It turns out that we’re having a baby. I see a lot of happy announcements and sonograms in my feed, but not a lot of honest reporting of what pregnancy turns out to really be like.
Maybe this is all part of a giant conspiracy — why would anyone move forward with getting pregnant if they knew what was in store for them? I certainly wouldn’t have finally embarked on the journey with such gusto knowing that I’d be exhausted for the next four months.
Thus, I feel it is my scholarly duty to present my list of the top ten worst symptoms of pregnancy, in order of increasing terror. Each one of these was, at one point in the last four months, the worst pregnancy symptom I had ever experienced. To think I still have five months to go. Aye aye aye.
I’ve learned a fair amount about anatomy and the gestational process. My belly isn’t just growing because there’s a baby in it; it’s also growing because that baby requires a lot of blood. The average woman needs to create an additional four pounds of blood in addition to a placenta and a perfect little fetus. Apparently, this requires a lot of water and leads to headaches whenever there isn’t quite enough water in the body. I have never had so many headaches. And apparently so much blood inside of me.
9. Food Aversions
I love vegetables. But for the first three months I was pregnant, the thought of eating a piece of lettuce made me want to puke. I had to hide zucchini in muffins and brownies in order to get anything green inside of me. Why couldn’t it have been chocolate and scones that made me ill?? Does this mean the new addition to our family will be unwilling to eat any veggies??
8. Itchy Nipples
What kind of physiological process is even going on in my body that would possibly cause my nipples to itch? And never both of them at the same time. First it was my left nipple. It itched continually for about two weeks two months ago. Then, no itching. Now, all of a sudden, my right one caught up and itches off and on all day. Fun!
7. Sore Boobs
This was the first symptom that surfaced. I knew I was pregnant even before a pregnancy test ever confirmed it because my boobs were so sore.
So tired. Can’t write anymore. So much more tired than I’ve ever been. A few weeks ago I asked my husband, “Babe, did I used to be this tired at the end of the day?” I honestly didn’t remember. He replied with an emphatic “NO!” and reminded me that I used to stay up late to watch reruns of Parenthood. Now that parenthood is upon me, all I want to do is sleep.
Perhaps this is to prepare for the sleepless nights ahead? I shudder in anticipation of my future.
I would say that the one good consequence of my pregnancy is that for the first time in my life I always spell nausea correctly. Heretofore I never knew how to spell it, mostly because I never really thought about it or needed to write about it. But my constant nausea was pretty much the only thing I texted anyone about for at least two months. I should note that I’m lucky to have such wonderful friends and family that they didn’t hold my constant complaining against me (that I know of).
4. Constant Need to Urinate
I have to pee. BRB. OK back. Wait, now I have to pee again. Damnit.
The second trimester, apparently, brings on indigestion. What fun that is. Just when my food aversions and nausea have subsided, now a new way for me to not enjoy food. Thanks, little fetus. Thanks.
When my head hits the pillow — no matter how exhausted I am — the nausea, indigestion and need to pee join forces to keep me from sleeping. Their goal is definitely to ensure that I’m as exhausted as possible the next day and that — no matter how many hours I allocate myself for sleeping — at least half of it is spent running to the bathroom or feeling intestinal distress.
This whole list was probably TMI, but in case it wasn’t, here’s the cherry for the TMI sundae. I never thought it would be this hard to poop.
I’ve never been so excited to squeeze out a tiny little pellet of feces. I’ve never had poops that resembled mouse droppings more than they have in the past few months. I’ve never had such extraordinary pain shoot through my intestines to prepare my body for defecation. I’ve never spent so much time on the toilet.
I used to look in bewilderment at other peoples’ books and magazines piled near the toilet. Who could possibly spend so much time on the toilet that you’d need reading material?? Pregnant me, that’s who.
I now stick to a strict daily regime of tons of water, chia seed pudding, prunes and ground flax seeds to keep my system regular. If I miss a day? Ooooh, boy, do I pay for it later. In time, pain and frustration.
I thought that the #1 thing I’d look forward to post-pregnancy (besides the baby, of course) was enjoying a Manhattan again. It turns out that it’s the ability to quickly and painlessly poop. That’ll be a glorious day!!