Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Some Truths About Pregnancy

     Firstly, I have not been around recently, and for that I am sorry. I got engaged, got married, came down with the pregnancy and then birthed a tiny human
     Now that the apology is out of the way, I need to place some disclaimers in front of this. I love that I was pregnant. I'm over 30 and this is something I (we) have wanted for such a very very long time. I love the support I get, albeit long distance support. This post will be slightly "graphic". I don't have any swearing in the books, but I will be telling the truth, so fair warning. Again, I loved being pregnant. Now, let my pregnancy truth begin.
     Before you get pregnant, any and all family or friends you have will tell you it's a beautiful, magical, and amazing process. This is not an outright lie, but a very selective truth. It's similar as when women say "Vaginal birth was a little tough, but once the baby is there, it doesn't matter." This actually translates into something similar to "It feels like your constipated, and everything is on fire. Once you push a tiny (or not so tiny) human out of your vagina (probably tearing something) and they rest that beautiful human on your chest, all those terrible things fade away." See what happened there? Selective truths.
     These are not insanely different truths, but they're misleading enough. When you come down with pregnancy (my affectionate way of saying it) everyone has advice, opinions and genuine excitement for you. This is great, wonderful and starts you off in your pregnancy super excited. Then the selective truths come into play. You hear, for years in fact, that your breasts will hurt, and they will grow. These aren't necessarily pleasant (although growing may be great for you significant other) but they're not "end of the world" unpleasant either. The truth is, you breasts will hurt, they will grow, and they will itch so badly it will feel like a mosquito has bitten your nipples but the hurt is so great you can do nothing about this itch without causing severe discomfort and pain. Selective truths. That particular selective truth doesn't end there either. Once you've gotten used to that beautiful discomfort, add in the fact that at some point (18 weeks for me, I'm an over achiever!) your breasts will start to leak colostrum. Yay -.-  Think of this leaking much like your menstrual, it's going to show up at the most wonderful moments. For me, the best was during a FaceTime conversation! 
     The obvious morning sickness gets mentioned a lot in your first trimester, and the women who suffer from this, have my greatest sympathy. Morning sickness is all on its own a selective truth, being as it can last the entirety of a day. I was lucky, and escaped the terribleness of morning sickness at its worse. I did experience some nausea, and extreme amounts of indigestion and heartburn! I was a lucky lady in that my first trimester was actually quite easy compared to many.
     Although, (there's always a catch) when I was told that I would be tired, and that napping was good...I took this at face value. I thought, "Well, I'll maybe be a bit tired, and then want a nap briefly in the middle of the day." After all, I have known many mom-to-be's who work through their pregnancy, or tend to their other children. My respect for them is something I couldn't put to words. I slept, a lot. I slept continuously. I slept 8 hours at night, and then slept 2-3 times during the day for 1-3 hours each.
     As a pregnancy turns the corner from trimester 1 to trimester 2, you hear about how wonderful it is!! There's lessened to no morning sickness (for "most" ladies), your energy comes back, typically sex drive shows back up, and all the exciting bits (movement, gender, baby "bump", etc) start in this trimester traditionally. It sounds so amazing, and wonderful, doesn't it? Well, all these things are true, but for me they leave so much out.
     For instance, no one mentions how during this trimester you will become a hairy beast. You will be growing a chia pet in numerous places on your body. You'll get warned about the darkening "line" from belly button down, but not about the profuse amount of hair suddenly saying hello all over your ever expanding stomach. It's not that you suddenly have so much more hair as it is that your body is holding on to it. Why? Who knows. Maybe it's for funzies, to see how hot you can actually get. As you get more house-like in your pregnancy, and there's substantially more blood flowing through your body, you get warm. Not just a little warm (maybe I'll take off my sweater) but more of a "it's winter, the heat is set to 65, and I'm in my undies and a tank top. Maybe I should go streaking" type of warm.
     Now for all those beautiful bits. Feeling the baby move for the first time is beautiful. Even if you've never had children, you've heard these words. Well, let me be brutally honest: The first time I felt the baby move, I thought I had to poop. No lie, no joke, just the truth. The second time I felt the baby move, I wondered if that was indeed the baby moving. It took 5 nights straight at the same time for me to say, "Yes!! I have felt the movement, and it was glorious!!" And as everything with pregnancy is mostly a catch 22, that was followed up within a month with, "Can you please kick the crap out of me at some time other than 2-3 a.m. tiny human?"
     I can't speak about gender, as we were a couple that opted out of finding out. For us, there was no "need" to know, so I'll just comment on it being a humorous situation when people get so frustrated simply because you don't want to know the gender. Seriously, just buy the jungle themed items, we're good! We will have more kids, and it'll save a ton of money not having everything be boy or girl specific in case tiny human #2 is the opposite gender!
     The bump. The ever-loved, amazing bump. You spend weeks and weeks feeling like you went through the buffet line at least two times too many. You look in the mirror constantly wondering to yourself if everyone else is wondering if you're pregnant, or just packing on some extra winter weight. I'm a very small framed woman, and it was a very hard transition for me until the bump was very large and in charge!! Once your bump arrives, there's so much elation at the fact that you'll no longer be a "Is she, or isn't she?" lady. This is (again) followed immediately by the downfall. You've got another tiny person shoved out in front of you now. Everything is harder. You can't take deep breaths, you're being taken over by the tiny human parasite inside. Dropped that thing on the floor? Screw it, it wasn't that important anyways. You start carrying your phone with you everywhere. Not because you're addicted to Candy Crush (although you could be that too) but more because at this point you'll be a LifeLine person who's fallen and can't get up. Let's be honest about this as well, it's so you can text for room service. My husband was very supportive throughout my pregnancy (I'm a lucky lady) and I may have had the thought of just texting him. I didn't. I did however, call him.
      The bump does make for some of the most beautiful moments in your pregnancy however. It gives you visual confirmation of that tiny human growing ever bigger inside your stomach. I do mean ever bigger too. As your belly expands (and it will) your posture changes (yay!) and suddenly back pain has become your arch nemesis. How, why, where, and when all become a blur. You'd love to just lie flat on your back, but alas, you'll feel like your suffocating if you did such a thing.  Why? Oh yeah, there's that tiny human in there taking up space. He/she also thrills you with uteronastics. That's in utero gymnastics, in case you're wondering. As with everything it's so amazing and wonderous to start. Suddenly it's painful, abrupt, and almost aggressive. Seriously, I believe my child wants to come out of my rib cage!! It's like watching the Aliens movie, every night, on your stomach. The best worst horror movie of my life, and I wouldn't change it.

     Being pregnant is this strange and beautiful mix of emotions, changes and experiences. You labor in the best way you can, and you have all these fears, all these concerns, all these woes in the world. How can I be a parent? What if I'm absolutely terrible at it? What if I drop my tiny human on the floor? What if I mess them up? Then you give birth to that tiny human, and you see them. And suddenly the world is different. It's not something to be put into words, or something you can describe, even to another mother. The world is suddenly very different, and it's a whole new wonderful adventure! Which I'll be sure to tell you all about!