Since the time I was a little girl, my mother told me about how much she loved being pregnant. She completely denied the presence of debilitating nausea, life-altering constipation or coarse, old-man hair growing in strange places. She insists that being pregnant was the best time of her life.
My theory is that she’s either forgotten, or that she wanted grandchildren so badly she lied to me, knowing that my tolerance for misery is quite low. Or maybe she just really wanted to return the favor.
Here are the things that I so naively thought about pregnancy … before I got pregnant:
1. I thought life would change AFTER the baby was born. My life was changed the instant the blastula implanted in my uterus and started pumping hormones into my system. I instantly became a freak-show person who freaked out about everything. I remember crying hysterically one night when I found out that the makeup I used on my face had salicylic acid in it, which is bad for babies. I remember yelling to my husband, “He’s not even born yet, and I’m completely screwing him up!” Over makeup.
2. I thought I would be able to drive my car. I could not drive my car because, for some reason, the position that the seat put me in made me feel like I was going to pass out. My doctor didn’t believe that this was happening, so, if I did have to drive somewhere and I started feeling light-headed, I simply pulled over and called my husband to tell him where I was, just in case I actually did become unconscious and he needed to find me.
3. I thought that my husband would be as fascinated by the pregnancy as me. Maybe it was all the passing out, but my husband was completely weirded out by the whole thing. I know that some dudes are VERY into their wives being pregnant, but this was not my experience. I just tried to ignore that fact that he cringed every time I asked him to feel the baby move.
4. I thought that my heart would beat normally. Instead, for some reason, baby-making hormones make my heart skip and jump and these things ultimately drove me to the emergency room several times during my first trimester, thinking that I was dying. In the end I had to wear a heart monitor for a month and I was deemed healthy. Super fun.
5. I thought that I would love the attention. And I did love it, at first. But then I started to grow a large belly and a whole lot of people began to have a whole lot of opinions on my size, the baby’s size, whether or not I should be working, what I should name him, where I was having him, and then I was pretty much over it.
6. I thought that only old people got hemorrhoids. Nope.
7. I thought that I had known real fear. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for the five days of gut-churning terror that my husband and I endured while waiting to hear the results of my amniocentesis. Nothing.
8. I thought that I would be able to eat ALL OF THE THINGS. I could eat nothing. I remember walking though a grocery store at lunch, crying because I was starving, and yet I couldn’t find one single thing that didn’t make me want to gouge my stomach out.
9. I thought that I would be able to exercise. Every single book told me that I would be able to and kudos to those of you who can. I was a starving, passing out fat lady having heart palpitations; the last thing in the world I cared about was exercising.
10. I thought that constipation was a minor health problem. It is not. Pooping is seriously important.
Those are just a small sample of of how I deluded myself before becoming pregnant. With that said, the final results were worth it, and I’d do it all over again to be able to have these maniacs in my life. Maybe.