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Most of my life I had always said I didn’t look forward to being pregnant the way I figured most women did. If I had it my way I would have gone straight from “I’m pregnant!” to the day I came home from the hospital with a brand new baby. Boom. Done. Yay. Having actually experienced it now, I can say that part of that is still true, and a part is not.

I read about women who missed their belly and people warned me that as soon as he was out I would just wish he was back in. Both because it was a lot easier and because I would miss it. I do sometimes get swept away in nostalgia, remembering how tiny my baby must have been that first time I felt him kick or rubbing my belly in the shower. I know that as he grows older he will learn to be more and more independent and I’ll probably mourn those days with increased intensity, those days when he was the most dependent on me, nestled safely in my belly.

When I first found out for sure that I was pregnant I let myself dream of what it would be like to be pregnant and I made plans to really make the most of it. I was going to eat only the best and healthiest foods and my face and arms and love handles would be getting smaller as my belly grew rounder. I would wear long, breezy summer dresses and walk slowly through golden fields. I would lounge by the pool reading baby books and sipping refreshing and non-caffeinated drinks. I would dress in outfits like these that were comfortable but cute in a sweet, feminine way. I would craft every free moment I had and have my nursery all perfect by the time I entered my 3rd trimester so I could spend those last few months just sitting in my glider, staring out the window and waiting for my little baby.

And that is EXACTLY how it happened!!!

Except… NOT!

Reality found me sick, huge, itchy, sweaty, swollen, breathless, streaked with stretch marks, bumbling, scatterbrained, rushing to finish the nursery only days before my due date and rotating between the 3 outfits that would adequately cover my belly and hopefully minimize inappropriate accidents, visually.

So let me just confess to you right now. Yes, being pregnant allowed me the opportunity to feel special and I plan to do it again someday and I’ll miss some things about it but there are things I DEFINITELY WILL NOT MISS ABOUT BEING PREGNANT!!! So here they are in no real particular order.

 

THINGS I DO NOT MISS ABOUT BEING PREGNANT

 

Being a hot, swollen mess

Most of my pregnancy I was forced to deal with the common symptom of swelling, in my feet and ankles especially. It arrived early on and made it impossible to fit any of my shoes except my flip-flops. By the end of the summer they smelled like something awful. The heat of one of the hottest summers ever contributed to the swelling and raised my “comfortable temperature range” by at least 10 degrees. I also spend most of the time sitting or walking around, both of which made it worse. Here is a photo showing my feet just this week compared with one taken during July of last year.

SwollenFeet

DSC_0282 DSC_0286

 

Itchy Belly

I had a pretty horrid case of PUPPPS during my pregnancy. It causes any place you have stretch marks to become intensely itchy and red. Any itching or contact just aggravated the pain and nothing except some steroid creme from the Dr. brought me any relief. Sweating didn’t help. I can’t believe I’m showing you this, my belly is pretty gross, but here is a badly taken cell phone picture of my cause of torment.

PUPPPS

Throwing Up

One of my first symptoms was nausea. I had not thrown up since I was 14 years old and my mom never had morning sickness so I was sure I wouldn’t get it. It really knocked me over and kept me down until at least a few weeks into my second trimester. During the first couple months I watched a lot of TV while I laid on the couch, feeling nauseous  I watched all the episodes of CW’s 90210 on Netflix. Even today when I hear the theme/intro song I feel sick for a moment. Not joking. I threw up over 20 times and spent most evenings just whining to Steven. My husband is a saint. Lol.

Peeing every 20 minutes

These days I find myself rejoicing every time I go to the bathroom and experience a steady stream of urination that lasts more than 5 seconds and demands relief on a human schedule of frequency.

Rapid Heart-rate

My very first symptom was a rapid heart-rate. I actually noticed this less than a week after conception and it continued for the full first trimester at least. It was scary and I felt like I was constantly aware of my heart beating at a rate that was often in the 90’s or over 100.

Back Pain

This one just comes with the territory, really. It’s also not as though I don’t suffer my share of back pain, carrying a 21 pound baby around haha.

Changing positions required a full ceremony

Oh you want to stand? That will require 2 sturdy pieces of furniture, the full strength of your arms and legs and at least 5 stages of movement. Congratulations you are now standing. Now just try walking to the car, ducking into a car door into the seat, maneuvering around a steering wheel and hoisting yourself out again once you’ve reached your destination. You’re welcome.

Baby Brain

I have a pretty scattered brain already, but add the mystical effects of baby-growing hormones to the mix and I was all but useless.

 

In the months following Miles’ birth I must have remarked over 100 times that I was “so happy I’m not pregnant anymore” that if “feels so good to not be pregnant.” It really did. The fog lifted and I was myself again. Almost like the previous 40 weeks were a dream. Like one day I found out I was pregnant and I awoke 9 months later with a baby. And isn’t that always exactly what I wanted?

The purpose of this blog post was mostly just for me to marvel at the misery I felt during pregnancy. It might sound like complaining, and I certainly did my share of whining during those 9 months, but really I write this with a spirit of joy … primarily because it’s so much better now that I’m not suffering all those things. Sometimes I’ll spot a pregnant lady walking out of a store or something and for half a second (literally half a second) I will be sad and miss being “in the club” but then the memory of the misery comes rushing back and I feel so relieved that I’m not having to feel those things anymore. Having Miles right here and mothering him on the outside is so much better in my opinion. I would take these days of late night feedings and fussiness over PUPPS and swollen feet any day!

Now please pray for me that when and if the time comes for #2, it’s a miracle pregnancy like the one I day dreamed about those first few weeks. 🙂