I’m not going to sugar coat it: being pregnant sucks. Yes, of course I’m glad we made the decision to have a kid. Don’t doubt that. But I’m finding that the process of getting from point A (“Let’s have a kid!”) to point B (Actually having said kid) is kind of the worst. I’m sure some of you are horrified that I would say such a thing. All those smiling pregnant cover models on the magazines, books about the pregnancy “glow” (yeah…. I still haven’t figured out WTF that is) and gushing women who share their stories of glorious, problem-free pregnancies all suggest that being pregnant is “special,” “amazing” and the most wonderful time of a woman’s life. I call bullshit. Those smiling women on the magazine covers haven’t slept in a week and are probably hormonal and are clearly airbrushed to get rid of baggy eyes and extra flab. I’m sure some women love being pregnant and had an easy time with it, but I’m just not one of them. Although I appreciate that I’m growing a human being, which is pretty cool, I’ve generally been uncomfortable and grumpy. I just want it to be over with. I deal best with difficult things through sarcasm and blunt honesty, so I’m sure this list will offend someone, but it’s just my experience and opinion, which obviously is different than everyone else’s! I appreciate all the love and support everyone has given me, so take it with a chuckle and a wink. My bun is only half-baked, so I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better!
1. You instantly lose the ability to sleep.
Almost from the minute I found out I was pregnant, I lost the ability to actually sleep through the night. This is unfortunate because I also felt the most tired I’ve ever been in my life. For the first few weeks, I was just too freaked out to sleep. Then I had to get up and start peeing in the night (currently it’s about every 2 hours). Then came the inability to get comfortable. Maybe this is nature’s way of preparing me for an infant, but constant sleep interruption still sucks. I finally sprang for a Leachco full-body pillow and I’m pretty sure that saved my sanity. It’s like sleeping in a huge hug. Brian has kindly put up with all the bed space it hogs because I’m not tossing and turning constantly any more. Still, even with my full-body hug, I’m up every couple of hours and it’s only getting worse!
2. You have to pee. All. The. Time.
Another early issue is excessive toilet time. I had a pretty wimpy bladder to begin with, so pregnancy has only made that worse. A lot worse. I’m pretty sure my bladder is the size of a walnut right now. It’s hard to stay hydrated at 9,000 ft in the middle of winter, so I’m always having to pound water, without the added bladder pressure on top of it! I’m pretty sure I spend hours in the bathroom every day.
3. Going #2 becomes a religious experience.
I can’t even exaggerate this one. About 1 in 3 times I poop, I literally pray that something will A, come out, or B not rip something in the process. Constipation is a common side-effect, but that doesn’t make it suck less. It’s certainly something that no one told me about before I got pregnant! I happily believe in the power of pharmaceuticals to help with this one, but 9 months is a long time to suffer through it.
4. “Morning sickness” is actually feeling shitty all time time.
I got the queasies early, although luckily I am not much of a puker. That said, I did feel like utter shit for a solid 5 or 6 weeks. I had a weird meat aversion (luckily that didn’t last long) and all I could stomach for a while was bread and pasta. What really made me miserable was when I got a severe eye infection that they couldn’t give me meds for. I literally laid in bed for days, dizzy and wanting to die. Not cool. Pregnancy really killed my will or ability to do anything active for the first few months. Once you get past the nausea, you realize how tired you are all the time. Bone-numbing exhausted, in fact. Then there’s the hot flashes. When your body becomes a thermo-nuclear baby factory, you got hot really easily. Pretty much any time it’s over 70 degrees, I feel like I’m going to die. I was wearing a t-shirt in the snow the other day because I got too hot walking around Target. I pity my co-workers because I am always complaining about how hot I am, while they are shivering cold.
