The “joys” of being pregnant

2013-01-17 14.10.25Before I hop right into my topic – a topic there was no room for in my last post; I have to put it out there that, NO, I am not going to become one of those women who obsessively talks about their kids or my pregnancy. Because I am more than a walking, talking, weeble wobble of an incubator, and after the baby is born I will continue to be more than just a Mom. And if I do become one of those women…PLEASE CALL ME ON IT! I will thank you for it!

Oh where to begin with this? Maybe I should start by giving an obscene gesture to all those women I know who have had kids but kept all this from me! A little heads up would have been nice ladies, ya know, before there was no going back. Was I THAT closed off to you during your pregnancies that I just didn’t hear it or is there a secret society that forgot to send me my membership card and get me to pledge an oath of silence? Because there was SOOO much about this whole experience that would have been nice to know beforehand.

I am fully aware that not every pregnancy is the same. I was somewhat aware of that fact before since I had a few friends who got knocked up and they all “handled it” differently.

My cousin, seemed to flourish in her pregnancy. She became all “I am Mommy, I am Woman, hear me roar”. She’s a single mom juggling a career and made major sacrifices: I’m talking ones that would make most of us shit our pants, like moving back with Mommy and Daddy for an undetermined amount of time, getting rid of the deadbeat man who even though she knew he sucked she loved, quitting her job and completely changing cities. And she did all of it with poise and almost glee, because nothing was going to get in the way of her being an amazing mom to her kid. It was inspiring to watch and made me during my “Hell NO I am not having kids” phase take a second look at motherhood before completely diving back into my career and love for vodka and cigarettes.

Another friend was the complete opposite. It seemed like she hated EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of the process. She was always VERY tiny, so she hated getting “hippy” and a “booty” she seemed fine with the belly as that was the baby, but the hips and butt she couldn’t reconcile with. She didn’t “glow” like other mothers-to-be and she was put under a lot of stress during her pregnancy which probably made everything harder. But somehow she has forgotten all about that. When I spoke to her about my pregnancy she was all gushy and telling me how she misses how it felt to be pregnant and would do it all again. HUH??

Is there some brainwashing drug that women are given AFTER they give birth that makes them forget all the “joys” I am about to list? If so can you just give it to me now, cause the way I’m feeling I can live with being a Stepford Incubator for the next 3 months – grinning aimlessly like I’m having the time of my life.

Please don’t get me wrong, I can’t even put into words how excited I am to meet my baby, and hold my baby and feel the bond that only a parent can share with their child. But the journey to get here has been riddled with misconceptions, very uncomfortable revelations and annoyances some of which I have used to compile the below list:

