Pregnancy makes me miserable which is probably why it took me over four years to do it again. After Tiny-Small was born I told Jim all future children would be adopted. Seriously. So, now that I am pregnant again and making friends with the porcelain gods (yes, the toilets…all of them) I am remembering why I was not a fan of pregnancy.
Four years is just enough time to forget. Just enough time to forget that you had morning sickness all day long for eight months last time. Just enough time to forget that brushing your teeth made you sick and Dove soap made you want to die. Just enough time to forget how pre-eclampsia forced you to be on bed rest and endure a Pitocin induced labor. I am not good at being sick and I really like to be busy doing things. I have a hard time taking it easy. Unfortunately, the memories are all coming back to me now as I sit here trying to keep my mind busy and the barfing at bay.
What’s also coming back is how much pregnancy made me miserable in other ways. Like how my skin kept breaking out and how I didn’t dye my hair for fear of hurting the fetus. I stopped drinking coffee and none of my shoes fit. I am not a pretty pregnant person. I am not a happy pregnant person. Last time I was pregnant I read all of these articles featuring beautiful pregnant mothers talking about how much they loved being pregnant and I envied them. I still envy them. They were models of health in their pregnancy. I looked like a cast member for The Walking Dead.
So, here I am. Pregnancy number two and I really want it to be different. Everyone keeps reassuring me that it will be. I hope they are right because I want it to be better and I think it will be this time because I have a bigger support network and people I can reach out to. I have been through this before so I know what’s coming and I can prepare for it. There is not as much fear this time. Plus, I know that even though it’s really uncomfortable and I am going to look like a hot mess (and probably go up two more shoe sizes) it’s all going to be worth it. I mean, one look at Tiny-Small and I know our family is going to just get more awesome with the latest addition.
I’ve come up with a Big List to get through pregnancy with as much grace as possible.
1. Stop reading about people who love being pregnant, are still jogging five miles a day, and look like movie stars when they are 9 months pregnant. We don’t all have to be beautiful pregnant people. We don’t all have to love being pregnant. I think I really felt like I should love it more, but let’s be honest, it’s not all that glamorous for a lot of us and if you are sick during pregnancy you feel pretty miserable. That’s OK. If you do love pregnancy and are gorgeous through the whole thing that is awesome too, but you probably aren’t going to be reading this cranky post since pregnancy doesn’t make you miserable.
2. Do whatever it takes to not have a reoccurrence of the vomit fest of 2010 (just insert the last year YOU were pregnant here). I have listed every food known to curb nausea and I am buying them all. Every single one! I have ginger, lemon, mint, celery, and my beloved goldfish crackers. I am eating when it helps and not worrying about weight gain. I am making Jim clean up any and all dog poop. Sorry, Jim! 🙂
3. No matter how yucky I feel I am walking every day. I am still aiming for 10,000 steps, but mostly land around 6,000. There was a recent study suggesting that exercise in early pregnancy might help reduce the risk of getting pre-eclampsia. I will try anything to keep my blood pressure stable. Since I was already on an exercise routine before I found out I was pregnant I am going to keep it up.
4. Buy some nice pregnancy clothes. Last time I was wearing whatever I could squeeze into. It made me sad. This time I am not going to be sad when I look in the mirror. I might be laughing or amazed, but I refuse to be sad!
5. Continue with my hair stylist appointments. I will not let my hair go to the dogs this time. I will not completely give up on my appearance. I am fighting back! This will not be an ugly pregnancy if I can help it.
6. Ask for help when it’s needed. Even if it’s embarrasing. I am totally going to hire someone to clean the house. I don’t care what we have to give up to pay for it.
7. Sleep when tired. Even if you have to demand time and space for it. Or, if you have to hire a babysitter. Or, find a friend to take your husband out for the day (mine is chatterbox).
8. Keep painting (or whatever it is YOU love to do). Last time I was pregnant I gave up on all of the things I enjoyed and just laid on the bed or the couch numbing my brain with TV shows and movies. I felt like a human incubator. This time, even if I am put on bed rest again, I’ll be able to keep writing my blog. I’ll have a community and a job. This will keep me sane. I am so grateful to have all of you to keep me going!
9. Laugh. A lot. Tiny-Small will keep the comedy rolling and her day-to-day care will keep the time flying by. Plus, I can’t just cry and drool on the couch waiting for the time to pass because I have to chase this crazy kid around. I am so thankful for that distraction and the love! She is so excited about being a big sister. Her excitement is contagious! If you are experiencing your first pregnancy, get some friends to distract you. Become obsessed with your dog. Find someone or something that makes you laugh.
10. Don’t let anyone take your picture unless you are dressed and have your hair combed. Seriously. Maybe I should make this #1.
Anybody else out there find pregnancy a bit miserable? Got any tips to add to the list? Believe me, I am taking notes!
P.S. Don’t watch the movie UP while pregnant unless you want to cry, then sob, then cry some more. Stay away from the tear jerkers. They are not your friends right now. Stick with the comedies.