Friday, December 20, 2013

The good, bad & the icky

I came to a realization a few days ago. Once the New Year is here, which is coming rather quickly, I will be down to only three more months of pregnancy. I expressed my disappointment to a guy friend of mine at work whose wife is also expecting. He shook his head and asked, "why? Why are you sad about that?" I responded, "because I LOVE being pregnant!" He went on to explain, from seeing his wife in this same condition, that he doesn't see the upside.

Sure. I understand there's lots of not-so-hot that comes along with carrying a child. That first trimester is quite a doozy of a thing, was more so for me with this second pregnancy. It was tough to stay positive when I felt like I was stuck in the worst hangover for two months straight. And that super-human sense of smell...  Really not fun when combined with nausea and having to pee every 20 minutes. I held my breath a LOT those first few months. Another joy that doesn't mix well with tummy issues: gallons of extra saliva.

Then there's the dry patches of skin, the growing belly that I can't show off bare because it's covered in fur that sticks straight out. The pulled stomach muscles that feel like something's tearing inside when I simply stand up from the couch (finally). Road rage, night sweats, dizzy spells, sweaty pits and stinky feet. Heartburn, difficulty breathing, temperature fluctuations, gums that are swollen, tender, and quick to  bleed. There's water retention and swelling, skin tags, and puke burps.

On the icky side, there's discharge and nipples that have grown to the size of my face. The unkempt nether-region - shaving blind is not easy! And I hate the idea of getting the suction cup mirror to put in the shower. That just creeps me out. Some things just should go unseen.  Along the same lines, the toenails are in much need of a pedi - long and the polish is down to a jagged patch right in the middle of each nail.

There's a pain that comes along my right side when I walk more than 30 feet. The house is a wreck. The laundry gets out of control in a hurry. I'm running out of clothing options. I am not gifted in the pill-swallowing area so those horse pills they call prenatals are a daily challenge. I have a constant fear of falling, fever, under-cooked meat, microwaves, and putting on socks. I force myself to drink water all day long, thus contributing to the frequent bathroom trips, including midnight stumbles to the bathroom.

My breasts rest on my stomach - a feeling I am not accustomed to. I now have to lift and separate the girls when washing and drying.  My stomach itches. Everything is stretching. When I was on the potty one afternoon, Andy came into the bathroom and stared. "That's a lot of skin," he dared to say. Yes, some angles are better than others.

I used to cuddle up to hubby when getting ready to fall asleep. Now there's a big tum-tum in the way. So we assume our positions on opposite sides of the king-size bed, me on my LEFT side as all the books suggest. And I struggle to stay there. I bought one of those pregnancy pillows this time around - the ones that are so huge it's like a whole other body sharing the bed. And let me tell you, it's a joy with all of the stretching ligaments and lack of coordination to get up and over that monster every bathroom run or early morning. But most mornings I do wake up on the bright side, laughing at my extremely odd dreams.

I also admit, there are the moments of unreasonable fluctuations in mood. Back in that first trimester, my mother tried to help out by going to Goodwill to get me some maternity clothes. All has been in fast forward this second go-round so I needed maternity clothes much sooner. But she bought Large items. I held them up, one at a time, and tried to hold back the tears. They were hideous, but also did I mention Large? I could hold it back no longer. HUGE break-down.

Pregnancy brain, I firmly believe, IS a real thing. My husband thinks it's one of those off-the-wall made-up things that pregnant women have invented to get away with being stupid. I admit, I do dumb things sometimes, pregnant or no, but I do it much more when pregnant. Case in point: so I'm pouring my cereal one morning. I walk over to the fridge and proceed to try to fit the cereal box in the refrigerator. I realize what I'm doing, giggle, and take out the milk. I return to my bowl and pour the milk on the cereal as I continue to giggle about how 'pregnancy brain' stupid that just was. Then I walk into the pantry and set the milk jug on the shelf. I step away and look at it - something's off here. So, um, yes Andy. It's a real thing.

So as I sit, focused on the aches and pains, wallowing in one of my for-no-reason bad moods, trying to figure out what I can/should eat... Carmen kicks. And this is exactly why I LOVE being pregnant. The world melts away. I forgive everything else and just try to be in that moment. I put my hand on my belly and watch it jump. I giggle as it feels like she's strumming on my urethra like she's playing the bass.  It's just the two of us. All that matters is that God has blessed me with this experience - this life inside of me that I get to carry with me for nine whole months is a special gift. I'm a mother. What I have prayed for so many times is this, this moment. What joy, what overwhelming joy.

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