Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pregnancy ruminations

Today, Oct. 10, marks exactly one month until my Nov. 10 due date, and I'm greeting it with mixed emotions. Although I am extremely ready to meet the person my body has been tirelessly creating over the past 36 weeks, I also know what a blessing it is to be pregnant and embrace all of the joy that it brings.

If I've learned anything throughout this experience, it's not to listen to other women's horror stories or read too much into pregnancy books. Sure, both can be a source of useful information, but they are more often a source of unnecessary stress and worry.

To celebrate this milestone, one that I am not ashamed to be proud of, I've decided to document some of the misinformation I was given about pregnancy and my personal highs and lows. I know I'll always look back on this time in my life as being very special -- and there are some moments I hope I never forget.

What I found not to be true
  • Constipation: Some books made it sound like my colon would forget how to function, leading to debilitating constipation and hemorrhoids the size of Manhattan. Maybe it's all of the fruit and fiber-filled cereal I eat, but this hasn't been an issue for me. Even with prenatal vitamins chock full of bowel-binding iron supplements.
  • Bloody gums and teeth problems: Again, maybe it's because I drink a half gallon of milk every day, but I would like to smack the woman who told me that all of her teeth nearly fell out. She had me worried I would end up looking like a dental "before" picture when I haven't had even the slightest problem.
  • Swelling: I guess this doesn't inflict everyone. I'm still able to take my wedding bands on and off. Maybe not with ease, but it's not like trying to force them over a corn cob either.

What I WON'T miss

  • Maternity clothes: At the beginning, they seemed so awesome in all of their comfy elastic goodness. Then the elastic started digging into my flesh, making me contemplate on more than one occasion whether it would be wise to simply snip a few cuts into the waistband of my jeans to create more breathing room. I look at buttons and zippers wistfully at this point.
  • Prenatal vitamins: Burping up that herbal garbage is enough to make me want to vomit my entire stomach. Not just its contents. The whole organ.
  • Acid reflux: I had never eaten a Tums in my entire life. Now I need one after ingesting something as inoffensive as a banana. And once, while I was sleeping, actual acidic liquid crept into my throat. Not even an entire container of Tums could tackle that bullshit.
  • Shortness of breath: Walking up a flight of stairs shouldn't feel like the equivalent of running a marathon.
  • Worrying: There is a lot of uncertainty that comes with being pregnant. Not knowing what my body is doing at any one moment is enough to keep me up at night. Not to mention whether the baby is developing properly. And I'll be more than happy to put fears about labor and delivery behind me.
  • Urine and blood samples: Ugh, I still haven't completely mastered peeing in a cup. And my veins do NOT cooperate. I'd make a horrible drug addict.
  • Fat jokes and the constant commentary on my eating habits: Enough said.
  • Feeling huge: Some days I just want to be able to bend over without grunting.

What I WILL miss

  • Baby movements: This is by far my favorite part of pregnancy. I am so in love with every stretch and kick that I can't help but break into a smile when she moves. Then I place my hands on my belly to experience it inside and out. I feel so connected to her. Much more than just physically.
  • Feeling beautiful: Sometimes, when I look at my profile in a mirror, I know this is the most gorgeous I've ever felt in my entire life. Even more than on my wedding day.
  • Voluminous hair, flawless skin, perfect nails: Apparently having a crapload of estrogen in my system agrees with me.
  • Indulging in a craving: Finally getting that particular random food is such an intensely satisfying feeling. I know with certainty that I will never enjoy strawberries the way I did that one night I ate an entire container and heaved a huge sigh of relief when I was done.
  • Ultrasounds: There is nothing more emotionally gratifying than seeing your baby in utero.
  • Strangers' reactions: Some people just smile. Some ask whether it's a boy or girl. Some just wonder when I'm due. Either way, people I don't even know show me they care and want to share in my excitement.
  • Wondering, wishing, waiting: A new baby is the ultimate gift to look forward to.


Melissa said...

I'm 18 weeks pregnant and its fun to read this and know that in 20 weeks, I'll probaby be feeling the same things you are.

gorakagaz said...

ugh, teeth falling out? *shudder* i've never heard that one. but that was a beautiful reflection.

kristin said...

So many things I never even thought of. I'm glad your experience over the last 36 weeks has been more good than bad :)

Marsha said...

Hi, I almost never comment anymore, sorry.

Every one of the things you miss, I agree! I missed (and on some days still do) miss them!

My gums bleed but nothing is ever wrong with my teeth.

I only get constipated in the first trimester and I think that's cause I'm so nauseous all I can eat is potato chips.

I did swell with my first pg, but I was also living in ARizona and it was horridly hot and I felt compelled to take daily walks for some reason, so yeah, I swelled. And do NOT try a hot paraffin feet treatment a week before your due date. Just don't. I ended up walking barefoot to Payless across the street, and buying size 9 or 10 MEN's sandals to wear home. I also cried all the way home cause my feet and legs hurts so bad. So anyway, there's my horror story for you.

I am beyond anxious to see your baby.

Anonymous said...

