Dear Pregnant Body (that is somehow mine but not mine all at the same time),
I love you. I hate you. I love you. I hate you. We go back and forth between this love and hate on an hourly basis. Let’s start at the beginning.
A few hours after I found out I was pregnant, I was in love (let’s not talk about those first few hours where I was panicking & totally freaking out). I was in love with the idea of you – baby girl – and becoming a parent alongside my best friend, and especially in love with the idea of having a mini me dressed up in ridiculously cute clothes with hearts all over while this baby looked like an angelic Gerber advertisement (that’s how it’s gonna work, right?). I was in love with the fact that we were able to get pregnant easily & that our family was becoming just that: no longer two people in love but a family. A real one!
Love slowly turned to confusion though, as it felt like my body suddenly betrayed me in many alarming ways. I never got horribly sick (and never even vomited, amazingly) but was 100% totally nauseous for about 3 months straight in the beginning. All. The. Time. Coffee? No. Walk by the garbage can? OMG. Anything that was not a cracker or pure junk food? Nope. Doing anything that required more energy than sitting on the couch? Zzz. Continue training for that half-marathon? In your dreams, mama!
Then came the bump. Ohhhh, the bump. Finally in the second trimester. People promised things would get a little better. I digress. I had that “boost of energy” for about 2.5 seconds before I felt almost as tired as I was in the first trimester. My clothing all went on strike and said peace out at the same time, leaving my butt and chest with their own respective zip codes to fend for themselves & become very friendly with one lone pair of sweatpants and one t-shirt. Working out became something of a favorite pastime instead of something I actually did on an even sort of consistent basis. And my emotions? I mean, who is this lady? Crying was a daily thing. Everyone in my path was sure to get an “off with their head!” response for even existing. But, hey, at least I have the bump, right?
While it’s strange to look at my once decently flat abs in shock to find a very round and sometimes moving orb of baby goo under my shirt now, I love the bump. That, ladies & gentlemen, is my baby. The one my body is growing. And she moves! This is love. Feeling those first kicks was like… winning the jackpot. It was God’s little reminder to me that yes, this is real and yes, that is another person outside yourself (yet conveniently inside for 9 whole months). The hiccups and jabs that sometimes send me standing up in shock are so much freaking fun. There is no doubt about that.
But you know what I found out wasn’t so fun? Peeing my pants. Yeah. We’re gonna get real here for a second. My bladder? There is no control over the sucker right now. Go ahead and tell me to do 1,000 kegels a day and I will shove the donut I am eating while I wear my one pair of sweatpants that fit down your throat and watch you choke. Okay, I’m kidding. But not really. Because I hate kegels. And I don’t want to talk about how I have a “weak pelvic floor.” Well, it would have been real nice to know that before I had a fetus jumping on my bladder and a giant uterus pressing down on it screwing that whole bodily function up!
At this point, I am also really missing sleep. I used to sleep on my stomach, so that has clearly been out the window for months. Right now, it doesn’t matter what position I sleep in, I wake up feeling like an 85-year-old woman every day. One who has to pee her pants as soon as she gets up because that bladder ain’t holding nothing. And let’s not talk about my back either and how it’s basically felt broken since I was 4 months pregnant and on. We probably also shouldn’t mention ridiculous heart burn & the fact that nothing helps it go away. And I am so looking forward to that beached whale get-this-baby-out-of-me feeling that I’m sure will come as I near the end of my third trimester. Good times.
Okay, body… I get it. There’s a tiny tiny tinnnny person inside me that needs all of me to survive right now. Legit all of me: my appetite, all the food I can stomach, my energy, my waistline, my emotions, my sanity, my money, my marriage, my self-worth, my vanity, my comfort, my entire thought life, and even a room in my house.
It feels weird, body, that you have changed so much. Sure, I read about pregnancy before I got pregnant, but no one told me it would feel like this. Maybe no one told me because honestly, before I got pregnant, I wasn’t part of the secret club that you suddenly get inducted into once you get those two pinks lines on a stick. And what non-pregnant lady is really paying attention to any of that crap beforehand anyway? I just wasn’t aware, even if I tried to be.
And maybe no one told me because every pregnancy is different. Some women have amazing pregnancies and act like nothing has changed besides the fact that they now have a beach ball under their shirt. And other women are bedridden with complications that not only make pregnancy unmanageable but could be a risk to their and the baby’s health. I am somewhere in between. Pregnancy is like a box of chocolates, ladies: you want to eat it & you also never know what you’re gonna get.
If I could sum up all my feelings about you, pregnant body, it would be this: I love that you are capable of growing another life that is bound to take my breath away without me even really trying. I love that you are stronger than you think even if you can’t train for a marathon right now. I hate that pregnancy takes what seems like so long and takes so much out of me in ways that make me feel totally and completely vulnerable, selfish, chunky, and like some crazy monster of hormones. But in the end, I love that it’s all for this baby that I already love. That she will nit me and my husband together as parents. That she will be her own person who says first words, takes first steps, and graduates from school someday…
It’s not really about my body at all anymore. It’s about hers. And I love her.