Monday, April 8, 2013

Pregnancy Is Funny | Post 25

I've always been curious about how I'd like/handle/enjoy/feel/process being pregnant.  I had no doubt that I would love my wee small babe (mothers seem to agree on that one), but across the board there are such clashing reviews of the whole "being pregnant" thing.

I genuinely hated the first two months.  And would like to never do that again.  And I genuinely adore the rest of the months.  And want to do "this part" again, a lot.  So.  I'm considering how safe/healthy it would be to be knocked out for a couple months.  If it's possible to have some sort of big-brown-bear-hibernation-medication?  To finally unlock the powers of time-travel?  Forget going back in history or traveling 100 years into the future, I would - NO QUESTION - choose to fast-forward first trimester.

But maybe - in the sense that it made me more compassionate, more amazed at the capacity the human body has for pain, more aware of the physically hurting around me, and SO HAPPY TO THE LORD OF HOSTS FOR RELIEF - I'm glad I went through it.  And it probably helped me have a more laughable, delightful experience now... I'll take heartburn or kicked-in-the-crotch-with-a-steel-toed-boot-pain or swollen, stubby ol' body parts over nausea.  Especially if I can feel the babe of mine moving - that cures a multitude of sins (even if he's exploring my rib cage, which is as uncomfortable as everyone said it would be.)

I wanted to record a few of my "favorite" and I-never-could-have-known moments/parts of pregnancy because I think they're hilarious and part of what I'll miss... in their weird, inconvenient way ;)
- Burping like a preteen boy showing off to his mangy friends at a fast food joint after downing a pint or two of Cherry Coke. 

I'm not obsessed with manners (I do eat with my hands all the time) but I'm certainly not one of those girls who is all "dudebroyaPAAASSSSGAAASSSShahahahHILARIOUSpottyhumor!"  I'm conservative when it comes to bodily sounds.  Or I used to be.  I still feel this "pit of terrible" when a spontaneous wind breaks.  Everything goes into slow motion - it all starts before I even have chance to stop it, gaining speed and smell with every passing nano-second, and then BEEEELCCCCHHHH.  I'm left standing there with my mouth wide open, and my mother's heart, for some reason, wherever she is, a little bit sadder.

Grocery store clerks, "...Uhm debit.  And yes, I'll need threeBEEEELLCCHHHH!!!!! Excuse me, I'm so sorry."

People at church, "... we ask these things in Your loving name, amen." "AmenBEEEEELLLLLLCCCCCCCHHH!!! Excuseme, I'msososorry."  

On the court, "HEY!  COme on!  This is WEAK.  This is lazy.  Pick up the BEEEEEEELLLLCCCCHH. ExcusemeI'mverysorry."

- Going from "you don't look pregnant at all!" to "Are you due any day?!" "Nope, not until June!" "WHAAAT? Are you SURE you aren't having twins?" "Yup. Pretty sure." "Wow.  Well.  You are HUGE.  I've never seen someone so big who has two whole months left with just ONE baby! WOW." 

Thank you, thank you very much.  I'm looking into state fairs and circuses who need an extra act.  I really was bummed, at first, when people would tell me they couldn't see my bump.  I was obsessed with it growing and "popping" and was sure the world could see what I saw when I stood in the mirror!  I'll never forget the first stranger who saw me in public, looked at me, and said "Oh! Are you expecting?"  I wanted to cuddle her in my arms.  "Yes! Why, yes, I AM.  I am expecting."   And then it feels like I had about 72 hours before I, apparently, turned into quite the shock-and-awe.

An enormous beasty of a creature, shaking the ground with every step, a blonder King Kong, a modern-day Goliath, a portly half-female half-hippopotamus.  I'm surprised the government hasn't whisked me away for security and lab testing...! ;)  "Huge" is never a word that I've longed to b described as.  I do feel it - trust me - I feel heavy, large and not so cuteandtiny.  But in case I forgot, a discerning handful of folks remind me daily.   And when I insist that, no, I'm not having twins and that, no, I'm not due this week, some people argue with me...!  Questioning my doctor/midwives.  Questioning my health.  Questioning my timing.  "Are you sure you didn't get the date you conceived wrong?" "Aren't there stories of people who didn't know they had twins until they delivered?" "Are you sure everything is okay?"  "Yes, my midwife says I and the baby are measuring perfectly.  She has no concerns.  And happiest of all, we are both very healthy.  Thank you for your thoughts, though."

So, lesson learned:  keep my opinion on the size of a person to myself, pregnant or not.  And feel free to comment on how much I love a lady's bump, or how lovely I think she looks.  And to women all over, who I'm sure I've said "You look SO small!" or "Oh, man you're huge!" - I apologize.  I didn't know.

