In my brief experience with pregnancy thus far, I have noticed some things. These are not pretty things, nor “glowy” things. These are real things. These are the things I wish I could have known. While realistically I know that it would be nearly impossible to pass along every single “what to expect” situation of pregnancy, but c’mon. I need some sassy girlfriend to lay some truth bombs on me for what is quickly becoming “the period in life we shall not speak of.”
I thought I’d compile a list of my findings so far. Not to worry, I’ll give an equally TMI updated version later on, as I am just now almost to the halfway point.
1. The age-old lesson of “Morning sickness isn’t actually just for mornings…” is old news. How about telling me what morning sickness is really like. In my head, morning sickness was this thing where you’d feel nauseous, throw up, and move on with your life until later when you’d do it again. I had no idea the crap-fest that is “morning” sickness. I was clueless to the fact that I would find myself praying to the heavens that I could throw up because then I’d feel better from the misery that is constant nausea. But that answered prayer is never as sweet as you’d think, huh? You lose a little piece of your self-esteem every time you have to throw up in a public space. Side of the road, at work, during a class you’re taking at your church…you haven’t quite experienced pregnancy until your knees become acquainted with the cold, hard floor of a public restroom…that’s my new motto any way. My favorite time was when we (grown adults) thought it was a good idea to hit up Denny’s at 11 pm when everyone had been consuming various amounts of alcohol throughout the evening. There is sick irony in an experience where you are the only one in the group who has not drank a drop…and are also the only one in the group who throws up in the Denny’s parking lot.
2. I grew up in a very open household. Everyone knew when anyone else in the family had any kind of bodily function. And then there was me. While it doesn’t weird or gross me out when others do, I’ve never been the “oversharing type.” It would have been nice if someone had told me that in pregnancy, that adorable privacy evacuates the premises. My dignity is hanging on by a thread at this point. I have lost the give-a-crap for when my husband and many other members of my tribe know the happenings of “the miracle inside me.”
3. I had to learn pretty quickly that eating is a whole new ball game. The books and websites clued me in to the whole backwards “eat when you’re nauseous and you’ll feel better” phenomenon, but no one told me about how aversions weren’t just for when you suddenly don’t like the taste of foods you previously loved or could stand the smell of. I wish I had known that this sweet, sweet baby of mine would be quick fickle about what I am allowed and not allowed to eat while it is sidling my resources and nourishments for 9 months. “Oh, you thought you could eat that delicious potato salad? Think again. Oooh soup, yum. HAHA. How about I make you bloated for 24 hours?”
4. For some women
who I hate, the “starting to show” process is cute and dreamy. For me, this whole chubby-looking phase is lasting much longer than I’d like. The websites talk about the precious bump. No one tells you that it doesn’t look like that until MULTIPLE MONTHS of just looking like you have a slight beer belly.
5. I was unprepared for the fact that things I previously loved to do would be come a source of self-loathing. For example, I feel like I’ve made my love for cooking pretty clear in this blog, social media, and general conversation. I have cooked approximately 3 complete meals since I’ve been pregnant. The smell alone is enough to get me, and that’s not even mentioning the effort. I’ve found myself telling Bryan very sweetly that we can have whatever he feels like making or we can go out, whatever floats his boat. We’ve gone out mostly, in case you were wondering. Our monthly grocery budget is like $50 these days.
6. Whining about how you feel is much more rewarding than one might think. I told Bryan the other day that I really wish I could be one of those cool wives where when this was all over and done with he could look at me fondly and think to himself (and tell all the people) that I never even complained at all and took this process like a champ. “HAHAHAHAHAHA” We said in unison. I’ve complained every 5 minutes on average, as pregnancy sucks much more than everyone else lets on. Maybe next time (if there is one), I will suck it up and be that awesome non-complaining wife, although I imagine that version of Alex is like a unicorn or leprechaun… in likelihood that is.
7. Out of all the things I’ve feared in life, permanent body damage takes the crown. I am still unaware of all the changes to my body that I can look forward to. The other day I found out more body parts that I can plan on…ahem…*tearing* in my near future. I am also currently warding off stretch-marks like it’s my job. I hear coconut oil is the secret, so coconut oil-rubbing is my new daily ritual. I wish these cutesy websites could have a page where they lay it all on the line. I know that some moms-to-be would rather it be an unpleasant surprise, but I’d much prefer that sassy girlfriend be like “Look girl, this is the crap that will happen to you.”
8. Pregnancy Hormones are not as bad as the movies make them out to be. I figured with my PMS record that I would be a friggin’ mess while pregnant. This is one of the few pleasant surprises to come of this. I have not cried because there is no more juice, Bryan left the toilet seat up, or because man, Luke and Lorelei really are the perfect couple, and I’m a crier. I have only been irrationally angry like once. I am also aware that I am jynxing myself by posting about this awesomeness, so Bryan, prepare yourself.
9. Pregnancy guilt is much easier to shrug off than I thought it would be. I have always had a bad case of the “Wanting People to Like Me”s. I’ve learned much more in later years about ridding myself of this awful disease, but I still worried about caring what people think once I was pregnant. Much to my delight, my mom’s long-standing advice of “Know what you believe and why you believe it” has come in handy. “You’re drinking caffeine while you’re pregnant? There’s really no safe amount you know.” YEP. “You’re not even going to try to have a natural childbirth before getting an epidural?” NOPE. To each her own people, to each her own.
10. Because we all know how precious I am, I’ve saved the sweet one for last. The mom support group is so much more important than could have ever imagined. I’m sorry for taking advantage of you before I knew the effect you had. Please don’t abandon me for my ignorance in my time of need. Even though, yes, some of the advice and comments can get annoying (as in any situation), for the most part every seasoned veteran has been helpful and understanding. I like to think that pregnancy is as ridiculous for others as it is for me, and I’ve found so much support for this theory in those who love me. So thank you, other moms, I promise to never disregard your knowledge again… for the most part.