Sunday, November 09, 2008

My thoughts on being pregnant... so far

For the record, I hate being pregnant.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy about having the kid, it's the whole pregnancy thing that I hate. While I know logically that being pregnant is part of the journey of having the kid, in my mind, they are two completely separate events. I wish babies are like sea monkeys: add some water to the eggs and within a few days, out pops a baby. None of this 9 months of incubation in my belly stuff.

Right now, I'm at 18 weeks 3 days (about 4.5 months), firmly entrenched in the beginning part of my second trimester, and I'm probably the least miserable to date. I normally don't like being uncomfortable, even slightly uncomfortable. Being pregnant has made me very uncomfortable. Not only uncomfortable, but incredibly frustrated.

I've always had my own bodily limitations that I've had to learn how to deal with over time. My entire life has revolved around making myself feel more comfortable so I can do things and function normally. But it's my body, and I've accepted that this is how I am, and have learned to work around its limitations. But as someone has put it, my body is not my own any more. For 9 months, it's the baby's. This is the root of my frustration: I can't treat my body as my own any more, and the uncomfortableness is something that I have to more or less put up with.

For instance, I've dealt with back pain for about 3-4 years now. Typically, after I go see my massage therapist (twice a month) or my chiropractor (at least once a month, sometimes more if I have a problem), I need to take a hot bath afterwords to soak away the soreness. This is the only guaranteed way I can feel better, and that includes getting a good night's sleep. I can't take hot baths right now, it's bad for the baby (and may cause a miscarriage, even in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters). So I have to put up with being sore, cranky, and not getting very restful sleep, which again, isn't good for the baby. It's even worse for me as my nausea still kicks in during the evenings if I'm tired enough.

My first taste of misery is what most people call "morning sickness", which is a total misnomer as my sickness reared it's ugly head late in the afternoon or early evening. Because of this, and from other women experiences, I've relabeled it to "pregnancy sickness". Fortunately for me, because my pregnancy sickness hit me late in the day, I was able to still be semi-functional at work, which made this really easy to hide from pretty much everyone at work. It also allowed me to eat enough during the day so that I wouldn't lose too much weight.

Not so fortunate was the feelings and experience of pregnancy sickness. You know when you have the flu, all you can focus on is how absolutely miserable you feel and that you want to throw up and die all the time? That feeling? Yes, that's what it was like for me from about weeks 7-8 to about week 15-16. There is a slight difference though, I ended up feeling absolutely nauseated and hungry at the same time, which was a bizarre feeling for me, and not one that I wish on any one, yet I know a lot of women can relate. During that time, all I was doing was going to work, maybe going to the gym, trying to eat dinner (and failing miserably), then just going to bed. I was so frustrated because I couldn't get anything done in the evening, and I'm a doer, I don't like not getting things done, I feel like a useless doorknob when that happens. And what I need to do still needs to get done, and I get frustrated.

Another victim of my pregnancy sickness was my poor hubby. I'm married to a really great guy who can pull his weight around the house, and who does pretty much all of the cooking right now. It was super hard for him to try to plan on what to cook for dinner since I was pretty much revolted by any form of animal flesh: beef, pork, fish, chicken, etc. There were days when I wouldn't know if I could eat something or not until it was set down before me. While I realised that it was the smell that was putting me off, I thankfully didn't toss my cookies. However, I would get this weird mental block, and I just "knew" that I couldn't eat it. Period. Didn't even have to try. Or the one time hubby made fish for dinner, and I couldn't even physically walk into kitchen, it revolted me so much. Hubby had to eat the whole dinner by himself. I still can't look at pictures of food or watch the Food Network, that's how much turned off from food I am. While the intensity of my nausea has finally subsided, my aversion to certain food stuff have not. I still have great difficulty eating some things like chicken and lamb, and it's so tough on hubby to try to be even more creative with the daily meals. Poor guy.

Then there's the gagging. I'm finding that when the belly is going through even a slight growth spurt, if there is even a little bit of pressure on my belly (aka pregnancy pants), I don't feel like I can breathe properly and causes a short bout of gagging, which, if you ask hubby, sound like I'm going to throw up. Now I'm not blaming the pregnancy pants, they're actually very comfy, and they are actually not that tight on my body; in fact the band around the belly is still a bit loose. It's just that my body does like any sort of pressure or slight feeling of being constricted by clothing: my belly wants to hang free. I'm finding that I'm gagging a lot and have to pull the band on the pants to have it stop and so that I can breathe semi-properly again. Trust me, neither sensation is comfortable.

Now I know I'm luckier than most who have been in my shoes: I haven't actually once thrown up, I was still able to eat some of the time, and I haven't had any real back pain yet (except for my SI joint, but I still think it's the result of a lumpy mattress and not my pregnancy). So all in all, my pregnancy's been better than most.

But that doesn't mean that I have to like being pregnant, nor enjoy not having much control over my own body any longer. I don't like the changes that my body is going through, and that I would have a different body that I would have to get used to all over again after this pregnancy thing is done and over with. I don't want to buy more clothing because my hips and butt has gotten bigger and my boobs have gone up a cup size. I want to have the bikini body still, and there is the constant resentment that I may never achieve that ideal. I am frustrated that I have to pretty much put my regular exercise routine on hold and alter what I do so it's best for the baby. And I live in constant fear of getting stretch marks. Knowing that it's a genetic thing and pretty much the luck of the draw hasn't stopped me from slathering my belly with rich moisturizer cream.

I don't enjoy being tired all the time. Whomever said that your energy returns during the second trimester lies. My energy hasn't returned to pre-pregnancy levels. I'm just not nauseated as much anymore so that I have enough energy to stay awake longer. I find that I still need to go to bed at an earlier time than normal. I constantly have to watch for signs that I'm not overtaxing myself, because I will pay for it later on, usually in the form of overtiredness, which leads to another bout of evening nausea, which leads to me having to go to bed early, and getting frustrated that I got nothing done again.

So yeah, I hate being pregnant.

(Sorry that this is such a negative rant, but I've been holding in these feelings for about 4 months now, and I had to get them out. Disagree with me if you want, but these are my feelings, and don't bother trying to change my mind, people have already tried. I'm determined to be miserable.)

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