It’s been QUITE a while since I have blogged, and I wish my excuse was better than being pregnant because, quite honestly, I’m sick of that being my explanation for everything. I know, I know, at 35 weeks most EVERY woman is saying she is DONE. Well, I’m REALLY DONE. Like, I already have permanent birth control methods picked out to discuss with my doctor…my husband and I are POSITIVE we NEVER want me to be preggers again…I’m counting down the days…the excitement has worn off…I just want to get to labor and delivery. (I’m one of those weirdos that is not scared or bothered by labor and delivery–on the contrary, I can’t WAIT for that part.)
I happened across the What to Expect When You’re Expecting movie this weekend and decided to watch. If you are pregnant, watch it because it will make you feel better regardless of how awesome or bad your pregnancy has been because one of the characters is you. I really connected to Elizabeth Banks’ character Wendy, especially when she says, “I just wanted the glow. The one that they promise you on the cover of those magazines. Well, I’m calling it – pregnancy sucks. Making a human being is really hard. I have no control over my body or my emotions.” That’s me. I look at those pregnancy magazines and give those women the finger and say, “Fuck you” because it makes me feel better about being miserably pregnant. And, I’ve also decided that I’m not going to sugar-coat my experience because, you know what, I’m not alone and neither are any of the other women who have had not-fun pregnancies.
One very, very, very good friend of mine had a not-fun pregnancy–constantly nauseous and unable to eat, tired, couldn’t sleep, and all we could do was support each other. Now she has the cutest little boy, a little brother for her older son, but she’s questioning whether or not she can physically do it again, especially after two c-sections. Just two weeks ago I found out another very good friend is pregnant, but very few people knew because there were some extenuating circumstances (which are now a non-issue thankfully). She called me, though, because she is horribly, miserably sick and needed to talk to someone who would understand; her local friends can’t understand because they have the awesome pregnancies and are all glowing. It’s just not fair. I wish I could have reached through the phone to give her the biggest of hugs because I get it. I get being so thankful and feeling so blessed, but wondering why on Earth I got knocked up because I can’t leave the bathroom because I might puke all over the house; I get having no appetite and losing weight and having the doctor tell you to eat. You know what, doctor, I’m doing the best I can. I get having to take medication just so you can get through the day but then cursing said medication because it causes headaches and horrific constipation. How many of you are with me? All I can do is reassure her it’s all worth it and that her glowing friends will get theirs–they’ll either have rough labor or the child that comes out screaming and doesn’t stop. Pregnancy karma–it exists :).
Pregnancy can really, really suck and it really blows that women don’t talk about it. I was completely unprepared for the reality of pregnancy with BOTH of my pregnancies. And the crazy thing is that I was sick the first time around and voluntarily did it again (hoping this pregnancy would be different–it is different all right, I’m even sicker…). Growing another human being is a beautiful, amazing, miraculous thing but DAMN is it HARD! Especially when you have no control over anything anymore.
So, with no further ado and in no particular order, this is the shitty stuff that gets hidden amongst the exciting stuff about having a baby (if you don’t want to know, stop reading here–it’s mildly graphic, gets personal, and uses fowl language because I have no filter anymore):
1. Sleeping–first, you sleep A LOT because you’re just exhausted. Peeing makes you tired. Then, all of a sudden, you get a belly and you NEVER REALLY SLEEP AGAIN. I miss being able to lay down for more than two hours at a time. And don’t get me started on trying to get comfortable–once that baby has taken over, comfortable is not a recognizable word in any pregnant woman’s vocabulary.
2. Using the bathroom–oh my, oh my, oh my…the baby makes you constipated, medication makes you constipated, and the constipation brings on hemorrhoids, and then if you’re really lucky, you get to give yourself an enema (or two or three) because a week without pooping for anyone is just not fun. And then, once that’s taken care of because you’ve eaten Whole Foods out of fiber, there’s sharting. In public. Enough said.
2a. Then there’s pee–it never ends! At night before bed, for whatever reason, I’ll go every 15 minutes. No joke. The Daddy Man just looks at me, laughs, and says, “Already?!” Yes, fucking already 🙂 And then, at night, every two-three hours I pee, and that’s if I cut off liquids at a decent time.
2b. Incontinence–I’ve been doing my Kegals since I read one of those ridiculous make-sex-better-for-him Cosmo articles when I was 18 and thought I was oh-so-awesome and sophisticated (hind sight is 20/20…) and they have done NOTHING for me this pregnancy. I cough, I pee. I sneeze, I pee. Baby kicks my bladder, I pee. Do we see a pattern here? There is no control. Now, I will say that this is my second pregnancy and this wasn’t NEARLY as BIG a problem as it is this time. But this time it’s just stupid ridiculous how I have to either wear super overnight pads all day every day, or I end up changing my underwear at least 3 times a day (wearing pantyliners anyways…).
