You know how every time a celebrity gets pregnant, they start gushing about how wonderful it is? Like this quote I read a couple days ago by Erica Cerra. "I am so thrilled I am going to be a mother. I fall in love a little more each time my baby moves. So far pregnancy has been a breeze.” I think we're all kind of expected to be like Hollywood... super excited and happy and gushy about how hot and sexy and wonderful pregnancy is. And it's not just Hollywood. I've had some aquaintences as well who have made comments like "Nobody is sick all the time. Pregnancy was the happiest time of my life!" and "Having babies is so fun! And easy!" I have to restrain myself from punching them in the face. (Even though I don't condone violence.) So, here today, I would like to refute these claims. Here are the real truths about pregnancy, at least in my opinion.
Myth #1: Stretch marks are optional. Put on special creams and ointments and you won't get them.
Truth: Even if you apply lotions and creams multiple times per day, AND gain less weight than the average, you will still get stretch marks. According to my doctor, it's just genetic. You either get them or you don't.
Myth #2: You will be excited and thrilled about your little bundle of joy!!! All the time!!!
Truth: Even if the said "bundle of joy" was planned, which mine was, you may suddenly feel trapped, claustrophobic and terrified at the sudden reality that your life is changing forever. It's okay. You'll eventually get over it. But don't feel bad if instead of leaping for joy, you puke and start to cry.
Myth #3: Nausea goes away after the first trimester.
Truth: Two weeks away from my due date, and I'm still throwing up. Which keeps me from gaining alot of weight, true, but, as you can see in Myth #1, it doesn't stop stretch marks. Brutal.
Myth #4: Maternity clothes can be cute and stylish.
Truth: Maternity clothes will NEVER look cute and stylish, and they are freaking expensive. They look like tents. If you have the money and choose to go that route, good for you... but keep in mind that basically you are waddling around for nine months wearing enough fabric for a homeless community to sleep under. So you don't like that option? Great. So choose the non-maternity option, which is to wear your own clothes. Which is fine. Nobody knows that your jeans are open wide at the crotch, provided you wear long enough shirts to cover it all. Until jeans no longer fit. And then suddenly you live and breathe and sleep in sweatpants. You even wear them to your Christmas party, hoping that if you add high heels and a cute top with jewelry, no one will notice the lululemon yoga design on your thigh. Fact of the matter? The only peope who think pregnant women look "cute" are women who are NOT pregnant and they just want to make you feel better.
Myth #5: Nine months of pregnacy.
Truth: It's actually 10 months. Do the math. 40 weeks. And by about 38 weeks (hello me!), you will look at elephants and feel immense compassion for them that they have to keep going for a full 2 years. Sucks to be an elephant. And sucks to be you. Especially when you are nine months pregnant and still have a month to go. Boo the counting scheme.
Myth#6: Braxton Hicks "fake contractions" are merely 'mild discomfort' and only come the month or so before you are due.
Truth: Mild discomfort is stubbing your toe. Braxton Hicks are miserable. According to my doctor, Braxton Hicks can be as painful in some women as actual labour. They also come any time, anywhere. Like at Walmart. When they come so bad that you keel over, tears pouring down your face, mascara running, and your husband makes you get into the shopping cart. So then you're like the "King of the World" on the Titanic movie. Only it's much more painful and degrading. Just be grateful you haven't made the "People of Walmart" list yet. Braxton Hicks also can start when you are only six months pregnant... and continue on a daily basis, three or four times a day. And all the pain medication given by the doctor doesn't really help. Which means you will be surviving on less than three hours of sleep... indefinitely. Which brings me to point number seven...
Myth #7: Enjoy your sleep now! You won't get much when the baby comes!
Truth: You may not sleep now either. Between peeing all night long (with what feels like Niagara Falls, but is actually only a trickle), puking all night long, having Braxton Hicks for several hours combined with sciatic nerve pain and excruciating backaches, you will be lucky to get even a couple hours of sleep. Naps become your best friends... but even those are hit and miss if you can fall asleep. You know, deep down, that no matter how bad a sleeper your baby is, nothing will be worse than what you currently are going through. So this could be a good thing... nothing like hope for a brighter tomorrow, right?
Myth #8: The odds are slim of you having nausea, vomiting, back pain, sciatica, labour-painful Braxton Hicks and prenatal depression all together.
Truth: Whoever put a similarly phrased paragraph in the pregnancy book I read should be fired and their doctoral credentials stripped from them. Don't believe it. It happens.
Myth #9: Pamper yourself. You deserve it!
Truth: You can't exactly pamper yourself. You still need to make dinner, do dishes, walk dogs, go to work, do laundry, go grocery shopping, fulfill church responsibilities, shower, try to look pretty for your husband, and the other nine hundred things expected of women today. Besides, how exactly are you supposed to paint your toenails when you can't even see your feet? Hence, OTHER people need to pamper you. Husbands, mothers and friends are all good examples of people who need to do things for you... and please, for those husbands, mothers and friends reading this, don't say "Let me know if I can do anything to help", because nobody will ask for anything with that generic line. Just do things. Chocolate and pastries are always a good idea. :)
Yesterday, in the middle of what was apparently "false labour", I texted a friend of mine, who, ironically, has experienced pretty much the same 'wonderful' pregnancy that I have. She's a couple weeks behind me, and so we've been comparing notes and feeling greatly comforted knowing that we are not abnormal. I asked her "Tell me, why do people choose to have babies?", to which she responded "Because we are told we are obligated to."
Touche, my friend, touche. Gotta love responsibility.
And, for those of you who are wondering, my husband and I are having a little boy, due in 2 weeks, but according to the doctor he is ready and could come any day. His name is already chosen, but we're keeping it secret. And he's a wiggler. Right now, my doctor says that most babies stop moving as much because they don't have much room. My little guy is moving constantly... and is making his own room. The doctor thinks he is a hyperactive little bugger. I'll post pictures and give more details on him when he comes. Which, hopefully is today. Because I'm so over being pregnant! :)
Until next time, let me leave you with a picture of my little Princess the Rugrat, destroying her Valentine's gift (it used to be a ball) and looking guilty about being caught. Have a great day, everyone! :)