Confession #329: I’m not one of those “Pregnancy is so amazing- I could do it over and over” women. I actually don’t understand those women. At all.
I’m writing this with numb hands, so this is bound to be one of the longest posts I’ve ever written in terms of how long it’ll take me to get it out from start to finish. WHY are my hands numb, you ask? Pregnancy, my dears. Its one of the lesser known evils of creating life from scratch.
Some of the books will talk about the side effects of pregnancy, but I think most women- like myself- always skim over those sections in lieu of the better parts- like “What vegetable does does junior resemble right now?” and “Aw! He can blink?!” We skim, that is, until that moment of “OMG! Why can’t I feel my fingers?!” sets in., and then we’re suddenly scouring the internet and books we own, searching for any evidence that we aren’t abnormal.
So, I thought it was time that someone wrote down all the “joys” of pregnancy in one fell swoop, without the blinding fluff, so that fellow preggers like myself had a go-to guide for what the heck is going on with their bodies.
You’re welcome. Or, I’m sorry. Or both.
***Just keep in mind that you might be one of the lucky ones that skates through your pregnancy with the greatest of ease. Every pregnancy is different- take me, for instance. I didn’t even KNOW I was preggo until I was 5 months- no sickness, no weird early cravings- nothing. And now my hands are suddenly numb- something that never happened with any other pregnancy of mine. These symptoms I’m posting are just my general observations of the lesser loved pregnancy details.***
1. Morning Sickness. The “morning” part? Its a lie. Some lovely ladies may very well feel like tossing their Double Stuffed Oreos at any time of the day, while some might just feel constantly queasy. Some might be fine after the first trimester, and then there are some who -sadly- only feel better once they’ve delivered. Of course, then there are those who never feel a lick of morning sickness- you are among the awe-inspiring. I recently spoke with a girlfriend of mine who is also pregnant and some “well intentioned” woman said it wasn’t a good sign that my friend hadn’t been sick. If someone -other than a doctor- ever seems concerned, ignore them. You’ve been blessed. Accept it and move on. Chances are, you’ll probably come down with one of the other “joys” of pregnancy anyways.
2. The need to pee- ALL. THE. TIME. For whatever medical reason is out there, the second trimester is about the only time you aren’t constantly searching for a restroom. The urge may or may not hit you suddenly. I remember just recently being on vacation with the hubby. We had a long drive ahead of us and I was sure I was fine right then. I got in the car, and suddenly, the bathroom wasn’t close enough. I know there’s a fantastic medical reason for why peeing constantly in the 1st trimester happens, but -just so you know- in the third trimester, its not just because your baby is taking up larger real estate. Its also because they like to play kickball with your bladder.
3. Peeing when you laugh. Or cough. Or sneeze. And it gets worse with every succeeding pregnancy. I used to laugh at those Depends commercials; now I not only sing along with the Tena Twist commercial, but I wonder if I should check into pricing.
4. Constant fatigue. Imagine you’re lying in bed, dying of thirst, and needing to pee a river. Now, imagine your body says,”Eh- everything’s too far away. You’re good.” Sound ridiculous? Yeah. Notsomuch. Sometimes the battle you’re waging is moving vs. not moving, and you won’t even have the energy to come up with a good reason as to why this is even a battle to be won.
5. Cravings. I honestly should have known I was pregnant the first time I thought that 4 pieces of cinnamon sugar toast -with more cinnamon sugar than toast- was a healthy mid afternoon snack… all eaten within a 5 minute period. The funny thing is, I’ve always loved cinnamon and sugar, so this wasn’t a huge stretch. Some gals might be like me and suddenly have a deeper desire for something they already love. Of course, then there are those that suddenly find themselves dreaming of something they NEVER would have wanted. It made me laugh when I heard about a gal who was a vegetarian, and she started salivating at the thought of a big, juicy hamburger. Say it with me: I do not own my body. I am merely a host to a parasite with a voracious appetite, and I must bow down to its desires… or else I’ll have dreams about those desires nightly. Seriously- it happens. (If you start dreaming about something harmful, though, DO NOT indulge. Tell your doctor- immediately.)
