I realize that things around here have become ALL PREGNANCY, ALL THE TIME, but that’s what’s on my mind these days, yo.
For a slight change of pace (read: No change whatsoever, this is more of the same! Aren’t you thrilled!), I started thinking about two people whom I’m acquainted with that are currently in the very early stages of pregnancy. We’ve had some good discussions about what they’re currently going through, and it brought me back a bit. It’s highly laughable that I’m anything CLOSE to being an expert in anything even in the vicinity of pregnancy. In fact, Sage Women Who Have Borne Children And Are Reading This Blog Purely To Laugh Their Now Svelte Fannies Off At The Caaa-Raaaa-Zee Newbie, just… look away, please. Let me wallow in my smug idiocy. I’ll be along soon, apologizing and tell you that I’ll NEVER KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THIS GIG. NEVER, IN A MILLION YEARS, IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.
With that out of the way, I present a letter to my fellow compatriots, Virgins on the Pregnancy Express, just approaching those first weeks...
I know you thought you were going to be “one of the lucky ones” and skate through the first trimester with nary a thought about The Quease. I had this same thought – because I didn’t have any suggestions of The Quease (except for that unfortunate bout at the ferry dock with Chip and the burrito and BOY, we sure discovered early on what is a definite turn-off to The Bean: ANY OTHER BEANS – in any form, including refried, baked, pinto, black, chili – just NO on the beans).
When The Quease comes (and it will, I promise you, it really will), try to be patient. Do what you can, when you can. Listen to your inner food voice. Eat whatever sounds good, no matter how crazy (as long as it’s edible – I don’t want to find out you’ve been downing cups of potting soil, okay?). All the books will tell you to eat small meals throughout the day. They’re actually right about this, though you will come to feel like you’re eating ALL THE TIME. You’re not. It’s just that you’ll eat so little at a time, you’ll still be suffering through the 11am peanut butter sandwich at 3 o’clock. Don’t sweat it.
Tell your husband to stuff it if he attempts to criticize your choice of sour cream and onion dip with a grilled cheese sandwich. Tell him it’s delicious and don’t offer him any. If he tries it, he will tell you it’s the most disgusting thing he’s ever tasted, and that includes a mystery dinner heavily tinged with green food coloring.
No matter how much it might sound like a remedy, don’t spend the day eating nothing at work because your tummy is so miserable, and then scarf a whole bunch of roasted almonds on the bus ride home. Certainly DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, go in the house and attempt to clean up the fresh pile of Phoebe cat sick that is in the hallway outside the kitchen. Empty belly + roasted almonds + a face full of cat sick = a very bad night for you.
Vigorous teeth brushing will open up a whole new realm of vomiting possibilities for you. Go with it. You will soon become accustomed to your new and improved gag relfex.
Don't think you're crazy for being so tired. It’s true; you haven’t been doing your yoga as much as you should, or taking those walks you planned on. The exhaustion is due to the peanut in your gut. You can’t fight it. You can’t overcome it. And you shouldn’t ignore it. Take a clue from the gut and get some extra sleep.
You will find, over the next several weeks that you will complete far less housework than you ever thought possible. It will drive you crazy. Your husband, as much as you love him, will try to do some of this for you. You will be irritated that he doesn’t scrub the toilet in the same thorough manner as you – but you will be too tired to express this. Be appreciative. He loves you and wants you to be okay.
Don't be upset that it will take your husband SEVERAL times to realize that you CANNOT STAND THE SMELL OF ANY BEANS, ANY – THAT MEANS REFRIED. Remind him that, YES, YOU CAN SMELL THE OFFENSIVE BEANS IN YOUR SLEEP.
At some point in this mind-numbing exhaustion, you will experience a bout of freakish insomnia. No, it doesn’t make any sense. Take as many naps as humanly possible. Be okay with climbing into your pajamas at 6:30 p.m.
Many of the pregnancy symptoms that you read about now (Wonderful skin! Lustrous hair! Healthy fingernails!) will not even begin to be a blip on your radar for another 3 months or so. You will have terrible teenage skin. Your hair will be frumpy and bend at some very weird angles. Your nails will continue in their sluggish growth cycle. Revel in the miracle!
Even if you don't feel sick all the time, you will look sick most of the time. People will ask you if you're okay.
You will be okay. You are okay. Things do get better, in many ways. And they also get even weirder (skin tags, heartburn, leg cramps, leukorrhea, anyone?).
Hang in there, they tell me there's something wonderful waiting at the end of the nine months.