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Monday, August 1, 2011

Pregnancy: A Round Up

Pregnancy is such an interesting phenomenon in terms of, well, everything. I mean, you literally grow a person from two cells. Which is a total and complete mindfuck. But I'm referring specifically to how it's such different experience from person to person. Some people hate it and are so sick and have terrible symptoms; some love it and have 19 kids and counting; most are probably in some gray area in between.

I was one of the lucky ones who loved the vast majority of my pregnancy. Not enough to want to do it 18 more times, but certainly a few more. It's been suggested that maybe it's because of my loss history, and I'm certain that plays a role. But luck also has a lot to do with it, and I was very lucky in terms of symptoms and health. The last few days before she was born were pretty miserable, but it was hot and I was huge and sore. The fact that I only suffered a small percentage of the 40 weeks, though, shows how very lucky I was.

I wrote this list while I was still pregnant, so some of it is present-tense even though I'm no longer pregnant.

1. Painful vagina
I can't even explain the pain I get every night in the lady bits. I'm not sure why it's worst at night for me, but there have been times it's woken me up and kept me awake for hours. We fondly refer to it as "combat boot vagina syndrome", where it feels like someone kicked you with steel-toed combat boots.
Update: It's a miracle; I don't even remember what it felt like anymore! This is EXACTLY how people get pregnant again so soon - selective memory. It's been replaced by boob and nipple pain. Someday maybe I'll write about that.

2. Butts in ribs
This is better since she dropped, but there were a couple weeks there when she liked to press her butt right up into my ribs and cause excruciating pain and difficulty breathing. Luckily that wasn't all the time, but when it happened, OW.

I'm not an alcoholic by any means, but damn I can't wait to have a glass of Moscato di Asti. One will be waiting for me in my hospital room, perfectly chilled. And if he forgets, Chris will be facing certain divorce.
Update: Strangely, I had a few sips of celebratory wine, but it doesn't even sound good right now.

4. Stretch marks
I guess I can't miss these since they're there forever. I hesitate to even put this on the list because I got off so lucky with the whole ripped up skin thing, having only Judy + Co., but no one likes them. Badge of honor, my ass.
Update: Again: luck. My stomach is squishy, but size-wise it's almost back to where it was before, and the stretch marks barely show.

5. Speaking of ass, CELLULITE.
Jesus fucking christ, the cellulite is out of control.
Update: This actually cleared up a bit. Hopefully when I'm cleared to work out it will go away more...or else I'll have to table my dream of being a celebrity permanently because I'd always be featured in the "worst beach bodies" section of tabloids.

6. Swollen feet
Another thing I've been very lucky on, but the occasional times my feet have swelled up aren't fun. Foot flesh spilling over sandal straps? Very sexy, I'm assured.
Update: Gone! I never swelled up after surgery either, which is very common due to the IV fluids you receive.

7. Maternity clothes
I've been pretty lucky that I've been able to mostly keep a non-maternity wardrobe (yes, even with the belly as giant as it is). Long tank tops have been a staple, as have drawstring pants (thank god it's the summer and there are a ton of shorts and capris and lightweight khakis that tie instead of button!). I do have a few maternity things here and there and I pretty much unequivocally HATE them. The over-the-belly panel pants? Can die a thousand fiery [sidenote: why is this spelled fiery instead of firey??] deaths. Hate hate hate. I only have two pairs of them but I weep openly when I have to wear them. Ok, that's not true. But it could be.

8. Being forced to sit obscenely
Currently, she's so low that I literally cannot sit normally. My entire belly presses down on my thighs if I try. So spread-legged like a 13-year-old teenage boy it is. Before, whenever I sat, she pressed up into my ribs (see #2) and restricted my breathing.
Update: Gone instantly the second she was born. AWESOME.

9. Glowing skin...NOT
Speaking of 13 year-old-teen boys, since the moment the pee dried on the stick I've been broken out. And it's not thanks to the old wives's tale that girls steal your beauty, because it happened with Caleb too. I'm just forever destined to have pizza face when I'm pregnant, I guess.
Update: Still gross. Boo.

10. Bad jokes.
"Hey, did you know you're pregnant?" "Do you think you might be knocked up?" "I hate to break it to you, but you've been putting on a couple pounds lately." "You sure it's not twins in there?" HAHAHA OMG I'VE NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE AND CERTAINLY NOT DAILY FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS YOU'RE SO FUNNY HAHAHAHAHA.

