Monday, April 3, 2006

Help! I have been invaded.

When I was growing up I had to share a bedroom and bathroom with my younger sister. We would fight something awful. Screaming and yelling and destroying one another's posessions. Then I got married and had to begin sharing a bed. Although I am more mature now I still have my share of fights with my husband over snoring, sharing the sheets, and cold feet (mine).

Having a baby is much more difficult than sharing a room or a bed. I am sharing MY body. The body that I have had my entire life. I get to put what I want into it and the only one who suffers is me. If I decide to stay up late, I can get by with just a few hours. But pregnancy . . . . its all over. The baby is in charge! How can that be?!

That little tiny bean starts out so small the naked eye can't even see it. But even at 6 weeks pregnant the bean is in charge; fooling with your hormones, making you sick and tired, your uterus begins to stretch and expand, and before you know it you have a pooch. Then the baby gets bigger and *decides* what you get to eat. My baby hates chocolate, onion, and garlic and loves steak and fresh fruit. Others have told me about their aversion to vegetables and dairy. Such a small person gets to decide?

Now my baby is big enough to give me some good kicks. God forbid I don't pee on a regular basis. Then the baby begins to use my bladder as a trampoline. For those who haven't been pregnant 'regular basis' means every 2 hours, even at night. That means several nightly trips to the bathroom - yawn. I MUST nap or can't keep my eyes open. My joints pop, I can't stay in one position (sleeping or sitting) for more than 2 hours. By the end of the pregnancy I will sleep in shifts; a few hours on the couch, in the recliner, and then finishing up in the bed. I won't be able to breathe deeply anymore and let's not talk about 'regularity' or the lack thereof.

None of these things are MY choice. The little bean is in charge. Pregnancy is hard and complicated. No two women or pregnancies are alike. But complaining about pregnancy is the only thing we all share.

After my loss I was SO angry with pregnant women. How dare they complain about what I could no longer have! I felt like I couldn't complain the first few weeks of my subsequent pregnancy, that I should just be grateful for being able to get pregnant again so quickly. But I realized that No, this is a rite of passage into motherhood.

Talking about our pregnancy - and sometimes complaining. These are our war stories. Our battle scars appear in saggy boobs and stretch marks. We share labor stories like men share sports statistics. We talk about episiotomies and epidurals and hours of pushing. Complaining about pregnancy does not make us ungrateful, it makes us women, desperately bonding during an isolating time. Our husbands don't understand us and women with older children have conveniently forgotten (that's how we end up pregnant again).

We should enjoy this time to complain to one another; share morning sickness stories and tips, compare how many times we peed that night, complain about maternity clothes, and being bloated. But we also share stories to hopefully help our fellow mother through the rough times; giving labor advice, sharing favorite stores, or tips on sleeping in our pillow fort. It is what we do to bond, as women. And no matter how many losses or years of infertility we should be able to relax and be guilty-free as we complain about the invader in our belly.

Don't worry, we will continue to complain once he/she arrives too. After all, the sleepless nights don't end.


  1. I found this a great read and very true. Keep writing!!!

  2. [...] I talked to my sister-in-law last night. She is 9 weeks pregnant now. When I spoke to her a few weeks ago after her ultrasound and I would ask her about her symptoms she would say, “not too bad, its all worth it in the end”. I was so annoyed by her I-had-better-not-complain-attitude that I wrote this blog. So last night after I got off the phone with her I found myself giggling all night long. She is feeling awful. She never actually throws up, nothing brings her relief, and she is able to keep food and fluids down. She ends up sleeping ALL the time because then she doesn’t feel so sick. Now I wasn’t giggling because she was miserable, but instead it was a feeling of justice. [...]

  3. This is soooo true!!! Great read.. THANKS :)