We saw the romantic comedies. We read the books. And here's the stuff they left out.
THE FIRST TRIMESTER:
— You'll probably develop carpal tunnel syndrome from spending over an hour a day on Google trying to figure out if those niggling pains in your pelvic area that you've been feeling for a few days are period cramps, or possibly (oh please God!) pregnancy symptoms... Then you'll google "carpal tunnel" and "pregnancy" to see if there's a correlation.
— Even if you're TTC, chances are, you'll be smoking a cigarette or drinking a glass of wine
or shooting smack a day or two before you find out you're pregnant.
— You'll be secretly thrilled to have an excuse not to suck in your tummy. Or wear Spanx. But until you start looking pregnant, you'll just look a little bloated. And this will piss you off.
— You may bleed. I did. In both pregnancies. And it was a nightmare. Both times.
— Transvaginal ultrasounds are bionic dildos sheathed in condoms and squirted with a lot of lube. It's like a sci-fi porno starring your Lady Business... and your bladder if you forgot to pee before your doctor shoved that thing inside you.
— There's an unspoken rivalry between women who puke and
bitches women who don't.
— Unless you're upfront about being knocked up, people will assume you had a boob job.
— Panty-liners will become your best friend. And if your partner goes out to buy them for you and doesn't judge, then he or she is badass.
— Hormones are no joke, and should be a valid defense if you cut the bitch who took your parking space in front of Krispy Kreme. (Wadup, Judge Feldman.)
— You will hold your breath until you cross the First Trimester finish line.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER:
— You'll spend at least 20 minutes a day looking at your profile in any full-length reflective surface you can find. You will celebrate when your belly"pops." But really, you still just look bloated.
— The hormone defense should still hold water when your partner brings the wrong kind of ice cream home from the supermarket. And you cut him or her.
— You will have crazy-intense dreams. And not flying-with-unicorns-over-rainbows-in-outerspace-dreams. Unless you're into that sort of thing. In other words, you know how 14 year old boys have to change their sheets every morning? Well, you will too. And you'll love it.
— The first time you think you feel your baby move, it's probably just gas. Sorry.
— At the 20 week ultrasound, all babies look like Voldemort. Even yours.
— There comes a time in (almost) every pregnant woman's life when she fantasizes about her OBGYN or midwife.
— Maternity bras are fugly.
— Bellabands are da bomb.
— There's (another) unspoken rivalry between women who want to know the sex of their baby, and
idiots women who don't.
— Your nipples will leak.
— You'll fart your way through the Second Trimester.
THE THIRD TRIMESTER:
— That shit they make you drink to test for Gestational Diabetes will make you swear off sugar for a day. But if you have a choice between the Orange or the Yellow, drink Yellow.
— Sex becomes an elaborate game of naked twister.And not in a good way.
— At around 30 weeks, even though you're only gestating one fetus, someone will say to you "are you sure you're not having twins?" You'll feign indignation. Hell, you may even post how pissed you are on a facebook status update. But secretly, you'll be thrilled.
— Cocoa Butter does not prevent stretchmarks. Save your money. Trust me.
— You aren't glowing. You're just really sweaty and oily from the hormones.
— Getting off the couch will become a test in heroics. But it will serve as a training exercise for your marathon walk down the candy aisle at the Supermarket.
— By now, all some of your friends are tired of the belly pics you're posting on facebook.
— Around this time, you're going to start buying a ton of Mozart CDS and wooden toys made by magical elves in Scandanavia. And you will judge the shit out of real parents. You know, those with actual kids that are on the outside who blast Gangsta rap and let their babies play with matches plastic toys made in China.
— Sciatica feels like you're getting stabbed in the ass with a very very very very very sharp icepick.
— During the final stretch, if your OB/ or midwife checks your cervix during a Braxton Hicks contraction, you will want to kick him or her. But, since your legs are in stirrups, you'll just look like a moose on iceskates. And then, you'll probably fart because you're (still) gassy.
— You may feel like a (gassy) beached whale, but you're beautiful. Really and truly, you are.
— Your mucous plug looks like your vajeen hocked a giant loogie.
— If you want to go into labor by your due date, don't pack an overnight bag, don't shave your legs, don't get a pedicure, and for GODSAKE, don't wear clean underwear.
(I haven't had a C-section, or a Home Birth, so I'm only going to write about vaginal birth in a hospital setting here... If you had a different experience that you want to share, please send it in. I'll post. )
— You will want to die.
— You will want to kill the
Motherfucking piece of shit ratbastard asshole person who "did this to you."
— You will scream and kick and possibly shit yourself. More than once.
— At some point, you will realize that you can do this. And you will.
— Pitocin is not satanic, but it will make you bleed more.
— At some point, you may offer to fuck an anesthesiologist in exchange for a quick epidural. Just because birth is natural and women have been doing this for thousands of years does not mean you have to skip out on pain management. Remember, this is your body.
— If you feel like you need to, well, um, have a long meeting in the bathroom with a newspaper (ahem), then it's probably time to push.
— The laws of Stockholm Syndrome dictate that you will fall in love with at least one person in the Labor and Delivery room. And that person will not be your partner.
— All the olive oil and perineal massages in the world will not prevent you from tearing.
And if you didn't tear, then I hate you. You probably didn't get stretchmarks, or puke, or want to know the sex of your baby either. Bitch.
— No words or metaphor can adequately describe the sweet relief you feel once your baby comes corkscrewing out of you.
And yes, it's all worth it.
(Especially the erotic and, um, vivid dreams in the Second Trimester.)
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