“Pregnancy is a gift from heaven.”
“I just love the feeling of knowing a tiny human is doing laps in my uterus!”
“I ran a half marathon when I was 11 months pregnant. It was transcendent!”
“I was hornier than a two-headed Triceratops the entire time I was pregnant. My husband hardly knew what to do with me!”
Okay, I may be paraphrasing a little, but you get the point. There are women who are so dang jubilant to be pregnant they practically have a nine-month orgasm.
It’s not that I’m resentful or anything. I might have been nauseated from the instant the second line appeared on the pee-stick, an ailment only partially remedied by the ritual consumption of four Panera bagels in one sitting. I didn’t mind at all that I suddenly hated yogurt—previously one of my favorite foods—with the burning passion of a thousand suns, or that I had an inexplicable urge to squirt an entire bottle of relish into my mouth. I accepted the reality that the only way I could maintain a non-pukey state was to eat constantly, and that I would gain 15 pounds the first trimester alone in spite of my earnest ambition to be a hot pregnant woman.
But pregnancy is a gift! So far be it from me to complain about my inability to walk more than 10 feet without my thigh bones flying out of my hip sockets. I made peace with my pregnant walking gait, which, no matter what type of surface I was walking on, made me look like I was trying not to fall off a balance beam. I convinced myself I was happy to surrender my aspirations of being a pregnancy yogi like Madonna in The Next Best Thing.
Yep, happy as a clam.
Umm, speaking of clams, for those women who non-sarcastically enjoy pregnancy so enthusiastically, can we discuss the smells Why does no one discuss the smells? I am not talking about food smells being extra potent when you’re pregnant. Everybody already knows about that. I’m talking about the other smells. I know there’s some sort of shift that happens to make our body chemicals go all haywire during pregnancy, and I just want to say for the record that I sincerely did not enjoy the unusual odors emanating from my person. There was no time during my pregnancy when I could not smell myself. I became paranoid that I dragged with me a thick cloud of pregnancy vapor, like Linus from Peanuts, except I smelled like I was hiding cupcakes in my vagina.
And what’s all this noise about “glowing”? Who are these people who “glow”? I sure as hell did not glow. Until the very last few weeks, my pale, pasty skin brazenly showcased a veritable roadmap of throbbing blue veins. I developed weird pigment discolorations on my face—which still have not completely faded—and that big-ass line down my stomach, which took a blobby, ring-like detour around my ginormous inside-out belly button. I had sausage ankles, fat fingers, a giant nose and hair that suddenly grew over my forehead and down into my eyebrows—like a Sasquatch. I don’t understand how any of this equates to glowing.
Further, would someone please tell me: Where is this elusive unicorn who enjoys pregnant sex? The first trimester I was nauseated, the second trimester I felt fat-but-not-quite-pregnant, aka super unattractive, and the last trimester, well, the logistics of the operation were just incredibly complicated. Good thing my husband is an engineer. I mean, there were positions in which sex was possible, but not, you know, fulfilling. I mean, OK, maybe if I tried hard enough, but for God’s sake, who wants to work that hard when you’re nine months pregnant?
Peeing—the constant peeing would have been enough on its own to make me dislike pregnancy. Do the pregnancy-lovers not have this problem? Or do they just not mind waddling to the bathroom every five minutes? Never mind, don’t tell me. Optimism makes me angry.
Yeah, so in case you haven’t already inferred from my cryptic, thinly veiled sarcasm, I was not so much a fan of pregnancy. It’s been a while, and I had almost forgotten how awful it was. But a friend recently messaged me: “Why do I feel like I’m doing something wrong? It seems like everyone loves being pregnant, and I’m the only one who hates it!”
So this is for her:
You are not alone. Lots of us hate pregnancy. It’ll be tough—it’ll downright suck at times—but you’ll get through it. Then you’ll finally be able to hold that precious little screaming bundle of joy in your arms, and you will make it your life’s mission not to screw her up too terribly.
And we’ll bitch about that instead.
*Disclaimer: I do realize pregnancy is a gift not to be taken lightly. But I am taking it lightly, at least for today, because there are parts of pregnancy (lots of parts) that really, truthfully suck. And it’s OK to admit that and not feel guilty for having not-so-positive feelings about pregnancy.
**I forgot to mention that my second baby also kicked the inside of my vagina until I cried; my feet grew a whole size and never shrunk back to normal; and my nipples are now the size of small plates. So just add that to the pile.