baby bump1. Morning sickness my ass!
I have to admit before I got pregnant I knew morning sickness was just a name and that you could be sick at any time during the day. What I didn’t know was that there was a little known disease called Hyperemesis Gravidarum that can rock your world and NOT in the good way. About a week after I found out I was pregnant (around 5 weeks along), I started to feel really nauseous. And not a wave of it that came and went…it was constant. No matter what I did I couldn’t make it go away. I was told by many people to eat saltines, eat ginger, and all the other home remedies to “cure” morning sickness and none of it worked…In fact everyday it got worse. And then after about a week the vomiting started, and it was bad. Not exaggerating, not joking bad. I would eat or drink, and then I would spend the next 20 to 30 minutes tossing my cookies. It got to the point that I could only keep down apple juice, Kraft dinner, Cheerios and apple sauce. Then after about 2 weeks of that, they stopped staying down. Food that worked would work against me BIG TIME.
By my 8th week I was throwing up everything. I would wake up to pee at 2am and throw up bile. It felt like someone had hijacked my body and went on a drinking binge every day and then gave my body back. (Gross out warning. Skip to after the *****if you have a weak stomach) It got to the point that I was so tired of throwing up all the time that I began swallowing it down for as long as I could, which usually got me through the day at work, but left me feeling gross.
I have never been so sick, and but by the time I got home from work, I was so exhausted from taking drastic measures not to vomit and make it through the day that by the time I got home my body would just shut down. I would eat something small, and then sit in the shower for about 40 minutes to an hour because I didn’t have the energy to stand and quietly vomit so I didn’t scare my husband. Then I would lie in bed completely drained and totally miserable. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I was super depressed, angry and not feeling very “joyful” about the pending arrival of my little one and I wanted to throttle every single person who said “oh that’s normal”. There were so many times where I should have gone to the hospital and didn’t. I was stupid, I was hiding, and I was listening to all those people who made me feel like I was just complaining or being a “drama queen” or a “baby” telling me this is normal and to suck it up. I was unknowingly putting myself and my baby at risk because of that.
It wasn’t until almost my 2nd trimester when a very good friend helped me get more information on HG. She was so understanding and supportive and gave me the courage to not hide how horrible this experience really was from everyone and encouraged me to ask for help for the sake of myself and my baby. After a few back and forth notes with her I finally went to get the medication I needed to crawl out of that hole and say there is nothing “normal” about this. In fact, a mother and baby can die from this disease and in some cases have. It’s very serious and very misunderstood, so next time a pregnant women tells you how horrible her morning sickness is, instead of telling her to eat a cracker or telling her how “normal” it is, maybe ask her if she talked to her doctor about the possibility of HG and tell her not to go through it hiding and alone…it makes it worse.

2. Baby movement is a joyful flutter…and by flutter I mean painful jabs at organs.

The first time I felt my baby move it was really strange and it didn’t feel anything like how anyone explained it. It didn’t feel like a flutter of butterflies, or a like being on a roller coaster or gas bubbles as described by many. It was a weird slight, marginally uncomfortable push that made me pause and wonder what the heck it was. Then a few hours later I felt it again. As the weeks pass my unborn child turned into a freaking MMA fighter and began using my organs as a punching bag. It went from being strange to holy hell that HURTS! He kicks/punches down into my bladder and who-ha, he kicks and punches up into my lungs and ribs. The only time it doesn’t hurt (and I will admit looks kinda cool) is when he focuses his attention on my outer stomach and belly button…other than that IT FREAKING HURTS and is VERY UNCOMFORTABLE!

3. Sleep now before the baby comes…what the hell is sleep?

This one is my favorite. Get all the sleep you can now because when the baby comes you will get a whole lot less. REALLY? Is this a joke? Cause between the almost hourly trips to the bathroom every night, the back pain, the inability to find a comfortable resting position and “place” my protruding belly somewhere, the snoring caused by the pressure on my lungs that cause me to wake myself up its so loud and the having to practically stand up to turn-over – I’m getting about 2-3 hours’ sleep a weeknight if I’m lucky. And the only reason I sleep on the weekends is because I refuse to get out of bed before 11am.

So by telling me I am going to get LESS once the baby arrives, you are really telling me that I will not see the back of my eyelids for at least 6 months? How the hell do women function on zero sleep and take care of a baby? I forgot my own name last week – no joke – because I am so damn sleep deprived!

4. Pregnant women glow…like what? Rudolph and the big red zits?

All I am going to say about this is that I have not been broken out like this since puberty! Ad how the heck am I supposed to glow when I have bags under my eyes from lack of sleep and red zits on my face from hormones! BIGGEST LIE EVER!

5. Stock up on diapers for the baby…and yourself!

I knew bladder control would be a little of an issue. I thought that it meant I would pee…a lot. Not pee…a lot in my pants. I currently have Bronchitis and I am constantly coughing, which in turn means I am constantly peeing. And where is all this pee coming from??? The other day I literally just peed – a long one too I might add, washed my hands, coughed and ended up peeing all over the bathroom floor! How the hell did that happen? I JUST PEED! Like full-out emptied my bladder and there was MORE???

