Oh, pregnancy… A joyous time in which you create a brand new life based on your own trademarked DNA. A time of nausea, lack of sleep, edema, physical handicaps, acne, oversized love handles, and temperamental bowels.
Yes, pregnancy is definitely a miraculous and amazing time, but it’s time we had a talk about what you can REALLY expect when you’re expecting…
You’re Temporarily Handicapped
Jumping out of bed and pulling your clothes on may not be the favorite part of your day, but you’ll be lusting for it by the time you hit 6 or 7 months. Not only do you have a body in your body, but your abdominals spread out and your abs can actually split apart. Sitting up in bed ain’t gonna happen. Oh no-no-noooo! If you want to get out of bed, you’re gonna have to have a plan. That involves shifting onto a flat back, rolling onto your side, pushing yourself up, and then scooting your butt to the edge of the bed until your feet finally reach the floor. Yeah, it’s a pain, but at least it beats beelining it to the bathroom for an emergency toilet visit. Wear the right pants, and your urgent business will be put on hold as your attempts to sit are resisted by the collision of pants, knees, and baby belly.
As for getting dressed, I’m just waiting for the day that HSN finally starts selling reach extenders with cotton-friendly grippers. I can sneak my feet into a skirt or a pair of pants, but pulling them up and over my billowy thighs involves awkward bends, sumo squats, and serious arm strength. Yes, I could sprawl out on the bed to tug those pants over my hulky hips and gigantic ass, but not until I have them pulled past my feet and up to my knees. And I do this again and again until I finally find something to wear that allows my body image some shred of dignity.
Big Problems With Poop Production
You can forget all about the troubles in the bedroom. The bathroom gets all your focus now! You’d think that your growing bundle of joy would have plenty of room given that your belly is hanging out over your pants, but it’s gonna hog up every inch of available abdominal space. That means digestion is at an all-time low, and poop is traveling at a snail’s pace. There’s fantastic potential here for stomach pains, hemorrhoid, and the emission of powerful and horrific smells.
I was able to avoid this my third round of pregnancy by eating an ungodly amount of fruit and adding heaping tablespoons of medicinal herbs to everything I ate, but that still couldn’t save me from the spontaneous belches and irrepressible farts of a compressed digestive system. And as nice as it was to poop without the pains of constipation, this came with great danger. All that colon pressure has the urge to go meaning “Go RIGHT NOW!” Wait a moment too long and you’ll be flushing your panties down the toilet (true story).
It’s All Or Nothing
When we think cravings, we think pregnancy. And while there are some women with some insatiable urges and appetites, that ain’t the whole story. The early weeks of morning sickness (aka all day sickness) make a salt lick the most appealing thing you’ll see until the second trimester.
It may not stop after that though. If food doesn’t smell right, look right, or taste right, then it’s going to the dogs. A pregnant going without a meal can pose serious danger to the general public, but it is a pleasant alternative to us eating something that rockets our stomach up into our throat.
Yeah, we’ve all heard about the joyous swelling that’s thanks to fluid reserves and super-charged blood volume, but you really have no idea what’s ahead of you. My first two pregnancies involved gaining 50lbs, and what didn’t go to my ass and chin went to my hands and feet. They weren’t just swollen. They looked morbidly obese! The last two months of pregnancy they looked as though I’d just wolfed down a super-sized meal with a large chocolate shake. Which is really great, because nothing compliments weight gain like swollen, puffy body parts.
All the fattiness, puffiness, and ferocious cravings of the third trimester threatens the onset of a vicious cycle. Looking like you’re living off nothing but milk shakes can have you in tears every time you walk by a mirror. All this wailing puts your stomach in a very vulnerable and emotional position, and looking like a fast food junkie only gets you thinking about that damn joint with those great shakes and those incredibly salty, crispy fries. It’s just a drive away. And you have even have cash to keep the whole transaction off the books! No evidence, and the witnesses know to keep their mouths shut. I’m leaving. Now!
Doing Nothing Hurts The Worst
While your swollen limbs may be big enough to score a generous endorsement deal from Jenny Craig, this comes with wonderfully achy muscles. It friggin’ hurts! We all know what it feels like to be on our feet all day, but a mere 5 minutes of pregnant coffee room chit chat is now the equivalent of an 8 hour work day in a pair of platforms. You’re feet will be dancing around to combat the torment and clue in chatty Cathy to wrap things up. Once that blabbering hits 10 minutes, your feet will be in so much agony that you’ll be faking IBS or explosive diarrhea so she’ll finally shut up and let you waddle off.
Oh, but keeping up with exercise will prevent this, won’t it? No. Not it won’t. Whether you opt for power walking or dancing around like an arthritic, osteoporosis-plagued woman, a nice little round of exercise will have your fluid-filled legs so tight that your inflated calf muscles will threaten to split your skin open from knee to ankle. Stairs are now your most heinous nemesis, and they’ll have your knees buckling and thighs trembling within 6 steps. And those lovely sunny walks being pushed on you by every doctor and CNM (psssst! That’s hospital jargon for Certified Nurse Midwife). They’re gonna have those hands engorged and throbbing in a fabulous dull and numbing fashion.
In fact, simply stretching out your legs in bed can result in fabulous charlie horses that will have you screaming into your pillow to keep your cries from ringing through the neighborhood.
Your Man Is Now The Enemy
Love was all peaches and cream before pregnancy came around, but now you’re body is transforming into an unrecognizable mass of flesh with all sorts of aches and pains. And does your man get to experience any of it? Does he have the faintest idea of what this is like? Noooooo! It is now your mission to make life as uncomfortable for him as possible so he understands that every child borne comes with a serious IOU. I mean, here you get to go through all these pains and changes and you can’t even drink! Meanwhile, hubby’s slamming down a six pack and he still only takes two seconds to get up off the couch.
And just when you thought you couldn’t be more tired of feel even more used up, and you’re finally on the verge of falling into a semi-comfortable and short slumber, that’s when he comes in. That action movie he just finished and the sight of your shapely silhouette has him energized and sneaking up behind you to get a little action. Sleep sounds 100x more appealing, but there are times when one must roll over, properly arrange some pillows, and then attempts to do the deed without losing their breath from organ pressure and lung compression. Meanwhile, you’re laying there and feeling as huge and unsexy as ever. Who wouldn’t pass up sleep for that?
A special shout-out to all you preggos, veteran mamas, and future babymakers. You ladies rock! Now tell us your not-so-favorite parts of pregnancy. What was it like for you?
Ash Stevens is a mother, writer, and a wannabe shaman. She loves health, gardening, simplicity, culture, chocolate, and sarcasm. If she isn’t writing or pondering up multicultural cheats to happiness on her blog, then she’s surely playing badminton with the kids. Find her on Twitter or Facebook and make a new friend!