Pregnan-sucky

I am pregnant. I am pregnant and unable to move off the couch. I am pregnant and a newlywed and instead of wearing cute, slinky things for my new husband, I live in bathrobes and don’t shower for days. I am pregnant and it sucks. I am excited, don’t get me wrong, but only as excited as one can be in between bouts of barfing.

This baby is due exactly 9 months and 2 days after our wedding date which is cute and efficient, but it was not my plan to be pregnant so soon. My husband and I had plans to spend the better part of our first year of marriage here in Kentucky near my family and our friends, getting our affairs in order before moving to Canada in June. Now instead of June it looks like we will be moving up to B.C. much earlier than planned and probably while it is still snowing- so much for easing into my new surroundings starting with the perfect Canadian summer. Oh how plans change.

I wanted to be in Canada before starting the baby-making because Kristan’s family farm in B.C. is the quietest, cleanest, most serene place I have ever been. I envisioned myself having a beautiful, calm pregnancy surrounded by gorgeous wilderness way out in the middle of nowhere. Instead, Anthem kicked me off my birth control months before my wedding (See: Baby by Anthem), and while they did not technically impregnate me, I blame them for the fact that I am here in Louisville, pregnant, and far from the serene wilderness I had imagined.

The city, while fun, is not my idea of peaceful. We live downtown and it is noisy all day and night with cars and airplanes and sirens and music screaming from stereos. It is so bright at night that you can practically read without a lamp on and I often need to sleep with an eye mask on to get any rest at all, though the stupid mask falls off all night and keeps me up anyway. The city is crowded and people are irritating and scary- particularly on the roads where everyone turns into Stupidicus from Goofy’s driving videos. Instead of resting on a porch in a rocking chair high up in the Rocky Mountains, I am tossing and turning at night and cursing at people cutting me off in traffic and putting in ear plugs just so I can read peacefully on my couch. Here we are, my little Lump and me, in the noisy city, doing this thing despite my visions to the contrary.

I am excited to be pregnant, like I said. I waffled back and forth most of my life about wanting children until I met Kristan and then there was no question- from the moment I met him I knew this man would be a great partner and a great father. In fact, I started taking prenatal vitamins less than 6 months into our relationship- I was that sure about this one. While motherhood was not always a definite in my mind, I always coveted a cute pregnant belly in the same way I wished for my little boobies to sprout when I was a pre-teen. I was wrong about the boobies: they are far more trouble than they are worth, and even though I am far from having that cute, classic, pregnant-girl silhouette, I know already that I was poorly mistaken about this too.

This pregnancy thing is not fun, not glowing, and certainly not peaceful. I would like to rename it “pregnan-sucky,” because that is how it feels. I anticipated morning sickness and nausea, but those were just words that I thought I knew the meaning of and, as it turns out, I was very, very wrong. Nausea to me implies an upset stomach and an achy body, which I have, but this is not a nausea that I have ever known. Being a person who is prone to motion sickness, I am used to nausea and find it is usually tolerable and treatable with a short nap. THIS thing is not just nausea, and it’s not just morning either. This thing is the worst headache of my life all day, every day, and I was totally unprepared for the crushing, head-splitting, brain pain that accompanies this “beautiful event.” I feel like Peter from the movie The Office Space, when he tells the hypnotist that every day is the worst day of his life, to which the hypnotist replies “that’s messed up.” Yes, yes it is messed up.

I’m sure that my sickness is also exacerbated by the fact that I am a total wimp and complain all the time about how bad I feel. I am sure that if I simply switched my attention to something else I could possibly distract myself from my misery, but so far I have been unsuccessful with any strategy besides just wallowing in it. “It’ll be over soon,” and “it’ll all be worth it in the end,” are common, infuriating mantras that people spew at me all the time- words that are not comforting in the least because it’s not later I am worried about- it’s right now and the fact that my head’s about to explode like one of Gallagher’s watermelons. Saying these things to me while I am so pathetically miserable is like saying “I know how you feel,” when someone you love dies. It’s inappropriate people.

Another completely unhelpful bit of advice: “eat some crackers before you get out of bed to help control the nausea.” There is no amount nor type of food or beverage that prevents or even relieves this a tiny bit. A delicious pizza can distract me for a minute, but there are still a whole lot of non-pizza minutes in a day that must be tolerated. So the best thing I can do so far is to stay horizontal. I lay on the couch or in bed for 22 hours of the day right now because standing up escalates the pain exponentially and makes me 100% more prone to barfing. With Kristan home over the weekends it is much easier because he cooks for me when I am hungry and brings me what I need so I can rest. He is all about me and this baby eating homemade, unprocessed foods and he bakes fresh bread and makes casseroles and whole turkeys and all kinds of other delicious things nightly, which, unfortunately, I can barely eat any of because this baby seems to tolerate only foods with yellow #7 and red #40. It’s a travesty. I have the best husband in the world cooking for me and instead I hide Cheetos and Big Red in my car to sustain myself. This child is going to look like it was fathered by an oompa loompa.

