Everyone knows that having a child is a life-altering event. My husband and I knew it would be a challenge, but we eagerly looked forward to nine months of crazy food combinations followed by the birth of our beautiful baby. Unfortunately, my experiences while carrying our daughter were less than miraculous. Don’t get me wrong. We love our little girl and find her perfect in every way. But I found myself wishing I had been forewarned about certain things before I got so fat that I could barely stand. On that note, here’s just a few things I want to share with women who are thinking of having kids.
Now I know that hugging the toilet is pretty typical during the first months of pregnancy, but the spiraling symptoms can be tough to handle. I was so sick during the first trimester that I was actually losing weight. About two and a half months in, I landed in the hospital for four days. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition which causes severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Imagine my shock when I realized I was one of only twenty percent of women with this condition as well. No wonder I had never heard of it! What I had chalked up to horrific morning sickness was worse than I had thought, the first inkling I had that our baby had its own ideas about how things were going to happen.
To Eat or Not to Eat
All my life, I thought the best part of being pregnant would be eating whatever I wanted. I was pretty thin when we conceived and couldn’t wait to pack on the pounds, but again I was sorely disappointed. The first trimester I puked more than I ate, the second trimester was dominated by earth-shattering heartburn, and the third trimester found me so plump there was no room for food and baby. I dreaded eating, surviving on watermelon and milk, while people laughed and commented that the baby would have lots of hair due to my constant heartburn. My thoughts – why couldn’t my kid be bald then?
Beauty and the Baby
If the never-ending nausea wasn’t enough, I later found out I was brushing my teeth too much. I couldn’t believe that the frequent vomiting combined with brushing excessively was ruining my enamel. Now I was too fat to shave my legs and I had dragon breath! Even more disconcerting was the pain I experienced when my baby moved. Everyone says how amazing the first kicks are, but I never knew I’d be in for headbanging sprees on my major organs. By the last month, it had become so painful that I couldn’t tell the difference between a contraction and her limbs.
In short, I don’t mind saying that I was pretty unhappy throughout my pregnancy. I questioned my motives for bearing children, swore I didn’t want anymore, and prayed for our daughter to come early. Of course those nine months were well worth the misery, but don’t let anyone fool you ladies. Pregnancy is not all nursery furniture and all-you-can-eat buffets, and you don’t have to feel guilty if you’re not the glowing ball of joy everyone expects you to be.