Some pictoral housekeeping just to show where I am at the moment. The standard belly pics, you know how it goes. Then we'll get to the meat of this post.
|And here's my mini kitty using my belly as a stepping stool.|
I'm becoming acutely aware of the temporariness of my current state of being. While we haven't made any definite decisions about our future, it's very likely that I will never be pregnant again. And I feel I need to enjoy what I can of it while I have it. But that's a bit difficult when most of the time, I hurt and don't like it.
So! In order to appreciate what I currently have, and in order to appreciate what I'm close to being done with, here are two lists - What I will miss, and what I won't miss about being pregnant!
What I will miss:
- Maternity pants. No buttons pinching at my stomach, no constant reminder of whether my weight is up or down this week. Just stretchy, comfiness in the belly and butt.
- Societal permission to be huge. If my shirt sticks to my tummy rather than floating over it, that's perfectly ok. I'm allowed to have a belly that enters a room 3 minutes before I do. I don't have to cover it, hide it, feel apologetic about it. My profile is obnoxious right now, and the more obnoxious it gets, the better.
- Societal permission to let a few other things go as well. While I'm not a hairy ape or anything, I'm not feeling the need to be 100% leg hair free if I want to wear a dress. My leg hair is blond so it's not even noticeable when it's got a bit of stubble anyway, but being too lazy to shave my legs every day has kept me in long pants most summers. This year, as long as it's obvious that I've recently made a leg shaving effort, I feel it's fine to wear a cotton dress or yoga pants that show my calves. And sandals without worrying about a pedicure! It's simply permission to be comfortable and to not be at all self conscious about being comfortable. I've always been more into comfort than fashion and honestly thought I didn't care what others thought, but now that it's TRULY ok, I'm realizing that I did kind of care before. At least about a few things.
- I haven't touched a litterbox in 2 years because I've either been pregnant or about to be pregnant. No one remind K that's no longer the case a month from now! I'm riding that little perk as long as I can get away with it!
- I can eat whenever, and exactly how much I want. I've never been able to eat much in one sitting, but being pregnant and literally not having the room for my stomach to expand, my requests for small portions is finally being taken seriously. So I can graze on small amounts all day and not feel bad about going to the fridge again, or only eating half the dinner that K so wonderfully prepares for me.
- If I don't do a damned thing all day, that's not only ok, it's being encouraged. It's kind of nice having no responsibilities for a while. See "What I won't miss" for the flip side of that coin.
- Napping on the couch.
- Asking K to do little things like refill my water for me and not feeling like a brat when I do so. I try to keep it to a minimum, but it's nice to be able to ask if I really don't feel like getting up.
- I'm visible in public. People have an opening to say something to me nowadays which is kind of nice.
- Not being ashamed of being out of shape. I walk slow, and I prefer to use elevators to taking the stairs. Nobody is judging me about that at the moment.
- Nightly footrubs. I don't like the reason for them (swelling), but I like getting them!
- Fantasizing and preparing for babies without having to deal with the realities of the daily work involved.
- My cats love me! They all want to snuggle.
What I won't miss:
- Pain whenever I change positions. From sitting to standing, from standing to lying down, from being on my left side and turning over to my right side. At some point in the changing positions process, there's a point where the muscles necessary hurt like hell. Especially changing from one side to the other in bed. It feels like my pelvis is breaking in half when I have to do the shift in gravity during the rollover.
- Lack of sleep. Yeah yeah yeah, when you have a baby, you won't ever sleep again. I know. But right now, I can't even get a solid hour. Either I'm sore, have insomnia, am only barely dozing, getting up to pee, limbs falling asleep without me, getting up and getting back into bed because rolling over hurts to change positions hurts too much. So what little sleep I'm getting isn't really sleep.
- Foot swelling. My right foot is constantly the size of a football. Putting it up doesn't help much. I try, but then I get so bored on the couch that I'll decide I'd rather be entertained sitting at my computer than sitting on the couch with my feet up when that hardly seems to do anything. I've tried soaking my feet and it doesn't feel nearly as good as you anticipate it will. The only thing that actually seems to help is having K firmly pet my foot and leg. After about 5 minutes, the swelling visibly goes down and the aching is relieved for a short time.
