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.