When I bought into the idea of being pregnant I had no trouble accepting the fact of a lot of discomforts such as morning sickness, frequent trips to the restroom, sore breasts, cravings, back pain, swelling, moody hormones, the self image issues from the changing body shape, pain and potentially long labor, potential complications, amongst many others.
After a miserable first trimester, I am happy to report that the second trimester has so far been rather kind to me, most days I don’t even “feel pregnant” except for the way my clothes fit (or don’t).
But there was one big pregnancy discomfort that I didn’t consider though, one that I wasn’t warned about…. other people. The books and websites don’t really talk about this and I will admit that I sometimes prefer to have ’round the clock morning sickness come back than deal with people’s questions and comments. This is my #1 pregnancy discomfort.
I don’t blame other people though, they have good intentions. But as a reserved loner (some would call antisocial) personality, this pregnancy brings a lot more attention to my personal life than I like to share, add to that the same cliche questions over and over and we can have a disgruntled preggo woman rather quickly.
Add to that the fact that as much as I like diplomacy I oftentimes lack the patience and will power to force myself to be “polite” and some people are walking on landmines by trying to be nice.
- FAQ #1- “Are you excited?” (this is a repeat from my engagement/ wedding planning days, I still answer it the same)
- A- ::silence and stare:: or “I never know how people EXPECT me to answer this one, I’m not unhappy if that’s what you mean“
(I always think WTF?! on this one, am I supposed to start giggling and bouncing?) Am I excited to be pregnant? yes, do I feel the need to proclaim it to the world and live each day as if I’m about to break into song and dance? no.
- FAQ #2- How are you feeling?
- A- Ok. (If I’m in a good mood I may say “tired” just to satisfy their expectation for a pregnancy complaint)
People LOVE to ask this question, even people that didn’t care whether I lived or died pre-baby. The weird thing is their reaction when I say I feel ok, it’s as if they expect me to complain about morning sickness, pain or something else. I may or may not be feeling great at the moment but I don’t feel the need to share that with anybody but my husband, midwife (and potentially my boss if it may affect my performance for that day). Unless I look like I’m dying, it’s none of their business how I may feel, and if I do look like I’m dying, then chances are that I won’t want to talk about it.
- FAQ #3- What are you having?
- A- a baby
- #3a- I meant, is it a boy or girl?
- A- ::silence and stare:: (in lieu of “none of your business” or “how about you wait and find out until he/she is born like I am” or whatever other sarcastic/smart ass response I really want to give at that moment)
- FAQ #4- But don’t you want to know? (about the gender)
- A- If my curiosity didn’t let me sleep I would have already found out or there’s so few surprises left in life, why can’t I have this one? (although I really want to say: “apparently not as badly as YOU want to know“)
- FAQ #5- What are you hoping it is?
- A- human… healthy (if I’m in a good mood I may add “but I’ll take a kitten if that’s what I get“)
- 5a- I meant are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
- A- I don’t intend to set an expectation as to what gender it should be
- 5b- But you must have a preference?
- A- ::cold glare:: in lieu of “back off or I’ll punch you if you stop pushing your curiosity on me“
- FAQ #6- When are you due?
- A- In July (if I’m feeling generous I’ll add mid-to late)
- 6a- I meant which day?
- A- baby hasn’t given me a specific date and time
This is just a sample of the DAILY questions I get, I also get weekly questions such as “have you gone to the doctor?”, how many times do I need to tell you that I’m not seeing a doctor, it’s a midwife!, or did you pick a hospital?
I’m not looking forward to future questions and comments such as “you haven’t had the baby yet?” … “I did but I changed my mind and put it back in”, “wow, you’re huge!”… “thank you for letting me know, I hadn’t noticed”
While in conversation I had made the statement that this is my #1 pregnancy discomfort, that person had the nerve to say “consider yourself lucky that you haven’t had worse things to complain about” WTF?!
Why are people so obsessed by what I do or do not feel? I’m starting to wonder if they get off on a pregnant woman’s suffering. And then there’s those that just want an excuse to start telling you the horror stories about their pregnancies. You want to know my discomforts? Here’s your list, have fun. And it’s by no means comprehensive…
First Trimester/ past discomforts:
– extreme fatigue
– non-stop morning sickness for 6 1/2 weeks
– boobs so sore that the shower stream on them made me want to cry
– back pain so horrible that I could barely move, drive properly and would wake up crying in pain for 1 1/2 weeks
– aversion to almost any smell
Second trimester- current or past discomforts (with more to come)
– regular trips to the restroom- every 2 hours on a lucky day, usually more often, I don’t remember the last time that I was able to sleep through the night
– occasional back pain
– increased appetite
– crying hormones/ having a harder time “getting over” things
Some people seem to be offended that I don’t show more of a Hello Kitty/Happy Cat personality, I tend to be happier than most but at the same time one of my keys to happiness is venting that which makes me unhappy. If that makes me come off as a negative person that is a small price to pay for increased joy in my life. I find that holding that which bugs me inside just makes me bitter, angry and resentful, it’s so much better to get it out.
I do enjoy most aspects of this pregnancy, I do admit that I get sad at the fact that I feel like time is not on my side when it comes to being able to fully savor the experience. Lately I do feel like so much of my day is spent on work and other mundane tasks that barely have the chance to stop and appreciate the process that my body is going through. I wish I could just work part time…