every day is a miracle of science and wonder

First of all, I’d like to thank you guys for the incredible outpouring of love and support over Cal. I know it’s not a contest, but the flowers/cards/messages/emails/letters for Cal over Taylor were like, 3:1. Wherever he is in kitty heaven, I hope he’s both happy and smug.

Since I already voted and I’ve got election results anxiety as I think about the next four years both worldwide and very personally domestically, I figure I’d do a little bit of updating.

One of the first things people say when they find out you’re going to have a baby in December is: “You’re so lucky! You get to eat anything you want and you won’t be hot when you reach those miserable last few weeks.”

Well, as I was racing home yesterday to eat my doctor-mandated snack of six crackers and a string cheese while my car’s temperature gauge reached triple digits, I couldn’t help but think, “This is some bullshit right here.”

I’ve got gestational diabetes. Four times a day I have to check my blood sugar level and five times a day I have to eat specially proportioned meals and I’m supposed to get up in the middle of the night — in addition to the times I’m already getting up to pee — in order to drink water, which will only make me pee more and lately I’ve been wondering if Jason would love me any less if I just slept in an adult diaper.

I’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. I haven’t felt my fingertips in three weeks. Which is good, because I keep having to draw blood from them every four hours. While I can’t feel my fingertips, I can feel a tremendous amount of pain radiating from my shoulders, into my wrists, and throughout my palms. When I stand at night for my sixth or seventh pee break, I feel pain along the arches of my feet, as if I’ve set a nerve on fire. The only advice my doc has for this situation is sleeping in two wristguards. I find it somewhat amusing that I’m being told to wear derby gear to sleep. But I already can’t turn over on my own (my stomach muscles separated early in the second trimester (known by this terrible name), making me hilarious once I’m tipped over), and I can’t push myself up because both of my shoulders are tweaked, but sure, why not wrap my wrists in two casts and see how easily I get out of bed?

Yes, I know. Every day is a miracle of science and wonder and life is amazing and I’m an incredible vessel of life-giving beauty.

My gums bleed when I brush my teeth. This is called “pregnancy gingivitis.” It is also called “a horrible taste in your mouth once you’re done brushing your teeth.” Sometimes my mouth is filled with blood like I just won a (let’s be honest) heavyweight championship. Do you know how unsettling it is to finish brushing your teeth, only to be left with the taste of blood? It’s what zombies must feel like before a good night’s sleep. Vampires. I have the mouth of the undead. Oh, and I’m not allowed to brush my teeth in the morning until I take my blood sugar, which I’m supposed to do right before I eat breakfast, which must be at least eight hours after my late-night snack, which sometimes I’m having to force myself to stay awake for, because I’m tired these days around three in the afternoon.

Luckily I don’t have what’s called a pregnancy tumor, which is apparently common enough that the WebMD page for it includes this helpful sentence: Don’t let the word ”tumor” worry you. Then maybe call it something else, jerks!

I’ve lost most of the hair on my forearms and quite a bit of my eyebrows. The doctor can’t explain why. “I guess it’s because you’re pregnant,” he said. Every day is a miracle of science and wonder.

My bra size would frighten you. The cup size is higher than GG. Higher than. Did you know they made bras like that? They don’t. You have to find them in the shameful section of the Internet. A helpful window pops up: “Hi! It looks like you’re trying to costume a blaxploitation movie. May I be of assistance?” It has caused more than a few people to just bug their eyes upon seeing me and shout, “Your boobs!” I’m learning to respond to it like a nickname.

This weekend I saw a friend I haven’t seen in months. She immediately pointed at laughed at me as if I’d wiped out on a skateboard right in front of her. Just pointing at me, the general me of it all, laughing her ass off. That was her first reaction.

I’ve gotten to the point where when the old Asian ladies at the airport smile and laugh and say, “Any minute now you are going to pop!” I just nod and tell them they’re right. But I still have weeks to go. And then my boobs will get bigger. Because every day is a miracle of science and wonder.

My hips are numb and when they aren’t numb they feel like burning.

I cry sixteen times a day.

