Mama Drama & the Dalai Lama: The Ugly Pregnancy
Let me just say for the record that I was not one of those lucky glowing pregnant women. Not only were both of my pregnancies difficult—with every weird side effect in the annals of obstetrics— I also had two very difficult deliveries, which was a direct result of neither one of my doctors letting me in on the secret that, while I had sturdy child bearing hips, down there was an entirely different matter.
The last few weeks before my due date were by far the most miserable. I vividly remember lying in our Labrador Bo’s inflatable pool (yes, of course I changed the water, gross!) feeling less like an earth goddess and more like a beached whale. My feet were so swollen and my heartburn was so bad, that all I could do was waddle out into the already soaring temperatures of June and climb into the comfort of my little water haven.
Each day was the same. I would make my daily trek to the pool and spend a good five minutes trying to keep Bo from climbing in with me. Then I would spend the next couple of hours miserably laying there, nibbling on my watermelon (which by the way, I ate so much of that summer that our house ended up looking like it was in the middle of a watermelon patch the following year) trying to see over my ginormous belly and spot my feet, constantly reminding myself that all of this was worth it, blah, blah, blah, which of course never worked. No, I was definitely not from the planet of glowing pregnant women. I didn’t look beautiful nor did I feel beautiful, and certainly no one told me I was beautiful. And forget complaining, because then I would just get lectured about how lucky I was to be pregnant when so many other women can’t have babies, blah, blah, blah. So I just suffered in silence, well, with the exception of Bo.
Poor, dear, sweet, and loyal Bo—not only did he lose his swimming privileges, but he also had to play nursemaid listening to me incessantly complain about how much I hated being pregnant, how fat I was, how I had to pee every second, and swearing up and down that I would NEVER DO THIS AGAIN (yeah, right). He was the best companion. He never responded; he would just look up at me, look at his pool, and let out what I assumed was the canine version of a sigh. Eventually, even he became fed up with me and would sneak off to sleep under the porch when he saw me heading toward the pool. Now not only was I fat and miserable, but even the dog couldn’t stand to be around me. I was so over being pregnant (sigh).
To make matters worse (no, there wasn’t a sudden watermelon shortage, thank God), whenever I went to my weekly checkup, I felt like I was on a new episode of Rare and Bizarre Conditions that Pregnant Women Get. I swear, maybe I was just being paranoid, but my doc seemed genuinely excited to see me on each visit. He would skip into the examining room like a 12 year old with a twinkle in his eye eagerly asking me, “So, anything new going on with you this week?” Lucky for him, the answer was usually “Yes,” and he could barely contain his enthusiasm as he poked and prodded at me like I was a science experiment. I won’t bore you with the details of my litany of strange conditions, but by far my favorite one was the skin condition that I quite mysteriously woke up with one morning (and no, it wasn’t from Bo’s pool). I was thrilled to graduate from whale to hideous sea creature. I can’t tell you what that did for my self-esteem.
So let’s fast forward to delivery, shall we? Daughter number one broke my tailbone, yet no one figured out this little unfortunate factoid until it was a little too late, and the pain was so unbearable that they loaded me up with so many narcotics and I was hallucinating– and because I began to see giant mosquitos on the wall, they deemed it unsafe for me to hold my baby.
You would have thought that somebody could have made a notation somewhere on my chart “Patient’s vagina not big enough to deliver babies,” during my second pregnancy, but alas, they did not, so I was destined to go through yet another unnecessarily painful delivery. This time, daughter number two tore a hole in my colon. Oh yes, the joys of natural birth. When the doctor peered up from down under and said, “Wow, I am surprised that she only tore your colon, you are really not built to deliver naturally,” I swear I wanted to knock them clear across the room and later plead temporary insanity.
Over time, my injuries healed and wonderful new baby memories began to replace old beached whale memories. Finally, the day came when it didn’t matter anymore that I wasn’t from the planet of gorgeous pregnant ladies, because I had discovered a much better planet, one that I definitely belonged to— it was called “Motherhood.”
Did you feel absolutely hideous during pregnancy, with complications to boot? Or were you one of those lucky women who glowed all nine months? Share your stories with us!
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