Monday, March 4, 2013

The Good and the Bad

Like most things in life, with pregnancy comes both good and bad things.  I know that some people have horrid pregnancies, with cracked pelvises and barfing until the water breaks.  I also know that some people breeze through pregnancy with barely a symptom.  I fall in the middle.  I think most people do.  I've had my ups and downs with pregnancy.  I thought I'd put together a list of little known pregnancy pros and cons.  I know quite a few people right now trying to get pregnant or recently pregnant with their first.  This is all from my perspective, but maybe this will give you some insight on what to expect...for real...

The Good...

1 - Hair
If you have long hair like me, you despise the bathroom hair.  I can clean the bathroom and still find long strands of my hair clinging to the faucet or piled in the corner of the room.  Clif also hates it.  When you're pregnant, you stop losing your hair.  The bathroom stays much cleaner.  Also, for two of my three pregnancies my leg hair has stopped growing.  Yes, you read that right.  No shaving.  Well, not no shaving but we'll get to that later.  I can't really explain it, but really I only shave my legs maybe once a month at this point and even when I do, there's barely anything to shave.  It is pure awesomness.

2 - Appetite
I have a big appetite, even when I'm not pregnant.  If I let it happen, I can eat a whole pizza or a whole box of macaroni and cheese by myself.  When I'm pregnant, I have trouble stopping myself.  But see, no one cares when you're pregnant.  You can go back for seconds...or thirds...and everyone will just say "She's eating for two."  Which by the way, you are not, so don't overdo it.  That's more of my own little mantra than a warning.

3 - Clothes
Can you imagine going through life never having to lie down on the bed to zip your skinny jeans because you ate too much the night before?  Well guess zippers in maternity clothes!  Maternity clothes are stretchy and comfy and awesome!  And now, they're cute too.  Even in the 6 years since I started having kids they've come a long way.  Ann Taylor sells maternity clothes for goodness sakes!

4 - The Belly
To follow up with the maternity clothes thing...what if you never had to worry about your muffin top?  Guess what, when your belly goes out, muffin top kind of disappears...and anyway, it doesn't matter because your middle section is supposed to be big and stick out over your pants.  I have always felt better about my body when I'm pregnant.  Not pregnant, I feel the need to focus on all the negatives.  Criticize every little bump or curve.  But pregnant?  I don't have that problem.

5 - Massages
Clif is not really one for massages, apparently that wasn't covered on the pre-marriage application.  I'll have to fix that for next time.  But, when I'm pregnant, he obviously feels sorry for me so he will rub my shoulders or my ankles or my feet.  I take total advantage...don't tell him.

The Bad...

1 - Hair
So yes, the hair has stopped growing on my legs and I really don't lose much hair from my head, will show up in the strangest of locations.  For example, my belly button.  When I was pregnant with Ainsley, I had to tweeze the longest, thickest single hair out of my belly button.  Seriously?  Are there even hair follicles in there?  Also, the belly gets a nice fuzz on it.  And back to the shaving thing, shaving the bikini line is...the hardest effing thing ever.  If you've got this big, solid mass hanging over your lower half, you can't see what you're doing down there.  I just have to wing it.  I usually step out of the shower looking fairly uneven and patchy.

2 - Feet
Depending on how early you show, just pretty much forget about doing anything with your feet.  Putting on shoes can be problematic.  Especially boots.  Or anything that ties.  I recommend slip-ons and ballet flats.  Painting your toenails, fairly impossible.  Currently when I do it, I have to hold my breath to bend over that far.  Washing your feet...kind of dangerous.  First balance is not so great, so standing on one foot can be hazardous to your health.  Second, getting your foot that high with a big bulge in your belly?  Not possible.  You get creative.

