Friday, April 6, 2012

The Joy of Being Pregnant (and the Less Enjoyable Things, Too)

Now that I’m in my seventh month with Baby Emily due in late June (although my mom keeps saying, “No way you’re going to make it ‘til then!”), I thought I’d scribble down the fun stuff--and not so fun stuff--as I see it so far anyway.  It’s definitely been a new experience full of the unexpected, like the incredibly itchy rash I put up with for nearly six weeks before I broke down and took Prednisone; the pregnancy rhinitis that makes it feel like I have that Mucus Family from the TV commercial living in my throat; the swelling that can make my feet and ankles resemble puff pastry; the exhaustion and brain fog; and all the other reminders that I’ve got another being that’s taken me over.  Still, I wouldn’t trade any of that for the world, because the end result—a baby!—will be so incredibly worth it. If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that this pregnancy has certainly renewed my faith in miracles. After going through a bunch of bumps in the road these past five years, it’s awfully nice to be reminded of the good surprises life can bring!  And I can't imagine any surprise better than this. 

Okay, the things I love about being pregnant (in no particular order):

1. I can eat six times a day and no one says, “Haven’t you had enough? Put the bagel with peanut butter down and step away from the counter.” 
2. Going shopping for large shirts because I’ve outgrown my smalls and mediums is actually a positive thing. 
3. Feeling Emily move!  I just love the sensation of her squirming around, kicking, poking, twisting. It’s so reassuring, and I feel like we’re communicating.  She’ll poke me, and I’ll rub that spot and say, “Hey, baby!  How’s it going?”  It’s our own Morse code.
4.  Ed is in charge of cleaning litter boxes (although I have gloves to wear when it’s an emergency, although that’s only happened a handful of times).
5.  I never feel guilty when I sit down, put my puffy feet up, and rest.
6.  When I say, “After I turn the guest room into a nursery, I’m re-doing the living room,” Ed doesn’t bat an eye. (I’ve made a point to show him all the articles about pregnant women nesting.)

The things I (occasionally) whine about:

1.  I pee every 15 minutes.  Okay, maybe not that often, but it sure feels like it. By my ninth month, no doubt I’ll know the location of every public restroom in town.
2.  I can’t find a comfortable position to sleep. Every time I try to turn, it’s like moving a bowling ball around and requires readjustment of pillows, sheets, night gown, etc. Then by the time I’m settled down again, I have to pee.
3.  I can’t see much below my belly. Shaving has gotten very scary. The only time in the past when I nicked myself this much was when I was about thirteen and handed my first Daisy razor.
4.  It’s hard to gauge distances between my belly and anything. I’ve run into more bathroom vanities, kitchen countertops, doorways, and grocery carts with my baby bump than I can count. And every time I do, I stop and ask Emily, “Are you okay in there?” 
5.  Ed doesn’t want me going for pedicures as he’s afraid of my breathing in fumes from the salon and using equipment that other people’s feet have used.  And trying to give myself pedicures just isn’t the same, particularly since I have a hard time seeing my toes much less reaching them.
6.  Not being able to go outside and work in the yard and garden. I honestly miss pulling weeds, trimming plants, and digging in the dirt.  Not only is getting my hands in dirt a no-no (for the same reason I’m not supposed to clean litter boxes, the dreaded toxo!), but it’s very uncomfortable bending and squatting to work. So I think the green things around our house are going to look a little wild this year!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pee, get something to eat, put my feet up, and engage in a little mommy-baby Morse code with Emily.  I think she’s trying to tell me which car seat she’d like me to order.


  1. I remember everything you wrote about, both good and bad! I remember after my first was born, I could finally see below the equator, so to speak, and it was not a pretty sight. First thing I did was go for a big wax job. (I think the waxer quit that day.) But there's nothing better than feeling the baby push against your hand or respond to your voice, is there? Maggie

  2. Hmm, maybe Ed could learn to do pedicures for you, along with foot massage. He's so good at everything else . . . I'm glad you are enjoying the process and enduring the waiting. ;-)

  3. Having had five kids--believe it or not, I can remember what it was like, way back then. It is all worth it, believe me.

  4. Reading your updates and posts about Emily is like a fun look back at the days when I was awaiting the arrival of my then-little/now-bigger girls. Such fun!!

    By the way, I LOVE the way your hair looks at that length. Sooo pretty on you!

  5. Laura, thanks re. the hair length! That was after letting it grow about three months (and I'd cut the back off as short as I could during my rash attack in December and January). I told my hair dude when I went in a few weeks back that I want to keep it longer (well, longer for me!). I love that I can actually do a ponytail now! So easy!

    Marilyn, I wish my mom remembered everything like you do! Every time I say to her, "I'm feeling this or this," she says, "I don't remember feeling anything like that." Basically, she recalls nothing. It's like she blocked everything out between conception and delivery. ;-)

    Mary, I am tempted to ask Ed to give me a pedicure! Tho' he is so detail-oriented, I'm afraid it would take, like, three hours instead of 45 minutes. But I'd probably have the most thoroughly done pedicure in town.

    Maggie, I do love the baby pushing against my hand! Hate the thought of what I'm going to look like below the equator in a few months. Oh, boy!

  6. Soooo excited for you friend! Emily is going to be beautiful!


  7. Congratulations, Susan. I remember how hard the waiting is. I loved the expecting times (5 of them) and all the fun times. Enjoy as you go.

  8. You are so delightfully open about what you're going through. It is so amazing to go through this; it's a shame we forget, and we do. Your mom is probably close to my age, and we were trained to be stoic, and not talk about any of those things. And Ed is probably going to enjoy doing all those extra chores-he's pregnant too :)

  9. I am enjoying this, Yellowrose! And I'm so thankful for other women who tell me things that I wouldn't otherwise know. That's where I've learned the most!

    Lil, no doubt my mom never discussed things the way I'm discussing them. You're right, being open about health issues wasn't exactly encouraged in the past. I hope Ed enjoys the extra chores enough to keep up with some even after the baby comes (we'll see about that!). ;-) It's been a very special time for us, that's for sure.