11. The waiting
Nine - no, ten! - months is a LONG FREAKING TIME. We were pregnant BEFORE Christmas, which was like two years ago. I mean, I realize that I'm creating a new human from scratch and all that, but does it really have to take this long???????? And also, once you get to this end point the waiting game is even worse because it could literally happen AT ANY MINUTE. Not to mention the million "Haven't you had that baby yet?" questions you get on a daily basis. "Um, let me check." [Looks down at giant belly.] "Nope, doesn't appear so. But thanks for asking and reminding me that I am huge and look uncomfortable!"
Update: The exact opposite phenomenon happens once the baby is born. A month is POOF gone in literally the blink of an eye. I have never ever ever experienced time flying like this. It feels like she's been here a week, maybe. No way has it been four weeks! [Okay, actually there really IS no way it's been four weeks since it's only been three and a half.]

12. The belly
This should be capitalized. The Belly. THE BELLY. Not being able to bend over, roll over, lay on your stomach, sit, shave, tie shoes, put on underwear, or anything that involves, um, ANYTHING like a normal person gets old quickly.
Update: I miss the belly. Sob.

Predictably enough, they're almost all third tri complaints - and for me, they are mostly late third tri complaints, so for anyone reading this contemplating pregnancy: DO IT. DO IT DO IT DO IT. Now that I am having/have a baby, I want everyone to join me in the cult. So we can commiserate celebrate together!

1. The belly
I know, I know. I just said I wouldn't miss it. And granted there are certain things that I won't miss. But I think I'll miss it more than I won't. I love this giant basketball that makes the rest of me look balanced. I love not having to suck in or worry about that lovely Buddah roll I usually have. Plus, it gives me lots of...
Update: Correct prediction. I do miss it!

2. Attention!
OMG, people love a pregnant woman. I love the attention. I love people asking me about it, when I'm due, if it's a boy or a girl, if we have names, if they can feel it, holding doors, letting me skip ahead in line, making me rest. I love them rubbing my belly and talking to her like she can hear and the pure excitement that everyone seems to exude when around an expectant mother. I know that will all go away once the baby is born and instead of worshipping me and my baby-making vessel they'll just be wishing that the crying baby would shut the hell up. People are all Republicans when it comes to babies...they care about it when it's baking, but once it's outside you're on your own.
Update: Correct prediction 2. More attention from family, but not nearly as much from strangers. This may be a plus for most people who aren't attention whores.

3. Baby movement
I think I'll miss this the most. I love it. LOVE it. I could lie in bed all day just waiting for her to make her move.
Update: Oh, my gosh, do I miss feeling her move. Is that weird? Sometimes when she's wrapped up tightly in a swaddle blanket she'll make a movement with her hands or feet that I recognize so strongly it makes my heart flutter. I had phantom movements for a week or so after delivery (very common) and would get excited to feel her little hands or feet, only to remember that I could ACTUALLY for REAL feel her hands and feet right next to me in bed. Even so, it's still bittersweet.

4. Nesting
I have a feeling that once she's born I'll have no time to clean. I'll miss the motivation that nesting gives. I'll miss the clean house.
Update: Correct prediction.

5. Constant company
I love the feeling that she's always with me and I'm never alone. It's like my own little sidekick; my little confidant. I talk to her, poke her, read to her...when I have to leave the actual real baby alone in the actual real world I think I'll be lonely.
Update: Hmm. I think this is true. I haven't had enough alone time to tell though.

6. Presents
Ok, I know this is superficial, but seriously. Who out there doesn't like getting presents? And people like buying cute baby things and giving them to you! It's awesome! And since she's not here yet I get to open them all!!! It's like they are all for me!
Update: Um, actually you get a lot of presents when they are born too. And you still get to open them. SCORE.

7. The body
I overall loved my pregnant body. So cheesy, but I really did feel lush and womanly and...ripe? Like a banana. I will miss feeling like a banana.

8. Feeding the baby with no problem
I'm adding this one after the fact. I wish she was still connected and feeding via umbilical cord, because breastfeeding has been a hellish journey for us thus far that shows no signs of improving yet. But that's just me...I'm sure it's beautiful for most people.

Looking at the tally, it seems like there's a lot more I won't miss about pregnancy than I will, but in reflection...I really miss it. I adore Carys and I love looking at her and playing with her, but I also loved being pregnant with her. It's a good thing I want to do this four three two more times.


  1. OMGZ. I FUCKING miss baby movement so bad! I haven't been pregnant for two years and I still miss it! I am so jealous that you get to do it again. I want to be pregnant have a bitty baby again so bad! Curse you adult responsibility!

  2. I forgot about the attention on my recent list on the blog. I love it too! It makes you feel so special...
    Did you find the boppy very useful? I have a hard nursing pillow and won't be able to prop Emma on it, am wondering if I should get a boppy as well, or just use regular pillows for bf.