Giving birth is a miraculous, wonderful thing. Being pregnant however, is not. Let’s face it folks, being pregnant is not what it is cracked up to be. I am the mother of ten children. And yes, they are all mine, contrary to popular opinion, I did not find any of them wandering around in the Wal-Mart parking lot and decide to take them home with me because they were “just so cute”. I actually gave birth to them all.
Each pregnancy was different, unique, and unbearably long. Now I don’t want to be a pessimist here, I mean there were some really great experiences during each of my pregnancies. Shopping, for one was fantastic, I really loved picking out baby clothes and furniture, and names. Each time there seemed to be some new product just begging to be tried out by the newly expectant mother. The self satisfied, beaming smile of my husband each time I told him was astounding. Even I figured after the first three kids it would become a scream of complete horror. Every time a pregnancy test came back positive, I imagined returning home from the doctors office only to find my husband running for the hills screaming like a little girl at the top of his lungs and pulling his hair out! Fortunately for me, my husband is a very understanding guy, most of the time.
The main thing I have always hated about being pregnant was the physical changes that occur during pregnancy. The “morning” sickness, the stretch marks, the bloating, the heartburn, diarrhea, and god help me, the occasional hemorrhoid. The damage to a woman’s body can sometimes seem unrepairable. Well, you just have to work with what ya got and make the best of it.
The emotional changes during pregnancy are also very traumatizing to the unprepared. The feeling of helplessness, especially to a woman who is very independent, can be devastating. During pregnancy, I went from being a woman who was able to work on a construction site and keep up with the guys, to being a sickly little girl who couldn’t lift a laundry basket full of clothes without exasperating effort. Breathlessness after climbing a flight of stairs was so annoying that I actually started using elevators, which I have always hated because I am a bit claustrophobic. It’s a scary feeling to be so totally dependent on others for help.
The hormone changes were terrible, Lord, I would cry at the drop of a hat. Even polite criticism like, “Honey the meatloaf was great but it was a little dry” became an excuse for a total blowout argument during which I would bring up every little slight in the last decade including how he stared too much at the chicks on that dumb wrestling show with my husband. “Well, why don’t you have China cook your meatloaf and see if it’s too dry!?”
Another thing I hated about being pregnant is that it suddenly put you into a whole new category as a person. With my last child, I was using the depo shot, which causes some women (me) to not have a menstrual cycle. That combined with the fact that I had just recently had a baby and not lost the weight caused me to ignore my body symptoms and I didn’t find out until I was almost four months pregnant.
I was working as an assistant manager at a local Taco Bell when I found out. As soon as everyone at work knew, I became a whole new person. Everyone, and I mean everyone felt the urge to just walk up and rub my stomach and tell me how I “glowed” and how cute I looked. So what, before you knew I was pregnant I was just fat and ugly? And why do you people keep touching me? Is my stomach some kind of good luck symbol now, are you going to rub it and get granted three wishes or what? ugh.
Even though these feelings are common to many pregnant women, there is something you can do about it. You have to think positive. Sure lots of women get the baby blues even before the baby is born, but there’s no reason to be completely negative the whole time. Some of the best memories come to me from when I was pregnant as well.
Like the time I gave birth to my 8th child. The anesthesiologist wanted to make sure I didn’t feel a thing, because the more children you have the worse it hurts apparently, so he tripled the recommended dose on the epidural. I didn’t feel a thing. In fact I couldn’t even push at the delivery. Which was quite a predicament for the dr. That is until the baby crowned and my husband, ever the vigilant father to be, who was looking directly at the “area” saw her head, covered in that white icky stuff that babies are often born with and said to the doctor “What the hell is that?” The doctor, eyes set wide in astonishment at such a silly question by such an experienced father said “it’s a baby you moron, what’s it look like?” (I swear, true story).
At this point, my legs were so numb that my husband was holding them up so that my knees were almost to my ears, and I just couldn’t help it, I laughed so hard, I couldn’t stop laughing, there were tears in my eyes! The contractions of my stomach muscles from the laughing caused me to pop the baby right out! I essentially laughed her out. The nurses were still talking about it when I went in to have my next child. It’s great memories like this that got me through the tough times when I really just hated being pregnant.