The other night, I had the T.V. on E! News, which I don't make a habit of watching. Now I remember why. I feel like a whale and I HATE seeing fabulous, stylish, trendy women when I feel this way! I would prefer to assume the whole rest of the world feels the same as me! Here comes more hatred: someone was interviewing a black leather mini-skirt clad Hilary Duff. Who is apparently 20 weeks or so pregnant with her first child. She was going on and on about how fabulous she felt and how she hadn't been sick at all, hadn't gained ANY weight, yadayadayada! I promise you this, if my husband didn't love our T.V. almost as much as he loves me, I might have thrown the remote right through it!! Obviously, this is mostly pregnancy hormones, but seriously?! Either she is lying, or I have done something to piss of the pregnancy gods!! Don't get me wrong, I do love being pregnant and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, but it got me to thinking. So I started to make a list. All the changes I have experienced while being pregnant. Here's what I HAD heard about being pregnant before actually experiencing it. You hear about the "morning" sickness, which must have been named by someone who never actually experienced puking morning, noon and night. Oh yeah, don't forget the supposed "cravings" or stretch marks. These were things I had previously associated with pregnancy. Now that I am halfway done with my third pregnancy, and once I started to jot down pregnancy symptoms and side effects, I couldn't write fast enough!!
First, there was exhaustion. Tired doesn't even being to describe this feeling. Third time around, I sort of felt like I was in a drug induced fog for a little while. Perhaps it was trying to keep up with two kids, who knows. Then the sometimes predictable, sometimes fickle, nausea. This goes hand in hand with the intense smell aversion. ANYTHING that smelled strongly, and not necessarily bad, was disgusting. Things that were previously pleasant smelling, now, not so much. Food aversions, too. Something I used to love, now sounded disgusting. Weird dreams, anxiety, swollen hands, feet, legs. Clothes that don't fit, and not just in the tummy. Not everyone is blessed with a cute little beach ball belly! Some of us get big butts, double chins, swollen boobs, etc. Sore nipples doesn't even being to describe the changes in that area! Stretch marks? Not just on your tummy sometimes! Full lucsious hair? Maybe, but also, extra hair growth everywhere! Don't even get me started on the "glowing skin" assumption! Does "glowing" mean acne like a teenager for the first 14 weeks or so, and now roseacea-like irritated skin that's dry and itchy later on? Oh, the itchy skin!! Weepy, hormonal and emotional. Vision changes. Let's not forget what is dubbed as "pregnancy brain". A once educated-sounding female now sounds a bit like the guy you knew in college who smoked too much pot: unable to recall any information or thoughts that were just in her head!! And lets not even get started with the pain. "Round ligament pain" that happens when it stretches as the uterus grows. Achy feet. Achy back. Leg cramps. Braxton Hicks. Pelvic pain. In the last few weeks of my first pregnancy, it started to feel like my pelvic bone was breaking into two pieces. When I described this pain to my doctor, she just said, "well, that's sort of what's happening!" Your pubic symphysis, which connects the two halves of your pelvis, is literally stretching wide open, getting ready for labor. And then the ultimate pain. Labor! It is called this for a reason people!
After re-reading what I have written, I must sound like a horrible, miserable, ungrateful person. I know plenty of ladies who either had it easier, worse, or would just feel incredibly blessed to experience the joy of pregnancy. This is not meant to sound selfish or thankless. I feel so blessed by God to get to experience the miracle of carrying a child. All the negatives are momentously worth it. It sort of makes you feel like super-woman! Growing a living thing inside you is so cool sometimes, even if it is HARD WORK! Pregnancy is an awesome experience, despite the good, the bad and the ugly!
Warning: if you are one of the lucky ones like Hilary Duff, please refrain from commenting on how fabulous and perfect you felt the whole nine months. Thank you.