Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, a new weekly series chronicling my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.


Week 13

I’m pregnant! Well, pregnant-ish. That’s what I’m calling it these days. And if you’ve ever been at week 13 of a pregnancy, you might understand what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re showing and maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re sick and maybe you aren’t. Maybe you’ve chosen to shout it from the rooftops, or maybe you’re still pretending that the club soda in your hand is a gin and tonic just so people don’t ask why you’re not drinking.

I’m finding the beginning of pregnancy to be a very conceptual thing. Yes, my husband and I have seen our little buddy on a screen, moving around like a karate expert. And we’ve got the ultrasound pictures up on our refrigerator, just to remind ourselves that it’s real. But, really, after we found out the big news and had a few days of awed joy, we sort of went about our business. There’s nothing changing yet to make baby feel real, like an actual new person who’s going to be here in six months. I don’t look pregnant — I just look like I ate a huge burrito. And we don’t know baby’s gender yet, so we can’t go look at little dresses or footballs to make our baby seem more real. We’re in baby limbo. We’re pregnant-ish.

That being said, there are some pretty specific, non-conceptual, all-too-real symptoms of pregnancy that every sainted mother before me has had to deal with while she’s pregnant-ish. Like, I was prepared for the morning sickness. What I wasn’t prepared for was always-sickness. Worsened, unfortunately, any time I looked at any electronic screen — computer, phone, television. Yeah, figure that one out. Doubling the fun has been the complexion of a distraught teenager, and cellulite that seemingly doubled overnight despite the fact that I’ve only gained three pounds. So while it’s conceptual, it also has changed my body pretty immediately and alarmingly. And that makes it a little hard to keep your head on straight. Anybody feeling me?

All of those things aside, I feel proud of myself this week. I feel like we’re reaching a milestone, now that we are beginning to share the news with our friends and family, and even here with you beautiful mamas. Reaching this point and sharing the news feels like strengthening my team, like there are now bunches of women who have done this before me who have wisdom to share and support to offer. And I’m so glad that I’m almost done being pregnant-ish.

So if you’ve been here before, or are here with me right now, I’d love to know your experiences. What makes you ill? Or did you skip that completely? Are you ready to tell your friends that you’re expecting? Or do you want to hang onto it a little longer? Let’s talk it out guys — because pretty soon the pregnant-ish days will be long gone and we’ll be wishing for the time when it looked like we just ate a big dinner.