Okay, so Justin has insisted that I write another mommy diary.
So today’s topic is about symptoms. I gotta tell ya, what is supposed to be such a natural process seems SO UNNATURAL when you’re in the thick of it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced a weird symptom only to be told it’s normal and think “Wut?” “Really???”
Here’s the thing. Most of your mommy friends are going to lie to you when they’re pregnant. A lot of pregnant women will smile and say “Great!” when you ask how they’re feeling. If we’re acquaintances or just friends that will be my automatic response. For me, great means, my baby is active an healthy, and that I’m grateful not to have any complications. If we’re close friends my face is going to sag, and I’ll tell you that I’m worn the eff out. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a big baby/whiner by nature. I have a high tolerance for pain, but really hate being uncomfortable.
But bless those mommies for keeping a positive face. In reality I guarantee you they are at some level of uncomfortable. My theory is that they really want you to join the mommy club too, and are afraid if you really knew just what your body was about to endure, you might change your mind.
Now we’ve all heard about morning sickness, and how badly it can ravage your body. I’m extremely fortunate to have missed that awful symptom. I did get nauseated several times in the beginning, but it passed. I never threw up. Thank God.
Other common symptoms that we hear about are the fun ones like moodiness, acne, bad drainage, heart burn, hemorrhoids, giant boobs of doom, breast pain from the giant boobs of doom, fatigue, and feeling like you want to eat an entire pizza all by yourself. (Don’t do it though. It’s a trap!)
Now not all women get the same symptoms, and not all women get certain symptoms at the same time. It’s really tempting to call a formerly pregnant friend and say,
“Did this happen to you?”
But it’s so hit or miss, that you’d be better off just asking your doctor. Just don’t Google. Google is not your friend. It’s your frenemy, pretending to be your friend with it’s plethora of information, but it’s not really. If you end up Googling a pregnancy symptom, you are likely to think your baby is dying, or you’ve developed some kind of cancer on top of your pregnancy.
So far I’ve experienced two not so common or widely talked about symptoms.
Venous insufficiency. That’s where your blood vessels become relaxed due the hormone relaxin, (original name right?) preventing your vessels from constricting while you walk the way they’re supposed to so that your blood will push back up your legs. So when you walk, all this excess fluid and blood begins to pool in your legs. If left undiagnosed or untreated, you can develop a blood clot. You don’t even want to go there. You’re screwed if you get a blood clot. So what is there to do about it? Well you get to wear yourself a brand new sexy pair of support hose! Support hose are so tight that when you pull them away from your skin and let go, they snap. They come in sexy colors like black and old granny tan so that everyone will know you’re wearing them. My personal favorite is the old granny tan. I wear those a lot.
My second symptom that I’m still adjusting to is rib pain. As the baby gets bigger your rib cage expands much larger than its original size. Depending on where the baby is sitting, your right sided rib muscles can stretch out as this happens and even tear! At some point, your abdominal muscles can separate from one another. Fun right? For me, this has been awful. It causes a lot of nerve pain and feels like you scrapped the skin just under your boobs across the concrete. Anything touching it hurts, and bras are the devil because they touch it. But you learn to adapt. When I’m on the couch, I lean to the right so it stretches out that side. I try to wear loose clothing, and avoid letting anything touch it when I’m at home. I also put ice on it. But that’s about all I can do.
Another thing no one tells you. Middle of second trimester and on it’s like someone is squashing your lungs. Have fun walking around very far! It’s like you were running! You’ll certainly be huffing and puffing. And sorry, a correction here. At that point you no longer walk. You waddle. Yes, like a penguin.
People also rarely tell you that your hips will separate. Yes, I said separate. That fun hormone relaxin? Yeah it relaxes your ligaments and tendons around your hip bones too, allowing them to come apart to make more room for the baby. Hence the waddle.
People who have never been pregnant like to tell you just “enjoy your pregnancy”, and not to be in a hurry for it to be over. Really? Cause I’m so ready for my little girl to stop putting her feet up into my rib cage (or her whole head maybe). I’m ready not to have to need help getting up from a low couch. I’d also like to be able to hold my pee for more than thirty minutes.
Most importantly I’m ready to meet our little girl!
So yeah! Fun stuff that your body does when it’s growing a baby! Thank God you get a baby out of it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though. If you really want a baby, these symptoms are just trivial temporary matters. They won’t last forever! Even if it feels like it. I keep reminding myself that.