Thursday, July 14, 2011

This is not a complaint post, honest.

Ok, well maybe it is.  A little bit.

Or a lot. But we all have the right to complain from time to time, yes? I had to leave work early today because I got such horrible gas pressure and pain in my stomach that I felt like it was going to explode. Raw veggies tend to do this to me during this pregnancy, but a gal has to try and eat healthy!  I knew I should've had the chicken fingers and fries instead of a salad.

Pregnancy is not new to me.  I've been down this road a time or two and know firsthand that each pregnancy is unique, with different quirks and symptoms. But still, I am shocked that this time around it is so much harder.

Pregnancy at age 20:  Physically, it was a piece of cake.  I didn't gain very much weight, you couldn't tell I was pregnant until I hit at least the six month mark, I didn't get stretch marks. I jogged several times a week until my doctor told me to stop because he wanted me to put on more weight. Bwahahahaha! That makes me laugh so hard now. I couldn't jog with this watermelon gut today if I was being chased by a giant smelly foot.

Emotionally it was very difficult. The Husband and I weren't married yet and our future was uncertain. We were broke, I was still in college, and there was other stuff going on in my life that complicated things. I tend to block out the emotional hell that I went through back then.

Pregnancy at age 24: All I remember is that I needed to eat. And so I ate and got big and ate some more and got even bigger. The Husband and I were married and things were more stable in our relationship, but we were still poor, both of us starting out in our careers. Even though I gained something like 45 pounds, there wasn't much discomfort other than lack of sleep.

We lived in a rental duplex at the time, and there was a cockroach problem. When dealing with bouts of insomnia, I would come downstairs at 2 a.m., place my fingers in my ears, squinch my eyes shut, and flip the kitchen light on with my elbow.  Then I would count "5...4...3...2...1..." to myself and open my eyes and take my fingers out of my ears.  That usually gave me enough time for the cockroaches to scurry across the seventies patterned linoleum to their hiding places, without me having to see or hear them. Then I could get a snack and deal with my insomnia. Shudder.  Funny that my pregnancy with The Boy is filled with memories of food and cockroaches.

Pregnancy at age 30: I remember it being tougher on my body. My joints and hips seemed to be sore more frequently, and all of a sudden I felt fatigued.  I didn't feel tired at all with the first two kids, so this was something new.  I gained exactly the right amount of weight (25 pounds) and still felt pretty awkward there toward the end.  Even though Bumblebee was born at the end of July, I didn't have much swelling and the heat wasn't terribly bothersome.

Emotionally, though, this pregnancy was a nightmare. Two years earlier, our son Joseph was stillborn and I was terrified of it happening again. I spent that entire nine months worried sick, even after we knew Bumblebee didn't have the chromosome disorder that our second son had.

Pregnancy at 108:  (Oops, I mean 38.) I feel old. And bloated. And huge (even though I'm right on target to gain the 'right' amount of weight again).  Every single symptom that you can get in pregnancy, I have.  Except varicose veins, I guess I don't have those.  (Damnit, I'm sure I just jinxed myself. Should I stock up on support hose now?)  Heartburn? check. Edema/swelling even when it's not hot outside? Got it. Nausea/vomiting, even still at 6 months along? Yep. Dizziness and vertigo? You betcha. Fatigue bordering on exhaustion? Yes. This is the worst.

I'm not joking when I say that I feel ancient and decrepit. It's taken a hit on my confidence and I know I've been guilty of tarnishing genuine compliments with my commentary on how huge I am or how gross I feel. I have to stop doing that.  I'm supposed to be big.  There's a kid inside of me.  A ninja warrior, from the feel of it.

Physically this pregnancy has been very challenging. It has been such a surprise to me (because my other pregnancies were not physically taxing at all) that I'm working through depression-type coping strategies.  Feeling so unbelievably awful for so long has definitely taken its toll on me. I can't help but wonder how people with terminal or long-term illnesses can cope without losing their minds.

However... emotionally, things couldn't be better. Funny how things try to balance themselves out.  The Husband and I are both well established in our jobs, our finances aren't scary, we have a great support system nearby, and we know how to be parents. I have a job that allows for a flexible schedule, taking time off or working from home as needed, and a great home/life balance.  It really is a great time to be having a baby.

My aching back and upset stomach would say otherwise, however.


Beth said...

Wear runner's compression socks instead of support hose. You'll look like a badass.

I'm sorry you're not feeling well. Hugs.

Cathy said...

Sorry you're having a tough time mon. I had issues both physical and emotional, so I know where you are coming from. One this I held onto was how cool it was to be always "multitasking" You could be in a business meeting or whatever and you are just Gestating along. It's like having a sweet secret.