- Growing out of clothes

Bellies grow suddenly, and there is nothing quite like catching a glimpse of yourself in the reflection of a window out in public, or putting your hand under your bump while talking to someone... and discovering that about two inches of your round midriff are undressed.  One day a shirt is perfectly long enough, and the next: it's not!  Grace and charm, always.  That's the motto in my head.  But my torso often disagrees.

- Bladder control and "where the *bleep* did my mind go?" 

This duo is best explained by a recent story.

On our way to Oklahoma, I had a fairly easy time with the whole drink-lots-of-water-yet-not-use-the-restroom-every-20-minutes thing.  I could last for the length of a tank of gasoline.  For the most part.  On the way home, it was an entirely different experience.  One month of Hungry Hungry Growing Hippo in me, and all of a sudden I couldn't wait - or give much warning.

So somewhere on route 40 in the middle of Arkansas, I panicked.  "Baby, we need to stop somewhere. Right now. Ohmygosh.  Hurry.  Ohmygosh."  Because the Lord is kind and good, there was an exit within seconds of my announcement.  We peeled off the highway ("Not too fast!  It hurts!" "Ah! Don't brake too hard! It hurts!") and pulled up to a podunk, tired and greasy, pathetic gas station.  Up until this point we stopped at very WaWa-esque gas stations.  This was not a WaWa and probably the home of weekly crimes.  The bathrooms were across the lot, on the opposite side of the snack shack.   It was a small, square cement (cinder block?) building, with a flat, weak roof.  I giddy-up-ed into the Promised Land of Soothing Comfort.  One of the faucets on the sink was taped down with a clear scotch tape "X" and a wrinkled and faded "sign" was taped to the grey, blocked wall: "Out of Order."  There were paper towels, brown and moist, all along the perimeter of the space but none in the old dispenser on the wall.  The toilet seat was yellowing, the water was cloudy, the room was cold, the trash can stank.

And I didn't care one tiny bit.  I made it.  Off the highway, to the station, INTO THE RESTROOM.  It was a Tony&Maria blur movie moment.  "Toilet.  All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single woooord. Toilet toilet toiiiileeeet..!"  I ran, sprinted, leaped, slammed, raced, rushed over to sit.  And I pulled down my pants.  And expected to be rejoicing.  But instead I had a weird de-ja-vu to sleeping over at the cool girls house in second grade.  It was her birthday and the whole class of girls was there.  And I wet the bed.  And I'll never forget the warm, terrible feeling when I woke up and realized what I had done... in front of MY WHOLE CLASS.  And in that moment in Arkansas I realized: I forgot to pull down my underwear.

This created a bit of a garden-house effect when you put your thumb over the spout to make the water come out faster and harder.  I didn't know what to do, but I couldn't stop.  Eventually I walked into the middle of the bathroom and stood on my fake Ugg slippers while I shimmied my yoga pants off and slung them over my shoulders like a sweat towel on a March Madness athlete during a time-out.  I think I had kept them from getting sprayed, and needed to keep them safe out of harms way - harm, at the time, was the drips coming down my leg and anything in the entire cement bathroom.  I somehow stayed balanced while I took off and tossed my soaking peach panties into the trash.   I stood there with a giant sweatshirt barely covering me, and I nervously pulled out my phone to call Caleb.  He didn't answer.  I scooted to the bathroom door, hid behind it while I opened it, peaked out and called him.  He didn't hear me.  My brother did though.  And he yelled at Caleb.  At the same time Caleb returned my phone call.  "I need help.  Quickly."  I shut the door and resumed my new yoga pose - the Standing Fountain.  Husband Dear flailed around the parking lot trying to locate the bathrooms.  He was preparing himself to deliver our child.  To use his pocket knife to cut the umbilical cord.  To wrap up Little Son in a pillowcase.  He was red and heart-race-y when he found me.  "What's wrong."  "I forgot to pull down my underwear and I wet my pants." "......" "Can you go get me some new clothes out of the car?"  "Kristen."  "I know. Trust me.  I need a towel or something too." "How...? Okay.  Yes.  Just a second."

Before long I was cleaned up, and needing some trail mix and sour rope to enjoy.  Don't worry.  I managed to lose my wallet during the 48 seconds I spent in the snack shack.  The wrinkled, course young lady was very kind and helpful.  The boys didn't know what to say, but they looked diligently.  We found it, and after waaaaaaay too much time, we set off on our eastbound highway - empty-bladdered and thouroughly amused.  

 It's a beautiful, odd, gross, delightful thing to be involved with.  And, like any person I love dearly, despite its flaws and issues, I love being pregnant.  It's high, sweet, bizarre honor to be a part of it.  Cheers to pregnancy! And our favorite kiddo! And getting stuck "in" the couch!