6. Food aversions. The evil brother of cravings is aversions, and sometimes its not just the taste that turns the stomach. Sometimes the thought of the process the food had to take to get from farm to plate is all it’ll take to make you queasy. The funny thing about aversions is that they’ll sometimes follow you even after pregnancy. I woke up one morning to leftovers from the night before sitting in our sink. I no longer find Hamburger Helper helpful.
7. Mood Swings. If you find yourself crying while watching the Folgers or Zillow commercials- well, ok, those make me weepy even NOT pregnant. However, if you find yourself breaking down in the produce aisle because the only ripe avocado has a hole in it and then you get enraged at the insect that chose to eat THAT particular avocado, and then you get more upset because now you have to find something else for dinner, but then you get happy because you see frozen pizzas on sale- you just might be pregnant. Shirts should be made available to all pregnant women that have a sort of apology or warning saying,”I’m hormonal- be nice.” Of course, then we’d probably spill something on them and break down because it was our only clean shirt right then.
7. Overheating. Is it getting hot in here? Nope- its just you. Your baby and extra padding is now keeping you at a temp sometimes equal to the fires of Hades. I’ve, personally, tried sleeping with an ice pack under my neck, slathering lotion all over while my fan blows on me, and sleeping in nothing but my knickers. The thing is, its an all consuming kind of heat, so it really doesn’t matter what you do. You can’t remove your skin, so you’re kind of doomed.
8. Inability to breathe. I’ve been told that when the baby drops, that I’ll regain use of my lungs, but seeing as how I kind of need my lungs to breathe, this information isn’t all too useful. Sometimes, when I stretch my arms up really high and twist a little, I’m able to catch a big enough breath to keep me from passing out, but more often than not, I feel as if I have a tiny intruder slowly suffocating me from the inside.
9. Rockin’ and rollin’. As your baby gets bigger, its real estate gets smaller, so -just like you’re moving constantly to get comfortable- Jr. is, too. The funny thing is, though, I don’t think my little guy is always trying to get comfortable. I think he somehow obtained a bitty baby jackhammer and is attempting to increase his living space. Whatever the reason for his insane movements, though, there are times that they go from being entertaining to being just plain downright painful.
10. Heartburn and acid reflux. Ah, yes. There’s nothing I love more than the feeling of my digestive system being set on fire. And its TRULY a not-so-rare treat when my stomach acids make their way up my throat and I nearly choke to death on them- and I positively LOVE when this all occurs while I’m getting a rare moment of restful sleep. Pure bliss.
11. Carpal Tunnel. Also known as “I miss the use of my hands.” This symptom is one that I’ve only recently been privy to during the course of this pregnancy, and I’ve got to say, I’m quite thankful for that. If you’ve ever woken up and had to wait for your arm or foot to follow suit, then you might slightly know how AWESOME it feels to have that same feeling all day long in both hands. Its been explained to me that the extra fluids I’m carrying cause pressure in nerves and such. Its also been explained to me that the baby might just be sitting in a position that is incompatible with the circulation to my hands. All I know is, its taking me FAR too long to write this post and its all due to my fingers feeling wonky.
12. Restlessness at night. Now, this is the real kicker. We get to be exhausted ALL day long, and when night falls, sleep eludes us. It makes sense, to a degree, when you take into account the need to pee, the overheating, the inability to breathe, the baby rockin’ and rollin’, the heartburn, the -God forbid- acid reflux, and hands that are so numb it hurts, but it just doesn’t seem fair. Sleep should be our reprieve from the pregnancy pains, but, instead, it gets interrupted or done with altogether BECAUSE of the other pregnancy symptoms.
So, there you have it- 12 pregnancy sentences- I’m sorry, SYMPTOMS- that COULD happen to you. If you’re just starting out, good luck and I hope you’re one of the lucky ones I’ve spoken of. If not, console yourself that you aren’t alone and, also, that millions of us have eventually made it through to the end.
Its ok, though. It’ll all be worth it when you’re holding your new little parasite in your arms.