If you ask me, I feel very much like that time (yes, singular, the one time) I tried to use one of those stair climbing machines at the gym. I hopped on with great enthusiasm, full of hopes and dreams of lasting an entire work out. About 5 minutes in I felt like I was experiencing the beginning of what I imagine it would feel like to be suffering from an asthma attack and stroke combined. But there were people around me. So I couldn't quit, I had to just.....keep....climbing. One painful step at a time. No end in sight, just step after step after step. With the horrifying image in my brain of what my rear end must look like to the row of happy treadmillers directly behind me.
I find the only difference between that and pregnancy is at the gym, all I really have to do is swallow my pride, shut off the machine and quickly make a bee line to the door. Or to the bowl of Tootsie Rolls at the front counter. That's right, my gym rewards failure with candy.
I say that to say pregnancy has taught me a lot about life and myself. So far, it ain't pretty. But in honor of my eleventh week, I'm posting a list!
Eleven Things I Know About Pregnancy:
1. Your body will do absolutely whatever it wants to, when it wants to. I'm pretty sure I don't need to elaborate on this.
2. Pregnancy is the cure to any deep rooted fears you have of throwing up. In fact, you become quite good at it. I've practiced different angles, breathing techniques, motivational messages to chant (You will not die, you will not die, you will not die!), so on. Because in case you're one of the lucky people like me, vomit will spew from your nose. (Hence, #1 on this list).
3. People will ask the most inappropriate questions, including (and I wish I was exaggerating): "Was this baby 'planned'?" I have no words.
4. People will also believe all of your pregnancy problems can be cured with some sort of food. And they'll list and suggest these food items all day long. To the lady who's just trying to not think about food, in hopes of just keeping last night's dinner down.
5. Buying things for the baby does help! Especially when you have no belly yet and are too far out to feel movement, you tend to forget you're growing a human and start to feel like you've just had the flu for the past 8 weeks. My last baby purchase actually came from The Deputy, which made it even more special--I didn't have to leave the house!
Me and my Vera Wang baby backpack! It gets bigger than it looks and I get to be hands free. Sweaty? Probably. But hands free. This mama is happy.
6. No matter how much you love your baby name choices, you're bound to get this reaction when you tell people:
7. So you have to get tough and take on a new attitude:
The same attitude that will also get you through the fact that you're noisily vomiting in the crowded bathroom at work. And through the time you were too tired to make it through an entire shower so you skipped shaving your legs. For two weeks....and still wore skirts. There's the time you wore wrinkled clothes. The time you thought your husband's shower would last long enough for you to let 'one' slip, because your stomach was killing you, but wound up turning the entire bedroom into a bio-hazard zone just as he was stepping into the room. The time you leaned back in your chair at work and accidentally fell asleep. The time you forgot to screw the lid on a bottle of apple juice before shaking it. The time you jokingly referred to your pregnancy as "a feeling of death" and people judged you. Basically, your entire new life.
8. Pregnancy will give you a new found love and respect for yourself. Sure, sometimes I'm gross and sometimes I cry uncontrollably over nothing. But I'm also growing a person. This, coming from the lady who could probably kill a plastic plant. A person. I still can't get over it.
9. Pregnancy also teaches you resourcefulness. It's more of a desperate attempt to keep the body as happy as possible, at all times, to avoid the repercussion of upsetting it. Which is, of course, vomiting. This means planning everything ahead of time. Going outside? That used to mean I'd need some sunscreen and bug spray. If I remembered. Now it means: A lawn chair. With an umbrella. A portable fan. A cooler with water. Frozen washcloths. Sunscreen. Sunglasses. Lightweight clothing. Oh, and actually just staying inside. And if it's unavoidable and I'm forced to venture out into the Texas summer, I'll be stealing this from The Deputy:
They should really market these towards pregnant ladies. (http://coolcop.com)
10. Other people's birth stories are NOT helpful, unless they're pleasant. Trust me, no pregnant lady wants to hear about the time your baby got stuck and you had to have your bones broken (without anesthesia, of course) and you lost so much blood you had to have a transfusion, but they accidentally gave you the blood of a diseased horse and you couldn't walk on two legs for six months. Even if the story ends well and your baby is perfect. Even if-although you momentarily died and had to be revived-you swear you forgot it all. Even if I'm mildly impressed and believe you would hold up well under torture should you ever be taken prisoner of some horrendous war. Keep it to yourself. Labor is already daunting enough as it is, I don't need any additional fears. Once I'm on the other side of this, give me a call and we can hash out all the gory details of your labor. Just let me live in peace for the next 7 months. Beautiful, blissfully ignorant, peace.
11. When I wake up one day and magically feel wonderful, it should be reason for celebration. But every time, I'll instantly worry. What makes this day more special than the past two months? Why do I feel okay? Why am I able to actually get dressed for work and not have to sit down every five minutes?! No worries though, when the next day rolls around and I'm on the floor with my face in the toilet, I'm reassured that life is exactly how it should be. And that I really need to clean the toilet.
To all my pregnant ladies out there, I love you. I think you're super cool and if you find yourself crying into your food because you managed to drive yourself to get take out, only to get home and realize that your tastes have changed in the last 15 minutes and you can no longer stomach it, I feel your pain.
To all my already-mamas out there, I'm jealous of you. I want to hug your kids because they're already on the 'outside'. But I won't, because it's impolite to hug a stranger's child.
To all my non-mama, non-pregnant ladies, please go eat something delicious for me today. Then take a few hours out for roller skating, pole vaulting and doing that thing we used to as kids where we'd pull our legs inside of our shirts and roll down hills. (Am I the only one who did that?)