On Being Pregnant

I’ll admit it: I liked being pregnant.

My day seemed to have more purpose. And if I was tired, I could pull out the whole “I’m creating LIFE. What have YOU done all day?” song and dance. Actually, it really was exhausting. Somedays, staying awake was a daunting chore. But the three trimesters marked more than milestones for me, they were almost life markers:

First Trimester:
What sucked about this was that you know you’re pregnant. Your hubby knows your pregnant. MAYBE a select few others know (ahem). But nobody else knows. And the entire day you just want to walk up to strangers and go, “Hey, I’m freaking pregnant!” (Especially on BART, because you’re EXHAUSTED but aren’t obviously pregnant. So even though you could collapse on a puddle on the floor, nobody will get up for you unless you ask.)

Also? As your belly starts to grow to accomodate the kid, you just look like you’re getting fat. And people look at you like “damn, she’s putting on weight fast” but YOU DON’T SAY ANYTHING. I hated that awkward time the most. Its the “Is she fat or pregnant game”.

I was lucky to only have mild morning sickness that usually kicked in just before lunch, if it visited at all. Gingersnaps and ginger candy rocked my world. Made the nausea go away. Others I know of weren’t so lucky.

However, I couldn’t get near chicken. Couldn’t touch it, smell it, or think about eating it. Fish was OK. I craved hamburgers every day. CRAVED them. The entire pregnancy. Toward the end, mentally, I cringed from the thought of them. The thought disgusted me. But I HAD to have them. It wasn’t an option.

Second Trimester:
You finally start to LOOK pregnant and not just fat. Also, you’re at the cute “baby bump” stage. All those new maternity clothes accentuate this and you actually feel kinda cute. Toward the end, you pick up a slight waddle. Random strangers smile at you. People jump up to give you their seats on BART. (Nice, wonderful people!)

Older ladies/strangers may start trying to touch your belly at this point. The only woman I allowed to do this was my Chinese grandmother, who routinely greeted my belly with a rub and an endearment before she would talk to me at family gatherings. Everyone else had the sense to ask. A strange woman TRIED once, but I swung away and looked at her like she was nuts. It was enough to deter her.

Toward the end, sleeping got tough — I had a body pillow, but sleeping on your side ALL THE TIME gets hard. I’m a belly sleeper. It was uber hard for me to get comfortable.

I took walks every day during my lunch break at work. It felt good to be outside and the baby seemed to love it — he’d kick and do flips the entire time. It was aweseome to feel him moving around in there. Toward the end of the trimester, I could tap one side of my stomach, and if he was awake, he’d kick/punch back. Cracked me up.

Third Trimester:
I had no idea I could get so big. My feet swelled. I drank what felt like a gallon of water each day. I had the incurable thirst. I still craved hamburgers. I’d balance the remote control or phone on my belly to see how long it took the Sea Monkey to kick it off. Sitting upright at my desk all day became exhausting and eventually painful. My faboo boss let me telecommute full time for the last 2 months of my pregnancy. For this alone, he deserves sainthood.

Toward the end, my blood sugar and blood pressure started to spike. They put me on a diabetic diet the last two weeks of my pregnancy. The Sea Monkey was a week late. The day after his due date (a Wednesday), my blood pressure went through the roof and I was sent to the hospital for monitoring. It wasn’t bad enough to induce, but they scheduled an induction for Monday, April 20. In the meantime, I was put on moderate bed rest.

Every woman I’ve talked to hit a point during the third trimester when she felt like she would be pregnant FOREVER. And it was horrible. Because you’re barely sleeping because you can’t get comfortable. You’re barely eating because there’s just no room for the food to go anymore. You’re tired because you can’t sleep and you’re extra grumpy because of it. Also, that slight waddle has turned into a flock of geese and if you married a guy like mine, he’ll tease you and quack at you when you’re out in public together.

Getting in and out of cars becomes difficult. You lose sight of your feet for about two months. The last month, much to my dismay, I got stretch marks. And then there was the birth. But ask me anytime if it was worth it. In a word: Yes. It was SO worth it. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I always felt parents were so goofy and cliche when they talked about their kids — even my Dad. He’d just smile and say, “You’ll understand someday.”

And I do. I totally get it. Because even though I love my hubby, more than I’ve ever loved anyone and I would do nearly anything for him … its different. I’d do absolutely ANYTHING to keep the Monkey safe. Sacrafice without thought to make him happy. Be sleep deprived for MONTHS just to care for him. Have my body rearrange itself without my permission after he’s born? You betcha.

Its totally cliche, but I’m going to say it anyway: You FINALLY understand what “unconditional love” means when you have a kid. And its a glorious thing.


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