Saturday, April 6, 2013

Some candid thoughts on pregnancy...

These last nine months have been a trip, y'all. Mostly, they have been filled with moments of awe and wonder and love, and I will never get over how incredible it is to assist God in creating a life.
But, let's just be completely honest. There have been a billion times in the last thirty-eight weeks where I've had a "What the...?" moment.  My body has done things that I never expected, and it hasn't all been pretty. 
So for those of you who haven't yet experienced all of the "joys" of pregnancy, I feel like it's my duty to tell you what you're in for.  Here's a candid list of questions you may end up asking yourself when the time comes.  I share because I care. :)
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Would anyone notice if I took a little nap at my desk right now?
That first trimester brings with it exhaustion like you've never ever known.  I made it through four years of difficult biochemistry courses and three years of law school without feeling as tired as I felt those first few months.  Just sleep when you can and look forward to the awesomeness that is the second trimester.  (And do be sure and enjoy that burst of energy when it comes because the third trimester is just as exhuasting as the first.)
Do I look pregnant or just fat?
Sorry, friend, but you won't look pregnant to anyone but you for awhile.  You'll see that bump start to emerge almost immediately, but most people will be too scared to assume it's a baby or ask you about it until it's really obvious.  And can you really blame them?  No one wants to be the person who makes that mistake...   
Will I ever be able to go #2 without struggling again?
You will.  The constipation doesn't last forever, I promise.
What does heartburn feel like?
If you, like me, hadn't experienced heartburn and/or indigestion before you got pregnant, you'll hear about how bad it can be during pregnancy and wonder what it feels like.   Unfortunately, it's just as terrible as you've heard, and as time goes on, those Tums will be about as effective at keeping it at bay as swallowing a bottle of Tabasco.  Get yourself some Zantac and avoid Mexican food like the plague. 
What the heck is happening to my nipples? 
They're getting darker and bigger and just generally more funky-looking every day.  But apparently I haven't seen anything yet -- nursing will supposedly bring even more fun nipple surprises my way.  Goody.
Is it possible to get stretch marks on my feet?
I know not everyone swells the way I have swelled, but if you're one of the unfortunate ones who will end up with feet and ankles as thick as they are wide, you'll check your feet make your husband check your feet every day for signs of stretch marks.  Thankfully, we've avoided those so far.
Is my face really as fat as it looks in pictures?
I hate to tell you, but it probably is.
Is it socially acceptable to flick people in the nose after they comment on how huge I am?
Everyone loves a pregnant lady.  Most of the time it's fabulous, but sometimes people just can't resist telling you how humongous you are.  (I had someone tell me at seven months that I looked like I was ready to pop.)  Or how you, like them, aren't one of the lucky ones who look like they stuck a basketball in their shirts.  I appreciate the commiseration.  I really do.  And I own a mirror, so I'm under no delusions about what I look like.  But, as women, I think we should all make a pact right this second to promise to never tell another woman that she's "so huge" or "enormous" or anything even remotely close to those sentiments.  I say a little white lie in this situation won't do anyone any harm...

Why does my bladder hate me?

I pee approximately every 30 minutes to an hour during the day, and I get up at least three times a night to pee.  (A couple of weeks ago, I literally got up every hour on the hour for six hours straight.)  As far as I can tell, there's no stopping the daytime trips to the bathroom (I do have to stay hydrated, after all), but limiting my fluids after 7:30 p.m. seems to help at night.  Well, that and the thought that this, too, shall pass.  (Pun totally intended.)
Will my... ahem... lady parts resume their normal size and shape after childbirth?
We're in this one together, y'all.  I sure hope the answer to this question is yes.
What were we thinking??  I have no idea how to keep a little person alive!
Again, I obviously haven't yet been able to test this one out, but I'll tell you what I tell myself when I start wondering whether I'm going to be a good mom:  there are thousands of women way dumber than I am who manage to raise perfectly healthy and well-adjusted children to adulthood.  If they can do it, then surely I can too.

I hope it goes without saying that every ache/pain/pimple I've experienced in the last nine months have been absolutely worth it.  I'd do it all again (and probably will do it all again in a few years) to bring a baby into the world.  And I don't take a single second for granted. 

Even so... we owe it to ourselves to be honest enough to laugh at all the crazy things our bodies do for the sake of and in preparation for childbirth.  In the grand scheme of things, nine months really isn't very long, and I hear that we'll be longing for this time again someday.  (Although I feel sure we won't miss the clown feet.  Can I get an amen?)


Rebekah said...

The one I had to ask myself after Ana was born was "will I ever stop crying?". I was not prepared for the emotional turmoil I would feel after I got home. Don't worry too much if for the first 3-4 weeks you cry at every drop of a hat. I was so tired and overwhelmed I didn't know how I was going to manage. Then one day, around 4 weeks or so, it all just clicked and while motherhood has been the hardest thing I've ever done, it is so worth it.

Angie said...

I love this! My BFF and I talk quite regularly about all of the "unmentioned" goings on of pregnancy--we felt so ill-warned from lady friends who had gone before us! And just wait...there are things you weren't warned about that will happen after she's born too... Joys of mommyhood :) The good moments make the bad ones a bit easier though.

Anonymous said...

I like how you describe it as "assisting" God in creating a life. :) I hate when people act like they alone are responsible for their child's existence. It happens because God permits it. :)

Jessica K said...

Oh man. The heartburn was the worst! Angie is right - people lie about what happens after as well.... just be warned! :)

Kristin said...

Well, if I wasn't terrified over the idea of having a baby before...

Just kidding (I think). I'm glad you're almost to the finish line! Happy Sunday!

ThistleAshD said...

haha- you get a lot of amen's from me on this. I wish I could say you feel normal eventually. Mostly you do- but I really think there are things about my body that just will never be normal again :)

It is worth it though. And also taught me humility ;)

Christina said...

Great read and so very true. I am due on the 18th with #2 and feel that this pregnancy has been better than the first (albeit I was a bit more sick this time around). Having been so busy with my toddler, I didn't have time to focus on the pregnancy as much as I did the 1st time around. I feel I have enjoyed it much more. I also feel more excited about bringing this guy into the world since I have a bit more experience under my belt...not to mention im a bit more prepared for the The childbirth/post childbirth process than I was the first time around. Best of luck on your delivery...any day now. I know I'm ready ;)

suzan said...

you get a lot of amen's from me on this. I wish I could say you experience regular gradually. Mostly you do- but I really think there are factors about my system that just will never be regular again :)
Tubal Reversal

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