Don’t get me wrong, the discomfort and daily anomalies my body experiences over the majority of the year that I am pregnant are all forgotten when they place our child in my arms for the first time, but I’ll be the first to admit that by week 20 when you’re at the halfway point, it is really hard to think about that indescribable emotion you get when you first meet the life form that has been wreaking such havoc on your insides.
I’m not trying to be wholly negative or sound ungrateful. Trust me I know how blessed I am to be able to get pregnant without issue to begin with. I just feel liberated finally being able to get the true answer out there to those lovely people who ask me “Oh how far along are you?”, “How are you feeling?”, “Can I touch your belly?” when I know every answer to each of those questions is showing on my face.
Sometimes I wonder if I am doing something wrong when I hear other women talk about how wonderful they feel or how easy pregnancy has been on their bodies. I am honestly a little green with envy that they can feel that amazing and I feel like I’ve been kicked over and over in the vagina by steel toe boots. Then I start to wonder if these women are just saying they feel like they could run a marathon at 35 weeks of pregnancy just to make it seem like they are super mom. Ladies, if that is the case and this is your first child, trust me when I say you have nothing to prove to anyone. Carrying and forming a life in your body for 9 months makes you a super mom! Take a load off after that 8 hour shift and don’t worry about what other people think if you mention that your tree trunks (a.k.a. legs) are killing you.
Here are some of the things that I have personally experienced while pregnant that did not make me feel beautiful, sexy, attractive or empowered in any way, shape or form; no matter how many times my husband told me otherwise.
1. Urinary Incontinence
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had preeclampsia and was put on bed rest for the last month of my pregnancy. This was tough and boring, but it was the hardest part of the pregnancy. I had no clue what I was getting myself into with the second pregnancy.
Now that I am pregnant with my second child I can be sitting at work, minding my own business and just start peeing myself.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I will just start peeing out of nowhere. It just comes out, I can’t put a stopper on it.
For this reason I now have to travel with extra clothes, underwear, refreshing wipes and plastic bags for my wet clothes like Im a toddler who has had an accident at daycare!
This happens probably once or twice a week and it is not pleasant. I notified my doctor of this, she asked me if I had an episiotomy with my first delivery (which I didn’t) and then told me it was normal. Other people I have discussed this with quickly reply, “Well do some kegels!”
Let me tell you, I have ‘KEGELED’ everyday for the past 5 years since giving birth to my first child and for my body kegeling was a waste - I am no longer even able to use a freakin’ tampon.
2. PAINFUL Constipation
Oh this one is fun.
Let me give you a better perspective - have you ever seen an old container of toothpaste?
By old I mean as in the toothpaste has dried up and is now hard and if you squeeze the tube small chunks will fall out piece by piece but you can’t actually get a good line on your toothbrush...
Yes it’s time to throw that away and I will also end #2 here because I think you get the idea.
Constipation like that will have you crying on the toilet in agony as if your baby is attempting to escape from the wrong hole.
3. Reprehensible Gas
You might say “Well duh! Everyone has gas!” To you I laugh. Yes, you are correct everyone has gas, but not everyone has pregnancy gas - - YES it is very different.
Before pregnancy I would solemnly swear under the penalties of perjury that my gas didn’t have an odor. My husband would be quick to attest to same. But during pregnancy the gas my body produces can make my husbands eyes water and me gag.
All I have to say is it’s a good thing this man loves me as much as he does.
4. Sleep Deprivation
Well that’s the understatement of the century. So I ALWAYS make sure I pee before bed and try not to drink much past 8:00 p.m. because the frequency I am experiencing is that of the bladder of a 90 year old.
So I purchased a $75.00 “U”-shaped pillow in hopes that I would sleep better during this pregnancy than the last. The jury is still out on whether my money was worth it but I think I may have gained 5% more REM.
So after I pile the pillows up and plop myself on my left side with my stomach propped upon the pillow and I find a place for my arm and I have my swollen piggies propped on a pillow and the 100th pillow is finally in the right position between my legs...I have to pee!
&*%$@# you’re kidding me right? “Nope” my little one responds with a swift stomp on my bladder.
I drag myself out of this cozy position and go use the bathroom just to rid myself of maybe an ounce of urine and I come back to bed and try to get back to where I was, only to be defeated by my belly and the fact that someone decides 10:00 p.m. is a good time to kick me over and over, and over and over.
I love these kicks, my husband loves to feel them, I feel a bond grow with each kick, but by this point I just want to sleep. I can only sleep on my left side and I am naturally a stomach sleeper so I have that working against me as well. After finally getting to sleep an hour later I wake up every 2 hours until my alarm goes off for me to get up and get my son ready for school and myself ready for work.
“Wow”, I say to myself. “I feel so refreshed!” <–INSERT SARCASTIC TONE HERE
5. Morning/Noon/Night Sickness
With my first pregnancy I experienced some morning sickness for the first 7 weeks or so and then it went away. I thought it was horrible and I never wanted another ginger ale or saltine cracker ever again.
With my second pregnancy I have experienced what I like to call “all day sickness”. This baby doesn’t discriminate against time of day. I could be in the car on my way to work, after breakfast and hydrating for the morning and all of a sudden I need to throw up. I could be eating dinner and catch a smell that I used to find to be delicious and I will need to throw up. I could be in the middle of organizing documents at work and I will need to throw up.
You get the point.
There are no true triggers for me this time around. It just happens when it happens and I have to hope I am near a toilet or trash can, otherwise its an embarrassing mess.
This lovely experience has lead me to work on my core while pregnant (bright side? HA), but has also caused broken blood vessels in my face and passing out in Five Below during holiday shopping.
Have I mentioned how much fun I’ve been having this time around?
All I am saying is that I don't feel beautiful or desirable when pregnant; I feel more colossal, incompetent, uncomfortable, gassy and always on edge that I am going to pee my pants. But I guess that sums up life in general. Life is always a give and take, we just have to make sure we give more than we take.