6. What’s that smell? Oh that’s me…gross

This one I kind of knew about, but not in too much detail. It’s common knowledge that pregnant women pass a lot of gas. What isn’t common knowledge is sometimes even they don’t know they did it! I can’t tell you how many times I have been alone in a room and all of a sudden a ghastly smell makes its way to my nostrils only to realize it came from me and I had no idea! And not only that I am too “slow” now to escape it!

7. It’s only 9 months

This one I found out about a few years ago when a pregnant friend broke down the math for me. But what I don’t understand is why this is still perpetuated. Why are we still teaching young women and men that pregnancy lasts 9 months? It’s a lie. A flat-out lie…no matter how you try to spin it, it’s a lie. I may give birth in the 9th month but it’s like DAYS away from the 10th. 40 weeks of pregnancy, average of 4 weeks in a month = 10 months!

8. Everything aches and there is nothing I can do about it

At about 4 or 5 months when my belly “popped” so did the rest of me. All of the sudden I couldn’t get up most of the time without assistance, I started walking like I was 80 years old, my back hurt, my hips hurt, my feet hurt, everything was aching and there is ABSOLUTELY nothing I can do about it. Things creak that didn’t use to, joints pop that never popped before and my whole body feels like it’s at war with its self.

9. Where are my feet…actually will I ever see them or my old body again?

I haven’t seen my feet or my Who-ha in MONTHS! Seriously… I don’t know what it’s like down there…there could be villagers living from waist down and I wouldn’t see them!

And I find this kind of interesting considering everything right now is about the who-ha. For example, when you go to the OB they get you to pee on this stick the length of your pinky to check your potassium levels ect. and for the last 3 or 4 months that’s been pretty darn impossible considering I can’t see where to put it! At my last OB appointment I ended up giving the receptionist a techno-coloured stick and told her it was the best I could do. It took me 4 tries while guessing where the stream of pee was coming from simply by sound to get only a few drops to land where it was supposed to and I had nothing left.

And don’t even get me started on my stomach. Every day I wonder “Is this ever going to stop growing?” I actually feel like I am getting bigger by the second. And then I wonder how the hell am I going to get back to where I started (which was a place I was only mildly pleased with and looking to improve upon). How does your stomach EVER recover from being the size of a beach ball without spending millions on personal chefs, trainers, and surgeons? Especially now that I am in my mid-30’s and my skin does have the bounce anymore. And how come my pregnancy app on my phone says my baby weighs 2 pounds, but I have gained at least 20? Cause according to my scale I should be giving birth to a pre-schooler.

10. Bringing this bundle of joy into the world…HOLY CRAP!

Part of the hospital registration process here is they give you this book to take home and read. It’s supposed to be a helpful guide to what you will experience during birth and after, but instead it is a horror story of panic inducing fear and the realization that there is absolutely no turning back and whether you like it or not everything described in the book can and will happen to you.

Reading this book is like having a sick sociopathic murderer tell you play by-play all the ways he is going to torture you to death as he sharpens all the instruments he plans on using in front of you, as you sit in a bunker 20 feet underground in the middle of the forest, 3 provinces away from where he kidnapped you with no hope of anyone finding you before he starts his plan.

That’s what this book is. I literally got light-headed during the birthing section as they described the stages of labour and the options you have. For example, you have the choice of the baby ripping your Who-ha all the way back to your arse as you push him/her out or you can opt for them to pre-cut you from your who-ha to your arse. That’s like asking someone would you like to eat this pie filled with glass and nails or eat the cake made out of glass and nails…but you have to eat one.

Oh and the placenta ya…you may be under the false impression that I was that it just pops right out after you give birth…but that’s not true…you have to push that crap out of you and it can take up to 2 FREAKING HOURS!!! Are you kidding me???

Honourable mentions:
• Constipation
• Constant leaking nose
• Daily heartburn
• Dry skin
• Itchy Skin

3 thoughts on “The “joys” of being pregnant

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