I can’t believe that it’s been over two months since the last time I put a new post up. Oh wait, yes I can, because I think about writing a new post EVERY SINGLE DAY and just haven’t done it and now I’m stuck with 1,000 ideas and no clue how to prioritize them. Welcome to my world.
In the last blog I wrote, I had all sorts of questions which have now been mostly answered, so I’ll address those first:
Q:When will my belly button no longer fit INSIDE my stomach?
Answer: Luckily, my turkey-timer is still inside my body, but I find myself giving it a pep-talk every morning. I’ve started to use a little more compassion, however, and the talk normally sounds something like this, “it’s okay, little belly-button, you’ve put up a good fight and no one will judge you if you decide to give up your struggle. In fact, please “pop” so that I know when Olivia is done cooking.”
Q:When should my back start hurting and when, for the love of God, when will it go away?
Answer: In actuality, my back had already begun hurting in February when I asked the question, at all of six months in. I started going to the chiropractor sometime in March and continued going once a week for a little over a month. My SI joint was really locked up, causing my pelvis to be tilted, putting one “cheek” higher than the other. I stopped going, not because I had been fixed but because it made no sense to keep “fixing” something that the pregnancy was re-injuring anyway. I may go back after Liv is here, but I’m hoping the pain goes away on its own. For now, I limp for a good bit and have to drag my left leg after I wake up every morning or after lying down for any amount of time. Jason says that it’s payback for when I used to follow him around in stores, dragging my leg and yelling for him to wait up.
Q:When will that creepy dark line show up on my belly? Also, when will IT go away?
Answer: Despite what my friends say, that line still isn’t all that noticeable, or maybe just less so now that the stretch marks have set in.
Dear God, the stretch marks. For some reason, I was more afraid of them than I am of labor. I thought I was in the clear until sometime around Easter when I found a mirror where I could see below my belly-button. My poor belly, and, bikini line and now, thighs. I immediately got angry at Jason for not telling me that they were there….after all, HE’S been the one applying Bio-oil and Cocoa Butter to me for five months! HE’S the one whose supposed to be keeping an eye on them. I have taken up the mantra that “stretch marks are better than hemorrhoids,” to which someone answered, “yeah, but you can still wear a bikini if you have hemorrhoids.” Well played, stretch marks, well played.
Q: And seriously, when is it acceptable to waddle?
Answer: WHENEVER THE HELL YOU WANT. No, seriously, people will know better than the criticize you for waddling at any point…. I felt like I was waddling when I wrote that last post. Little did I know I had NO CLUE what waddling actually was (and I’m sure it will only get worse). Or back pain, or being short-of-breath, or having a hard time sleeping. If I could go back and slap my 6-month pregnant self in the face, I would. I hope I hope feel the same way about my 9-month pregnant self.
On that note, a short letter to my pre-pregnant self:
Dear Selfish, Ignorant, baby-less Amber,
First of all, go for a run. Go because you can, and when you’re done, shower and shave your legs (shave other stuff, too), remember how it feels to do this without wheezing. Then, walk around naked until you HAVE to put clothes on. Set up mirrors everywhere so that you can see yourself and then have someone take lots of naked pictures, look at them often. If you have to have clothes on, WEAR A BIKINI…WEAR IT TO THE GROCERY STORE if you have to or wherever you feel like it. In other words, dummy, be kind to yourself where your body is concerned. Cellulite has nothing on stretch marks that look like you’ve been clawed apart. Stop being so hard on yourself if you didn’t get 15,000 steps in a day, you’ll be lucky to get 5,000 on a pregnant day. So, run.
Now that THAT’S out of the way, put on the clothes that you think you don’t look good in (eventually, you will wish you could fit those clothes over your head or over your thighs, never mind your stomach) and go out for lots of sushi and lots of wine. Play a memory game, or a trivia game, while you’re out. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WITNESSES! They will need to document the occasion so that when you lose your mind by the time you’re three-months pregnant you can ask them to reassure you that you were once a genius. Have them remind you often, especially on nights where you put THE ENTIRE BOX of dryer sheets into the dryer and can’t remember why.
Enjoy your dewy skin. Do not believe the hype about the “pregnancy glow.” There is NO SUCH THING. It is just something nice people say when they find out that you’re pregnant to make you feel better. The “glow” may show up when it’s slightly warmer than usual outside. In other words, it’s not a “glow,” it’s sweat; even all of the excess sweating will not rescue your desert-dry skin. If there is a “glowing” phase, you will skip it entirely. Same goes for the “cute and pregnant” stage. Don’t get your hopes up.
Spend some time talking to friends about ANYTHING other than babies. Soon, this will be all you talk about and you will wish you could have a conversation about something normal. Your friends will wish for this, too. Have conversations about intelligent topics and then exhaust every single stupid topic you can think of and then do it again, as long as you don’t mention the word “baby.”
Save your money and spend it wisely. Spend it on trips to awesome places and take lots of pictures to prove you were once cool. Enjoy spending money on your loved ones because those days are numbered, as are the days of being able to breathe like a normal person after only a small amount of activity. After you’re done spending money on frivolous things like necklaces (don’t buy clothes, jewelry will still look good when you’re pregnant, the same can not be said of that killer dress and super-high heels you couldn’t wait to buy) SAVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Babies are expensive, even before they’re born. Get friendly with a doctor or someone who has a stock-pile of Tums and Gas-X and Tylenol, you will spend more money on these things than on regular food.
Finally, convince all your friends (the ones who you think will make good parents, you already know who the other ones are) to get pregnant at the same so that you have someone else to go through this
BS awesome experience with. And also, ask the REAL questions of the women you know who’ve recently been pregnant. The questions you never thought to ask and really don’t want to know the answers to. Ask them about the WORST parts of their pregnancies and then pray to God yours is better. It probably won’t be, but you still have hope.
And now, the birth plan. I spent a long, long time on this and it’s the first thing I haven’t procrastinated on in years. Feel free to use it as an example of someone who seriously doesn’t care what what setting the lights, music or heat is on. Someone who is open to an epidural AND the IV drugs but isn’t getting her hopes up about being able to have either. Do I feel like a crappy mom-to-be for not being more prepared? Not really, I just happen to think that not having a plan will allow me to do things my way and prevent me from freaking out when things don’t go as planned.