I want to be really truthful about my experience. This means, in Carly fashion, it will sound like a lot of complaining. And I suppose it is. It’s also true that I haven’t had in depth conversations with people who’ve been pregnant to ask them what they went through, though some have been forthcoming about certain details.
I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that You Don’t Want This. I mean, you want a baby. Maybe. And you sort of like the idea of having a baby bump. Perhaps even thinking about what it’s like to have a human being growing inside of you is exciting, or at least intriguing.
Yeah, so those things make up about 5% of the total experience.
And I know I could have it so much worse. I mean, no, farting all of the time isn’t worse than constant heartburn or hemorrhroids. Hip pain during the night is better than edema or leg cramps. Peeing every two hours during the night is better than being constipated.
I can say that having 24/7 carpal tunnel has been one of the most miserable things I’ve ever gone through. There is no relief. I haven’t been able to feel my fingers for months. Sometimes the pain is so excruciating it makes me cry. Being in constant discomfort makes me stressed and irritable. Pretending that it’s not happening can be frustrating. I can’t imagine living with chronic pain like this for years. Thankfully I’m hopefully only a week or two away from getting cortisone shots. If that doesn’t work, I’m considering lopping off my hands at the wrist.
I’m short of breath. It’s hard to bend over. I haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep in months.
My stretch marks are really freaking gross to look at. When this is all over, I will weigh close to 200 pounds. Two. Hundred. Pounds. And I’m lucky because I don’t have gestational diabetes (I was just 20 pounds overweight when I got pregnant).
I’m not having sex with my amazing, supportive, patient, caring boyfriend. I don’t view myself as someone attractive or sexual anymore. I am sober. All day, everyday.
I am not me. I have not been myself in almost seven months now.
I miss me. A lot. And the truth is, that me is gone. Forever.
This transformation will end and then I’ll be something I’ve never been before.
There is no way to prepare yourself for these changes. No way to know what pregnancy is really going to be like (or the fact that 10 months is WAY TOO LONG). For me, this journey has been on the depressing side even though I’m very much looking forward to meeting my son.
Sometimes it’s weird because there are people who light up at the sight of my belly or are genuinely happy for me and express this. And while that is meaningful and amazing, I feel pressure to match or top their enthusiasm. I really want to tell them that I’m totally out of sorts and that trying to focus on the unknown awesomeness is too intangible at the moment. When they are wild eyed and saying “this is SO EXCITING” I want to answer “Sure! I mean, I think? Yes, probably…ya know, I don’t actually know if it is, but OK! I mean, what’s done is done, right? LOL.”
I don’t know if knowing all of this would have dissuaded me from going through with it. But I do know that not knowing anything has been a shock in a lot of ways. I sort of hate that all of my preconceived notions were based on pure fiction. Smiling, glowing soon to be moms who seemed so able bodied and joyful and serene. Even now, I’ll see a visibly pregnant woman in business casual attire walking from the train and wonder if she’s feeling as put off by this whole thing as I am. I want to shout from my car window while pointing at my belly “this is total bullshit, amirite???!!!”
I’m sharing this not to complain, per se, but to just let you know that I think pregnancy kinda sucks and not just the last month of it because I’m not even there yet.
You can do whatever you want with this information, but at least now you have it.