Trying to get pregnant was a little tough but being pregnant was something that I got used to. I think that's why I did it more than once and why I'll have no problem doing it again.
5 things I loved about being pregnant
1) The attention - You've probably noticed by now that I love to be the center of it, but the way my husband looked at me, as I was carrying our child, was the attention I needed. It has got to be a mind blowing to watch your woman bring life into the world. Frank saw me in a different light. He doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve but I could tell what he was feeling. He could be ecstatic or overjoyed and you'd never know it unless knew what to look for. He'd look at me endearingly when he thought I wasn't paying attention. I knew exactly what he was thinking and it warmed my heart. I still get the looks, when we're not running crazy, but it had a different sentiment when I was pregnant.
2) Getting a seat on the train - This may have been one of the biggest perks. It was usually a woman who more than likely was a mom or a male who's mama raised him right. I'm not going to lie, I'd get on the train, open my coat and start rubbing my big belly. Don't judge. The ride from Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan can be brutal. I did have days where some passengers would pretend to not see me or act like they were sleeping. Remember people, God don't like ugly. With that said, more often than not, I got lucky. I loved the perk so much that I don't even get offended when someone offers me a seat now. I usually take it because I don't want the person offering to be offended. Side bar: I offered a non-pregnant woman a seat on the train and was mortified when she gave me the resting bitch face. I promised myself, from that day on, that I'd never make that mistake again unless I was absolutely 100% sure.
3) Losing weight - Oddly enough, pregnancy seems to be my weight loss method. I got knocked up and my number started to go down. Maybe it's because I craved healthier foods or because the babies were anti-junk food and anti-fast food. I don't care why, I just loved it. I was healthy but never gained more than what the baby weighed. We'll talk about the rapid weight lost, after birth, in a future post.
4) Fatigue - This sounds like a negative but I used to be so tired that I couldn't stay awake. I'd fall asleep anywhere, almost missing my train stop a couple of times. If I was in the office I'd throw a blanket under my desk and curl up during lunch. Nowadays, napping is nonexistent in my life. It only happens when I'm really sick which isn't often because mom can never be sick.
5) Getting kicked or punched - Before I was pregnant, I always thought about what it would feel like. Would it hurt? Would it tickle? By the way, I'm very ticklish. I can barely sit through a pedicure. I couldn't imagine being tickled from the inside and not being able to scratch the itch. The thought drove me crazy.
All anxiety disappeared the first time I felt the flutters. With Mac, I was walking up the steps of the 42nd and 6th avenue train station. I giggled and looked around to see my fellow New Yorkers staring as though I was crazy.
When the babies started really kicking and punching it was like they were taking a martial arts class. I would stop and say 'Frank look! Touch it." Nope. Although he loved the fact that I was carrying our children he drew the line. He'd stare at me and the belly with his nose turned up and say 'it looks like an alien is in there. It's freaky."
When it started, I never wanted to stop. There are about 4 or 5 days in month 6 where the baby doesn't move. Thank goodness for my obsessive reading. "What To Expect...", the baby mags and all of the baby websites put me at ease. The kicks were how we communicated. They let me know what foods they liked, what foods they hated, what songs sounded the best and if they liked what never mommy had to say. Honestly, I would have had a heart attack if I didn't know it was to be expected.
Extra Credit - Hair growth - I've never really been a hair person but who doesn't love a thick voluminous head of hair. During my pregnancy my hair grew and grew and grew. Those horse pill vitamins were working their magic. I'd go to the Dominican hair salon for a blow out and they'd start speaking Spanish. I'd call my friend and put her on speaker to translate. I'm sure they were saying 'here this one comes with that damn head full of thick hair. How the hell are we getting a comb through it.' Well they put their backs into and got it done. Hallelujah, because I wasn't thrilled about spending my Sundays, and I mean the WHOLE day (If you have natural hair, you know exactly what I'm talking about) washing, conditioning and twisting my hair.
Now, don't get me wrong, being pregnant wasn't always a bed of roses.
5 things I hated when I was pregnant:
1) Sciatica - Literally a pain in the ass. The first time that pain shot from my ass to my calf I was like 'wtf is this?' I was a self diagnoser, so I got on the web and started doing my research. Sciatica - pressure on the sciatic nerve that causes a radiating pain. So, my first born...this kid that I wanted so badly was hanging out on my sciatic nerve...just because. I'd try to shift her around, or nudge her but she was stubborn. For half of my pregnancy I suffered because there's not a damn thing you can do about sciatica. .
I sucked it up and hoped that it'd be temporary. After she came out I thought my butt nerves would get back to normal. Wrong. Ten years later I still suffer from sciatica and sometimes it's debilitating. I remember once when holding the baby, it hit me so hard that I had to hand her off because I couldn't move, terrified of dropping her.
Exercising, running or walking a lot kick starts my sciatica. I've done a few 5K but regret sets in shortly after the finish line. The girls hate it when I point out that my sciatica is acting up, especially when we're in front of people. I guess they're embarrassed that mommy has a problem with her ass. They've got some nerve because it's all their fault. And... as a parent it's my job to embarrass them, so I start limping even when I'm fine.
2) Charley horses - The one thing I hated more than sciatica. They came often and they were strong. I shed many tears during my pregnancies as a result of charley horses. There were nights where I'd wake up screaming and bang on Frank's chest begging for relief. My poor husband probably thought I was in labor on more than one occasion. I'd desperately ask for him to point and flex my foot and massage my calf. I'd cry and beg to be taken to the emergency room until it finally subsided. One of the causes is dehydration. See #5.
3) Peeing on myself - Pregnancy practically destroyed bladder. I couldn't cough or laugh without peeing on myself a little.
Picture this, I'm at the sink washing dishes, one of the girls does or says something funny. I start laughing and then give the 'oh shit' look. "Mom? What's wrong?"
Me: I just peed on myself.
Marley: hahahaha. Maya, mom just peed on herself.
Maya: what? Hahahahaha. dad!!! Mom just peed on herself.
Me: hahahahaha (still dripping)
The bathroom is about 20 feet from the kitchen sink. I'm still cracking up, trying to make my way around the two little rascals doubled over laughing at me. As I waddled to the bathroom I'd pray that I wouldn't empty my bladder before I got there. My bladder has since recovered, however the anxiety still lives.
4) Constipation - TMI. I was popping Colace tablets like they were Tic Tacs. I'm going to leave it at that.
5) Dehydration - Drinking water is important in life but more important in a pregnant woman's life. Unfortunately, I wasn't good at it and found myself in the hot seat many times. I'd go in for my appointment and my urine test would show that I wasn't drinking enough. My doctor at the time had a little nook where she placed a chair. It was in a prime area where you were in the spotlight. She'd give me the look of a mother scolding her child, take my hand, walk me to the "The Chair", grab the IV pole and stick a needle in me. I hate needles and I also had shit to do on a Saturday afternoon. I didn't have time to sit for an hour getting fluids. When I'd complain she'd look at me and say 'you know what you have to do to NOT sit in that seat again." I'd leave with my tail between my legs and ended up right back in the hot seat two weeks later.
I loved feeling my babies grow inside of me. I looked forward to and embraced every experience...the good, the bad and the ugly.
To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched - along with body - making pregnancy a time of transition, growth and profound beginnings.