- Getting shots once a week. Nuff said.
- I know I said I'll miss not having to do anything, but I won't miss not being able to do anything. There are a dozen little things that would take me 2 minutes to do, if I could do them. But they require lifting, or bending, or whatever. Instead, I have to add them to the "Honey Do...." list and wait for K to do them. I love that he's so willing to do stuff and keeps bugging me to sit down and take it easy, but I hate being the nagging wife constantly asking if he's done A, B, or C, and oh, can you do D too? The man works full time and it's not fair that he is having to do 100% of the work around the house too.
- Damp or wet underwear.
- Vaginal swelling. I don't know what the hell is happening down there, but this is not the size and shape I'm accustomed to.
- The bathroom. This has some sub-topics.
- Having to pee every time I stand up.
- Feeling the sensation that I have to pee and only getting a few drops out when I get there.
- Constipation and the time it takes to get something out without straining. Remember my fear of water breaking or pushing out a sac if I strain? Yeah, so sitting there, maneuvering around, gently pushing for 20-30 minutes, not a fun way to spend an afternoon.
- Checking my toilet paper to see what's new with every wipe.
- Tushy wiping is officially a challenge now. And due to vaginal swelling, the urine stream does not go into the toilet as cleanly as it used to which means it often trickles to the tushy, so tushy wiping is necessary with just about every bathroom break.
- Various baby movements. Of course I'd prefer they move than not move, but some rolls make me feel kind of sick, and others really hurt.
- Food aversions. Food is just icky. I miss really enjoying it. But now I need so much of it, so often, that ugh, I just don't want to bother with it!
- Skin tags. They're everywhere! These go away after pregnancy, right???
- Constant fear that I'm experiencing some sort of warning signal and not realizing it.
- Abstinence. I tend to have a very low libido, but I'm ready to get back on the horse already. Of course now I'm on official pelvic rest so it's not just our own paranoia, but doctors orders as well.
- Swelling or arthritic hands. I know they are bigger since my wedding band doesn't fit, yet they don't seem especially swollen all the time (only sometimes), but they always feel stiff and arthritic.
- Yes my cats currently love me. They love me so much that they must be on top of me ALL THE TIME. And they try to step on my belly on their way to purring in my face or something will startle one of them and they'll sprint across my belly to escape. The little one is fine, she's very light of foot and can be on my belly all day. But the 21 pounder is a clod and under every paw it feels like he's bruising me. He's taken to trying to crawl up by my head and drooling in my hair at night when he used to be content to sleep at my side.
- I haven't been able to snuggle with my pottery kitty, Buster. Because he has trace amounts of the bad bacteria, I've been hands off with him. I'm just now able to start petting him and giving him some attention again.
- Going to the doctors. My doctor is really swell, but I'm so sick of just the process of going to that damned building, parking, waddling in....I've been doing it so much over the last couple of years that it's like a job commute. You know how a little part of you dies while you are commuting to work, just because of the daily drudgery of it? That's what it's like heading to that hospital building all the time. Oh, my fertility clinic was in the same complex so I've been going there a lot even when not pregnant.
- Excess sweating. I'm smellier and sweatier than usual.
- My stuffy nose. I'm so sick of blowing my nose! And there's blood most of the time. I just want to breathe like a normal person again.
- Financial fears, with no way of doing anything about them. I know that finances will get even tighter when the girls are here, but at least in a few months I'll have some options about how to improve things! But just sitting here, watching the bank accounts drain, and I can't do a damned thing about it, so frustrating!
- Not being able to plan anything without a disclaimer. For a few weeks, I've been on call to go into preterm labor at any moment. So anything I plan in the future, I have to give people the disclaimer that I might cancel at the last minute.
I'm sure I'll be adding to these lists as things occur to me. But years from now, when I'm trying to remember what being pregnant was like, I'll have this to really remember it by!