Monday, February 27, 2012

Pregnancy truths

As I hit the 35 week mark today (only ~ 1 month to go!!),
I think it's time I scare the shit out of you early preggos and get real.
*WARNING: This post is NOT PG-13.*
(Although with MTV's "Sixteen and Pregnant", maybe it should be.)

First of all, why is it common knowledge that pregnancy is only 9 months?
It is 10 months, g'damnit. TEN MONTHS.
40 weeks.
Divided by 4 (# of weeks in a month).
That is 10.  TEN MONTHS.
If it were 9 months, I'd be preparing to give birth, like, right now.
Now that I have that off my chest...

This is what society thinks being pregnant is like:
(and honestly, how I felt through the the beginning of my third trimester)
Glowing.  Beautiful.  Perfect.
Your bump is adorable and you are generally carefree.

Here is what I actually fricking feel like (and probably look like) right now:

Current ailments...

Huzz had to make a late-night Tums run because since ~32 weeks, it feels like someone dumps Sriracha down my throat every time I eat or drink anything.  (I now truly empathize with all my patients with GERD.  It's no joke.)  Currently sleeping at 45 degrees and occasionally vomiting up acid.

Back Ache
The dull, constant kind where no position is acceptable.  I guess a 30-ish lb weight gain (all in your belly) will do that.  (Aside:  I shouldn't really complain about 30 lbs...I keep hearing horror stories from friends about 60-80 lb pregnancy weight gains.  YIKES.  I'm just hoping not to top my lanky husband on the scales!  I'm already well past any numbers I've personally ever seen.  Fingers crossed!)
Back to the back aches...I pretty much have to stand or sit on one of these for almost every waking hour.  (One of these balls better be in my birthing suite or there will be hell to pay.)

"Round Ligament Pain"
What is that, you ask?  This is the name they give to your stiff, achy hips and groin, as they stretch out for birth.  To me, it just feels like my legs are going to snap off whenever I change position.

Nose Bleeds
Oh yeah, here is what I look like most mornings:

Damn increased vascularity, low platelets, & dry winter air.
You should see my gums when I brush my teeth! Thought I had TB for a second. 

Frequency of potty time is increasing at an alarming rate.  I used to shun gas station bathrooms.  Now I will pee at Target upon entering and exiting with no qualms.  I am up at least 3 times per night to pee.  Contemplating wearing a diaper when I take my NP Boards.

Leaking, Sore Nipples
TMI? Too freaking bad.  Applying lanolin ointment and wearing nursing pads since Christmas.  At least I know my mammaries will be ready to go!
(P.S.  Should I be pumping and selling this liquid gold on ebay?!)

Leg Cramps & Swelling
Starting to pick-up in intensity.  Wearing my nursing compression socks daily to prevent actual cankles and/or spider veins from exploding out.  My wedding rings barely fit right now.
Note to self:  You need to drink more water STAT.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Woke up the other morning with a completely numb and tingling right hand and thought I was having a stroke.  (Combined with my preggo brain/word finding difficulty, a stroke (or at least a TIA) was a real concern.) Speaking of which, preggo brain should make NP Boards even easier - but that's a rant for another day.  Supposedly the carpal tunnel symptoms never completely go away until you give birth, so get used to it sister.

Braxton-Hicks Contractions
Read:  False labor.  The contractions started the night after my shower (probably over-did it)...and have re-occurred twice this past week.  I am paranoid that my little man is going to come early!  Thankfully, they have gone away on their own after rest, water, & baths.  But they still scare the shit out of me!  Currently practicing deep breathing and trying to take it easy.

And here is my sweet husband...

Yep, you guessed it.
Cutting.  My.  Toenails.
Because I can no longer reach them and they were starting to look gnarly.
I wonder how he'd feel about tackling my pubes next?
Because I can't see my own lady parts anymore either.
(True love is great, isn't it?)

In case that isn't enough to freak you out, here are the
Pregnancy Pearls of Wisdom,
shared by our adorable (and heavily-accented) Chinese birthing instructor, Quiyan:

"Don't buy too many newborn clothes.  They grow like little weeds."
(Uh-oh! I literally have enough 0-3 month clothes to be an Octomom.)

"Breastfeeding is like taking your nipples to the gym 10 times a day.  They going to be very sore."  True dat.

"When your water breaks, make sure you call the doctor and tell him about your 'taco'." 
(Note:  this refers to the time-amount-color-odor of your amniotic fluid... the sexual innuendo of taco-to-crotch was apparently lost in cultural translation.  It was not, however, lost on my husband who was laughing so hard he almost had to exit the classroom.)

"I'm not going to lie. You going to be sore for very long time after you gives birth."
(Insert lecture about episiotomy care, Tucks pads for vaginal itching and/or hemorrhoids, the need for pre-birth perineal massage, sitz baths, post-partum super absorbency menstrual pads, no sex or exercise for 4-6 weeks, etc. here.  They do NOT tell you these things before you decide to get knocked up, kids, that is for sure.)
(And for those who don't know, "Perineal Massage" = 
a fancy way of saying "stretch that shit out".)

Thanks, Quiyan.
Thanks a lot.

But in all honesty,
I know these aches, pains, & inconveniences are all part of the process.  Consider it initiation into the club. Part of the beauty and experience of being a mother.  An experience I know I am fortunate to have!
(Just wait until the teenage years and maybe then we can complain.)

Despite all these physical ailments, I have personally yet to consume even six Tylenol this whole pregnancy.  It's really not that  bad.  Albeit frustrating, it is certainly tolerable.  People are suffering from FAR worse ailments every single day.

If that isn't enough incentive, do yourself a favor and read this:

You will certainly not feel alone in your pregnancy woes.
In fact, you will probably feel better about yourself and your experience.
I mean, at least I haven't had to have an impacted turd evacuated out of my ass. (Yet.)

Perhaps Quiyan's greatest Pregnancy Pearl of Wisdom is that all of this "pain"
is "pain with a purpose"...
Knowing that the end result is our sweet little boy makes it all okay - and worth it!!

I cherish feeling everyone of his little kicks and jabs.
I love hearing his healthy heartbeat.
I am grateful that he is growing bigger and stronger everyday.
...even if it means more aches (and pounds) for me!

So long as he his healthy and happy, I am thankful for this experience and wouldn't change a single damn thing.  I would (and, God-willing, will) do pregnancy over and over again.

Your dad and I cannot wait  to meet you, Baby A!!
It is unfathomable how much we love you already.

And hang in there, fellow friends in delicate conditions.
There is light (and wine!...and sushi!...) at the end of the tunnel!

~photos by b / images via pinterest &

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