A lot of things happen when you’re pregnant. There are physical changes, hormonal changes, emotional changes, memory changes. Sometimes you start liking foods you’ve never liked before, and sometimes you ralph at the mere mention of a food you considered a favorite before you started growing another human being in your body. Things just start happening that are beyond your control.
And I don’t know who started it, but there seems to be a myth circulating out there that these things start balancing back out once you deliver your little bundle of joy. Pfffffttttt. What a bunch of bull doody. Ok, well maybe it’s true for some people, but not for me.
Here are 10 things I still have in common with my pregnant self:
- Bleeding gums. Many people don’t know that bleeding gums are very common during pregnancy. With all of the hormonal changes going on, your gums can swell and become inflamed, which causes them to bleed more easily. Now my bleeding gums are caused by gingivitis because I hardly have enough time in the day to squeeze in two brushing and flossing sessions for the kids, let alone myself.
- Food avoidance. When I was pregnant I had to avoid certain foods for two reasons. Either the food was on a “do not eat this because it could harm your baby” list or it gave me heartburn so bad I wanted to rip out my own throat and beat myself with it. Now I have to avoid certain foods because I’m nursing and don’t want to deal with epic episodes of baby diarrhea, like that which comes with too much Mexican or Indian food, two of my favs.
- Eating extra calories. Most doctors recommend that a pregnant woman increase her daily caloric intake by 300-500 or so calories a day, depending on what trimester she is in. These days I’m eating extra calories because nursing makes me so freaking hungry and I need to keep up a good milk supply. Thank goodness for Girl Scout cookies and the peanut M&Ms we have around for potty training. Hey, it’s for my milk supply! Don’t judge.
- Hairy legs. Fact: When you’re pregnant, especially in the last few months, it can be very difficult to shave your legs when you’re contending with a giant belly and can’t see your feet. I just give up on the whole practice altogether. These days, I have so little time for personal hygiene (refer to #1) that even when I can get a shower I often have to choose between shaving my legs and washing my hair so that I can get out before the baby completely flips his shit. (For some reason my happy baby turns into a shaking, screaming banshee when I attempt to shower.) Washing hair always wins out because I can always cover up my legs by wearing pants, but I can’t walk around all the time wearing a bag over my head. (Although some days I’d like to.)
- Insomnia. I’m not sure it’s scientifically documented, but even before I was so hugely pregnant that I couldn’t get comfortable in bed to sleep (and apparently had such labored breathing that my hubby likened sleeping next to me to sleeping next to a water buffalo) I had trouble sleeping. And apparently a lot of women have this problem when pregnant. Now, of course, I can’t sleep because the baby is crying or I think I hear the baby crying. And if it isn’t the baby, the other two are always wandering into our room at all hours of the night because they have bad dreams, they’re too hot, they heard a noise outside, or their eyebrows hurt. The usual stuff.
- Not exercising. It’s no secret that I hate to exercise. But before kids I did it and actually wanted to continue doing it when I got pregnant. BUT, the exercise gods had other plans for me. With my first pregnancy, I had placenta previa, so my doctor’s told me to avoid exercising. Didn’t have to tell me twice. Done and done. And then because my first was born 11 weeks premature, my docs advised me to take it easy in subsequent pregnancies. Again, don’t have to twist my arm. I managed to get back to exercising some after both my first and second pregnancies, but now, 8 months after having my third, I have no time or energy or motivation. Or time, did I mention time?
- Late-night food runs. I didn’t have too many crazy cravings when I was pregnant, but when they hit, they’d always hit at night, and I’d make a late-night run to
Taco Bellthe health food store to get something to hit the spot. These days, the thought of taking all three kids to the grocery store makes me all jittery and crazy-like. (Have you ever seen that episode of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” when Will teaches Ashley how to handle a bully by acting crazy? Yeah, that.) Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it, but if I can avoid it, I do. Which is why I often wait until they are all tucked into bed before heading out. It’s sort of a double-edged sword because I’m often surrounded by other crazies doing their shopping so late, but I’m alone. And it’s like a mini-vacation. Just with crazies. (Ok, so it’s actually not that different from vacations with my family. Hi family, love you.)
- Peeing all the time. When you’re pregnant, you pee ALL THE DAMN TIME. At the beginning it’s because of hormonal changes resulting in increased blood flow that causes your bladder to fill up faster; later it’s because your uterus is so big that it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your bladder. Now, after having three kids, I still pee all the damn time. Like when I sneeze. Or cough. Or laugh really hard. Or blink.
- The glow. People will tell you all the time when you’re pregnant that you have this special pregnancy glow. I’ve never understood if it’s a sincere compliment like, “hey you look really great, pregnancy really agrees with you” or if it’s just something someone made up because they didn’t have a handy compliment for giant protruding bellies. “Hi, you are hu . . . wow, your belly really . . . ummm, errrr, you are absolutely [sees pretty lamp on table] glowing!” I was told this a lot, so I’m going to go with the former. And again, 8 months out, I’m still glowing. Only now it’s more of a glisten. From all the freaking sweating I do. Not sure if it’s my hormones or from chasing around three kids all day, but I swear, if this is even a slight hint at what menopause is going to be like, I’m in trouble. I’m going to be glowing the whole freaking rest of my life.
- Looking pregnant. Refer to #s 3, 5, and 6. Oh, and the fact that my daughter recently asked, “Mamma, when is your other baby going to come out?” Guess I really should get back to exercising and eating better. First, however, I’ll need to eat up all the unhealthy food in the house. And get over this plague that is still (yes, still) lingering. Seriously, though, as soon as I can breathe again, I have a hot date with my elliptical machine. Hopefully it still works.
Please for the love of all that is holy, someone tell me that I am not alone here! Or if I am, lie to me, dammit! Then give me a cookie. Then tell me to get my ass on the elliptical machine.