The other day I was musing about pregnancy with a friend. We were discussing the wonderful sensation of flutters and kicks and that amazing moment in your life when you first hear your baby’s heartbeat. As I hung up the phone, I couldn’t help but laugh that while we waxed eloquent about the joys of carrying a baby, we carefully skipped over all of the ugly bits.
And so, dear friends, let’s discuss the moments in pregnancy that no one ever talks about. For those of you who have never been pregnant, consider it the most honest (and hopefully hilarious) account of pregnancy symptoms you’ve never even heard of. And for those of you who are mamas, this should bring back some amusing memories! This post comes with a warning: these are the detailed and dirty parts of pregnancy. If you have a penis or a queasy stomach, you may want to skip this post!
- The panty sling: At some point in your pregnancy, your belly will get so big that you will no longer be able to bend down far enough or to curl your legs up enough to put on your own panties. Many of you will adopt what I call the “panty sling.” While holding on to the counter for support, you will use your panties as a sort of lasso, attempting to capture your rogue foot. Once this feat is completed, you must attempt to get the other foot in the adjoining leg hole…only to find out you’ve got them on backwards. (Note: you will at times keep them on backwards because you can’t be bothered to go through the five minute sling process again!)
- The scoop on poop: Those pregnancy vitamins (that doctors push on you like enthusiastic ghetto crack dealers) will mess with your bowels more than you know. Pregnancy does one of two things to women: either you will go into maximum overdrive and find yourself scouring your office building for a washroom that no one else knows about OR you will become the camel of the bowel world; not needing to stop for days at a time, but feeling the weight of your load. I chalk this up to the crazy vitamins, and perhaps also to the fact that you now have a little human bean sitting on the collapsible pipes.
- The belly blues: For those of you who have always been slim, you may have never experienced the strange sensation of your belly touching your legs. For me, this was an incredibly bizarre and unnerving feeling. It hit me hardest in the bathroom, when it was most likely that skin would touch skin in this area. Along with the curious feeling of your gut resting on your lap, you will also find that you can no longer see what you’re doing when finishing up in the washroom. Everything below your belly equator will become foreign territory that can only be accessed by groping about blindly. (This is especially cumbersome for those of us who shave or trim in this area. Groping blindly with a razor in hand is not a recommended activity.)
- Invasion of the body snatchers: Many of you have heard of the brain drain that accompanies pregnancy. We’ve all watched a friend or co-worker devolve from a professional on-top-of-her-game scholar to a forgetful, brain-dead zombie as the baby feeds directly on her brain cells. What you may not know, is that this invasion goes further than the brain. That baby will upset your balance enough that you become an unwilling participant in slapstick comedy. The bruises on your arms and legs, enough to make you look like a human Dalmatian, will attest to your newfound clumsiness. Baby will also hijack your hormones and turn you into an emotional psychopath worthy of any 80’s slasher film.
- Hound-Dog Syndrome: No, I’m not talking about the desire to hump everyone’s leg (although this tickling desire does overcome some preggos). I’m talking about the amazing sense of smell that pregnancy bestows on you. It’s cruel actually. You will begin to smell the world in a whole new technicolour way just as your stomach begins its revolt against the rest of your body. As you suffer from 24/7 nausea, your nose allies with your stomach to keep you from grocery shopping, cooking, eating or generally doing anything that might put you into the line of fire of any wayward scents your first trimester. Suddenly you will discover exactly who has forgotten their deodorant three cubicles over; who ate garlic for dinner last night and those farts in the wind? They blow right in your face. Lovely.
- Gaseous Majoris: Because your huge, water-laden figure is not enough to bear, nature also bestows an excess of gas on to pregnant women. You will begin to rival your husband in your ability to clear a room or burp the alphabet. It’s classy and it’s unavoidable. Just go with it and enjoy your grotesqueness.
- Footatoes and cankles: Ah, my favourite part of being a preggo – the effect it has on the last 12" of your figure. As your belly expands and your body fills with the fluids needed to feed and house your little bean, your legs, from the knee down will transform right before your eyes (that is, if you could see them in the first place). Your once-lovely ankles will disappear so that your calves meld right into your foot. I like to call these cankles. Along with your tree-stump cankle legs, you will develop what I affectionately call footatoes: potato-like extensions where once your foot was located. Your footatoes will not fit into any of your favourite sexy heels nor your kick-ass boots. Instead, you will be relegated to flip-flops, giant rubber galoshes or any other shoe that allows for your footato rolls to expand and does not require you to bend over in order to put them on.
I feel like I could write a book on this stuff and go on forever! Have you got any tidbits of observation from your pregnancy that you'd like to add?