I am sure I’ve written about all of the fun stuff that accompanies baby-growing in a previous post, but this pregnancy is different so I’m going to do it again. This pregnancy is my THIRD. Three. Thrice. Triple. Three babies have lived in my body and each unique soul has come with it’s own bag of tricks. Truman was dramatic (hmm, some things don’t change.) and caused me constant worry. There was bleeding, progesterone supplements, a vanishing twin, heartburn, lazy movement requiring monitoring, induction and lots of post-labor stiches. I also got huge.
Grant was slightly less dramatic but gave me new symptoms like morning sickness to deal with. Early on he hid behind an anterior placenta which muffled his heart rate, and let me tell you, it is not fun to see your doctor run out of the room in full panic mode to get an ultrasound machine after a silent Doppler. Grant’s pregnancy caused heartburn so bad I was throwing up blood and had to go on medication. It was during this pregnancy that I began peeing my pants quite frequently, mostly when vomiting said blood or sneezing (or laughing, or driving over a bump, or…) Grant was born in a hurry, just one hour after arriving at the hospital. I had no drugs and only two stitches. His birth made me feel like Superwoman. The pregnancy did not. Looking back, I was moody, a little bit mean and oh yeah, I got huge.
This time around, things have been vastly different. I’m tired. Not just a little sleepy, I mean alternate reality, down to the bone, sick from exhaustion. All. Of. The. Time. I had morning sickness, real morning sickness with vomit and misery from week seven to week fifteen. My skin is disgusting, ranging from acne-laden to flaky and dry. I get headaches and I normally NEVER get headaches. My brain is so frazzled that I feel like a crazy person 90% of the time. My legs are restless while
sleeping lying in bed awake all night, in the car, at work or anytime I’m not moving around. The round ligament pain started early and is unbearable at times. I swear it feels like someone is ripping into my lower belly with a dull knife! And that belly? Wow, does that come out a lot faster for number three. It is a good thing I don’t try to keep pregnancy a secret for long because it seems like as soon as I told everyone we were expecting, my baby bump showed up. I’m weepy; not just over sad stuff, but over pretty stuff, sweet stuff, happy stuff, stuff that reminds me of my kids growing up and the reality that this is probably my last baby.
Baby Clark is active. He kicks and flips and drives tiny heels into my bladder all the live-long day. I don’t need to throw up or sneeze to pee my pants, a well placed baby kick can make it happen. Now I am contemplating buying incontinence underpants to wear for the remainder of this pregnancy. I’m only 25 weeks and my back is killing me already. I have outgrown most of my maternity clothes. Outgrown them. The clothes that are supposed to fit me until the end! My feet are bigger so my shoes all hurt, I am always out of breath, I want to eat constantly, I still have heartburn (though not Grant caliber heartburn) and I am trying so hard to cherish it all because my husband is refusing to make any more babies with me! (Can you imagine why? Don’t I sound like an absolute pregnancy Goddess?) Oh and you guessed it, I’m huge.
I know it sounds like I hate all of this, but I really don’t. I do love some things about being pregnant. I love the excuse to have a huge belly, I love the big rolling movements of a baby flipping around and the pointy knee and elbow lumps that jut out alien-style when baby stretches. I laugh every time the baby gets hiccups. I like how (most) people are excited for me and ask questions about my family and tell me all about their families. I like that (most) people are concerned for my safety, hold doors open and offer to pick up stuff that I drop. I love coming up with baby names. I LOVE the excitement of announcing a pregnancy, announcing the sex and announcing the birth. I love that Truman places his little chubby hand on my tummy to feel his brother kick even while watching TV or engrossed in a video. Call me crazy, but I actually love pushing and the incredible elation of birthing a tiny human. The tough stuff is such a small price to pay for the most amazing end result. I just feel like it is important to share the not-so-fun details too. That way all of you other pregnant Mommas know you aren’t alone in being a swollen, sweaty, pee-leaking, cry baby. You are not the only one burping and eating and heavy breathing your way through each day.
It is okay to not love being pregnant. So often we are made to feel ungrateful for not cheerfully embracing every detail of this stage in our lives. Is it all worth it? Of course. Is it always fun? Hell no. Hating vomiting, headaches, weight gain, hemorrhoids, or general pain and discomfort doesn’t make you less deserving of a baby. Don’t even get me started on the ladies who have severe, life threatening circumstances surrounding their pregnancies! Telling women they should just be happy to be pregnant really discounts the amount of work, sacrifice and love that goes into bringing life into the world. None of this is for the faint of heart. Not all of us do pregnant gracefully and beautifully with a perfectly shaped bump and a stunning glow. Some of us just barely get through it… hopefully without ripping the ass out of our pants or farting loudly in public.
What was your worst/grossest/weirdest pregnancy symptom?