By Regular Contributor Kim Saunders (@captainco.tasmania)
We all know the fabulous things people tell you about being pregnant. You know…how luscious your hair becomes, how smooth your skin feels and the over all ‘glow’ . But what about all the things they don’t tell you - like what really goes on with your body. I was totally shocked with what went on when I was pregnant with Mini. Now it’s happening all over again with Mini Two. There are some seriously unglamorous things that happen when pregnant. Well to some of us. Or is it just me?
Mine is far from luscious. It’s not shiny. It’s dull and lifeless. Thank goodness for the mum bun. When I do get to wash it, so much falls out. Then when I dry it, more falls out. Then if I style it, even more falls out. I’m surprised I don’t emerge from the bathroom almost bald. It’s fluffy-flyway-frizzy-frumpy. Not shiny and smooth. It also snows. My scalp is all dry and disgusting. Dandruff city.
Then there is the increase of hairs everywhere else. It's like they jump ship from your head and attach themselves to your chin-face-legs-arms and what was formally known as a bikini line. Ugh.
I think I spotted one on my big toe. It may or may not have been attached. I may never know. I tried to bend to get it. Couldn’t make it over the bump. Managed to almost gas myself in the process... see Bodily Functions below!
I call them Biggie Smalls. Mr. Perfect and I laugh about it. But deep down, I’m pretty embarrassed. They say they get bigger. For us small busted ladies...we get excited at the prospect of bigger fuller boobs. In my case, that hasn’t happened. One has sort of gotten bigger. The other stayed the same. Lopsided Lucy I am. But CRIKEYS, when on earth did my nips get so big and brown and almost take over?! Wowsers.
Ok, if one more person tells me I am "all baby" I think I may give them a swift kick in the shin. I know I am not "all baby" - unless I am having a baby elephant, then yes I’m all baby. I know I have gotten bigger everywhere (except little-itty-bitty-left-titty). I’m ok with it. To a point. But please stop telling me you wouldn’t know from behind that I was pregnant. My butt is the size of a semi-trailer.
This one really disappointed me with Pregnancy One. My sex drive. Everyone told me I would be MAD for it. Everyone told me they shagged like crazy. For me, this didn’t happen. To be brutally honest, some weeks I feel like I have the sex drive of a dead person. Weekend at Bernie’s style. Non-existent. Poor Mr. Perfect. He is a trooper.
“Oh you’re pregnant? I thought so, you’ve got ‘that glow’.” Please tell me what 'that glow' is. If it means your skin look like a sweaty-dry-wrinkly-scaly-patchy-pimply-freckly mess then yes, I have the glow. Honestly, I think I had GREAT skin for a week. Around week 10. That’s it.
First time around, I may have had a rough time with swelling. Preeclampsia and a summer baby meant I puffed up like CRAZY. By the end of the day I had kankles. Actually, they were worse than kankles. If I wore sneakers, the shoelaces would cut off circulation by 10am. By midday I had let the laces out so much I ran out of laces. I was massive.
This time around the midwives are giving me high fives when they see I still have my wedding rings on. Little do they know, all my appointments are before 10am. By midday I start to get pins and needles. By the afternoon, I’m wrenching my rings off to let me hands swell up and my fingers turn into little puffy frankfurters. I’ve seen Mini eyeing them off for an afternoon snack!
We all know the need to pee increases ten fold when pregnant. But…what about Number Twos. Either I’m seriously backed up, or firing on all cylinders. Woah. And I mean on ALL cylinders. There is no in-between. I’m on iron tablets this time around. Anyone else on iron tablets will understand the constant roller coaster ride of toilet time. I won't go into any more detail, but my fellow iron tablet takers you know what else happens. It aint' pretty. It doesn’t smell like roses. Awkward.
And then there is flatulence. The Farts. Forget the bend and snap. It's the bend and toot. What used to be only the occasional sneaky non-toxic toot is now a regular occurrence. And more like machine gun pop-offs that are noxious. They cannot be controlled or contained. Whenever I try to bend over … toot toot gas. Ugh.
Oh and sneaky wee. Before babies I used to joke that if I laughed too hard a little bit of wee came out. Now... it's a reality. Sneeze, cough, laugh, oops…little bit of wee.
The worst, for me. Let's face it, during the later stages of pregnancy taking off shoes is an effort in itself. So I’ve tried the old push one shoe off with one foot and vice versa. Half the time I get such a bad cramp in my calf I end up writhing around on the floor in pain. Once the cramp subsides 15 minutes later... I've gained nothing. Both shoes still on. I'm trapped in them till Mr. Perfect gets home to rescue me. I’ve had a nap wearing my shoes. Under the covers. I've even contemplated showering in them.
Then there are the cramps in the calves and feet that attack in the middle of the night for no reason. You wake up screaming like a mad woman who could be on fire and scare the bejesus out of your sleeping partner. Those are killers.
I used to run three rounds of the 120 plus stairs just down the road. Ok. I jogged. Ok ok...I walk-jogged... But I did them. A lot. Now, I struggle with three steps. It’s all huff n puff n stuff. We have an incline and stairs to out front door. We have stairs to our back door. Either way I'm screwed. Also factor in carrying a wriggly 12-kilo Mini, grocery bags and the every increasing in size nappy bag. I have to make a decision to load up like a packhorse and suffer through one trip... or carry lighter loads and do three rounds. That's after I decide whether to tackle the front entrance or the back. Seriously.
I've heard plenty about pregnancy hormones. But no one warned me about the insane hormonal daily I'm-fat-I'm-tired-I-can't-do-this emotional roller coaster of madness. If I cry at one more Huggies Ad... sheesh. I cry over everything. I’m an ugly crier. And what’s worse, when it starts it doesn’t stop.
Then there is heartburn. Mini-voms in the middle of the night.
And insomnia. Why oh why can I not sleep when I am absolutely exhausted?
Oh and back aches, weak nails, extra wrinkles, dry skin everywhere, weight fluctuation, donut cravings, the waddle, puffy fat face and everything just being oh so hard. Just moving some days. Complete struggle town.
I take my hat off to the fit supermodel-like pregnant ladies. I have no idea how you do it. I’m not an attractive pregnant woman.
At the end of the day, I’ll happily toot-wee-groan-moan-huff-puff-cry-like-crazy all over again for a possible Mini Three. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so excited to have Mini Two, nothing else matters.