Monday, February 14, 2011

Pregnancy: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Pregnancy and I have a love-hate relationship: I love being pregnant, and being pregnant hates me. Seriously, being pregnant is something that I absolutely love in theory; in practice, however, my personal execution of it leaves something to be desired. I am one of those unfortunate women whose body simply does not deal well with carrying an extra passenger. As much as I anticipated and hoped and prayed every month that those two magic pink lines would once again appear on the pregnancy test, I knew this time that when they did I was in for a rough ride.

Morning sickness is definitely the worst of my woes when I’m pregnant. In fact, I once said to my husband that I was really lucky that I had very few unpleasant symptoms other than morning sickness. He, whose memory had not been clouded by the endorphins of giving birth, simply laughed. True, I never suffered from swollen ankles or headaches or sciatica or having to pee every fifteen minutes. But constant nausea for eight months was a pretty hefty price to pay to avoid those discomforts.

I’m fortunate that during this pregnancy I have the magic bullet of Zofran to offset the morning sickness somewhat. I say “offset” rather than “cure”, since it doesn’t completely alleviate the problem, as my time worshiping the porcelain god last night will attest. But at least it makes me functional enough to get out of bed in the morning, which was not the case for several weeks BZ (before Zofran).

Fatigue is also a pregnancy symptom that I think hits me harder than most. I’m sure the fact that I’m over 40 has a lot to do with that, plus the fact that I have a chronic disease which also causes fatigue and is triggered by stress. Pregnancy insomnia complicates the fatigue – although at least my insomnia seems to be limited to the first trimester. But again, I’m fortunate in that I don’t have an outside job to go to, and that Ryan is very content to keep himself entertained while I keep an eye on him from my perch on the couch. Not to mention that my wonderful husband steps in to do chores I just can’t manage, like grocery shopping and laundry and cooking. I’m not sure how I’d function if I had to get all those things done every day.

But the bottom line is that despite the physical frustrations and struggles of pregnancy, I just love waiting for each new milestone. I watch the mirror eagerly for the development of the baby bump; I lie awake at night wondering when I’ll feel those first tiny flutters; I mark off each week as it passes and look up what new developments the baby has reached this week. I see other babies at the grocery store and wonder if this baby will be a delicate, petite little girl or another big bruiser of a boy. I wonder if she’ll be a blonde or if he’ll be a brunette. I wonder if he’ll look like his daddy or if she’ll look like her mommy. Because I do truly love being pregnant, in theory AND in practice, and I think I’ll hate when it’s all over.

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