Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Feminine Elephant


If I haven't heard 100 times during my four pregnancies, "You're glowing." Or, " You look so beautiful with that tummy." Or my personal favorite, "Pregnancy is really the most beautiful time in a woman's life."

Quite the paradox if you ask me- quite frankly I feel like an elephant when I walk and when I try to walk gracefully, perhaps an elephant on roller skates.

I love the way people stare at you as if you're the Virgin Mother when you're walking around in public, the stares at 9 months pregnant are as if there weren't 6 billion other people who arrived via pregnant mommy. There is, I admit, something fascinating about the way the belly protrudes into such a perfectly round ball and how hips spread so naturally and quickly to accommodate the belly. What baffles me is why it doesn't feel so pretty? We waddle, we hunch to accommodate the pain when the head is dropping (lightening), we cannot cross our legs when we are seated at some point and legs are often open as the belly droops in between, we hold on to things in an effort to stabilize, we cannot see the floor so we trip and stumble- quite often if you ask me! I have often found myself in the ninth month feeling like a turtle at times stuck on my back/shell unable to flip around without help from someone!

I have put a little thought into why others see us as beautiful but most of us feel so unbeautiful during pregnancy. Feeling like Humpty Dumpty goes against all the feminine instinct I was taught. Keeping my legs closed while I am seated, walking with my head straight, back arched, not waddling or stomping my feet while I walk are all contributing factors to what makes me feel like a lady much of the time. So, when it's physically impossible for me to perform these acts of ladylike behavior, it robs my feeling of femininity. It's a shame because I do believe the act of carrying a child in your womb is simply a miracle and absolutely beautiful; however, it's physically hysterical.

Yes, I know there are many of you out there scoffing at this epiphany I have had and thinking to yourselves, "Oh, I felt beautiful the whole pregnancy." Or, "I never waddled or sat with my legs uncrossed." Yes, we know. You're the same ones who "felt great the whole time." And "love being pregnant." And we know, you never had gas, never had reflux or heartburn, never had constipation, never had the egg white treats in your panties from the cervix softening during late pregnancy. Yes, we know. This blog isn't meant for you…. It's meant for all my Humpty Dumpty girls out there who feel like an elephant trying to walk the walk of a ballerina when you're 40 lbs heavier than usual, have an 18 inch protrusion from your abdomen, have swollen everything, have lost your curves and have noticed a little bra flab developing. You girls will always be beautiful to me when I see you because I know how you feel and it makes you more of woman if anything at all.

Cheers to us hot mammas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Meddling Mouths


Can somebody tell me when it became acceptable to consider the bump protruding from a pregnant lady's abdomen a free pass to interrogate her entire personal life? A day does not pass when I don't get the inevitable Q & A…. and so here is my new t-shirt currently being designed for you ladies who are fed up with the intrusive personal space invaders:
Yes, I'm about to pop.

Yes, I'm sure it's not twins.

No, it's not my first.

Yes, it's my fourth.

Yes, we have cable.

Yes, we know what causes this.

Yes, perhaps we should consider a vasectomy but is it any of your business?

Yes, I feel great.

Yes, I have different cravings with all of them.

No, it's not for pickles and ice cream (nerd).

Yes, my older daughter is excited.

Yes, my husband is excited too (are you really asking me that?).

Yes, we know it's a boy.

Yes, we will have 2 of each now.

Yes, that's perfect.

No, we don't have a name yet.

And finally, I am pregnant, not a petting zoo. Please remove your hands from my stomach.


 

I mean really- If I just walked up to a female stranger and asked:

So, you look bloated!

When is your period due?

Do you get regular cycles?

Do you crave salty food or sweets right before?

How old were you the first time you menstruated?

How heavy is your flow?

Do you prefer plastic or cardboard?

How many days does your period last?

Do you get cramps?


 

Yes, exactly, she would look at me as if I had lost my mind, possibly become physically aggressive and definitely walk away. With that established, why is it ok to ask a pregnant lady the most invasive questions?

While I am polite and I answer their questions with a big toothy, "I'm so proud and happy to share this personal information with you" grin, my raging hormones are truly saying, "And Mr. or Miss Meddler, if you must know, I get gas after anything and everything, my boobs are sore and leaking already, I miss seeing my feet among other body parts, I have horrific heartburn and can taste my food hours after I eat it, I feel like a dog with fleas the way I itch my stomach as the skin stretches and since you're so concerned with me…. I'm sick of changing panties after every time I sneeze, laugh too hard or cough.

Any more questions?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Braxton Bitches


Ahhh, the joys of the third trimester of pregnancy. While it is challenging to deal with other third trimester splendors including but not limited to heartburn, constant gas, energy depletion, chronic back pain, tender breasts, itchy tummy skin, going pee-pee every 14 minutes, fitting through doorways, walking like a damn duck with a bathplug up my rear end and of course, my favorite - discovering egg shells in my $30 maternity panties, I think the WORST part are the Braxton Hicks contractions! 
It's really fabulous that I can't pick up my other little ones much less a grocery bag, bend over, have sex, get in or out of a car, stand for more than 10 minutes or get out of bed without having my uterus tighten and look like cone-belly. Here's a little tid bit of Real Deal with Braxton Bitches:

Braxton Hicks contractions (BH) are actually a tightening in the muscles of the uterus. Your brain sends your body signals to prepare for labor by contracting the uterine muscles, resulting in these uncomfortable contractions. Usually lasting between 1 and 2 minutes, BH contractions can occur throughout your pregnancy, strengthening in the last months before delivery. They are named after the English doc who first discovered them in 1872. The discovery of BH has contributed to the mystery of false labor and the whole labor process. What I have noticed personally is that BH begin a lot sooner, the more babies you have birthed. During your first pregnancy, it is more likely not to feel them until the last few weeks. Now on my 4th pregnancy, I am feeling them quite intensely at 32 weeks. My doctor mentioned today that my body is more aware of what it needs to prepare for sooner this time. My thought: Dear body, if you know what I need so well, then don't bug me with this with physical drama and get your rear in gear on delivery day. In the meantime, beat it BH.

Another tid bit for you -mostly for first time pregger mommies- If you're curious how to tell the difference between the BH and the real deal, keep these things in mind:

  • Unlike real labor pains, Braxton Hicks won't increase in intensity.
  • Labor pains will increase in frequency, occurring closer together. Braxton Hicks contractions will eventually go away on their own.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions tend to be irregular, with no precise pattern to them. Real labor pains will have a definite pattern.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions are not as painful as real labor pains.
  • Real contractions are in the lower part of your abdomen and BH tend to be at the top.
And a final note on the facts- Sex triggers them- particularly if you orgasm. Try to save your Big O for the end of your intimate time as you will want to lay on your side after… Really don't have much in me to keep going when cone belly comes and I can't sit up. A full bladder or the sensation of a full bladder triggers them so- PEE. Dehydration causes them as well so drink a glass of water when they come on (then of course, you have to tinkle again or you will have more).

All in all, they are quite pesty, those Braxton Hicks; however, the silver lining is that my body is formally getting ready and the end is near!
 
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