It’s clearly been a while since I’ve posted anything, so there’s absolutely no evidence ( unless you follow me on Pinterest ) on this blog of what I’m about to say: in 11 weeks or less, our furbabies are going to be big brothers to a HUMAN! I’ve been meaning to talk about the pregnancy for a good while now, and after an incident at my check-up earlier this week that made me laugh, I knew it was high time to do a tell-all post about what it’s like to grow your very own person -the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I come from a big family, so I’ve been around babies and pregnant ladies my whole life. In a Prep for Nursing class in high school, I read and did a project over “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” which was equal parts informative and terrifying (I learned the definition of the word ‘episiotomy’ that semester.) However, no amount of exposure to pregnancy or the reading material available could prepare me for the last 29 weeks. We’ll start at the beginning.
Phillip and I tried for nearly a year to get pregnant with Baby C, and while that’s not as long as some of our closest friends have waited for a baby, it was enough to make me very emotional. I should’ve known, however, when I found myself crying during the majority of the episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” that something was amiss. (In my defense, “Legendaddy” is a super heart wrenching episode! I binge watched the series in the fall.) Finally, October 12th I took my very first positive pregnancy test and began full-on ugly crying happy tears at the sight. Then the fun started.
In case you were under the impression that women are joking when they talk about pregnancy brain, let me be the first to tell you that it is not a joke. It is very real, and it makes even the most organized, Type A of women turn into a confused mess. I like to compare it to that commercial that aired a few years ago that demonstrates what it’s like to quit smoking where the woman gets into the back seat of her car to drive and her entire routine is thrown off. (I tried unsuccessfully to find a clip of this, sorry!) It began for me when I packed my lunch before work one day; it wasn’t until noon when I opened my lunch box that I realized I only packed a coffee cup and a bottle of water. Since then, I’ve caught myself trying to put recipes in the fridge and forgetting the name for common items like post-its. This week, I had an appointment (the one that prompted this post) during which I had to have a rogham shot. Since maxi skirts are one of the few clothing items that are actually comfortable since I’ve officially hit the beach ball stage, I just hiked it up for the nurse so she could administer the shot into my hip. Once I got back to the office, my ever-shrinking bladder beckoned me to the bathroom, at which point I realized I had my panties on inside-out all day. This wouldn’t be that embarrassing if the nurse hadn’t seen and they didn’t have a rhinestone heart on the waistband that irritated my skin enough that I should’ve noticed much earlier in the day. Let’s just say, I rely heavily on lists these days to get anything accomplished because my poor little brain has been scrambled by the underproduction of the hormone that helps you remember things. Suddenly, I understand why my mother left so many of my little brother’s sippy cups on top of the car when we were little!
In addition to barely remembering my own name, I spent the first 17 weeks ridiculously ill from dawn til dusk -and sometimes in the middle of the night- with morning sickness. What a cruel, cruel name for such an unbearable condition. I was not naïve enough to assume that it would only happen in the morning, but I did think it would probably only hit me at certain points during the day. My own mother never vomited once with me and she only had heartburn when she was pregnant with my brother, so I thought to myself, This won’t be too bad. Incorrect.
I was a major coffee drinker prior to pregnancy, and it wasn’t a difficult habit to break, thankfully. My first bout with nausea involved a cup of my favorite Colombian roast coffee with pumpkin spice creamer… through my nose. After that, I couldn’t even bear the scent of coffee, let alone the taste. Soon after, I had to be placed on medication because I couldn’t even stomach saltines or water and dehydration/hospitalization was imminent without it. Even with the medicine, I found myself vomiting into virtually every public toilet in the tri-state area. At one point, I joked with my husband that we should hang a map in the baby’s nursery and mark every location where I got sick. “It’s an adventure themed nursery, so people will think all the little pins have some road trip significance.” He didn’t go for it. Long story short, I bought some pressure-point bands and candy made specifically for pregnancy-induced nausea, and then one day it just stopped. The frustrating thing is that morning sickness is the most unpleasant thing anyone could possibly be thankful for since it’s a sign of a progressing pregnancy, but I’d be lying if I said I was sad to see it go.
Be forewarned: if you thought the last paragraph about vomiting was gross, you may just want to go ahead and skip on down to the next one, cause this one isn’t any prettier. Did you know that constipation is a fairly normal part of the first trimester because of hormones being released to relax your insides to accommodate the need for your baby making parts to expand? I didn’t, but I learned very quickly. Did you know that Zofran, the medication I was on for 17 weeks to control the morning sickness, also causes constipation? Combine those two things with the iron in prenatal vitamins and you’ve got yourself a stalemate of epic proportions. This coupled with the devastating morning sickness really created an interesting bonding experience between Phillip & I. Just some tips for those of you dealing with it now: gummy vitamins don’t contain iron, prune juice did nothing for me, and if you ever have to use an enema -bless your heart- make sure that you warm it up first. That’s all I’ll say about that.
As of late, the only majorly uncomfortable pregnancy side effect I’m dealing with is edema, or swelling. Thankfully, it’s warm here now and I can get away with wearing flip flops all the time, but the other day I got brave and wore strappy sandals. At the beginning of the day, my feet went into them with ease. The problem came later in the day because I like to take my shoes off under my desk at work and I only managed to get my left foot back in the shoe completely. My poor, poor, puffy feet. My whole life, I’ve had long, skinny feet (or skis as my family so lovingly refers to them) but I would describe my left foot in that strappy sandal as walrus in a G-string. It wasn’t pretty, y’all.
You know what is pretty though? Our daughter’s perfectly formed little face that we got to see for the first time at our anatomy scan sonogram back in February. Since I’m 29 weeks along now, I can both feel and see her little knees and elbows jutting out at various intervals during the day. She’s responsive when I poke my ever-growing belly and even more responsive to the sound of Phillip’s voice which makes my heart melt. This sweet girl is going to be completely worth all of the negative pregnancy experiences and I can’t wait to see that little face in person.
We prayed for this little life and I have tried to remind myself that other women out there are praying for achey hips, morning sickness, lava-like heartburn, and the sound of a tiny heart fluttering in a dark ultrasound room. Pregnancy has been the strangest, most amazing experience of my life thus far. Now if we can only survive parenting…