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What The Hell Is That?: Pregnancy Symptoms That No One Told Me About

31 Jan
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My expectation of my own pregnancy. (Image courtesy of Flikr.com)

I hate to write about pregnancy so often because it is a subject that even I find boring, but since I’m currently living it and this is my blog, I think I will write about it anyways!

Before I was in the unpaid business of cooking human body parts in my own bod, I had never taken the time to look up pregnancy symptoms. Because why would I? I saw that episode of Full House when Becky is pregnant with Nicky and Alex and makes Jesse go out to get her ALL the chips. That was all I needed to know about pregnancy: it made you want chips. I always want chips, so I had a good feeling I would be good at pregnancy. Thanks to not being stupid, I also knew that other symptoms include nausea, weight-gain, fatigue, swelling, good hair days, and chronic bitch-face aimed at those who stand as an obstacle between you and food. My friends and I have had conversations of what fat messes we would be when we eventually got knocked-up. I envisioned myself being bloated and projectile vomiting for 9 months. But my reality of pregnancy has been totally different than my expectation. Because I am rounding my 3rd trimester, and so far, this has been my pregnancy journey, in order of when they took place:

Cramps: Okay, I guess I had heard of this one. But I didn’t expect pregnancy cramps to feel the exact same as period cramps. EW GROSS, VAG BLOOD! SORRY, MEN!!!! Anyways, I don’t know what I expected pregnancy cramps to feel like, but the cramping started 4 days before my missed period. I didn’t pay much mind to them because I’m no stranger to mild cramps (I feel for anyone who has those fetal-position death cramps) before my time of the month. It wasn’t until I was sitting on my back porch drinking Bud Lights with some girlfriends one night, that I realized I had been cramping for 4 days and my period was still not in town for an annoying visit. I had downloaded one of those fertility apps on my phone for whatever weird reason (I say “weird” because I wasn’t actively trying to have a baby). I announced the revelation of my lack of period out loud as a, “Hahaha, you guys, I’m probably pregnant, that would be fucked up!” type situation. I pulled up the app and realized I was indeed, 4 days late. I took a test the next morning while cooking meatballs for the Pats game. It was September 11, 2016. It was the second most fucked news I have ever heard on September 11th ever (no, that is not a 9/11 joke, but a 9/11 fact. The fact that it was 9/11 just made me remember the date more clearly). Anyways, the cramping feels like period cramping and lasts for weeks for some women.

GIANT BEWBS: Oh man, so I knew that boobs got tender and boobs got bigger. But I didn’t know the bigger part was actually MASSIVE. I went out for a jog at 7 weeks and had to stop after a quarter mile because no sports bra was supportive enough to de-tenderize my boobs. About a week later (my husband swears it was over the course of a weekend), they blew the fuck up. I went from a C cup to a D practically overnight. I am actually bulging out of my bra as I type, but I refuse to go Double D right now. So many changes are occurring in my life for me to admit the change in my cup size again. I will wait for one more person to tell me they see my nipple through my shirt (yes, this has already happened) before I pull the trigger.  I wish I could say this was something that has happened to me only while pregnant, but I have received texts from my husband while out to dinners with friends that have read “fix your nipple”. I guess that is what marriage is about? Anyways, the sensitivity is relatively back to normal, for now. But they are still huge.

Weight Loss: You hear in fairy tales stories of those bitch women who maintain their weight during pregnancy. You know the type: quinoa is their Jesus, they bath in coconut oil eucalyptus leaves, and feel “uneven” if they miss a barre class. Well, I always *KNEW* I would gain too much weight during pregnancy and would not be one of those bitch women. This was a fact I had embraced as soon as I learned what a metabolism was. But I was wrong. I lost weight in my first trimester – and it was not from projectile vomiting, as I had previously expected. I am a person who loves food and drink and sitting down. While I still enjoy sitting down with all of the eagerness of a child learning some new shit, I have almost completely given up going out to eat while pregnant. And my worst fear, no drinking (they say you can do a glass of wine once in awhile, which I have done a couple of times. JUDGE ME-  a shot of wine mixed with seltzer water, but honestly, where is the fun in uncorking a bottle, just to re-cork it because you can’t finish?). My avoidance of going to dinners and drinking is what caused me to lose weight during the first trimester. I do begrudgingly still go to the gym, but only out of boredom. So I guess that helps? I just started to “pop”, but not enough that anyone would ever give up their seat for me on the Red Line. OH, WAIT, NO ONE DOES THAT EVEN IF YOU’RE A PREGNANT, CRIPPLED, CHILD HOLDING A BABY WITH NO LIMBS. Well, that’s a stretch, since we shouldn’t be rewarding children for being pregnant by giving them our seats, but my point is: no one gets up for pregnant women on the T except for other women between ages 25 and 50. I was pregnant and got up for another pregnant lady because no one else made a move (people pretend to be absorbed in their phones to avoid accountability), and at that point I decided to forfeit the T until this baby is out of me. So anyways, that was a tangent. No maternity clothes yet, I can still wear my jeans, but as my husband told me this weekend, “You can see your vagina in those jeans, kind’ve”. Thank God for leggings, but I have always known this.

