I am six months pregnant. This means I’ve been pregnant for roughly eight years and have 12 years still before it is over. Some days, I’m great. I’m wonderful. I’m fucking glowing. Some days, like today, I’m up to my larynx in boiling acid and my boobs feel like they’ve gone three rounds with Georges St-Pierre.
Pregnancy is one of those weird things that we all feel like we understand because of movies and television, but movies and television are goddamn liars. I am not a goddamn liar. I am a teller of truths. That’s why I’m here to tell you what this pregnancy shit is about. At the end of it, you may not want to reproduce.
This is part two in a two-part series. There will not be a part three. Fuck. That. Shit. No.
The human body is a terrible, stupid thing.
For being one of the most natural things the female body is capable of, pregnancy is hideously unnatural. For 10 full months it feels as though your body is definitely rejecting the parasite that has attached itself within, and it fights this thing with all it’s got. There’s the whole two to three months or more of vomiting, that whole thing, which would get you admitted to the hospital under normal circumstances but, like with every other pregnancy symptom, is something you’re just supposed to deal with and smile while doing so just because you had the audacity to have sex at some point. It’s basically one really long unending hangover, the kind you get in your late 20s and 30s when your body is tired of your shit, only it’s a baby.
Heartburn. That nonsense can go fuck itself. I’ve never actually had heartburn outside of pregnancy, but I’ve had it for a full month now which is to say for a full month now I’ve experienced the sensation of active dying several times a day. Luckily, Assorted Berries Tums are delicious. Unluckily, I’m only supposed to have those six times a day. I need them 60 times a day. But we’ll get to the shoulds and supposed tos and the “fuck your face I’m not doing thats.”
Near and dear to your burning heart is your burninger breasts, growing beyond what they are meant to and feeling as though they might explode at any minute. Also, weird nipples. I don’t want to talk about my weird nipples. That’s between me and my husband and my lord who hath forsaken me. But they’re weird. That’s all you need to know you pervs. If you enjoy yourself a boob and your beloved finds herself pregnant, just, leave them alone for a while. Please. They’re going through some stuff.
And there’s lots of other things, too. I had an ovarian cyst rupture in my first pregnancy and thought I was dying. You have to urinate a lot. Your body completely loses the ability to defecate. And, even when it’s all over and the baby is out, pregnancy rears its head one final time in the moment you first try to have sex again post-child and you learn your vagina has been replaced by a firemonster. No one told me that would happen so I’m telling you. Your vagina might be replaced by a firemonster who attacks itself when there’s an intruder. Tread lightly.
Everything is going to kill you and your baby.
This is a brief list of just some of the things that the internet will tell you will absolutely destroy you and your fetusfriend: lunchmeats, soft cheese, sleeping on your right side, caffeine, herbal teas, not to mention every medication you’ve ever taken. But the thing that I’ve discovered is that it’s not because all of these things are necessarily dangerous, but just because they’ve never actually checked to find out if they’re dangerous, so they just assume it and say “better safe than sorry, pregz.” That’s the difference between first and second child: first go-round, I didn’t have coffee until my third trimester and didn’t even eat goat cheese which is my favorite thing on the planet. This pregnancy I’ve literally had sushi every week. I feel like it’s a form of delicious protest and I feel good about this. But I do it in secret in the privacy of my own home where no one can judge me.
If you want to want to have a baby, please don’t Google anything. Ever. Just stay off the internet, I cannot stress this enough. And definitely don’t Google VBAC if you ever want to have a VBAC—just talk to your doctor about it and decide based on what your doctor says. Because the blogs talking about it are the same blogs who are anti-vaxx and they do not paint a great picture. Instead they paint “sure you might die, but isn’t it worth the experience?!”
For what it’s worth, I’m having a c-section. My daughter was breech so I had one with her and doing it again was the right decision for me. Even though those will probably kill you, too, just like everything else. The internet told me. Here’s some fun video from my daughter’s birth!
Ah. The miracle of life.
The human brain is a terrible, stupid thing.
