I almost rammed an old woman with my grocery cart yesterday. Instead, I told her, “Move before I puke!” I did not apologize for being rude. After all, I had said, “Excuse me,” twice, politely begging her and her gang of old biddies to clear my escape path around the seafood counter of my local Publix. I couldn’t hold my breath any longer and felt the gag welling up from my stomach. Old Mother Hubbard had to move her ass or suffer the consequences.
Yes, my rabbit is dead. I am three months along. And so far, pregnancy hasn’t been pretty.
And yes, the human being growing inside me is a blessing. The kind of blessing that arrives out of nowhere, knocks you on your ass, and changes your world before you even see his or her face.
That being said, I have a bone to pick, and I plan to pick it clean. For those of you who say that pregnancy is “the most beautiful time in a woman’s life” and “I felt great,” feel free to bite my expanding rear end.
So, because I really like making lists of all kinds and I’m too distracted by pregnancy brain to be truly creative, here is my list of why I want to hurt every woman who ever wished I would, like them, experience the miracle of gestation. (You claim to have forgotten the agony, but I know your game. You want other women to know your pain. Well played, vengeful woman, well played. You can now claim another victim.)
Number 1: Thickening
Before I became pregnant, I was under the misconception that pregnancy came in the form of a baby bump. I was cool with that. In fact, I think a baby bump is adorable. Well, I am not one of those precious women: pregnant only in the form of a volleyball, then basketball, then beach ball-sized bump. I am the woman that the hateful nurse at my OB’s office described as “thickening.” Overnight I went from having a body I was generally pleased with to waking up as a full on Renaissance painting. Everything turned soft: ass, thighs, stomach, arms, everything! And I haven’t been able to button my jeans since week eight. Week eight!
Number 2: Hormones
No other force in my life has been able to bring me to my knees faster than pregnancy hormones. Crying fits to the point of hyperventilating has become my new normal. And there are no mood swings. There is only emotionally-hanging-on-by-a-thread-Jodie and bat-shit-crazy-Jodie. The term “mood swing” would indicate an upward motion that would match the downward turn. Brief periods of elation. Happiness so great, a dancing Snoopy would pale in comparison. Nope. Brief periods of, “Cool, right now I don’t feel like crap,” do exist but they are quickly followed by the words, “What the f#&@ was I thinking?” and a collapse onto my bed in a puddle of self-doubt and terror. And please do not try to predict or control the tsunami of hormones. Anything can set it into motion. Any damn thing in the world. I wonder if my husband misses the cool chick he used to be married to?
Number 3: Morning Sickness
What a load of crap! Constant, knee-buckling nausea is a more accurate description. Like the hormones, do not attempt to predict how severe my reaction will be to any trigger. Seafood counters, meat counters, sweat-soaked laundry, brushing my teeth, artificial flavors (I may never try bacon chocolate again), and strong colognes are sure to send me fleeing the scene, gagging my entire way to safety. Textures are unpredictable as well. Two bites of a burger or steak or scrambled eggs or even mashed potatoes can trigger my gag reflex. I have no idea how I have gained ten pounds in three months because I have not finished a meal since June.
Number 4: Breast Tenderness
Will someone chop off my boobs, please? Seriously, you can have them. But let me warn you, I think they are defective. Unless they are supposed to swell to the I-can-use-my-boobs-as-a-shelf level. And I don’t think boobs are supposed to hurt this bad. Bending over requires mental and emotional preparation. Gravity causes my gigantic orbs to shift forward when I bend at the waist resulting in a feeling as if they are going to rip from my body. My OB acts as if this level of pain is normal. I’m starting to hate my OB.
Number 5: Maternity Clothes
“Can I help you find something?” the sales assistant asked in the middle of my local maternity clothing store.
“No, I’m good,” I said and tried not to gag or cry or look her in the eye.
I glanced around the store at the tunics made of sandpaper and mom jeans with bright yellow stitching against midnight blue denim washes. The inflated price tags warned against the denim dye staining light colored fabrics. They should have warned of the downward spiral into low self-esteem and cave-dwelling desires that the clothes were sure to conjure up in the heart of any fashionista. So, I bolted out of the store and resigned myself to stretching a rubber band through the buttonhole of my favorite jeans. I just hope the wind doesn’t blow my billowy, un-tucked blouse above my head revealing a stretched rubber band and a triangle of granny panties peeking through the open zipper. That ain’t a pretty sight, folks.
Did I miss anything? What fabulous freak of nature should I be looking forward to in the upcoming months? Feel free to scare the crap out of me in the comment section below. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to lie down. Growing a human being is exhausting.