Pregnancy. What in the world was I thinking?
I feel like I should start blaming things; the TV commercials with the ‘cute-little-belly’ women, the happy pregnancy portraits all over the internet, those girls who claim that pregnancy is such a joy. You bums. You should have warned me better.
I feel like every women coming into pregnancy for the first time should be told about the real things that happen. No one gave me a heads up. When I got hit with the truth it was too late and it felt like I’d just taken the palm of someone’s hand to my forehead – V8 style.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s really exciting to feel the little thing inside you kicking at your insides, unless you have any liquid in your bladder in which case you are at a high risk of wetting your pants in public. And thinking about your baby coming into the world, the life that you created, it’s incredible. But pregnancy isn’t all rainbows and roses. In fact it’s mostly thunderclouds and weeds.
It starts with giddiness – a short but fun part. You are now carrying another human being in your body. Wow. Science. How is this even possible? Then it turns to numbness, where you find yourself staring at nothing in particular, lost in some abyss of confusion, and then snap back to reality and realize you haven’t moved a muscle in an hour. And then it quickly morphs into an unfathomable dousing of terror, where it occurs to you that not only is someone else’s safety in your hands, but you have no idea how to be a mother. And every plant that you have ever owned has died a slow and terrible death because you couldn’t even remember to give them water. This all happens in the first day.
After that you make a very ignorant attempt to carry on with life – the way you always have. And five seconds into your first act you realize that you are a dummy, and you can’t think straight, and for some reason it feels like you haven’t gotten any sleep for a week. The pull to climb into bed is overwhelming, more than just a temptation. It’s so severe that you realize your brain won’t even allow you to function until you lie down. Well buckle up ladies, this is going to haunt you for weeks, probably even months. Good luck trying to make it to work every day. Oh and did I mention that if you’re not passed out on some piece of furniture that you meant to only lie down on for a second, you are probably barricaded in the bathroom because you feel like every morsel of food that you consumed that day wants to come back for a reunion?
That brings me to my next delightful point; barf.
Trust me, you’ll get used to it. Seeing your food twice every day becomes almost a warm family tradition for you and your husband, or whoever is with you at the time. But despite what you might think, barfing isn’t the worst part. It’s the nausea – that’s the killer. I walked into the kitchen when my husband was making bacon and I nearly busted a gut in my moment of panic as I quickly realized; bacon was a no-go. A lot of foods you once loved will be the most repulsive things you can even imagine. I’m well into my second trimester and I still can barely look at cooked onions or cooked green peppers. But while these food aversions will keep you from eating a variety of things, you will actually eat a lot less for other reasons. The only way I can describe it is to say that being pregnant makes you tire of tastes very quickly. You might be willing to sell your soul one minute for a cheeseburger, and then you take two or three bites and realize you’re done and can’t eat anymore. It’s not a ‘full-stomach’ thing, it’s a ‘I’m completely over this’ thing. It’s very difficult to explain to others. But forcing yourself to finish your meal will probably make you barf if you don’t listen to your stomach. So pass off your cheeseburger to your man and try not to watch him eat the rest – that will gross you out too.
Everyone always tells you to go on Diclectin if you are nauseous. It’s everyone’s first solution. I’m definitely guilty of giving into the Diclectin obsession, mostly because I just hate feeling nauseous, but there are side effects of being drugged up too. Diclectin won’t solve your problems, it will just take the nausea away, maybe. But get ready to feel like a walking-corpse for the rest of the day. Some doctors or girlfriends fail to mention that Diclectin makes you very tired, and sometimes even dizzy. If you were hoping to take Diclectin in order to finish all the tasks you had planned for the day, forget it. You might be able to get away with that in your second trimester, but in the beginning you will probably see the room start to spin and just want to go back to bed.
I could hound on this forever. There are so many weird things about being pregnant. It almost feels like an invasion on your body, on your life, and even on your relationships.
Boys, your wife or girlfriend isn’t being lazy. She’s working harder than she ever has, keeping another human being alive. And this little human is stealing all of her resources, strength and sanity. And don’t try to tell her that she needs to be eating healthy – no offense but half of you wouldn’t last a day in her condition without passing out or breaking down into uncontrollable tears. Eating healthy is great if you can manage it, but personally mostly everything I tried to eat in the first few months I just barfed up anyway. I learned that if the food will stay down, eat it. Even if it’s just soda crackers or goldfish. The baby needs to be getting fed something.
Man oh man, it’s a whole adventure of its own. Women who survive pregnancy deserve a metal. People are given all sorts of awards for making it through terrible and traumatic situations and keeping their sanity. And not only is pregnancy loaded with other symptoms that I haven’t even mentioned yet; unexpected sobbing, an agonizingly sore back, weird food obsessions, muscle weakness, headaches, teeth pain, uncontrollable farts, alien dreams, the unexplainable urge to tell off your boss…At the end you get to go through a woman’s version of hell on earth; childbearing. No, it’s not that beautiful. Shut up you crazy science women. I’ve never been more terrified in my life for destined pain and suffering. Why in the world did women get stuck doing all of this?
But despite all of these gross obstructions of justice, there is just something about sitting at home, drinking measly decaf coffee, rubbing your stomach and thinking about the little gem that is about to change your life forever. God is incredible, isn’t He? How in the world is a human capable of providing for someone else, living inside of them? What the fudge sort of creative thinking had to come into play to make this even possible?
It’s like catching a glimpse of some majestic creation; long fields of wheat, a roaring waterfall, giant cliffs, rocky mountains, soaring birds, heavy wind, crystal ocean, a pink sunset…it sounds cliché but savouring those moments and acknowledging God’s hand in them, holding a paintbrush or whatever, it brings a kind of freaky but captivating passion into your heart. It makes your heart beat for things other than yourself. It makes you feel alive.
That is what it’s like to sit here and feel my baby doing somersaults inside of me, and jamming its foot into my stomach, ribs, bladder…How can I have never met someone and still love them so much? I would die for this thing. I would. I would take a bullet to protect this kid who might turn out to be a huge brat, or a rebellious let’s-throw-rocks-at-the-neighbours kind of punk. I can’t control what this kid will do, but I can pray, with ever fibre of my being, that this child will be totally filled with the Spirit of God, that God would show favour to my spawn-thing, and that this baby would have a heart of worship. ‘Heart of Worship’, that’s what I pray, continuously, or scribble in my journal. I don’t know what that will look like. Maybe my kid will have musical gifts, maybe not. But my baby’s heart is what I intercede to grow.
Pregnancy. What it comes down to, more than the crappy road ahead, is that God is amazing. That is the best way to describe it. And I’m thankful that He deemed me fit to be a baby-carrier.
Oh and one last thing – ladies if you are pregnant, please try to drive as little as possible, at least in the first two or three months. I’m baffled that this country hasn’t made it illegal for women to drive in their first trimester. I would easily compare it to driving drunk, and that’s illegal. So pray for angel power, keep your eyes wide open, and buckle up.