So, it’s been a hot-minute since I’ve posted on here! Mostly because I gave birth to a 6lb, 9oz titty-moster that wouldn’t let me get too far from him for the first 12 weeks of his life and also because I’m back at work now so my “free” time that I had while on maternity leave (ha!) has considerably diminished. But, I’m back for a bit so I wanted to let my one reader that thought perhaps I had died know that I am alive and mostly well. Hi, Jim!
(This is a post that I (mostly) wrote when I was pregnant with Ryker. Enjoy and feel free to add any that I missed in the comments!)
When I was pregnant with Ryker, I thought about how equally magical and miserable pregnancy can be. So I started compiling a list of the less-than-glamorous benefits (side-effects?) of pregnancy. So, these are the things I wish I knew before I got pregnant. Or, maybe I don’t because I probably wouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place.
But here we go!
Some of these are mine and some of them are from friends who wanted to remain anonymous.
- Not only will your belly get bigger, so will your boobs, your hands, your feet, your face . . . basically your entire body will swell up like a balloon. Unless you are one of those girls that only gets a cutie-pie basketball belly. Problem is, you don’t know which girl you are until you actually get pregnant. Sorry, girl.
- At some point, you will no longer be able to see and/or touch your feet. Self-made pedicures will most likely become a thing of the past as will wearing shoes with laces. As will giving a crap that you are wearing crocs with un-pedicured feet.
- Panty-liners will become an absolute necessity. This is mostly due to snot crotch. This is the term that I lovingly use to refer to the increase in vaginal secretions that many women experience during pregnancy. Unless you want to have to change your underwear by lunchtime, you better stock up.
- Sex is horrible, then tolerable, then great! then meh, then if-you-touch-me-I-will-Lorena-Bobbit-you-faster-than-you-can-say-vasectomy. During the entire 40 week stretch, you get 1/3 of that time where you don’t want to vomit or get so big that having sex becomes a freak-show. Unfortunately, at the end of your pregnancy, everybody and their mother thinks it’s hilarious to tell you to have sex to induce labor. I’m making my amused face. Tee-hee.
- You will cry. Mostly at nothing. Sometimes at big things. Usually at things like the fact that your husband asks if you have seen his favorite baseball cap. It’s okay. It’s totally normal to be irrationally emotional. You might want to warn him about that before you have a crazy-lady meltdown because your local grocery store is out of your favorite type of cheese.
- Your nipples/areola will not only get bigger but also darker. Babies have terrible vision and apparently need a large, dark target if they want to eat.
- You will start to waddle at the end of your pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you gained 10 pounds your entire pregnancy or 80 pounds. As you get closer to your due date, your body starts to release lots of hormones. One of them is relaxin. This allows your pelvis (and thusly, your hips) to spread to allow the baby to come out. Unfortunately, for you c-section mamas, this is also the case; hormones don’t care that you have a sunroof hatch (that would be your c-section scar). In addition to causing your hips to spread, the relaxin also causes you to waddle because it relaxes (get it?! Science is so hilarious!) the ligaments in your pelvis so things will stretch and bend without breaking (which is ultimately a good thing). Because the relaxin isn’t targeted just toward the ligaments that allow your pelvis to spread, you get pregnant-lady waddle.
- Your boobs will grow to epic proportions. For those of us that are busty to start with, please belive me when I say that button-up shirts will go to the back of the closet before you are even showing. Mine grew to porn-star proportions during all of pregnancies. And they only got bigger while I was nursing.
- There are benefits and downsides to being 9-months pregnant at any given time of year. I had Brock and Adrianna in the heat of the summer (August and July, respectively). I was so miserable because of the heat. However, I could wear flip-flops and get in a pool when things got too bad. I had Ryker in the dead of winter. I wasn’t (as) hot (when I was outside, anyway) but my coat wouldn’t zip, my shoes didn’t fit and I was constantly worried about slipping on the ice. I knew I wouldn’t hurt the baby but I knew that if I fell, there was no way in hell that I was going to be able to get my ass up off of the ground. I also didn’t have to worry about showing off my jiggly arms in tank tops because it was too cold to wear them in January. And, with Ryker, I didn’t have to worry about holding back at Thanksgiving because “the baby wants more pumpkin pie” and I got to eat all of the Christmas candy I wanted because I was pregnant and nobody was going to tell me to stop eating candy when I was 8-months pregnant.
- Constipation became my new normal. That was my first clue that I was pregnant with Adrianna. Like the hip-spreading detail, this does actually serve a purpose. When you are pregnant, your body releases a hormone that slows your GI tract. This allows your body to absorb every ounce of nutrition from what you eat so the babe in your uterus gets big enough to roundhouse kick your bladder. Which is ultimately a good thing. Unfortunately? It also makes you constipated. Which is great if you don’t mind carving an hour out of your day every time you need to drop a deuce. Also? Watch out for hemorrhoids. Yowza.
- If you are planning to breastfeed, invest in a few nursing tank tops. (I got mine for $15 at Wal-Mart) They are perfect to wear while you’re nursing but don’t want to take your entire shirt off if company comes over.
- Everything in moderation is (usually) okay. If you have been craving a cold turkey sandwich, feel free (just so long as it’s a reputable brand of meat and not from a guy that is selling steaks out of the back of his truck in the Target parking lot). If a Coke and crackers are all that you can keep down first thing in the morning, don’t feel bad about giving your baby a little caffeine. You forgot your prenatal vitamins this morning?? Oh! My! God! It will be okay. Just avoid things like meth and downing an entire bottle of wine in an evening.
- When people start to give you friendly “advice”, just smile and nod. Strong as the urge may be, do NOT punch your Aunt Josephine in the face when she tells you all about her labor horror story or, transversely, how the baby just slid right out. This no-punching advice will also come in handy after your little bundle of joy arrives. People just want to be relatable. Unfortunately, this is usually at the expense of you being forced to pretend you’re listening when somebody tells you to turn the baby upside down if they get their days/nights mixed up (that really happened to me).
- There are going to be people who will hate the name you picked for your baby. Guess what? They aren’t on the birth certificate so don’t worry about them. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your partner. We learned that with Brock after I heard about 10 people say, ”Ugh. Really??” I didn’t like it at first either but I had a right to not like the name. It was my baby. So, if you want to share your name, go for it! Just be prepared for everybody to share their opinion.