While I already feel like an unfit mother, it is at least a little comforting to know that I am not the only one feeling duped and hating those smiling, lying women on the cover of books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting. There are actual books out there written by women like me – books based on the true reality and misery of this pregnancy thing, such as  Pregnancy Sucks by Joanne Kimes who writes the blog Sucks and the City, and It Sucked Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong, author of the blog Dooce. At least I know I am not alone in being unable to lie and tell people that this is fun and I feel great when in reality I want to roll up in a ball and cry. I haven’t read either book but I definitely will while I’m stuck here, glued to my couch, feeling pregnan-sucky.

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49 thoughts on “Pregnan-sucky

  1. Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and
    look forward to new posts.

    • Thank you so much! I do not Twitter. Should I? Don’t even know what it is about. I’ve been on a long writing hiatus but more to come soon. Again, thanks for your feedback! kt

  2. I could not agree with you more! I HATE being pregnant! Love my babies and its totally worth it but those 40 weeks are brutal. All those “I loved being pregnant!” gushing mamas need to be exiled for selling a pack of lies. It sucks!

  3. Well I am really sorry that you feel this way and I wanted to share my story with you, because you sound alot like I did at the beginning of my first term.

    I also got pregnant when i was newly married. I had envisioned spending time and enjoying being married also, but the universe had different plans. I was living in NY and what I had envisioned about my pregnancy was far from what was coming true. I wanted to have a natural birth, however everywhere I went, professionals were instilling fear into me and coaxing me to planned c-sections and relaying stories of the horrors of labor without drugs. So I decided to come back to Canada, my homeland… right next to BC actually. But to my despise, it was worse, the culture of here is a copy of America in a passive aggressive tone.

    I was extremely annoyed with all the advice that i was not asking for and very little of it worked. Most would tell me to rest more or to just watch a movie. But the less active I became the more I fell into this Sucks. One day I woke up and decided to take each change, pain, craving, mood swing etc. by the horns and said there is a cause and my body is communicating with me… Talk to me baby.

    My pregnancy was splendid after this. I learned to surrender, remove guilt from my psyche, control my thoughts and emotions, be happy everyday. I jumped into yoga and arts and I took up belly dancing… Basically I went for all the things i wanted to do and never did. The baby was my excuse. And it was the best thing I ever did.

    After the baby was born, I kept hearing about all these other women who were in the same boat I was in when I just got pregnant. So I wrote this article: Oh Baby, My Body!!! http://suaribody.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/oh-baby-my-body/?preview=true&preview_id=281&preview_nonce=74bf57d698.

    I hope this helps you or opens your perspective towards the beauty of being of pregnant. Blessings to you and your new joy.

  4. Great post! Makes me nervous to have a baby haha. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being on Freshly Pressed!

    Everyone feel free to check out my blog! All follows, likes, comments, and views are all appreciated! :)

  5. Congratulations on the baby, wish you felt better, eating something before you get up can help you feel less nausea but you just need to find the right thing for you. All the best though.

  6. I feel your pain. My pregnancy was absolutely miserable. I was sick every single day. I only gained 11 pounds, and I could only keep down certain foods at certain times of the day.
    The good news is that I stopped feeling sick the instant my daughter was born, and even though its hard work, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Hang in there. And try some pancakes. Those really helped me in the middle of the night. :)

  7. I loved the way you describe your feelings and how unhelpful all the things people say to cheer you up can be. One thing my mother told me when I was pregnant and which I still repeat as a manra some 20 years later when new parenting challenges present themselves has proved helpful. The little piece of widom? “This too will pass” – nothing is forever, the sickness will stop, the baby will come, there will be sleep, tantrums don’t last forever, teenagers eventually stop grunting and converse with you again. On the other hand you will only pass this way once and there are also good things in every stage – the love and care your husband gives you, the warmth of a new baby asleep at your breast, the little arms wrapped round your neck, the toothy smile, the gappy smile, those trusting eyes that look up at you to make sense of the world – so find the good and savour that while you can.
    Good luck and I hope the sickness passes soon x

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