Jul 12, 2008
Being in my second pregnancy has made me remember exactly how much I can love and hate being pregnant at the same time. Although I adore my son, and wouldn't trade him for the world, I sometimes wonder how I made it through my first pregnancy. Of course, it was my first pregnancy, so I didn't know what to expect and everything seemed like some magical wonder. No matter how bad things may have seemed, I still couldn't believe that it was ALL because of a baby growing in my belly!
Well, he'll be 15 months old on Monday and I'll be 10 weeks pregnant at the time. Slowly, the real symptoms of pregnancy have been starting to come forward. I even have a pooch already! I knew I would show "earlier" the second time around, but had no clue HOW much earlier!
Unfortunately, some of the best things about being pregnant don't come until you're halfway through the pregnancy. Here, I'd like to share some of the best and worst things that I remember about pregnancy. Obviously, no matter how good, bad or ugly, I chose to do it again...so it can't be THAT bad, right?
OK, some of my favorite things were, and these are pretty obvious:
1. Being able to see what looks like an 'actual' baby on an ultrasound monitor during the second trimester. Nothing like the little blob you saw in your first trimester!
2. Actually LOOKING pregnant, not just like a woman who can't lay off the Little Debbies! The "in-between" stage of pregnancy is almost embarrassing. It's like, I want to go to people and say I'm not really this FAT, I'm just in early pregnancy.
3. Feeling the baby move in your stomach. I almost feel sad for the fact that my hubby will never get to know what it feels like to have someone kicking his bladder from the inside, or punching his ribcage like a tiny boxer. Ahhhh...nothing beats that experience! :-)
4. As annoying as it is, I sorta enjoy the extra attention I get when out in public all because I'm pregnant. People are nicer (USUALLY) and they always hold doors for you. When you're NOT pregnant, you can be carrying a box of bowling balls and 9 times out of 10 people will just ignore you and not bother holding a door.
5. Great parking spots at some of the grocery stores. I LOVE this. Whoever thought of creating spots for pregnant women (or "new parents") deserves a medal for that one. Of course, we all know it had to be a woman, because men have no clue what it's like to walk a country mile with a baby pressing on your bladder with each step. Heck, by the time you get across the parking lot and inside the store, you're out of breath and already searching out the restrooms...and we ALL know that when you REALLY have to go, they're always at the BACK of the store.
Now, some of the bad things about being pregnant have already been addressed...the peeing part being one.
A few other things that are slightly to moderately annoying are:
1. Peeing when you laugh. I hate this worse than anything. I actually had to start keeping a pair of extra panties in the dash of my car because I just never knew when I would laugh, cough, or sneeze so hard that I'd pee my myself.
Eventually, I wore pantyliners all the time, but in the beginning it wasn't THAT bad.
2. Heartburn and Indigestion. Protonix ended up being my lifesaver on that one. Too bad I didn't ask my doc sooner about it. I went through numerous containers of Tums Smoothies (although they ARE quite tasty!) during my first and second trimester. By the time I got to my third trimester I thought I was going to die every time I tried to lay down at night.
3. No sleep. Between peeing 50 times a night, heartburn from hell, not being able to get comfortable due to the large watermelon sleeping with you, and not being able to figure out where to put your arms while sleeping on your side (mine kept going to sleep)...you really have a hard time getting a good night's sleep. Add to that a mixture of toddler waking up in the middle of the night during your SECOND pregnancy and you REALLY have a problem!
4. Constipation. I swear, I sometimes think I need an epidural just to use the bathroom. There were times during my first pregnancy where I would literally sit on the toilet and have hot flashes and feel like I was going to pass out from trying to use the bathroom. Can anyone say golf ball? Maybe this is a taboo subject, but I think it needs to be said. Had my hubby been willing to come hold my hand and count while I did breathing exercises to help me through it, I'd have probably let him. At the end I felt so triumphant that I almost felt the need to share the joyous news and break out the cigars. Could you imagine getting an e-card saying "I did it! I used the bathroom this week!" ??
5. Traveling (long distances) while pregnant. Again, it's the pee thing. Walking around trying to site-see with a bowling ball pressing on your bladder doesn't make for a fun trip. And when you're traveling by car, and rest stops are far and few between...geez, it's pretty tempting to break out the Depends. However, there IS an up side of being pregnant while traveling. A cop who pulled us over for speeding while in NY was VERY nice and only gave us a warning. Not sure if it was because I was pregnant, though. He actually went on and on about my accent more than anything. I guess some of those northerners actually LIKE a southern accent...and I always thought they made fun of us! :-)
6. Hormonal rages/crying fits. Poor hubby...enough said.
As for the Ugly parts about being pregnant, hmmm. Kinda scared to mention them. But this is a journal about all of it, so I guess I'm stuck. Honestly, these aren't things so much about during pregnancy, but immediately AFTER giving birth. It's the things no one ever told me...you know?
1. No one EVER told me just how sore my cha cha would be after giving birth. But now I know why. There are absolutely NO real words to describe just how bad it really is. Soft, cloth covered ice pack or not...that thing swells up like a pair of lips that have been stung by a million gazillion bees. When I wiped, I couldn't tell what I was wiping. I actually couldn't figure out if I was wiping good enough because the darn thing was so puffy and sore. It felt like an alien had attached itself between my legs and therefore I couldn't tell if it was really a part of me.
2. The never ending bleeding. People always told me that one of the things they loved most about being pregnant was that they had no period. Whoop dee doo...you make up for all those lost periods the minute you give birth, and the days/weeks following. I was beginning to wonder if it would EVER end. And wearing a pad against that swollen thing that USED to be your vagina is NOT comfortable. I'm almost certain that this contributed to my Post Partum Depression.
3. Again, it's the constipation. I think trying to poop after giving birth was almost as hard as giving birth. And that is NO exaggeration. How is it that something like this NEVER comes up in conversation when the "pros" are discussing all the facets of pregnancy with first timers???? OMG...a few days after I gave birth, I finally used the bathroom. It wasn't pretty. I had to conjure up every breathing technique, relaxation technique and just plain will power to use the bathroom. Can anyone say bowling ball?? I think I was pretty much standing up over the toilet because sitting wasn't helping at all. If nothing else makes me scared to go through birth again, this does.
4. The epidural wearing off and throwing up between contractions. OK, this one was DURING birth, but I had to mention it. Pushing for almost 4 hours and throwing up in between contractions was enough to make me feel like I was going to die. I think I may have had a few weak moments where I WANTED to die.
The question is, was it worth it? Absolutely! I love my little boy and have to admit he was worth every dry heave and every exhausting, pain filled push.
There you have it. My good, my bad, and my ugly of pregnancy (and after). Of course, everyone's experience is different, which is why I'd love to hear people tell their side of it. I'd love to meet someone who had absolutely NO problem during pregnancy or after (someone who isn't a compulsive liar). But I'd also love to hear from anyone who agrees with even ONE of my encounters. After all, pregnancy is a sisterhood. And if you haven't been through it then hopefully you'll get your turn very soon, because no matter how bad or ugly it may get...it's all good in the end.
Right, moms? :-)