TGIF: I’m Making A Human!

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Nothing can prepare you for the moment you discover you’re … pregnant.

I’d spent five days comatose on the couch, straddling a hot water bottle, nursing a stomach flu, a fever and a smokers cough. I’d chugged many potent cocktails of Nyquil, Advil and lemon tea. To my left was a graveyard of used Kleenex. And to my right was my trusty “In sickness and in health” Husband steering the Netflix cruise liner we’d boarded a week before.

Somewhere between hacking up a lung and making a fresh bowl of popcorn for The Good Wife season one finale, Husband wondered out loud if my recent Cirque Du Soleil health was in some way reproduction-related.

We brushed aside the theory but picked up a pregnancy test on our next visit to the grocery store.

Unfortunately, we had inconclusive results on the first (cheap) pregnancy test….

Husband: OMG. Two pink lines!!! You’re pregnant.
Me: What are you talking about? I can barely see the second pink line.

So Husband made a second trip to the drugstore at 11pm and blew our grocery budget on pregnancy tests and a box of ice cream cones. Because reasons–>!@#^^&#*!@

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Well, the second test didn’t leave much room for debate…

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We paced around the house like Kramer, stopping only to shake each other by the shoulder and scream gibberish.

This got old after 15 minutes. So we called our parents.

What I Said: Hi Mom! Sorry didn’t mean to call so late. Guess what? We’re pregnant!

What I Wanted to Say: Mommy + Daddy, HOLD ME!!! I don’t know ANYTHING about ANYTHING!!! Can I sleep in your bed tonight/this month/forever? Can you sing Soft Kitty and stroke my hair?

I stared at the pregnancy tests in wonder and watched Husband go from total shock to sobering acceptance: Netflix Captain to…Dad (!?!)

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I can’t say the first trimester was all cupcakes and corndogs. I feel like I’ve had my head stuck inside a turkey for three months. And all the turkey juice marinating my head has made me veryveryvery sleepy, uninspired and nauseous. One minute I’m hibernating like a bear and the next minute I’m having a panic attack about giving birth to an angsty teenager who slams the door in my face. #ididntsignupforthis

January was anti-climatic because 2014 was going to be the year of doing ALL THE THINGS. Not just regular “things” but The-Things-Tina-Really-Wanted-To-Do-In-2013 but didn’t have the guts to do. Like experimenting with personal projects, finding a creative mentor, doing an internship, more international projects, etc. Then I spent half of January with my head stuck down a toilet, and the other half obsessing about how I was going to take care of a child when I’m too lazy to check our mailbox.

Isn’t parenting about doing all the hard things OVERANDOVERANDOVER?

Luckily, in late January, I got to tag along with husband on a work trip to Paris. I promptly proceeded to spend our dream vacation with impromptu bouts of hibernation and having my head down a toilet yet again. The highlight of the trip was meeting up with fellow pregnant SheLovely Fiona. I totally get why Mary traveled to meet up with her cousin Elizabeth now. It was amazing to vent with someone in a similar season. She gently reassured me that I didn’t have to be fearful about losing the baby, anxious about being a bad mother or ashamed about being exhausted.

“You’re making a human!!!” she laughed. “Be kind to yourself.”

Fiona

The good news is that I’m officially in my second trimester. Woohoo! I wake up before noon, respond to email and even comb my hair! On good days, I take raw ingredients from the pantry and transform them into magical meals. And on REALLY good days, I do laundry. Wash clothes, fold them and put them away. (Instead of making a lemony smelling nest to hibernate in.)

The fog is slowly starting to lift and I’m starting to feel tiny pockets of my energy return.

I wanted to break the news about our baby to my SheLoves family first because THIS is where it all started. I’ve written about saying yes to the boy, marrying the boy, growing up with the boy, STILL loving the boy and fighting with the boy.

Sooo…here is a random list of Things My Baby is Already Teaching Me:

1. No is a complete sentence – As a result of my turkey-induced hangover and physical limitations I had to pull out of many commitments early this year. I’ve discovered much to my chagrin that the world continues to spin on its axis without the people-pleasing “Yes” of Saint Tina Francis. So unbelievably liberating. #whoknew

2. My Body is a Freaking Wonderland – Some days I’m convinced there is more than a bun in my oven. Try a coconut, a pheasant, a rubik’s cube and a medium-sized watermelon! It’s a little disconcerting when you can’t button up your jeans or zip up your biggest hoodie. I’m not big enough to wear maternity clothes or small enough to wear my current wardrobe. Ick. But before the naughty gremlins completely hijack my mind … I take a look at my pregnancy App and see that my magnificent body has managed to take a baby-seedling the size of a pea and nurture it into a Georgia Peach, and most recently a Navel Orange. If that isn’t a miracle I don’t know what is.

3. Que Sera Sera (What Will Be Will Be) – I’m living on the edge these days. I’m reading books that no one is recommending, perusing blogs with less than 23 readers and listening to podcasts that tickle my fancy. This is the most creatively nourished and alive I’ve felt in a really long time. I’m sort of winging it at the moment, and by it, I mean life. I have no idea what the pregnancy books say, or what the cool kids on Twitter are up to or what the next steps are in terms of my career. I’m learning to be okay with ambiguity. I’m investing in relationships, making giants vats of chilli and learning how to be awake to my right-now life. Spring smells strangely like freedom, y’all.

When all else fails, I pray the three essential prayers as per Saint Anne Lamott, “Help! Thanks! Wow!”

Help God! I’m starting to get squirelly and anxious again.
Thanks God! I appreciate my round caboose.
Wow God! I’m making a #!@#$^*(%$ human!

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Keeping a secret is EXHAUSTING, you guys!

*big exhale*

So now that all my favourite people in the world know The News, pray tell:

– Any tales of wisdom for this squirelly super-green Momma?
– Any crappy first trimester stories? SPILL!

Love you more than Turkey Chilli!

xoxo,
Teen

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Tina Francis
My name is Tina. Loved ones call me: Teen. Words are my chocolate. Music, my caramel. Photography, my bread. Girlfriends, my butter. Confession: Some girls dream about Manolo Blahniks or their next Hermes bag. Not me. I dream of freshly baked bread, perfectly barbecued meat & steaming bowls of Pho. My dream lover *cue Mariah Carey song* is someone who would read out a menu to me in Barry White’s baritone voice. I celebrate food, ask for help, interrupt conversations, laugh and cry hard, acknowledge the elephant in most rooms, fight for the underdog and believe in the power of storytelling. I was born and raised in Dubai and currently live in the beautiful city of Vancouver, known for some of the best sushi in the world.
Tina Francis
Tina Francis