I drop things constantly and fall asleep in the middle of sentences.

My toes all look like Elmer Fudd’s thumbs.

“You must be so ready to have this baby,” people say. “No, no,” I quickly answer, shielding my stomach. “I’m okay. This is okay. This baby never cries.”

And it’s true. I’d do this for another three months if I knew it meant I could skip the first three months of a newborn’s life, which — if I’m to believe absolutely every single person who has stumbled up to me with eyes of concern to confide: “Nobody else is going to tell you this, but I will because I actually do care about you…” — is just another trimester of misery, but this time one that’s louder, poopier, pukier, nipple-ripperier, vaginally miserable and completely unpredictable.

That’s not true. There’s one person who insists having a newborn is a breeze. “They mostly just sleep,” she says. “And they’re so cute and easy. It’s once they start running around and talking that they become a pain in the ass.”

That person is my mother.

And I’ve been trying to tell her she’s had thirtysomething years to forget about those first few weeks when she brought her babies home, but she insists we were much more difficult once we were past that swaddled bundle of joy. “Well, your sister was a good baby,” she admits. “You were horrible. Never slept. Never. Always screaming. Just a miserable baby. I hope you get a nice one, but if you get what you deserve then… well, look out.”

It’s truly a magical time.

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  1. wanda

    I can’t wait for your pregnancy book. It will be hilarious and we will collectively nod our heads in agreement.

  2. Brett N

    There’s a reason women have babies:

    men would refuse this duty.

    We’re smart that way.

    Hang in there. The insanely cool shit is closer than you likely can believe.

  3. Holly F.

    As a GG cup who recently hugged a BFF after a long separation and heard “Whoa, are you padded under there?!”, I feel your ever-loving pain.

    You’re wonderful, Pamie.

  4. Bruce Lamesse

    That friend that laughed. That was SM, wasn’t it? Because that sounds so like what she would do. I’ve missed your writing. Gotta pick up your post-Why Girls Are Weird books. Stay shiny!

    1. Pamie

      Not SM. Even she figured I was talking about her, but I wasn’t.

  5. Melissa

    Oh my goodness. You made me laugh so hard I peed my pants a little, and I’ve never even had a baby.

  6. Melanie

    What’s super fun is buying the nursing bras in the giant sizes. And you can’t predict what you’ll need, so don’t try ordering them in advance. And that thing where they say nursing means you’ll shrink faster? It’s a damn lie. Not when you’re GG+ before you have baby.

    I mean, joy, love, bliss, miracle, yay, blessings, hurrah. You are withstanding a heck of a lot, and that you can still make me laugh during it is impressive (but not surprising, as it’s you.)

  7. Wendy

    I had gestational diabetes with my second kid. It sucked balls. But the upside is, you’re so regimented in your eating that you don’t tend to gain too much weight. So there’s that.

    Good luck in the last month or so – the end is near, and then it all changes. It’s hard and a total mindfuck and also wonderful. You’ll do great.

  8. J.C.

    I bet you are SUPER DUPER cute all preggers!!!! Just sayin’…But this made me laugh hard enough to make me run to the bathroom to pee. And like Melissa, I have never had one of those baby-things. Are you going to post any pregnancy pictures??? Blessings to you THREE!!! *hug*

  9. Karalynn

    It may make you feel better to know that when I was pregnant my boobs were enormous. Like, each was bigger than my baby’s head. And her head was in the 100th percentile. She also wouldn’t breastfeed and I’m convinced it was because she was afraid of these giant things I kept sticking in her face. Wait, why would that make you feel better? Oh, right, because at least they didn’t get any bigger after she was born. They were huge but didn’t get any huger. I just thought you might like to know that that was a possibility.

  10. Kathleen

    IF (big if) you can get over the sleep, um, interruption, newborns are sort of easy. They can’t move or even yell all that loud. Their list of needs is short, so if they’re upset you just go through the list until you figure out why. Of course, they do their ever loving best to keep you guessing- the minute you have it all figured out they’ll change. But they are easy if you can just breathe. I type this with a 3month old on my shoulder. Your mom may not be misremembering! (Hope not- you seem to get the kid you were) :)

    However, my second pregnancy was the easier one (so much sympathy for you!!) and I still was pretty happy to keep the kid where he was easily controlled:)

    I was too chicken to look at Cal’s post because I’m a ball I hormones, but I was sending my love anyway.

