I am tired. And sore. And not for any of the fabulous reasons I might have awoken tired and sore in the heady days of early marriage. It seems pregnancy is prepping me for parenthood. And despite having read handfuls of lists helpfully titled “Things they don’t tell you about pregnancy”, the writers have somehow managed to skip over a whole host of things that, well, they don’t tell you about parenting.
So here’s another list of what other things you can expect when you’re expecting. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
1. Sleeping through the night is done. You thought you had nine more months of blissful, 8-hour nights, didn’t you? Forget it. A growing baby + an increased thirst = washroom. At all hours of day and night. If you’re not awake to pee, you’re awake to drink more water because your mouth is suddenly more dry than the Sahara in summertime. Which means an hour later you’ll be up to pee. Repeat ad nauseum.
2. Sleeping in is no more. That washroom thing just won’t go away, but by morning it’s compounded by crazy thirst. I keep a 1-litre bottle by my bed, and finish it most nights.
3. I itch. Skin apparently doesn’t like to grow at the speed of bamboo saplings. Despite morning oil-rubs and moisturising, followed by evening moisturising, the skin on the sides of my stomach are never more than a hair’s breadth away from a Code Red Itch. The only solution so far: More moisturiser. At this rate, I’ll be bathing in the stuff soon.
4. Your digestion will hate you. My morphing body creaks and aches in strange new ways each day, but today is by far a new low. My digestion is so troubled (thanks pregnancy hormones, and your digestion-slowing ways!) that I’ve been have painful pangs for much of the day. And when things aren’t painfully backed up or offering up sudden and explosive resolutions to said back-ups, I’m releasing gas at a rate that is devastating my efforts to lower my carbon footprint. It is beyond embarrassing. At least when the kids arrive, I’ll have someone else to blame….
5. Nature will prep you for poop. Pregnancy means you need to eat a bit (or a lot) more food. Makes sense. What also makes sense, but never seems to rate a mention, is that all of that food needs to come out again. I think it’s nature’s way to prepare us for the astounding levels of baby poop. Thanks nature. Thanks a whole lot.
6. Winter air can turn your nose into a gushing faucet of blood. This might just be me, but the extra blood in my system is conspiring with the super-dry winter air to turn me into a circus act, perhaps named The Human Fire Hydrant. The little pregnancy perk of not having to worry about periods has completely lost its shine now that I’m dealing with voluminous outpourings that are much more public. Talk about bloody embarrassing.
There is no end to how much I miss the blissful days of being boringly, stunningly normal. For any ladies contemplating pregnancy, soak up the good health now. Because no matter how many people will tell you that pregnancy is the last time you’ll be able to X, Y or Z, they’re wrong. Once you’re up the duff, those days are already long gone.
(I’m sure there’s more stuff, but this is just what instantly comes to mind. If you’ve got your own tales of woe, add them here. It’s not going to spare anyone from suffering these things, but at least they’ll know they’re not alone.)