5. I just want a sandwich.
I knew you couldn’t eat sushi when you were pregnant, but I had no idea the no-no diet list was so extensive. And annoying. Lunchmeat is the real killer for me. Of course, the second someone tells me I can’t have something, guess what I really want??? A freaking Jimmy John’s sub. That’s what. I would do almost anything for a nice ham and turkey club. But nope. Not allowed. You’d be amazed at how annoying it is to not be able to eat cold cuts. It rules out the quick-sandwich lunch and some of the easiest travel food. Then there’s the great fish debate. You are supposed to eat SOME fish because it’s good for you, but not other fish which are high in mercury. Then there’s fish you can have, but only once a week. It’s so complicated, I’ve pretty much given up on fish. Then there’s limiting nitrates, no soft cheeses (bye-bye Brie and Feta) and no buffets. Geez, the list makes my head spin.
6. You get a “bump,” aka: fat.
This one is kind of a no-brainer for pregnant gals, but that doesn’t make gaining weight any less challenging! Because I’m about the only person on the planet that gained weight in the first trimester, I’m on my second set of new clothes. I got lucky and was able to shop a lot of holiday sales, but it’s expensive needing an entirely new wardrobe! We are talking bras, pants, t-shirts, baselayers, sweaters, ski pants… the works. Luckily, I found a cool device called “Make My Belly Fit” which has rescued me from having to wear Brian’s old ski jacket (He told me it made me look like a Park Rat). It’s still taken a lot of effort to scrounge up enough clothes to get me through a work week. It also makes you feel pretty self-conscious to have a closet packed with awesome gear from a decade working in retail and not to be able to wear any of it! I realize that gaining weight is part of pregnancy, but weight has always been a big struggle for me, so I have an especially hard time with the clothing thing. Going along with being self-conscious about your weight is people commenting on your size all the time. I have spent a lot of time trying to lose weight and be fit, so people constantly looking at and evaluating my stomach feels very embarrassing. I know people are excited and mean well, but people pointing out my “bump” or how huge I look makes me feel like I just have a huge beer gut and I need to hit the gym. I am getting into that “I look pregnant” instead of “I just look fat” stage, so that helps, but it’s hard not to be self-conscious about my size. I’m already having trouble bending over to pick things up and fitting into airplane seats…I know it’s only going to get worse as I get bigger! Also people trying to touch my stomach all the time is weirding me out.
7. Everyone wants to tell you what to do. All the time.
I realize this comes from a great place and that people really care about me. BUT. I also have a pretty strong independent streak, so I find the running commentary on my life really annoying. I constantly get it from all sides: “Should you be running the snowblower?”, “Oh my gosh, don’t shovel snow!”, “You shouldn’t ski pregnant,” “You should let people help you with that,” “Don’t eat that,” “Why aren’t you getting more sleep?” “Is that good for you?” “You shouldn’t fly in your condition.” OH MY FUCKING GOD. Just stop. I am the same exact person I was before I got pregnant, so I don’t understand why people insist on treating me differently, or feel the need to butt in on everything I do. It’s not like I magically lost my judgement overnight and of course I wouldn’t do anything to put myself at risk. I’m not a delicate flower and I refuse to be treated as such. Again, I appreciate that people are concerned and that it is well-intentioned. But I also wish people would just bite their tounges and resist giving me unsolicited advice all the time.
8. Baby Fever sets in for everyone but you.
Now I realize I’m probably a little different that most women in this regard, but I feel like suddenly all everyone wants to talk about with me is “the baby.” I love that everyone is excited and supportive, but I’m still the same person I was before pregnancy. I’m not JUST a baby factory. Unlike many women, I haven’t been dreaming of having babies my whole life. I don’t have a list of baby names I’ve been working on for years. I’m also pretty sure I question our decision to get knocked up at least once a week. I realize I’ll be up to my elbows in poopie diapers soon, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat, sleep and breathe babies between now and then. I want everyone to just chill and instead of asking about my nursery (we don’t have one yet) or if I’m going to breastfeed (not really your business), ask me how work is going, what I’m doing this weekend or what I thought about the new Star Wars movie. If I have baby news I want to share, or I’m feeling like crap, I’ll let you know. Trust me, I’ll let you know. I don’t mind talking about the pregnancy, but I don’t want it to be the ONLY thing I talk about. Women who’ve had kids want to share their experiences and I love that. I am sure that once the kid is here, it’s all I will want to talk about. In the meantime, I just want to feel like a normal person.