3. Boobs–Winter in Chicago is COLD. EVERY time I shiver, my boobs HURT and that pain is a lingering, stinging, burning pain. AND it’s not limited to just my breasts, but the nipples too. And can we say, “WTF?!” when it comes to the nipples–I remember seeing the nipples of Playboy models and thinking they looked like pencil erasers and wondering why mine didn’t…you know, one of those “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret” moments. Now it’s more like, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Jacki. You can have them back now, I’m really done and I now understand why I didn’t have them in the first place. Thank you, but no.”
4. Stretch marks–all the books, they lie. Stretch marks are hereditary and no matter what you use, if your mother had them, you’ll have them. Period. It blows. No more midriff-revealing bathing suits for this mommy…looks like it’s going to be boy shorts and tee-shirts at the pool this summer….
5. Nausea–Fuck nausea. If I am lucky enough to NEVER feel nauseous again, I will stop cursing like a truck driver FOR-EV-ER. I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was actually in the ER not once, but TWICE because I couldn’t stop puking AND I was hospitalized for a night and was too close to having a feeding tube than I have ever wanted to be. HG–Hyperemesis Gravidarum–is NO joke and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Nausea SUCKS and with all the other crap we have to deal with, do we REALLY have to deal with this too?! I mean, come on…24/7?! Honestly, I think the only people who truly understand how that feels are cancer patients having chemotherapy, and I mean that in all seriousness with no joking intended AT ALL. And the reason I think this is because one of a sick pregnant woman’s helpers is Zofran, an anti-emetic (something to make you not puke) that is also given to chemo patients. ***Now, please don’t think I am at all comparing pregnancy to cancer and chemo–people who suffer from such terrible diseases and have to fight for their lives deserve to be given anything that will make them feel better. The only thing nausea and puking did for me this pregnancy is help me get out of a $120 speeding ticket…If I was actually funny and clever, I’d put together a spoof song to Kesha’s “Blow” and call it “Puke” and reference the need to carry puke bags in your purse and in your car and using Jack Daniels as mouthwash to kill the puke smell and how every time I puke I make it rain pee…was that over the line? I don’t know anymore…
6. The Belly–Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth, the belly is ALWAYS an attraction that seemingly everyone thinks is okay to touch without asking. I mean, come on, I’d walk right up to someone and touch their goiter–wouldn’t you? Uh, NO. I don’t know what goes through a perfect stranger’s mind when she walks right up to your belly and puts her hands all over it…I don’t know where your hands have been! I have a toddler at home who kisses my belly! I don’t want strange germs in my home! Don’t be that asshat–at least have the decency to ask first…And then there are the people who think it’s TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE to comment on your size and shape. You know what? I have two middle fingers pointed at that overweight woman next to me in the elevator who is telling me I look “ripe” while I tell you to go fuck yourself and to take the stairs next time. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing I have a lot of pregnant friends right now and this is a common problem among all of them. One of my college friends has had multiple people ask her if she’s SURE she’s not having twins because she’s SOOOOOO BIG. Um, take our word for it when we tell you the FIRST TIME, douchebag. Recently, I found out a west coast friend is expecting in late June–she looks fabulous, but of course, the “lady in the elevator” has to ask her if she’s having twins! Really?! Sometimes I hate people. I don’t want to leave out the other side of this issue, though, which is when you don’t gain a lot of weight. Having gained 65 pounds with The Robug, I had to deal with the “Twins? Are you sure?” crew. This time, because of being soooooooooo sick and having absolutely no appetite 90% of the time, I’ve only gained 16 pounds. Now, go ahead and call me a bitch–Jacki O. pregnant with Robug is calling is Jacki O. a bitch. I still get talked to by the doctors, but now it’s for not gaining enough. And then, there are the “Oh my, is everything okay with the baby?” people who tell me how small I look. Thanks, thanks so much for making me feel like I’m failing at being pregnant this time and putting irrational fears into my head. You know what, everything is measuring right on and he’s a happy little Jedi in there, so shut the fuck up. As pregnant women, what does society expect us to look like because, quite honestly, I’m confused. We either look soooooooooo big or tooooooooo small. We’re either carrying twins (whether we know it or not) or something is wrong with the baby. Screw them.
7. TMI–goes out the window entirely when your pregnant. There is no modesty, there is no inappropriate. My college friend gave me the greatest smoothie recipe for constipation because we exchanged multiple messages about our inability to poop. I’m scaring my best friend since high school with all my pregnancy woes. I’ve compared stretch marks, I’ve talked about post-breastfeeding boobs (a WHOLE other topic) with multiple people (don’t ask…). We are walking, talking science experiments and can’t help but talk about our effects and results.
Did I miss anything? I’m sure–please feel free to add your comments below and keep the conversation going! So, to all my sister look-like-Bella-Swan-pregnant-with-a-vampire-baby pregnant ladies, I’m sitting here with my super-sized water raised to you in honor of the SHIT we deal with to bring a single, beautiful, always-worth-it miracle into this “WTF?!” world.
Yours in the countdown until I can eat again.