Today marks my twenty-sixth week of pregnancy. That’s 14 weeks away from the arrival of the newest member of my family… and 14 weeks until I can start thinking about things like sleeping on my stomach, glasses of red wine and tuna sashimi. In case you don’t know me, this will – fingers crossed – be my second baby and while the journey to get here has not been easy emotionally or physically (more on those later), I have to admit one thing that may surprise you and may get me kicked out of the Refined Network. I have to agree with Kim Kardashian that pregnancy is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Let me tell you why… And let this serve for me as what will one day, hopefully, be a hilarious memory of this time since this is absolutely, unequivocally and unilaterally the very last time I am pregnant. I’ll be printing this as evidence for my husband in case he doesn’t believe me. The. Last. Time.
Pregnancy Truth #1 : You Think you can Hide it, but you can’t Stop them from Talking about it
While I was lucky this time and able to hide the pregnancy for awhile (I only told my co-workers about three weeks ago), when I did finally share the news with everyone, I got the very standard reaction pregnant people get: “Oh! I thought you might be, but didn’t want to say anything”. So, what, you’ve all been having sidebar conversations about the size of my boobs and belly over coffee? I suppose this is to be expected seeing as I never quite worked off every last pound of the baby weight – from the toddler who can now wipe his own butt – but it still stung a little bit. Let this be a reminder to all that people will say really uncomfortable things to you when you’re pregnant. And you can really find out the office co-worker who will say flattering things to anyone. One co-worker asked me if I had lost weight a few weeks ago. I think I looked so utterly confused that I scared her.
Pregnancy Truth #2 : Let the Inappropriate Touching and Stories Roll
If you thought the talking about you ended when you made your announcement, you are dead wrong. People will maybe stop commenting on the size of your stomach, but they’ll start telling you all kinds of other things you really really (trust me, I mean really) don’t want to know. “When I was giving birth to my son, the tearing… ” STOP. STOP. STOP. This is precisely why I didn’t tell anyone until physically I either had to fess up to being pregnant or hiding a beach ball. I have had a child, so I know how things work and I still don’t really want to think about how it will exit my body. I’ve also had several people try and touch my belly. I don’t like being touched on a good day and maybe my pregnancy hormones are wonky because I’m no more maternal and touchy-feely than I was 5 months ago. Keep your hands to yourself, please and thank you.
Pregnancy Truth #3 : It Ain’t So Easy the Second Time Around
When I think back to the blissful, stress-free days of my first pregnancy, when angels sang and warm blankets cocooned me to a deep sleep every night… NO. That is definitely not what happened, but definitely how I feel compared to this one. For the first few months, I was exhausted and slept as often as humanly possible, including in my car in the parkade at lunch. Then there became a general dull ache that started in all the lady parts you don’t want to be aching. If you want to have a guess of what I mean, pretend you’re on a balance beam doing a flip. Pretend your foot slipped. Pretend your legs are on either side of the beam. Get my drift? When I asked the Doctor if something was wrong, he looked at me and quite plainly said that I’m older and my body never quite went back to the way it was before so this was completely normal. I now walk like a grandma, except I’m pretty sure my grandma is more spry than me.
Pregnancy Truth #4 : I Don’t Need to Check, I know EXACTLY Where the Bathroom Is
Up and down, down and up… It’s not my booty in the nightclub, it’s my nightly crawl to the bathroom to pee for the eight thousandth time. Do bladders get smaller with age too? Damn. Now I’m heading down a deep and dark path known as Googling pregnancy ailments and then freaking myself out.
Pregnancy Truth #5 : My Uterus = Used Car With Shit Suspension
When I told my Doctor about some pain I was having in my stomach at my last visit, he smiled and was very understanding – while diagnosing me with round ligament tendonitis. Essentially, as he described it to me, a first pregnancy is like driving a new car, very few mechanical issues. Second time around, the car is used. The suspension is shot. Things will hurt and there’s nothing you can do about it except buy a pregnancy girdle belt. I never should have put the words glamorous anywhere on this blog, should I?
Pregnancy Truth #6 : It’s Kinda Exciting Too
Sure, I talk a lot of smack about being pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love it. I’m looking forward to getting my body back and I am even a little interested in going to the gym since I can barely move right now. But there is also something completely reassuring about a little kick coming from deep within that reminds you there is a little person that you are suffering for. A little person who will fit into those teeny tiny outfits that I dare my husband to stop me from buying. A little person who will grow up to do such things as their big brother who last night sang me a song of his own composition. The words vaguely went “My love my mama, my mama is the best. My mama is the best, you are the best mama” and even my heart, three sizes too small like the Grinch, grew a little that day.
So because it’s the very last time I’m doing this, and I’m trying to embrace my life, I’m going to try and stop being such a Grinch about it. Try and revel in the good things about pregnancy. Oh, I’ve created a list to prevent of exactly what those things are so I can stop myself from madness. Here it is:
- You can wear skin tight t-shirts and people will say “Look how cute you are!” rather than “Oh god, go home and change Amanda, that’s inappropriate for the office”.
- You can walk into a grocery store and buy two bags of chips, a baguette and a glob of blue cheese and the cashier can’t even judge you a little bit. You can dare them to try and throw in a Kit-Kat or four at the last minute for added bonus “Suck it, I’m pregnant” points.
- When you do something ridiculous, you can say “Oops! Baby brain” and make a confused face. I dare anyone to challenge me.
- You can prove to yourself that you are not an alcoholic. I’ve not had a glass of wine in over 6 months and I’ve survived. Therefore, I am living proof that I can stop whenever I want and no longer will ever need to once baby arrives.
- Your mother-in-law will tone down her not liking you because you are carrying the spawn of her golden child. Amazing how you’re less evil when part of her DNA is inside you.(Ew, let’s maybe add that to the list of bad things.)
- Your hair will be more luscious and radiant than normal. Your nails will be stronger and grow quickly. Remember those things and not the fact that your face didn’t get the message and looks like a sixteen year old teenage boy dumped his head in a deep fryer of oil.
- You can have a full panel of blood tests done without looking like a tramp to confirm you are not carrying a single known disease to man. Then you can say things like “I’m disease free” to strangers and friends, alike.
- Your fingers will swell up so your wedding bands and engagement rings don’t fit. Don’t be sad like I was the first time, use this as an opportunity to find replicas of the new diamonds your husband should purchase for you as recompense for gestating his children. Then wear said diamonds around and say things like “Wow, these are gorgeous. Look how amazing these are, they make my fingers look so skinny” and dare him to challenge you.
I kid, and I kid so well, but pregnancy is just not my jam. Lucky for me, I’ve only got 14 weeks left of it before it’s all over and I can tell you all how glorious life with a newborn and a toddler is. Ha! But in all seriousness, I’m excited. I’m excited to meet the last person to join my family, I’m excited for my son to be a big brother and I’m excited for time off work. I’m going to try and harness those happy feelings for the next three months. I may even try and take a few belly selfies (#Belfie? Nope, that’s a butt selfie. I’m so old.) before this whole shebang is done, because that’s what being balanced and loving your life is all about. Embracing every part of it, even those that are not quite as glamorous as you wish they were.