When I was pregnant I got a little bit pissed off no one told me about certain things that could happen. For instance I had no idea that when (some) women saw I was pregnant they would feel compelled to tell me about their own terrible, horrible birth stories. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT? I could have done with out that and would have appreciated being warned. OY VEY! Were you kidding me? Why in the hell would other women do that especially to a first time mom? So these women needed to share their stories? Well, honey’s go to a psychiatrist and get things off your chest. Please, please don’t share them with pregnant women. Let me say this folks. I fully and totally admit I can be a “bit” of a hypochondriac. I am one who would read the warning labels on medicine bottles and suddenly think I was getting those reactions: you know shortness of breath, rashes, head aches, oily discharge. OK, so I made the last one up. It used to be stated as a reaction on one of those drug commercials. It would make Carol and I laugh, so I had to add it here for comical sake. At any rate you get my drift. So those women telling me their stories was NOT appreciated. NOT AT ALL! Just ask Carol. I promise you I am not being over dramatic. I was only over dramatic when I read those labels or heard about someone’s horrible experience. That’s all. The bad part was I had been that way since I was a little girl. My poor mother! My poor sister! What they had to put up with when I was a child. Carol learned quickly she had to be proactive and make sure (especially during my pregnancy as I was more sensitive) I didn’t even hear those bad things. That meant Carol had to either tell the person to stop or she had to remove me from the situation. Listen folks, Carol, who hated confrontation and hated to be rude in any way, I gave her tons of Kudos for going way out of her comfort zone to protect me. Oh, who am I kidding? She was also protecting herself because I would have made her life hell if I had heard a bad story and then thought it could happen to me. Carol was thinking about both of our sanity. And so never once did Carol ever hesitate to stop someone from telling me about one of their bad experiences. At times she had to even be a bit rude to shut them up. She knew it was worth it. Smart woman. Maybe some pregnant women were that way because of those pregnancy hormones but I was afraid I couldn’t even blame that as my reason. Nope, not at all. Sadly, I was born that way but I’m sure the hormones exacerbated my hypochondria. Yea, I’ll go with that.
On the whole I really did love being pregnant especially once my second trimester started. However, I really could have done without a few things. For instance I learned that a little sneeze or small cough was all I needed to make me wet my pants. It didn’t matter if I had already been to the bathroom either. The sneeze and cough seemed to know how to stimulate even the smallest drop still hanging out in my bladder. That was when I learned maxi pads were not just to be used for having a period but also for catching my pee in those situations. And since we are on the subject of bodily functions or should I say bodily malfunctions, there was something else that I really hated even more than peeing in my pants. That was my lack of knowing when I was going to pass gas. It was terrible. I could be walking along and suddenly it would release. The worst of it was IF it was going to make a noise. Here was thing. I could handle it smelling because in my mind I could pretend someone else did it. That’s right. I had no problem putting the blame onto someone else. BUT, when there was a noise and that noise clearly came from me, there was no hiding. Oh it was terribly embarrassing! Once we were at the bookstore. AND of course it was the one we would frequently visit. I couldn’t sit still so I decided to walk around while Carol was reading. Oh was that a b-i-g mistake. While walking through the music section out of no where with out any warning, my unborn child pushed on my lower extremities. Just as he did a loud “pop, pop, pop” came from out of my body. The most embarrassing part was it wouldn’t stop! Oh no, why should it have? It continued into one long running popping sound that made me want to fall to the floor and hide. I refused to look around at anyone for the fear there were people staring at me. Hell, who was I kidding? Of course they were staring at me! Who couldn’t hear that rapid firing noise that was never ending? I was certain it could be heard through out the entire store! OY VEY! I know my face turned beet red which of course gave it away as to who’s body it came out. Even to this day I’m afraid I am going to meet someone who were in the bookstore that day and heard me. Meanwhile, bring them on now that I’ve just told all of you. Oh well. No more worries, right?
There was another thing that I hated. Towards the end of my pregnancy I started getting horrible cramps in my butt! I’m sure for Carol it brought new meaning to being a pain in the ass that was for sure. It felt like a charley horse but centralized my ass. Try that one folks and see how happy you’d be. And just like the cramps in your legs the more I tensed up, the more it hurt. I’ll never forget the look on Carol’s face the first time she saw it happen to me. I was standing up gripping onto whatever I could grab and was yelling, “My butt, my butt!” Once she gave me the “what the hell is wrong with you” look. But, then she laughed her head off at the site of me hobbling (in pain I must add). I have to admit now that it probably was hysterical but at the time I didn’t appreciate her response. After it happened over and over again, the less funny it became to her. That was because each time I got a cramp, I’d scream, “OW! C-R-A-M-P!” And for those of you who didn’t know- that was “code” for “Carol!!!! Stop whatever the hell you are doing and rub it!” It wasn’t unusual for Carol’s daughter to walk in our bedroom, the kitchen or wherever else to find me bent over with Carol rubbing my back side. And as long as she was relieving my pain, I really didn’t give a rat’s ass (no pun) who saw me. It was more important for Carol to help me get the pain to go away. Funny how pregnancy made me not care about those around me during some situations and then overly concerned during other situations. Pregnancy was SO confusing to me. I never felt a sense of emotional consistency.
