The Good, the Bad, but not the Ugly (Part II)

The reason for this post is that I don’t want to focus on any more ugliness of my pregnancy, but also because I want everyone else to stop telling me about their uglies. I don’t want to hear any more birthing stories. Please keep your episiotomy to yourself. The same goes for breastfeeding and anything else that involves substances coming out of orifices.

Now, here are some things no one told me about pregnancy, but I kind of wish they had: As a pregnant lady, I can wear whatever I want to work, and nobody’s going to tell me anything different! I actually wore leggings and a tunic that I slept in the night before, and people told me I looked cute. Another day I wore a tank top, flip flops and cropped maternity pants with a coffee stain, and no one seemed to notice. This brings up another thing no one told me, perhaps pregnancy’s best kept secret: Maternity pants are awesome! They look like regular pants but have an elastic waistband that covers the entire belly. If I can get away with it, I’m totally going to wear maternity pants when I’m not pregnant. At the very least, I’ll wear them on Thanksgiving. They’re just as roomy as sweatpants, but a lot cuter (coffee stain and all).

Something else no one told me about? When babies kick, it isn’t always in the belly. In my case, it’s almost never in the belly. I laugh when people put their hand on top of my stomach and ask if the baby is kicking. “Yes, but you probably can’t feel it,” I say. To feel my baby kick, you’ll have to put your hand much lower, where I don’t really want you to put your hand. Google assures me this is normal, but I’m still going to ask my doctor at my next appointment.

That brings up another thing I wished people had warned me about. There is a never ending onslaught of doctor’s appointments. Maybe it just seems that way to me because prior to pregnancy it had been almost seven years since I’d seen a doctor. Now I actually have a compelling need to take care of myself because it’s not just me I’m taking care of. (That’s heavy doc.)

To end on a positive note, there’s one more unexpected phenomena of pregnancy: the overwhelming kindness and generosity I see from friends as well as people I barely know. People have given me baby clothes, furniture, necessities and accessories in preparation for the baby. I haven’t even had a baby shower yet. And I almost tear up when I go to a social gathering and grown men give up their seats for me, or bring me a drink, or offer to get me a plate of food. Somebody taught these guys well. I only hope I can raise my son to be so kind.


The Good, the Bad, but not the Ugly (Part I)

I brought this on myself. I chose to get pregnant. Then I chose to complain about it on the internet for all the world to see, or at least, for family and friends to see and the odd fellow WordPress blogger who happens to stumble across it.

Initially, I received wonderfully supportive responses – people telling me to hang in there because it gets better – or people telling me “Thank you for telling it like it is!” As a part time writer, it gives me a little high to know that someone has connected with something I’ve written.

But here’s what I didn’t expect. Well meaning people see me and ask in an annoyingly sympathetic tone, “How are you feeeeeeling?” As if to justify their question, they then say, almost in a whisper, “I read your blog.” I never quite know how to respond. My initial thought is, “What’s it to ya?” But I learned at an early age that’s not polite, so instead I tell people I’m fine, because no one really wants to hear the ugly truth.

No one wants to hear that I have lost almost all feeling in my fingertips because of (self-diagnosed) pregnancy carpal tunnel, or that my left wrist constantly feels like it’s going to pop off from the rest of my body. No one wants to hear about the constant pain in the soles of my feet or the fact that my right leg and right shoulder both feel like my left wrist (going to disconnect at any moment).

Honestly, all of these things, in a weird sort of way, kind of feel like they’re supposed to be happening, and they are bearable. Nothing compares to the unnatural misery and illness that occurred in the first trimester (and a little in the second). So instead I try to focus on the positive. I know, that is very unlike me.

Now that I look super pregnant, people are constantly giving me compliments. They tell me I’m glowing. (I’m sweating.) They tell me I look natural (I was too tired to put on makeup.) They admire my pedicure. (I had to do something since my feet have swelled to the size of my thighs and no closed toed shoes can hold them.) I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for compliments. Flattery gets you everywhere with me.

I think yes, this is what pregnancy is supposed to be: a little good, a little bad. Take them both, and there you have – a baby … kicking you in the pelvis.