3 - Heartburn
I know lots of women get heartburn, but seriously - pregnancy heartburn is WICKED!!!  I've had varying degrees of heartburn with each of my pregnancies.  With Ainsley it was manageable with Tums.  With Freddie, I took a prescription medication for it and threw up multiple times just because I laid down and felt the acid shooting up my esophagus.  This time it's kind of in between.  Tums don't always do the trick, but it's not bad enough to take medication.  Only once have I run to the bathroom seconds after lying down thinking I was going to throw up.  I didn't.  I've also been trying to use more natural remedies...because it's apparently impossible for me to avoid tomato based foods which seems to be my biggest trigger.  So I drink a coconut water or take a shot of raw apple cider vinegar.  By the way, I love, beyond love.  If it has vinegar, I'm eating it.  But a shot of raw apple cider vinegar?  Holy's horrible.  I get the spitty mouth just thinking about it.  It's so bad.  I never have heartburn when I'm not pregnant so I feel really sorry for people who have acid reflex on the regular.

4 - Energy Level
You know how they say the second trimester is all rainbows and unicorns?  How you'll have all this energy and you'll just be floating through life?  That's total bullshit.  I mean, yes.  After feeling like dog poo for 13 to 16 weeks, it sure is nice to not want to vomit every moment of every day.  It's also really nice to not fall asleep during your Monday morning staff meeting.  But in comparison to your regular life,, there is no energy reserve.  Every ounce of energy you have is being sucked up by your growing fetus.  If I go upstairs, I have to lie down for a few minutes before doing whatever it was I was going up there to do.  And while lying down I have to do things like tap my cheek or wiggle my legs so I don't fall asleep.  I have to rest while sitting down and folding laundry.  I can not keep up with my children.  I have to hope and pray they don't run into traffic when we're leaving a store or daycare or where ever.  I couldn't catch them if I tried.  And kind of related is the speed and velocity at which your physical stamina just plummets.  In October, when I was 6 or 7 weeks pregnant I ran a half marathon.  13 miles.  I have been running ever since, with a slight break during the "want to vomit every moment of every day" period.  Now, I can't even run 2.  I'm lucky if I can make it 30 minutes without stopping.  And if I run at all, it's at a snails pace.  I've never been fast, but I was running a solid 9:45 to 10:15 minute mile.  Now?  I'm happy if I can make it a mile in 13 minutes.

5 - Sleeping
Sleeping is like work during pregnancy.  Personally, I have a lot of sleep issues when I'm pregnant.  There's the reflux I sometimes get.  Then there's also the swollen nasal passages, which causes me to feel stuffed up the moment I lie down.  Nothing really helps.  I run a humidifier, I prop myself up, I wear breath rite strips with menthol, I'll take a Benadryl.  I think it would be worse if I didn't do those things, but nothing helps it completely.  Also, my hands fall asleep.  If I put any pressure on them at all I wake up with no feeling at all in my hands.  You can't sleep on your back...well some people can, and I could during my pregnancy with Ainsley, but can't now.  Oh and then there are the leg cramps.  Most nights I have to hobble out of bed and do some stretches just to get comfortable again.  And the peeing at all hours of the night.  So really, I'm up every hour or so with something.  If I sleep for 5 solid hours I'm ecstatic!  I mean, crazy happy.

6 - Stress
I'm a worrier.  I think most people are to some degree when it comes to something they care about.  So you know how you get this little idea in your head and it grows and grows until you can't control it anymore and it takes over all logical thought?  For instance, your husband's late getting home and suddenly your imagining him dead in a gutter?  Or your kids have been quiet so you're sure a terrorist has broken in and kidnapped them.  Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.  So what do you do?  You call your husband.  You go check on your kids.  Yeah, you have those same crazy worried stressed out moments about your unborn child, but no real way to check on things.  You can feel him move, but I personally can never make the baby move.  You can call your doctor, but you'd be calling every day.  So you just try and push those feeling down and move on with your day, but I really don't know anyone who doesn't have them.

So there you have it.  You'll have to decide for yourself if the whole pregnancy thing is worth the baby you get in the end.  Honestly, I like being pregnant.  There are hard parts, but I do like it.  It makes me sad thinking that this could be the last time...we'll see.
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