Last time, I told you about all the emotional nonsense I experienced. Feeling fat, hating everyone, the usual. This time is different. This time I don’t really care how I look, though I can’t help but notice that I’m carrying this baby differently—quite low and wide. Here’s a selfie I took this morning:
But other than that, I’m good. I don’t care. It helps that I now work from home (oh, right, I forgot to tell you guys, I quit my real job and made the internet and YOU FINE PEOPLE my real job) and don’t have to see other humans so that is quite nice. Because other people ARE A PROBLEM when you’re pregnant. Last time, all I heard was “YOU’RE READY TO POP” and “YOU’RE GONNA POP” and other things involving popping that made me very nervous. Also, lots of people insisted upon asking if I was dilated yet, which is THE WEIRDEST thing people feel comfortable asking a pregnant woman. People will ask you about how open your cervix is, like that’s a fine thing to say. Because people are terrible. Also, I got asked a lot if I was carrying twins. Because people are terrible. If I do somehow have telekinetic powers that I don’t know about, that dumb bitch with the samples at Schnucks when I was 42 months pregnant with my daughter and said “Oh my gawdddddd triplets?! No? Twins?! OH. WOW. YOU’RE REALLY BIG.” died within moments of that encounter, when she burst into flames made of angry sharks.
But a mildly improved self-esteem level doesn’t mean I’m not having emotional struggles. I’ve been convinced I’m terrible at everything I do and everyone hates me. Last time, I was convinced I would die young and my daughter would never know me. These incredibly deep dark places your pregnant mind can take you is yet another thing no one warned me about properly. Everyone’s all “oh pregnant women with your pickles and crying over commercials” but no one ever said “you will feel as though your entire life is crumbling and you won’t know why.” It’s a lot like when I took shrooms with my boyfriend in college and he said “you’ll see pretty colors!” when he should have said “you’ll see your dead grandmother and she’ll tell you you’re dying.” NO ONE EVER TELLS ME ABOUT THE HORRORS I WILL SEE.
The biggest thing your brain does? The unstoppable guilt. Because there is one truth I don’t verbalize though I’ve made it entirely clear: I hate being pregnant. I hate it. I really do. It’s an awful, awful experience only made acceptable by the toy prize you get at the end. But I don’t want to say I hate it because I, a true skeptic, am convinced by saying those words out loud, I will be made unpregnant. That something horrible will happen because I dared speak the words I shouldn’t speak.
So I’m guilty. I’m guilty because I’m lucky enough to have a healthy child and one on the way, where others can’t or have struggles I can’t imagine. I’m guilty because I have a new baby on the way and my 2-year-old needs me and I can’t give as much as she needs because she’s heavy and I can’t pick her up, and it breaks my heart. I’m guilty because I love my daughter so, so, impossibly much that I’m scared that I might not love my new baby as much even though I know I will, of course I will, but I can’t imagine it just like I can’t imagine what his face looks like or his little hands or his tiny nails, because it’s not real yet and he’s not here. I’m guilty because I’m always tired, always uncomfortable and know I should just deal with this and be fine just like everyone else who’s ever had a baby has been just fine.
I’m not going to say that having a child is the best most important thing you’ll ever do. Because that’s not true for everyone. Of course not. And it certainly shouldn’t and doesn’t have to define you. There are lots of best most important defining things in any life, and they all matter. So I’ll just speak to exactly my experience (as all of the above has been—shit man, none of this might happen to any of you. You might have a perfect Snow White pregnancy and read this as sheer fiction and that’s fine.)
I can honestly say that I wasn’t prepared for how much love I’d feel for my child. I didn’t know it was possible to love someone so much. She is truly the best thing that ever happened to me. I am routinely overwhelmed by how much I love this small, weird person, and the sheer joy she brings me every single day, or the love I already feel at this stranger inside me who I can already tell is also totally weird, which pleases me greatly, and how he moves around like a pinball ball, just bouncing off walls and being weird. I hope they’re always weird. It’s all I ever want for both of them. And I know that come June, I will be double-overwhelmed, shocked again by how much I love this other person, this person I couldn’t imagine just months before.
So when they, when I say all of the above is worth it, it is. It really is. It fades and all you’re left with is the love. It’s weird. The human body is a wonderful thing like that, and so’s the brain. This strange, stupid, awful, wonderful experience, it’s worth it. It’s totally worth it.
But the next 100 days or so can go right ahead and hurry the fuck right up.