It is safe to say that I have shirked my blog of late. It is not the only, nor the most important, of the “duties” I have been putting off in the last 3 or so months. Without boring you with the exhaustive list, we will just say that my conditioner does not need to be replaced as often as it once did, and when my doorbell rings, regardless of the time of day, my 1-year old screams, “Pizza!” and gleefully runs to the door to accept dinner. (In fairness to me, he is only right about 80 percent of the time.) Sometimes I think I am lazy. Sometimes I think I am busy and overwhelmed. Really though, as my new physical form would tell any interested onlooker, in case they hadn’t yet heard my 3-year-old announce how HUGE his mommy’s belly is and how many babies she is holding in it, I chalk it up to this: I am pregnant. (With one baby. Just one. My belly is just kind of big and my kid is just kind of mean.)
Pregnancy is incredible. I get to grow a person, to nourish their little bodies and brains and hearts and give my baby, my very own baby, a home for 40 weeks where they literally come to exist. And I am so thankful for that. I wanted this baby, all of my babies, more than anything else and I am one of the very fortunate people who gets to have their greatest wish come true not once, but three times. Please remember all of this as you continue to read. Because what I say next may make it easy to forget the aforementioned gratitude.
I HATE BEING PREGNANT. Pregnancy sucks. It sucks huge and hard and I.hate.it. There are women who love it. There are women who miss it once they are no longer pregnant. And to those women I say, “Good for you!” At least to their faces. What I want to say and what I am actually thinking is, “Good for you! I hate your guts. I want to vomit on your face and I easily could because all I ever do is vomit but no, seriously, that’s great for you. Congrats.” Because if this is the most natural state for a woman to inhabit, then I am fairly certain that Nature hates women.
There are perks to pregnancy; don’t get me wrong. I love when people let me cut a bathroom line – that is awesome. I love not being judged, heck, being celebrated for eating several desserts at one sitting because I am just nourishing my sweet little baby. My favorite part of pregnancy though is being lied to in the nicest ways:
“You’re glowing!” I am not. I am sweating. Profusely.
“Your skin looks beautiful!” It’s a toilet water backsplash facial and I do not recommend it.
“You look adorable!” Well, chubby things are often adorable. Babies, pandas, Ewoks. But do you want to look like an Ewok? Me neither.
Truth be told, I even kind of like the absurdity of the unintentionally rude comments strangers offer. It is pretty entertaining dinner conversation for my husband and me, and allows me to smile and quietly judge, all the while looking shiny and adorable. (See above):
“Look at you! You’re ready to pop!” Nope. Got months to go. Just had multiple burritos for lunch.
“You must be having a girl.” I see you eye-measuring my ass. I know what you are implying here and please understand, I just have a big ass.
“This is the easy part. You just wait until they’re born.” Ok. This is not my first rodeo, and I know what having a newborn / infant / toddler entails, but this used to scare the crap out of me when I was pregnant with my first. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you think this is helpful. Or maybe you’re just kind of a dick.
But back to the part where pregnancy sucks – because as much fun as it is to instantly weed out potential friends based upon their feedback on my bump (i.e. the less feedback the better) pregnancy is NOT fun. Pregnancy is vomit, back pain, exhaustion, sore joints, frequent bathroom trips, weird muscle aches, insomnia, headaches, and swelling in places you had no idea could swell. Each of my pregnancies has been very different from the last, and my second baby was even what you would call a very normal pregnancy – only sick through first trimester, energetic through second trimester, and big and tired and achy in third. Guess what – it still kind of sucked. What I like to tell my husband to keep him compassionate is that he should imagine the worst hangover he has ever had, and then imagine having said hangover for 8, 12, 37 weeks. He gets it.
This time around, I get to experience pregnancy while raising my two boys. I get to see my 3-year-old’s obsession with my belly and the baby in its womb, extending even to his new favorite game where he performs an ultrasound using the remote control as his tool. I get to experience my 20-month-old’s awe at my growing belly and feel his little kisses on my belly button when we ask him where the baby is. And that is magic. And that is why I have not yet gone over the edge, because the flip side of raising other kids while pregnant is that I am not a very good mother right now. I am overemotional and overtired and overweight and just can’t get on the floor and build a bridge with them. I let them watch more tv than I know I should. I cave to snack requests more often and yell when I know it is not helpful to do so. I am growing weary of my body belonging to other people after 4+ years of pregnancy, then breastfeeding, then breastfeeding while pregnant, then pregnancy again, and I get cranky when my boys want to just lift my shirt and touch my belly because I am all.touched.out. And feeling that way makes me MORE emotional and MORE guilty and that is even MORE exhausting.
Also, I miss liquor. I really do. Not just a glass of wine, but a nice cold dirty martini or even a tequila shot. Because being a mom is fun, but so is liquor. Isn’t life grand when you can have both?!
But hey, here is the good news. I have 17 more weeks to go. 14-15 more weeks if this little lady wants out as badly as her brothers did. And then I get to snuggle with, be touched by, be puked on by another perfect little lunatic that I grew in my own big, sweaty, burrito-filled belly. And that will be worth it.
I will also get to take tequila shots. And that is some sucking I can get behind.
I can do this. I will probably cry in my pantry many more times over the next few months and fall short of my own expectations of what it means to be a good mommy nearly daily, but I will do this. And I share this all because I have a suspicion that if you are pregnant, you may be able to relate to some of this, and I want to say to you, in all honesty, you do look like a sweaty Ewok, but you can do this too.