  11. Joanna L. Castillo

    I love your mother. Well…your stories about your mother. Best of luck to you, Jason, and that wonderful bundle of joy. Hugs…

  12. Tana

    Oh, god! I am so exactly here. 35 weeks. Without the gestational diabetes, but with the “tumour”. I have peed 27 times today. I am wearing wrist guards right now. And crying…because…??? Who knows.


    And best wishes for a little bit of sleep and a safe delivery of one of those mythical nice babies.

  13. asmara

    My best friend had gestational diabetes. While obviously that means I haven’t gone through that, I did hear about all the things you’re talking about in excruciating detail, and I have HUGE empathy. Not sayin’ pregnancy’s not miracle! But it’s definitely not a 100%-24/7-every-single-second-is-magical miracle. Sending lots of love and best thoughts your way…

  14. KristinMH

    It’s true, after the first 2-3 weeks my baby was pretty easy. He’s now 8 months and his sleep has never been as good as it was between 1 and 4 months. Also, before they can roll, you can put a baby on pretty much any surface and they’ll stay there! Once mobility develops it gets more labour intense. Breastfeeding, however, gets a lot easier as you go. Good luck!

  15. Lesley

    Pregnancy sucks. Those women who glow for 10 months? That wasn’t me either. I was pregnant in December. You need to look out for Hallmark/Lifetime movies around that time. Pregnancy hormones are keyed right into them. And some unsolicited advice, because you aren’t getting enough:

    For really large size but attractive bras:
    http://www.bravissimo.com – perhaps paired with an adult diaper won’t be so bad.

    For the arch support, which I also had a problem with pregnant – the ugliest pair of Birkenstocks you can find will have the most arch support. I wore them non-stop and had them right by the bed for the multiple middle of the night pees. I couldn’t see my feet anyway.

  16. Stephanie

    I not only knew bras went up to GG, I wear an HH. Oh, and I’m not pregnant. Might I suggest British shops. I like Bravissimo. They even carry sports bras! I know this is probably not a concern for you right now, but why does the rest of the world assume women who are chesticularly larger don’t exercise?

  17. Grainne

    I love your tags on this post!
    Good luck with your last few weeks, pregnancy just sounds like no fun at all.

  18. Leah

    While I have never purchased one myself having learned of their existence too late, many people I know swear by Leading lady pregnancy and nursing bras. Apparently, even GGs don’t frighten them.

  19. Paul Tabachneck

    You will persevere. Survival is your super-power!

  20. Melissa

    I wear a DDD bra and I am loving Stephanie for introducing me to Bravissimo. I have often wondered where the ladies in Jugs buy their bras. I’ve never even looked at Jugs, but figured that surely they are not buying their bras at department stores like I am.

    Pam – you are confirming everything I suspected about pregnancy. That shit is not natural.

    1. Pamie

      I also use Bare Necessities: http://www.barenecessities.com/

      They have the fantastic Enell and Freya sports bras, both of which helped me survive a marathon and roller derby.

      They also sell Hanky Panky jersey-knit boyshort panties, which are the only things I can handle these days.

      They have made a killing off me this year.

  21. Valeri

    Oh, Pamie, I want to hug you! But between my giant belly and your giant boobs, probably the best I could do is pat you on the shoulders with the tips of my swollen fingers. I have diastasis symphysis pubis and, let me tell you, it is just a JOY. I have the arm thing, too, and every morning I wake up and I can’t close my hands. I also arbitrarily developed TMJ. My ears hurt so bad I was certain my ear drums were about to pop and I was going to go deaf. Stress and pain, the doctor says. You know what I can do for it? Nothing. And the (cover your eyes, boys) discharge?! NO ONE TOLD ME THAT. The baby bounces around so much that I’m actually worried about him tearing the skin and popping right out. It somehow seems less painful than labor, though.

