Last night was not a good night. It would be easy to blame this on my ever-growing belly and the discomfort that naturally comes with it, but my fitful sleep and subsequent move to the living room couch can only be blamed on some poor choices I made earlier in the evening, namely pizza and Coke. I knew the combination of caffeine and heartburn would haunt me as soon as I got horizontal, but I was weak, as I typically am in the face of carbs and refined sugar. And now I feel like there is sand in my eyes and a piano tied to my waist and I have no one to blame but myself. Sitting in the dark with a very awake brain and a burning esophagus, I got to reflecting on my pregnancy. I’m a couple days shy of 38 weeks now, so our little person could decide to move this adventure to the next level any day now. Women loooove to share their ‘horrible pregnancy stories’ with other women…all the nasty symptoms they experienced, their hormonal rollercoaster, their horrendous birth stories that make other women rethink their desire to ever have children of their own. I wonder why that is…the need to share the bad stuff in such detail? Maybe it’s like a badge of honour…”I survived and lived to tell about it” kind of thing. Regardless, it wasn’t that long ago that those stories stood between me and any chance of ever having kids. No thank you. Don’t sign me up. That sounds shite. Then I met my husband, and the most intriguing thing happened: the scales tipped dramatically in favour of starting a family, despite all the awful/scary/gross/embarrassing stories that friends had shared with me. Suddenly I couldn’t imagine not being a mother – not with this amazing guy beside me. And you know what? I have had a really comfortable pregnancy. I am proof that it is possible to gestate a human being and maintain a genuine smile, mmmm, 95% of the time! (Note: I realise that an easy, comfortable pregnancy is akin to winning the lottery – I didn’t actually do anything to earn it.) So what does a ‘comfortable pregnancy’ look like? Let me break it down for you…
- I haven’t thrown up at all. Not even once. What little queasiness I experienced was taken care of by – get this – eating!
- No weird cravings – just couldn’t get enough peanut butter and jam on bagels in the first trimester.
- My weight gain has been in the normal range of 25-35lbs. The exact number is private, thank you very much.
- My energy levels have remained pretty high, enabling me to stay active with lots of walking and even a few spin and weight classes at the gym. (Btw, the look of fellow gym-goers when you waddle into a class at 8 months pregnant can be summed up in one word: respect.)
- I don’t think I’ve lost a single strand of hair in 9 months, and my nails are long and strong.
- Most nights I’m able to get 6-8 hours of solid, comfortable sleep – except when I am weak, like last night. And let me just add that I adore whoever invented the Snoogle. That pillow is my happy place.
- No swollen ankles or feet.
- My bellybutton is still an innie, and I don’t have that dark line down my stomach.
- No crazy mood swings or hormonal surges (my husband might argue this one, but he’s too intelligent to do that within earshot of me).
That’s not to say it has been a total cake walk; there have definitely been some discomforts that I had to learn to live with:
- HEARTBURN. The worst! Some say heartburn during pregnancy is an indication that your baby will be born with a lot of hair. In that case, I am gestating a monkey. Or we will be naming our child Rapunzel.
- My metabolism is on overdrive, so I am always roasting. The house has to be Baltic-cold or I can’t deal. My husband has taken to wearing his parka to bed.
- I’m usually up 2-3 times per night to pee. (But then I contort my Snooggle around my legs and belly and sleep takes me away again.)
That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? So if you’re considering ever having kids, don’t let all those ‘horrible pregnancy stories’ deter you – it is possible to enjoy the journey to meeting your wee one. Now, fingers crossed that Mother Nature hasn’t spared me so much discomfort only to give me the mother of all horrendous birth stories! (Knock on wood! Knock on wood!)