PREGNANCY FOR DUMMIES
So I’ve been pregnant for almost 36 weeks now. I still can’t believe it. I mean, if it wasn’t for the big belly and weight gain and nausea and exhaustion and having to eat on a schedule like a child and giving up my heels and alcohol and nights in the club, I wouldn’t believe I was pregnant.
I’ve said it before: I wasn’t ready for this y’all! I was always the ignorant one; and I never showed any interest. I once even said I had no intention of getting married or having children, but life turns out funny sometimes, especially when you’re more into free-styling it than actually planning it.
So here are eight things I’ve learned in the last nine or so months. May it help my sisters and prep them like I wasn’t prepped.
- Pregnancy does not automatically make you maternal – I’ve been waiting to start feeling all soft and warm inside every time I encounter babies or see pictures. I don’t. I still can’t say that I like babies. I am not drawn to them, I do not want to cuddle them and coo over them, and my ovaries do not sing at the thought of being around babies. I’m just hoping I’ll like my spawn!
- Your taste buds will betray you, and morning sickness is a lie – I like food, always have, my pre-pregnancy body was evidence of that. I ate for sustenance and pleasure, it wasn’t about having one or the other; I wanted both. Every. Single. Time. Until the nausea checked in and suddenly all I could eat were plain crackers, plain rice, plain toast. I couldn’t stand anything with flavor; I stopped being a customer of Hashmis and Subway and very many other fine establishments and I started eating purely to avoid the wave of nausea that followed hunger pangs. I thought things would change once the nausea stopped attacking me every day. They didn’t. Now I appreciate meals, snacks and desserts, but I can’t say that I look forward to them. Because eating to avoid nausea has made eating a chore. Yet I’m still here gaining weight * massive eye roll * Oh, and morning sickness is a misnomer; and if you’re like me you’ll discover that it can last the whole damn day and there will be no relief in the afternoon, evening or night. It sucked major monkey balls, and we thank the Lord that we are healed, and now only deal with the occasional bout of nausea.
- You will discover swelling, aches and pains that will bring you closer to God – a few months into the pregnancy we were forced to change our mattress, so we got a firmer one. Soon after that my body rejected it: it suddenly wanted something “softer” and reminded me every day with an aching back and sore hips. So we got a mattress topper and that was solved. Too bad it couldn’t solve this ache I have in my pelvic area every day. It’s hard to describe, but the closest thing I can think of is being kicked in the groin repeatedly. Then there’s the swelling of the feet and fingers, which has forced me to (grudgingly) embrace a half size larger in flat shoes and take off my wedding rings. Plus I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter who you are: swollen feet are the great equaliser of pregnant women, be they celebrities or mere mortals (YES JESUS!) I’m not done: there’s also round ligament pain, which feels like someone pulling on either side of your pelvis the way you’d stretch a rubber band, the numbness of the fingers I experience every morning thanks to what Google told me was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Ya.
- Hair removal becomes a battle, which you won’t win – I’m a waxer. I like how smooth and clean my skin feels after. I’m not going to lie and say I’d lie there and be on my phone while the nice lady did her thing; no. I’d be wincing and screaming bloody murder in my head. Sometimes I’d actually tell her she was trying to kill me. The one time I tried waxing after I found out I was pregnant, I literally almost died. It was so painful I wanted to cry, the only thing that stopped me was the little pride I had left. I was sweating from the effort of trying not to cry and look nonchalant at the same time. My skin was so sensitive, each pull of the strip felt like I was being threaded all over my body by four attendants from Beauty Options, simultaneously. So I haven’t waxed in about seven months, I’ve had to switch to shaving. It’s not the same. And now that I have this big ol’ belly in the way I’m not even able to shave my legs properly. A friend of mine suggested I ask someone close to do it…let’s just say I haven’t done it. Maybe it’s pride. Maybe it’s just time I embraced this 70s hippy vibe, because the cuts I’ve inflicted upon myself are not worth it. I’m still trying to convince myself to go for one waxing session before Gong arrives. But I’m worried that my water might break and I’ll go into labour on the waxing table. On the bright side though…pregnancy hormones are doing wonders for my locs so yay.
- Getting emotional over how emotional I’ve become – I had my baby shower the other day. Again, this is not the kind of social event I’m usually drawn to, and prior to the shower I actually wondered whether it would be a really bad thing if I refused to have one, until I was told showers meant something I liked: GIFTS! And if Queen Bey can have a baby shower and receive gifts she doesn’t need, which brand of mere mortal am I to say no? So I agreed, and I even tried not to control the whole thing. But weh! I was so emotional the entire time, I even thought it was actually going to show in my face. I don’t think it showed, but I was kind of bawling inside because of all the feelings I was feeling. My friends said a ton of nice things, most said I have that resting bitch face thing going (I have accepted it as my portion in life), they came with thoughtful gifts and I was just so overwhelmed with the amount of love I felt coming my way that day I thought I was going to break down. And then they brought out the prettiest cake and even that made me want to cry. I have also gotten overly emotional about wanting a beach holiday (fuelled furiously by other people’s holiday pics on IG), being tired after work, not wanting to go to work, not having Easter plans, being hungry, being told my nose has spread, not liking my walls after painting them black and not finding Kericho Gold lemon & lime tea at Chandarana. Though that last one could have quickly gone south when I voiced my displeasure in what must have been my inner whiney-child voice that nobody ever hears and My Lover looked at me with a mixture of surprise and what I read as sheer irritation so I shut that shit down.
- The glow, the break out and the spread – the first few months of pregnancy did wonders for my skin. I was glowing – and the world saw it – I was feeling myself in my make-up, I worked up the nerve to wear lipstick shades other than nudes, light pinks and reds and I was feeling good! But as soon as I entered month eight it felt like everything went to the dogs. My forehead broke out and my nose began to spread. Now my nostrils feel like they’re as wide as Eugene’s and feel a bit turgid to the touch. I could probably pick each nostril with two fingers if I really wanted to. I could also inhale you into oblivion if you irritated me enough, and I have to take extra care in the shower lest I vacuum myself clean after soaping myself. Now I love Snapchat filters that not only make my skin smooth, they cover this bulbous nose…I swear it feels like it’s taking up 30 per cent of the real estate on my face, and even contouring it will not do a damn thing about its size.
- The sex life – it changes. I will leave you to discover that on your own.
- The realization that bleeding will not end with childbirth – a mommy friend of mine felt that this was something I should know. For real, I didn’t know that women had to go through what is basically a period for like a month post-partum! Why hasn’t anyone found a way to reduce it to less than seven days at the most? Mankind has found ways to turn men into women and vice versa, but cannot come up with a solution to that? Where are your priorities people?! I swear after labour (which I am completely, 110 per cent terrified of) this is the scariest thing. Somebody needs to fix this before 19th June. I’m not ready to wear those big post-partum pads. I. do. Not. Want. That.
- The yumminess that is this miracle – that’s my favourite. I know I’m always talking about how fat I am and how big my nose is and other rather trivial things, but I’d do it all over again just to live this miracle again – maybe not so soon, but I’m willing to consider it. Your body might betray you and change in all these ways you’re not prepared for or willing to accept, but it will also fill you with wonder at just how much it’s capable of. As I type this Gong is rolling around in my tummy and I can see and feel the movement, and I can’t get over how amazing it is that I’m carrying an actual human being inside me. So whether your pregnancy is a breeze, or really difficult, remember this: you’re carrying a miracle. And no man can ever claim that kind of thunder.
So yeah, one thing for each month I’ve been pregnant. We’re in the last days now. Wish me luck. I’m definitely wishing you luck if and when this happens to you.