I also blamed pregnancy for getting me to do things I normally wouldn’t have done. For instance before I was pregnant I never believed pregnant women had food cravings like they showed on TV. However, you wouldn’t believe the cravings I had. One of them was so weird it even got my OB/GYN to tell me so. You’ll never guess what it was either. Well, it had to do with my vitamin. Not only did I enjoy taking my prenatal (horse pill) vitamin but I also enjoyed sucking on it (for a while) before swallowing it. I know that sounds totally yucky and crazy but man, did it taste good!
Pregnancy also got me to eat things I would have never thought to eat before being pregnant. For example after I was pregnant I started eating spicy foods. Before I HATED even a pinch of pepper. In fact I hated any kind of spice so much so that the first sentence I learned when I was living in Israel was, “Lo Chareef! No spices!” I know my desire to even taste something spicy came about because during my pregnancy my sinus’ were always clogged. I was miserable. I hated not being able to breath so a friend suggested I eat something spicy to help. I’ll never forget my first taste. Carol and I were at a friend’s house for Passover. It was customary for another friend who was also there to make by hand the bitter herbs from a horseradish root. He had been doing that for many years but I never had the desire to taste it until then. When it came time to be able to eat those bitter herbs that year I was more than ready. I slapped a nice heaping full onto a piece of matzah and shoved all of it in my mouth. It didn’t take but a moment when I felt my sinus’ start to burn (in a good way). As I felt the burning go up into my nostrils and spread through out my head, I realized I could breath again. It was heavenly! And so the rest was history. Spicy foods became a wonderful addition to my diet and my best friend for the remainder of my pregnancy (and beyond). Can you tell I have a kid. Nothing like making kid movie references.
Ok, so let me say something here. Before I was pregnant I would hear women talk about how awesome it was when they could feel their baby’s move inside them. Those women made it sound so magical that I couldn’t wait for that to happen to me. Yeah, well, I have to tell you. THEY LIED! Oh man, the first time I felt my baby it creeped me out! It was as if I had a parasite living inside of me. Oh, right, I did. But, the thought of that while it was moving really weirded me out. I’m sorry to the women out there who found it a special time but I couldn’t get past the parasite part. I especially didn’t like it when the baby reached full capacity and he’d decide to take a stretch or two. OY GEVAULT! It was as if I had an alien inside of me trying to bust his way out. Wasn’t that a Will Smith movie?
One afternoon while I was taking a nap or should I say trying to take a nap and no one else was home, I felt this strange pressure in my belly. When I looked down at my stomach what I saw scared the shit out of me (not literally of course. I know I talked about bodily functions earlier but it was only with pee thank g-d). It was as if the alien was fighting for a way to get out. My tummy resembled a stretched out balloon with two tiny fists pressing against one side and two tiny feet pressing against the opposite side. My stomach was in an unidentifiable shape and I didn’t like it. But, that wasn’t all. My kid couldn’t just do a simple stretch and be done. Oh no! He decided he’d do some calisthenics while he was at it. That was when he would stretch himself all the way out and then start moving his body parts back and forth along my tummy wall. When I saw that, I panicked. I wanted him to stop. I tried to sit up and get out of the bed but I couldn’t. HELL, I was stuck! I ended up rolling out of bed in a strange pregnant kind of way in order to stand up. That fly on the wall had to have been laughing. When I saw my kid continuing to do his stretches I started jumping up and down like a mad women hoping it would make him stop. But, it was my kid in that there body of mine which meant he was strong willed. SO, stopping for him was not happening. I then started rubbing the areas where I could see his body parts pushing against mine. While doing that I kept saying, “Oh G-d, please stop, please stop.” I’m not sure what I thought the jumping was going to do but I suppose if anything it kept me from panicking more than I was. At least I felt I was actively doing something. Listen, I never minded the baby’s more subtle moves. That was alright with me. I just couldn’t handle seeing the baby’s body parts sticking out making my stomach into odd crazy shapes.
Now listen, I wasn’t a total party pooper. There was one thing our son did while he was inside my tummy that I will forever adore and cherish. Around 2 in the morning Carol would come home from work. There was never a night she wasn’t exhausted but that didn’t matter. Every night she’d get into bed, kiss my tummy, whisper a few words to our son and then rub the side of my belly closest to her. As the baby grew and was bigger (inside of me) he would maneuver himself so that either his head or tush (we never knew which) would be pushed against my tummy wall where Carol was rubbing. Both Carol and I could feel him pushing against her hand. It was incredible. And so one night Carol got a flashlight to see. And sure enough you could see a bulge from where the baby was leaning. In fact our son even expected it as we found out one night when Carol was late getting home. He was always a bit more active at night but the night Carol was late, he was active in a way I had never experienced. As if he was a pinball machine ball and my tummy wall were the bumpers he would move back and forth between my left and right side. He did that until she came home and started the usual routine. Only then did he settle down and of course lean into her touch. After our son was born I mourned the loss of that beautiful time we had when Carol came home from work. That truly was magical.