This year, it seems, has brought upon quite a few pregnancies, some of which are old coworkers of mine, one a current coworker – heck, I was even one of them. Every woman announces her pregnancy on social media differently. From little bump pictures to smiley faces holding baby onesies, I’ve seen them all. For me, it involved a picture of my daughter holding an ultrasound photo strip declaring that she’s going to be a big sister on Instagram. Basically, I had disappeared off Facebook for quite some time, so there was no official FB post, in which I eagerly awaited many “Likes” and “Congratulations!” Because this wasn’t my first pregnancy.
This time, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about being pregnant again. Don’t get me wrong – being pregnant, is for many women, a wonderful experience. Growing a little human inside your body takes a lot out of you. It’s life-changing, especially if you’ve been trying for awhile and you’re finally successful. And especially, if it’s your first kid.
I’ll be the first to admit that my first pregnancy brought on many wonderful, foreign feelings that I had never experienced before, and being that I didn’t know what to expect, I was on cloud nine with regards to the fact that soon I’ll have to push a baby out of my vagina (how does one even stretch that far?? I wondered during pregnancy) and then raise her for the next 18+ years. It’s daunting to think about the responsibility you take on when you become a parent. But like most women, I just wanted to live in the moment, so there were a few more belly shots than with my son – one of which I posted online when I was about 18 weeks and somebody commented that I looked like I just ate a giant burrito, that it didn’t look like I had a baby in there.
The first two trimesters of a pregnancy you are literally consumed with your growing baby (and belly), and while many women I know posted regular updates I was the opposite. The second time around, it was a little different. Perhaps it’s because I was carrying a boy, or perhaps because I was working late nights at the time, but I was consumed with how tired I was. Some days I could barely function – yet, while my husband was at work, I had a toddler with me who has a lot of energy and demanded attention (i.e. do stuff with her), and although I tried, the phrase “Mommy is too tired to even get up to go poop” doesn’t really resonate with her. My fatigue seemed to last throughout the whole 9 months. There were days when I let her play the iPad for hours because all I could do was sleep.
And then there’s the hemorrhoids…as a pregnant woman, you either get them after you give birth or before. With my daughter, I got them after I gave birth – imagine trying to sit and nurse a baby for an hour while your butt feels like it’s burning and you’re being poked at by a stick. When you get them doesn’t matter – it’s inevitable – you’re going to get them.
Not to mention, there’s the frequent bathroom breaks. I recall taking my daughter to the park during my last trimester, and during the course of an hour, I had to go pee about 20 times. A bad parent would say, “Stay here while Mommy goes peepee” I wasn’t one of them. A paranoid parent that I am, I feared that someone would kidnap her while I was gone for 3 minutes, so each time I felt the urge to go, I took her to the bathroom with me. She was understanding in the fact that I had to interrupt her play every 5 minutes go to the bathroom. A pregnant woman should stay hydrated right? For me, drinking half a glass of water was equivalent to 30 trips to the bathroom in under 2 hours. Hence, I avoided drinking liquids. I must’ve been the most dehydrated-but-still-functioning pregnant woman out there.
Finally, any pregnant woman knows that your body changes dramatically between the second and third trimester. With Lily, I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I could no longer wear regular jeans – at 5 1/2 months, I broke down and bought pregnancy ones. Later on, when the weather got colder, I stuck to tights (which are amazingly comfortable even when you’re not pregnant!). Same goes with my second pregnancy. I was also really annoyed with the fact that my midwives’ kept asking me if I had a birth plan. After having one kid, I knew that birth plans never work out. Therefore, my plan was, “Go to the hospital, bring home a baby.” Even that didn’t work out.
So, as you can see, I do not miss pregnancy at all. As wonderful as it may be to carry a baby in your belly, I do not miss the hemorrhoids, the frequent bathroom trips, the restless sleep (a prequel to parenting), the fatigue, the swollen feet, the cramps, the god-awful glucose test (having ten pints of blood drained out of you after drinking a big glass of Fanta and not eating for 12 hours was no fun), being poked at by your OB/GYN/Midwife’s nurse every time you go to your appointment, and many other things out there. I am, however, glad that I was given the opportunity to be pregnant, because it gives me the wisdom of experience to tell my daughter someday if she ever gets pregnant. I can say, “I know what it feels like,” but if given the choice, I’d let someone else be pregnant with my kids. Like my husband. Or Phoebe on Friends.