Depression: Aw, this is kind of a sad one! I had always heard of the baby blues, but it doesn’t just come post-partum. Depression during pregnancy has been my least favorite part of the 9 months (can we just say 10 months? 9 months is a LIE!). I am ordinarily an extroverted girl who likes to go out and fill up my days with thangs to do. Not so much when I’m pregnant. I dread every social gathering I get invited to because it’s hard to remove myself from my house sometimes and partake in conversation that feels forced, only because I don’t want to be there (although I still appreciate the invites, it’s me, not you).

I think people have this preconceived notion that you find out you’re pregnant and you automatically get all maternal, and have this glow, and are sick for a little bit but then you’re just giddy while you wait for the baby. It doesn’t always work like that, and it kind of triggers the expectation of “being a good mom” from the moment of conception. No one wants to hear about the bad aspects of pregnancy, because if you complain they associate it with you being “ungrateful”, which is utterly ridiculous (did you read my blog about the Vermont super-mom? If not, scroll down!). If you are anything less than excited, some people will for whatever dumb ass reason think that there is a small part of you that isn’t excited for the baby. Which, in my case at least, is absolute bullshit. You can hate being pregnant and feel depressed from wacky hormones, and still be excited for your baby. I mean, your hormones really are totally out of whack, so can we anticipate some old fashioned depression, or is it just to be viewed as the adorable preggo woman having a quick mood swing? The mood swing can be a 2 minute ordeal because we ran out of Ben & Jerry’s, but a little bit of depression can be a day spent on the couch, or feeling extremely overwhelmed by the thought of raising another human. I mean, for someone who spent her lunch break eating chocolate chip cookies and laughing at memes, child-rearing can be pretty intimidating to say the least.

OH, and the maternal chip that is on auto-pilot – NOPE! As a matter of fact, not only do I still not feel maternal, but I have experienced somewhat of a sense of mourning for my pre-maternal self even though I haven’t lost her yet (if that makes sense). It’s a lot to process such a huge life change. Marriage is one thing: some view it as a huge life event to process, and yeah, to some degree, but you stick your husband in a closet for being annoying and it’s funny. You do that to a child for being annoying and it’s abuse. Wait…what?

Anyways, You don’t just find out about the alien inside of you, and want to spoon feed it and pet it and warn it about Bill Cosby. It’s not always an instant connection. It does help when you feel the baby moving around. But it can definitely take some time to feel like it’s real. It doesn’t help when other moms are saying “JUST WAIT!” like total psychos when they find out your expecting. I know, most of them are kidding around and probably don’t even realize they are doing it, but as I mentioned in a past post, I think some people like to project a little bit of their own misery onto other people. And I will probably get shit for this (LOLz), but I think some moms like to talk about how much their lives suck worse than yours because one of their kids is a shit, or their marriage sucks. Like, okay, cool, thanks for the advice, but I think this is your issue, not mine?

So yeah, a little bit of depression has definitely been my worst symptom, because who likes to be sad for basically no reason at all? I had a moment in Ikea a few months ago. It was a Friday night, I was in the Organizational Boxes section of the store, and Darude’s Sandstorm was playing, and I thought to myself, “I am bringing a child into this”. It was a sobering moment. I’ve had a few, but I can usually combat it by making myself get up and doing something (cooking, gym, reactivating my blog to complain to you guys). But sometimes I just want to lay around and be melancholy and listen to that one Genesis (what?). It’s not a symptom I was expecting during pregnancy but yeah, I Googled it after experiencing it, and it happens.

Nesting: I had heard of nesting – that crazy itch to clean and organize every thing in your house to make it baby-happy. I guess I had heard of all the symptoms I’m listing, so maybe I should rename this blog, but nah. What no one told is that nesting can last through your entire pregnancy (I thought it was just in the home stretch). I have been driving my husband to the brink of insanity with projects. We have already (with the help of friends) renovated two rooms in our house, the guest room and the nursery. What my husband doesn’t know is that we are going to rip up the disgusting linoleum in the bathroom next 😉

Forgetfulness: Ah, yes, I need to rename this blog. I knew about “Pregnancy Brain” long before I was inseminated. But man, this shit is REAL. I forget everything! I have locked myself out of my car twice, my house once, forgotten my lunch bag, forgotten important documents I need to bring to my doctor’s appointments, and oh!, as I type this I am remembering my FMLA paperwork is sitting at Crown Colony and I said I’d pick it up 3 weeks ago. Whoops! My brain feels fried, which completely negates this sobriety. I thought my brain power would increase without all of those booze toxins, but nope! I can’t even concentrate long enough to read a chapter in a book. It’s wild how dumb I am.

SO! The moral of this bloggy, is that every pregnancy is different, and some women like to paint their bellies to look like watermelons and happy turd emojis, and SOME women want to punch those women then watch 6 hours of the Property Brothers while they eat toast. Don’t be judgy, Judgy!

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