! Because I really wanted eggs,” I cried.
“Lecia, here is your egg. Please don’t cry anymore.” Arvel carefully placed the egg in my sandwich. I bit into my sandwich grinning like a Cheshire puss.
Between you and me, I think Arvel may have made a silent vow never, ever to impregnate his wife.
Terri was still rolling with laughter.
“This will make a great story!” She laughed.
I was too busy eating my now perfect egg sandwich to care.
Hello, weird cravings
The egg melt down was just the beginning. I would quickly discover that I could no longer stand my favourite foods – fish, broccoli and cauliflower made (still makes) me gag. Pork, beef (especially corned beef) and anything salty were my new favourites.
Isn’t it strange how a little human growing inside of you suddenly calls the shots dictating what you can and cannot eat, like randomly deciding that corned beef and scrambled eggs are the shiznit or that stew peas and tripe and beans (yuck?) are prefect together.
Is it any wonder that not even science has come up with a rational explanation for these weird cravings?
Side note: if you are pregnant and you are craving strange things such as chalk, dirt or ice, then you have what is called Pica. Pica is the practice of craving substances with little or no nutritional value. Some studies have linked these cravings to iron deficiency, but this is not always the case.
For all my tough exterior and calling the growing bump all sorts of names (parasite/alien), nothing and I mean nothing can prepare you for the first moment you actually witness a human being moving around inside of you.
I couldn’t control the tears. Seeing a real mini-human move about inside you is an incredibly surreal moment. I was in awe.
Wow! This. Is. Really. Happening.
And just as suddenly, my indescribable joy was replaced by panic, “Dear God, please, please don’t let anything go wrong.”
Tears again. Like really, keep it together Lecia! I kept chiding myself. Garfield had a huge grin plastered on his face as he captured the photos and videos on his phone (as if they weren’t going to be emailed to us). As we drove home, even he had to admit it was a pretty surreal moment.
The public announcement
If you know my husband then you’d know he was bound to make an event out of the announcement. And if you know me, you know I’d roll my eyes at all his out-of-this world ideas, try to rein him in and then finally concede.
“So, what concept have we decided on?”
“Don’t worry man, Dwayne and I are working on that?” He was referring to Dwayne Watkins. The Dwayne Watkins, the best photographer this side of the world.
“OMG! It’s not that serious though?! Dwayne?! Does he even have time?”
“Lecia. Don’t worry ‘bout this. We’ve got this!”
“Fine, just tell me what I need to wear, when and where.”
My cynicism gave way to excitement when Dwayne sent us the concept for the announcement shoot. Dwayne and Kimmy were inspired by the movie “The Pacifier” and we saw it as a perfect opportunity to follow through on the movie theme from our wedding almost five years ago (which was captured by Dwayne by the way).
With a little tweaking from us, the “Laying down the Law” concept was finalised and we were ready to go.
My role in the photo-shoot was simple. Aside from recruiting the world’s best makeup artist (my bestie, Terri of course), all I needed was a suit from my closet. Basically, I was playing dress-up as myself (the “lawyer”) in our Law and Order theme.
Garfield had all the work to do. He needed to bring ‘The Pacifier’ to life, and boy did he go to work! He probably bought all the bottles and toys he could find in BabyBop.
“Did you leave anything in the store? And what are we going to do with all those bottles after the shoot? Do you think we are having sextuplets?”
“Easy yourself. By the way, Mark is going to make the ammunition belt for me.” (FYI - That’s the belt holding the bottles).
“Mark?! Mark has time to make that?” As far as I was concerned Mark – Mark Anthony, the amazing fashion designer — surely had more important things to do than take on Garfield and his baby announcement project.
“You cyan make it yourself or go to a regular tailor? Why do these people always indulge you and your madness?”
“Why you so bad mind? We have this thing lock!”
I ignored the comment about bad mind, “Oh, don’t forget, we’ll need a print out of the ultrasound.”
‘I’m already on top of that, Signs Jamaica is taking care of that!” He said proudly.
“Signs Jamaica!? So what happen to the printer right there?” I was pointing to our printer on the computer desk.
“Lecia, just easy. Leave this to me.”
Exasperated, I walked away.
Sure enough, Garfield was completely equipped for the photo shoot, props and all.
And it turned out to be a blast!
Kimmy made delicious ribs for dinner (yeah, food!) Terri did my fabulous makeup and Michelle (of B3 Parenting Magazine) stopped by to help. Thanks to Michelle’s creative direction and of course team DWP, we captured some amazing shots. The finishing touches or the movie magic was applied by team DWP’s graphic artist, Dwayne Jureidini.
As expected throughout the entire photo shoot Garfield was his usual I-really-think-I’m-a-Hollywood-actor-self while I rolled my eyes, played along and prayed for it to be over.
In the end, even I had to admit that they were break-the-internet worthy photos. Loved em’!
Now on to the next chapter trimester…
How did you announce your pregnancy? Who was more excited to share the news, you or your spouse?