For some, pregnancy is the most glorious thing that has ever happened to them. Others quietly hate it. Me, well, I’ve landed somewhere in the middle. It has certainly been a change, a mental and physical test I think I’m passing. But honestly, I am far, far beyond the point of caring to check society for an approval rating. Pregnancy has been challenging and depressing, weird and eye-opening in countless ways. It has also been beautiful and bizarre. I’ve loved seeing my body evolve and change, although admittedly, at thirty-six weeks (and five days), I am slightly over the expansion aspect. Mostly, I’ve loved feeling the interactions with my son grow and become more powerful, I’ve loved counting the days by the size of fruits and vegetables as we get closer to meeting face-to-face.
For as much as I’ve complained, I will miss it. I will miss strangers striking up conversations and saying super awkward things. I will miss the way men look at you as though you are a super woman balancing life literally on your hips. I will miss the all-knowing nod from other moms and pregnant women.
I may even miss the people in the elevator that exclaim well-intentioned comments like, “Wow, you’re about to pop!”
Eh, maybe that one not so much.
When I found out I was pregnant, I read every article. I vowed to blog daily about my journey (oops) and I gave a side-eye glance to every article discussing swelling or the inability to put on one’s shoes, “that wouldn’t happen to me! How big could I get??” With all of that being read and ultimately, proven to be true, there were still a few pregnancy struggles those articles didn’t cover.
Pregnancy Turns You Into a Toddler
My hormones have always been, erm, slightly out of whack. It has taken a lot of years (and therapy) to be able to recognize that sometimes, my reactions may not be the most reasonable. When pregnant, this took on a whole new level.
I became aware that I was basically regressing to a toddler when I was having my first (of many) pregnancy cravings for basically, melted cheese. It was my first trimester and I decided to completely neglect my year of healthy eating and working out by purchasing a loaf of french bread, cheese and veggies and making a homemade french bread pizza, aka melted cheese and bread. By the time I acquired my ingredients and began to dice and chop, I was hangry. I then discovered I could not open the tomato sauce, aptly named Prego. I called Craig, who was not going to be home for an hour, and I began to get flustered. I tried hot water, I tried the old knife trick, I tried everything I could think of as a highly capable, completely equal in most every way to men, woman. And, nothing.
When Craig walked in the door, he began playing with the dogs, he said hello, put his things down. He did not immediately open the jar. He did not sense my urgency. I began to cry, face down on the couch, while, regrettably, kicking my feet.
I became a toddler. And no amount of melted cheese could fix it.
Your Body Prepares You for Not Sleeping By Cursing You
I woke up this morning and exclaimed, “oh my G-d I didn’t get up once last night to pee!” Craig replied, “Yeah, only at midnight and three am.” Not bad, I thought. Not bad at all.
I remember when I first found out that you lose the ability to sleep in your third trimester as a way of your body preparing itself for the coming months. I remember thinking, “how cool of our bodies to figure this out.” I remember thinking it was kind-of magical.
It is not cool. It is most certainly NOT magic.
I now feel like the best way to prepare for not sleeping would be with sleep. Apparently, it is not. Apparently, a better way to prepare is to lay in bed with your sound-asleep partner, monitoring his and your two dogs breathing while you sit on Facebook at 4am growing increasingly resentful and counting the hours until you have to go to work.
Bathroom Doors that Open Inward
I take pride in not taking on inanimate objects as my personal enemy. Or I did, until I was pregnant, when bathroom stalls that open inward became the enemy. That, and pregnant women who can wear heels, but that’s another bitch session for a different time.
Prior to being pregnant, I had never thought about bathroom stalls that open inward, besides maybe when I was twenty-one and out with my girlfriends at a bar after drunkenly fitting three of us (in heels) into a stall and having the post midnight challenge of figuring out our escape. When pregnant, you face a totally different realm of obstacles. It is you and your belly, and that door is the enemy. There is no sucking in and navigating around the toilet paper dispenser and squeezing between the opening. There is nowhere to hide.
Bra Burning Rib Pain
My friends will say this one doesn’t count, as I’ve always hated bras. True. But, my hatred was never based on actual pain, more so varying comfort levels. What woman doesn’t love taking off their bra at the end of the day?
I don’t know percentages, I’m not a scientist, but a quick Google search shows that a lot of women have pain in their upper ribs while pregnant that feels like underwire stabbing your soul through your bra. For me, this pain wasn’t completely subsided by unhooking my bra, nonetheless doing so made me feel a lot better. #FreetheTaTas
Something weird happens when you’re told random stranger’s opinions as to what you should and should not consume. Something even weirder happens when you have access to far too much information at your fingertips. Think of it like the black hole that is WedMD times nine million thousand billion. Then add mom forums and your own ability to drive yourself crazy. Then, imagine you consume deli meat, take a bite of a medium rare burger or consume fish high in mercury. Next thing you know, you don’t feel awesome. You hit the internet and are not only actually dying but are a horrible mother for even craving such forbidden foods. How will you raise a child if you cannot resist the lure of a medium rare steak from City Hall? HOW?
The Dissolution of Public Bathroom Phobia
Yes, two of these sections are dedicated to phobias and/or bathrooms, but when you have the bladder and mind of a baby hamster, these things happen.
I used to pride myself on being the road trip girl. No stops needed here! I despise public restrooms to the point where I’ve mentally graded my distaste ranging from restaurant bathrooms to say, the gas station in Why, AZ on your way to Mexico. I suppose it is also preparing you for motherhood when you are forced to negate this phobia. It doesn’t matter if the doors open inward, if you are at a say, Welcome Diner in the middle of Phx, the urge to pee will strike frequently and unexpectedly and the fear of what will happen if you don’t go (just google Peezing) is enough to make you abandon all previous trepidations.
Swelling + Pregnancy Brain
Swelling was definitely one of those things that I was certain wouldn’t happen to me. Pregnancy brain on the other hand, I made no predictions about. What I didn’t forsee happening was the combination of these two turning me into a blubbering idiot. Have you ever seen flubber? That’s me. But, Flubber may have more intellectual range.
Let me start by saying I’m an intelligent person. I went to college, I read, I watch more CNN and read more New York Times than is probably healthy. But, when my brand new Sam Edelman boots broke along the zipper, my first thought was that it was because my feet were swollen. Not to mention the fact that I haven’t put on my shoes or socks myself in three months (thanks babe!), making my water retaining body, a sensitive (large) subject. Yes, I am thankful that I am not pregnant during the Arizona summer, although the awkwardness of attempting to put on socks is nothing to take lightly. That + the broken boots, and I found myself in a predicament. More specifically, I found myself 9 months pregnant, standing in Nordstroms during the holidays, holding my perfectly worn-in boots, talking to a sales guy. When he inquired as to what size shoe I wore, I immediately became defensive. “I don’t think they broke because they’re too small and my feet are swollen!!” I exclaimed, loudly. He responded, “I was just going to check to see if we have another pair in the back.” People stared, some giggled. I hung my chins in shame.
Preggo Brain: 1, Jaclyn: 0
All the Feels
Knowing you’re about to become a mother is mind boggling. While you have 9 (erm, 10) months to come to grips with your new reality, sometimes it is easy to be disconnected to the fact that your belly is growing a human. And sometimes, it is easy to be over-connected to that fact. Pregnancy is an eye opening experience that makes you overtly aware, both physically and emotionally. Whether it is crying at the new Disney movie twenty second commercials and wondering how you will ever take your child to a movie, to a new found sensitivity and view of the world around you, things are about to change in a tremendous way that you cannot prepare for. The overwhelming excitement and overall FEELS that one succumbs too as they go along this journey are incredible.