By Danielle Gambino
I can feel the light creeping in through the blinds. Please no. Not yet. My head is throbbing. I am starving. No… nauseous. No… starving. I can’t decide. I try to turn over but I cannot move. I am frozen in place. My arms feel dead. Pins and needles. I struggle to shake them. I squeeze my eyes shut tight. I can do this. I can roll over. On the mental count of 3, I heave my body over to lay on my other side. My arms…they must have fallen off. I can no longer feel them. They are gone. I have to pee. Right now. All of a sudden. If I don’t move quick, I will pee in the bed. No question. I jump up. I see black. Dizzy, so dizzy. I grab the nightstand and struggle to find balance. I move as quickly as my jello legs will take me. I sit on the toilet. I can’t open my eyes. I won’t open my eyes. I have never peed so much in my entire life. All of a sudden it hits me. I am going to throw up. Not just throw up. Projectile vomit. I look at the garbage. Overflowing. I flip over and grab the toilet seat. What did I do last night…what did I drink? Then I remember. I am not hungover. I did not drink. I sat on the couch and ate 3 English muffins slathered in butter and still went to bed hungrier than a prima ballerina before her opening act. I am not hungover. I am pregnant.
Pregnancy is a lot of things. It is the gift of life. It is a miracle. It is exciting…to create a life. To carry that life within your body for nine months. To nuture it. To feel it grow. To create another human being. It is incredible.
It is also horrifying. It is dramatic. It is bizarre. Things happen… strange things. Not nice things. Things you don’t expect. Things no one warns you about. Because if women were warned, the human race would not be growing as quickly. That is a fact.
So while pregnant women like to paint the picture of bliss, I am here to tell you the truth. They are lying. It is flat out B.S. Want the truth? The truth is they are mortified. Embarrassed. Shocked at what they are going through. Even if it’s the 4th time. A pregnant body will do the unthinkable. The unimaginable. I promise. You will surprise yourself.
Pregnant woman aren’t safe from anything. Just the other day I laughed at the doctor’s office so hard I peed on the chair. Awesome. I literally PEED ON THE CHAIR. Which only made me laugh harder. Pee more. See the cycle? I cannot be trusted to wear nice clothes. Be more than 10 feet from a toilet. Hear a funny joke. There is no control.
I will never forget the day I thought I had to fart. Ok, big deal. So you fart, right? Doesn’t matter that you’re in Disney World. Eating dinner. In a crowded place. Everyone farts. Well, little did I know, not everyone farts like a pregnant woman. Tables shook. Plates rattled. People looked over in horror, half expecting to see a water buffalo tearing through the restaurant because there was just no possible way that came from a human. My girlfriends were half stunned, half hysterical. It was at that moment, 7 weeks pregnant with Mini that I realized I wasn’t safe.
That was only at 7 weeks. Let me explain to you what the nine months are like:
You don’t know you’re pregnant yet. And if you do, holy s*** congratulations because you were seriously tracking that.
You find out you are pregnant. You vomit from excitement. You tell your husband and 100 of your closet friends. Make everyone promise not to say a word. Fall asleep. Everywhere. On everything. Hopefully not your steering wheel, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Oh and you announce that you are eating for 2. Every time someone side-eye’s you for grabbing the 5th cookie.
You think of cute ways to announce to the 1143 friends on facebook that you never talk to that you are finally expecting. Yay. No one really cares. They will “like” your status. Stalk your photos. Secretly hate you for gaining less weight, or shake their head in disgust when you start to blow up like a hippo.
You are finally feeling better. You think you are out of the woods because you haven’t thrown up in 3 days. Until you are at the grocery store and get a whiff of the deli counter. So much for that. When people ask how you are, you are fabulous. You cannot admit to being the girl that is sick the entire time. Hopefully your watery eyes and twitchy belly don’t give you away. Run to the bathroom. Run.
You really do feel better now. You feel the baby kick. So sweet and innocent. For now. You start to think about the nursery. Scream at anyone who doesn’t like your color choices, furniture picks, or ideas for wall hangings. Then you cry. Why can’t everyone leave you alone. So you take a long shower and think the whole time, “what the $%@! is happening to me?”
You are seriously showing now. Gone are the, “is she just really fat?” days…and now it is obvious that you are having a baby. So what happens? You get annoyed when people mention it, and offended when they don’t. Baby’s kicks are getting harder now. You can no longer breathe easily because the baby is getting bigger. Sleep happens sometimes. Not all the time. And when it doesn’t, you will fill your long nights with anxiety and worry about everything from college tuition to crapping on the delivery table.
You are officially over being pregnant. You went from cute to moose overnight. You gained 10 lbs in 4 weeks and suffered the disapproving look from the nurse at the doctor’s office. You have decisions to make. Birth plans to write. Screw it. Wing it. It won’t go as planned so don’t bother. You are tired more, and sleep less. You start to wonder if you will ever be comfortable again. Oh…and ever wonder what the inside of your belly button looks like? Now’s your chance to see. Enjoy looking at that because you wont see your vagina for another 60 days.
You hate everyone. And everything. You are officially uncomfortable 98% of the time. The other 2% is when you are eating chocolate chip cookies at the kitchen counter at 2am, but you are only comfortable then because you are distracted. The baby’s kicks now feel like punches. You are literally getting your ass kicked from the inside. You officially have nothing to wear. Start joking that you will be wrapping bed sheets around yourself to go to the store. Only you know the truth, it is not a joke. It’s a sad day when the bath towel doesn’t reach to close around your gigantic body.
You panic. You need that baby out now. Yesterday even. You do research on how to speed this damn month along. Raspberry tea. Sex. Bouncing ball. Walking. Stripping membranes. Begging your doctor at every weekly. Swearing the baby is ready. Your body reaches a point of no return. You need to be pushed out of bed and pulled off the couch. You are a prisoner under a giant belly and the only thing that keeps you going is the thought of finally getting a cocktail when this is all over.
So you wanted the truth? That’s the truth. If anyone tells you different they are full of crap. Or maybe they just forgot. They say women forget. That is why they have more than one child. I am here today to remind you. So, if you do decide to procreate, remember I warned you. If anyone asks.. you are just fantastic. But me? I’ll know the truth. So go for it. Do it. It is the miracle of life after all, and quite frankly…that fart…may secretly be the proudest moment of my life.
**This post appeared originally on Mini’s Mama blog.