    There are so many EFFING WEIRD THINGS that happen to you when you get pregnant that no one ever tells you about. You should write a book about it called Being Pregnant is Stupid: Why Haven’t Scientists Figured Out How to Grow Babies in Aquariums.

  22. Heidi

    All that right there is why, if men had to carry children inside their bodies, we’d have dropped off the earth a long time ago.

    Best to you these last few weeks, Pam, and all the wonderful, harried, bananas days that follow.

    Thanks also for the bra reqs. DD-DDD here without a fetus, and front-closure, non-uniboob sports bras seems to be a phantom product. Off to look…

  23. meadowgirl

    i’m sorry shit is rough for you. i will say that i have taken care of many newborns, they are easy bc they can’t: roll over, move much, walk, talk or do much other than cry. of course, that’s small (aka ZERO) comfort for a new, first time mom who hasn’t spent a lot of time with kids.

    i’m sorry it’s full of stupid shit. my BFF was like that w/her kids. i totally did what your friend did, i apologize to her still every time i speak to her bc i feel that bad.


  24. Eva

    I went up to an H cup with my pregnancy – the gigantic boobs were the absolute worst part of it for me. I felt like a freak, and it was impossible to wear even cute maternity clothes. I was a VIP customer of herroom.com, which also has big-cup nursing bras and bathing suits, and is very easy with returns. I also recommend a healthy supply of roomy men’s button-down shirts for the first few weeks post-partum.
    When I stopped breastfeeding at 6 months, they shrank down to maybe an F cup and I was SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY.

  25. Bridget

    Long time lurker, 4-time mama, life-long big-boob haver here. Linda the Bra Lady (lindasonline.com) is wonderful, fast, and returns are easy. She even has pretty nursing bras! (The fourth time I just COULD NOT strap myself into the awful cotton Viking bras again).

    New babies aren’t too bad. You’re a mess, but they’re pretty forgiving. And when they fall asleep on you in the middle of the day, why then you have an excellent excuse for not getting up and just smelling their little heads instead.

  26. Amanda

    I won’t add to the special litany of scientific miracles that I experienced while pregnant but I will tell you that having a newborn is hard, it’s really pretty awesome, too. I’m your age and have an almost 2-year-old, (12/13/10!) and I’m so glad I didn’t have this kid when I was a young 20s girl and such an asshole.

    Also, we divided up the literature in the last weeks this way: I read about birth and pointed things put to him that I wanted him to know and he read about caring for a newborn and informed me of a few things. And it’s good he did because he did the bulk of newborn care in the first weeks. I was too wiped out.

    If you can, find a post-partum doula to come by when you’re just getting home from the birth. Best thing I ever did. We had so many questions and she had so many tips and advice and was such a calming presence and was very helpful with breastfeeding. I had her come out twice in the first week. Plus, she was neutral, not a relative whose baby advice was from the 70s (or earlier).

    Best of luck — you’re almost there and it’s going to be amazing. Trust me!

  27. crabbyappleseed

    I had my first baby in December, four years ago.

    And one day, maybe twenty five years or so from now, I will recite the last paragraph of this entry to my firstborn daughter. And it will give me a kind of sick pleasure.

    BUT!! my second was super easy! some newborns really are easy. and more than anything else, I think people should know that so they don’t feel like Total Failures when the first three months aren’t a miracle of sunshine and roses and instant love. It can be a lot harder than that, and that’s okay, too! It gets better and easier and you will still be an awesome mom.

  28. Aunt LoLo

    Oh, woman. I feel like a troll even leaving a comment, but someone linked to this post on Mamapedia, and I had to check it out. I LAUGHED UNTIL I CRIED. There are tears streaming down my face. I think some women have easy pregnancies – they say they are never nauseous, never in pain.

    I say they are crazy.

    You hit the nail right on the head! I’m 38 1/2 weeks, and SO ready to be done with being pregnant. Except for that tricky “4th trimester” nobody ever mentions.

    I love my kids…but, tell me again why we do this?! ;-) THANK YOU for this awesome post. I hope all is well for you!!