Editor’s Note: Jenna will be blogging about her adventures through pregnancy. This is her first installment of Jenna's (Baby) Food for Thought.
It's the month 5 B.C. (Before Childbirth, as in 5 months before I give beautiful birth), and I'm sitting down to share what's been brewing on my mind lately. I assume that by the time 5 A.D. comes around. (After Delivery, as in 5 months after this little kicker comes out) the following will be nothing more than a barrel of laughs. But for now, it's taking up a lot of real estate in my daily life.
Of all the jaw-dropping, head-turning and eye-popping things I've ever told my friends and family ("I swam with killer sharks," "I jet-packed 30 feet out of the water," "I scaled the tallest building in Canada"), nothing garnered more shock and awe (and, yes, some tears) than when I told people I was pregnant.
Just writing those words -- "I'm pregnant" -- is surreal to me. After all, I was never the kid that ran around playing house. I never had daydreams about being a mom and raising a family. I was the kid who jumped out of trees and skinned my knees and taunted bees. As a kid, I would have chosen raising my adrenaline over raising children any day of the week. But then a funny thing happened on my way to adulthood … I grew up. I ran smack into the old nursery rhyme: "First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes Jenna pushing a baby carriage." Granted, things aren't falling into that exact order. (And are they still called carriages? Aren't they strollers? Clearly I have a lot to learn.)
But while my life didn't quite unfold as rhymed, it's awfully close. How close? My girlfriend, Stephanie Gosk, and I are expecting a baby girl the end of August. As of this week, I am about five months pregnant. (And I Googled "baby carriage." Apparently it still exists.)
Stephanie, a foreign correspondent here at NBC, spent years in war-torn countries, risking life and limb in the most dangerous places on earth to tell amazing stories. Ever since I can remember, I've been a thrill-seeking, dare deviling, adventure-hopping, fearless chick who enjoys the rush of life. Between the two of us, we've seen and we've done more than most will in a lifetime. And yet both of us agree that THIS little girl will be the biggest and best adventure of our lives.
So why now? After all the reasons why I didn't think I wanted a baby, why did we decide to do it now? You want the truth? Something just sort of told me it was time. Two years into a great relationship and we felt like we wanted to share our adventures with a wide-eyed, little person. The more we talked about it, the better the idea seemed. And so in December, we embarked on Operation Baby. And might I just add that despite the morning sickness, it's been the best decision we've ever made. (But come back and talk to me when the kid is screaming her lungs out at all hours of the night.)
My pregnancy is already taking me on a journey I could only imagine before. If you asked me a year ago what 'five months pregnant' looked and felt like, I'd probably have told you that it looked round and felt heavy -- a simple answer from someone who's clearly never hopped on this merry-go-round before. This baby doesn't care that I was in phenomenal shape before getting pregnant. She doesn't care that I had a near perfect diet. She made the first four months brutal for me … B-R-U-T-A-L. There were days when all I could eat were Saltine crackers, Apple Jacks dry cereal and plain pasta. Let's just say I have a newfound respect for any woman anywhere who tells me they've experienced morning sickness.
The other thing you're never quite prepared for is embracing and not fighting the fact that you get bigger every day. As a personal trainer, it goes against everything I've ever known. But since it's this breathtaking thing happening in m'belly, you kind of just smile and watch it happen.
Let me be very clear about something: I AM NOT THE FIRST WOMAN WHO'S EVER HAD A BABY. I completely understand and appreciate that statement. I am, however, having a baby for the first time. And there's a big difference. This blog isn't about stating the obvious to swarms of amazing women who've had children. It's instead about documenting my fears, funnies and follies that come with doing this for the first time. I've never changed a diaper. I don't know how to decorate a nursery. I don't really understand what a breast pump is. And don't get me started on the feeding schedule.
Other things on my mind that I'll be sharing over the next 20 weeks: my romp through the “What to Expect …” books (I expected bigger font, more pictures and less pages), the advice I'm getting from people (everyone knows the baby gadget I absolutely MUST have, and if I don't, my baby will be an outcast in society), and the weird thing in our culture where apparently it's OK to just walk up to you and touch your belly. Did I not get that memo?
For now though, there's a Saltine cracker calling my name.
Thanks for the time.
Jenna (and the little girl who's forced to go everywhere I go until the day she's born)