Over the past six and a half months I have been keeping a written record of my pregnancy on this website in the hopes that I will have a better idea of what is going to happen to my body when I go through pregnancy a second or third or God forbid ninth time. Hearing and reading about other women’s experiences has been helpful and nice, but having someone tell me about stretch marks is entirely different than actually seeing one rip across my ass.
Today, however, I’m going to go beyond my usual endeavor of record keeping and issue a warning to other pregnant women and any woman who ever hopes to become pregnant. Much like I feel it is my duty to warn others about the dangers of writing about work on personal websites — using the phrase “Smack my bitch up” in relation to your boss WILL get you fired! — I feel strangely compelled to issue this warning, as a consequence of my own horrifying experience: As much as the presence of a toilet will urge you to do so, you must resist every instinct to push.
I feel like I should say something here about how I have managed to invite the woes of pregnancy onto my body just by reading about them beforehand. It’s as if reading about a symptom manifests it in reality. For instance, it wasn’t until after I read about “pink toothbrush” that my gums started to bleed when I brushed my teeth before going to bed, and I’m a pretty vigorous tooth brusher. Give me a new toothbrush and I can widdle the thing down to nothing but a shabby nubbin of its former self within three days, using nothing but my teeth and gums. But the moment I read about the sensitivity of a pregnant woman’s gums my mouth swelled with so much blood I looked like the Vampire Lestat after a hard night of hard partying in the Castro.
Most of the pregnancy books I’ve been reading, ones that list symptoms month by month, have saved mention of hemorrhoids until the sixth and seventh months. They do this probably because it’s not until this time in the pregnancy that the body becomes so unwieldy that it actually becomes necessary to push or physically urge things along when using the bathroom. I think these books are doing a huge disservice to the unsuspecting pregnant woman, someone like me, who thinks that hemorrhoids, much like cancer and twins, happen to other people.
Having battled constipation my entire life, I fancy myself a veritable expert in the avoidance of hemorrhoids as I have fine-tuned the ability to push just enough and never too much. But I should have realized that the rules for hemorrhoids, just like the rules for everything else, have dramatically changed for my pregnant body wherein the mere act of thinking about not pushing can produce an anal irritation the size of a small watermelon. So when the thinking about not pushing turned into trying not to push turned into IF I DON’T PUSH I’LL NEVER PEE AGAIN, the resulting weapon of mass destruction that sprouted on my ass could take out most of northern Utah if it ever got into the wrong hands.
Again, we’re not talking about a normal hemorrhoid; we’re talking about a pregnant hemorrhoid which, like the pregnant pimple and pregnant stretch mark, are not mere manifestations of pregnancy. They are actual alien life forms exploiting the gestational nature of my body to try and grow bodies of their own. The pregnant hemorrhoid wants to take over the world, and as of this morning it had grown fingers and toes. By tomorrow night it should have a Middle East peace plan mapped out, one that gives control of the West Bank to itself. In the meantime, I can’t walk or sit up straight without it threatening to explode. In the interest of public safety the president should up the terror alert to HEMORRHOIDAL RED.
So please, don’t push. Don’t let this happen to you, to your family, or to this world.