I recently went through my archives to gauge just how bad my morning sickness was during my pregnancy with Leta, and after the fourth or fifth entry dedicated to puke I wanted to tell myself DUDE. I THINK WE GET IT. And so instead of going on for pages this time around I’m going to get it all out in a couple of paragraphs, and I’m not even going to include details on what cornbread stuffing tastes like laced with stomach acid (hint: really awful). Here goes:
Devout Mormons routinely fast for two to three meals on the first Sunday of every month, and this ritual is supposed to bring them closer to the Spirit and strengthen their testimony of the gospel. When I was in college my roommates and I used to go to a local restaurant called The Brick Oven on the Saturday night before fast Sunday and binge on the all-you-can-eat pasta buffet. I’m talking plate after plate of spaghetti, rigatoni, and fettucini, to the point that we wanted to throw up afterward. And the strategy worked, we wouldn’t be hungry for another 24 hours, but I think that kind of defeated the purpose. Fasting is supposed to be challenging, and here we were taking the easy way out. Oh my God, if that wasn’t a sign of things to come. Hey you, parent of a student at BYU… is your child stuffing themselves with carbs to make fasting easier? Yeah, four years from now they’re going to be really good at giving hand jobs. OUT OF WEDLOCK.
That horrible feeling I had after the fifth serving of pasta, the one where the noodles feel like they’re sitting at the top of my throat, where my pants are so tight that I can’t maneuver into a comfortable position, where I feel like I might hurl if I move my head too quickly, that is what I feel like ALL THE TIME. It never goes away, even if I haven’t had anything to eat in several hours. And my brain and gut are telling me that I’ll feel better if I just eat something, which is a lie. It’s after I eat that I feel the worst. Food tastes phenomenal, yes, but during the two hours after a meal I have to assume the fetal position and remain perfectly still. This is not convenient when life has to be lived, when dogs need to be fed and walked or certain daughters need baths and bedtime stories. Leta has grown used to the grimace on my face during her bedtime routine and more than once has voiced her opinion that “that baby isn’t being very nice.” Really? In that case your feelings won’t be hurt when I tell you that this is nothing! When you were in my womb I used to daydream about how much less painful it would be to shove a fishing hook through my upper lip.
All of this is to say that no, I do not like being pregnant. I am thankful that I am pregnant, so grateful and hopeful about the baby, thrilled about what it means for our family, but I do not enjoy what this does to my body. I cannot relate to women who say that they love this, that they wish they could be pregnant for years, that they have never felt more like a woman. I don’t know exactly why, but there are things about this that make me feel totally disenfranchised. I have no control over my body or appetite, and I cannot do anything to improve the way I feel. The nausea is constant, the weight gain already intimidating, and my face is a plate of what I like to call Pregnant Pizza: acne, fever blisters, discolorations, and unruly hair. Yes, hair where hair should not be growing. Read that again, teens: HAIR WHERE HAIR SHOULD NOT BE GROWING. Put on a damn condom already. Or better yet? HAND JOB.
Also, I did not start showing with Leta until I was almost six months along. And guess what? Yep. Not even kidding. I’m totally showing. In fact, I’ve already had to buy a ton of maternity pants. I’m actually really happy, ecstatic even about this because I feel like I can see the progress, whereas last time I had serious doubts I was growing a baby and not some deadly strain of the flu. Although lets hope that small bump I’m sporting right now is the baby and not all those salt and vinegar chips my brain told me was crucial to my survival. No really, it woke me up one night and said that if I didn’t eat that whole bag of chips both me and the baby would die. And I was all, brain, THAT IS AWESOME LOGIC.