My mom said the same thing about feeling most beautiful when she was pregnant. All the women in her family (including me) have a slight tummy paunch that we can never seem to erase. My sister and I have gotten so close, but a flat stomach never really appears. She didn't have to worry about that anymore. Her skin, which had always given her problems, cleared up to perfection. Her descriptions of how wonderful pregnancy was for her make me actually look forward to something that I think is scary for a lot of younger women. All the women in her family (including me again) have baby-bearing bodies with wide hips and large breasts, so I guess we are just designed for it.

julie said...

What a beautiful post. I can't wait to experience pregnancy myself.

Still missing Taylor Ham plainsman said...

"people I don't even know show me they care and want to share in my excitement" counts us blogsters in as well. Although not knowing you and Jerry, reading your blog for well more than a year now, it's as if some of us here do know you both, well. And still care! (LOL, that one's for Jerry!)rim shot.

This one could be a good column, too. I can't help but think that many of the pregnancy problems some have identified aren't due to underlying health and dietary concerns they had well before their pregancy, but had not previously surfaced.

Happy that you are able to appreciate the highs and know how beautiful this stage of life is for you. I can not forget how that one photo captured it so perfectly.

Speaking of a healthy diet, why am I now thinking of a Taylor Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch?

Janice said...

That was an amazing reflection. It makes me look forward to years down the road. :)

Sarah said...

I teared up reading the things you will miss.
I'm 25 weeks and I'm going to miss all these things you talked about..especially feeling my little girl move inside me. That really is the best part of pregnancy!

aahcoffee said...

The swelling may still come. :D Mine waited until the final two weeks.
My son was born Nov. 13th, one year ago....I'm rooting for that date for you. LOL.

ladybug_3777 said...

I got the bloody gums (not to the point of teeth feeling like they'd fall out though EW) but I did not get the acid reflux or a drop of heartburn. Although, when my daughter came out with a TON of hair, I did get annoyed with EVERY one asking if I had a ton of heartburn. Old wives tale ppl, old wives tale.

ladybug_3777 said...

btw, I didn't even realize i had a blogger account. i must've set it up on this computer a while back and totally forgotten about it. Normally I comment under "Jennifer"

Ray said...

Awwww. I don't know why but this post makes me feel a bit sad that this pregnancy is about to come to an end. But I know that in the end it'll be a happy ending. OH and "Bloody Gums & Teeth Problems?!" I've never heard of that in my life! That really does just sound so scary. And like you said: it's good not to go with the books or what people say just because their pregnancy was crappy. Or just because they have nothing good to say about it like you have.

I mean if we listened to every crazy thing about pregnancy we'd really lose it and never want to pro-create. That's a time when you just to zone people out when they're speaking, hehe. On another note: I know you're very busy and all but I found this site and I thought you might be interested. It's a blog site about this family who just had quintuplets (I know you're only having ONE hehe. But I though this might be fun to take a look at). I thought you might be interested in reading and watching the videos that they put up. Here's the site:

On the front page it has many links one of them being the father's blog named, "Jayson's Blog." When you click to his blog there are other links and you can go to his wife, "Rachelle's" blog.

Well, take care. I hope this last month is a great one for you. =]

Marina said...

When I moved to Canada and had to give urine, they handed me the little jar, plus a little funnel to help the pee get into it without, you know, any problems. It was magnificent. Haha. I wonder why that's not standard procedure everywhere? I'd never seen that in the states before. Weird.

Kristin said...

That was such a beautiful reflection. Your daughter is going to be so lucky to have these to read when she gets older. I wish my mom had written blogs like this when she was pregnant with me. The baby is lucky to have a writing mother :P


chelsea said...

That was so sweet! Enjoy the last month!!

Kristin said...

Oh my god. I know I just commented this, but after I did, I decided to go wwwaaayyyyy back to the beginning of the year to read some of your older posts. I read a ton of them where you were worried about whether your body would be able to come through this time or not, and all of those ones that you hid from us for two whole months. Honestly, I don't know how you waited even that long, lol. Well Kelly, you did it. You're gonna be a mother! And, once your daughter is born, it'd be wonderful if you'd take a picture of her with the "I am a new tax deduction" bib on :P

You know, I was thinking the other day about how long I've been reading your blogs, and I was thinking way back to Xanga. I remember the first blog of yours that I ever read; "Public Pooping Paranoia." I don't know how long ago that was, but I remember laughing insanely hard and admiring you for having the nerve to put something like that on the internet. And then I stopped reading for awhile, and then I remember seeing one of your comments on The Theologian's Cafe, and I checked out your page and read your blog about September 11th. I remember thinking that it was amazing and very well written, and that was when I started reading. Then, I stopped reading your blogs for a long time. Actually, I think I stopped reading them right before you announced that you were pregnant, because I stopped blogging for awhile. Then, I went back on my Xanga for some ungodly reason, and I remembered your blogs, and I remember sitting in my room for hours reading all of the blogs that I'd missed. I remember being almost breathless when I heard that you were pregnant again! I was soooo happy that there was hope after your miscarriage. And now you're gonna be a mother. I, personally, am excited beyond words. I can't even imagine how you must feel, lol.

But yeah, I guess I'm saying thank you, and congratulations at the same time.

You've become my source of entertainment every single day when I get home from school. So thank you.

And even though I've said it a million times, congratulations. You're finally going to have a child!

And um. Sorry this ended up so long, lol.