When I found out about this pregnancy, I went straight to PCOS/infertility forums for first trimester support. I learned very quickly that when you’re infertile or fertility challenged in some way, it’s taboo to talk about the bad sides of pregnancy. Everything is happiness and rainbows! Our babies aren’t just babies, they’re miracle babies! Pregnancy is beautiful no matter what happens! Those aren’t stretch marks – they’re tiger stripes! Ok, ok. I get it. Babies are awesome. Pregnancy is a magical thing. You know what, though? It’s also really gross, and I’m tired of being told that I’m a bad person if I complain. After 8 long months, I have complaining to do.
The last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy bring indignity to a whole new level. I thought about suffering through this portion of the third trimester in silence due to aforementioned infertility taboos, but I feel like the silence must be broken. I’m sorry. This is gross, but I need to get it out there so I can laugh instead of cry.
Things that have been said in our house today:
“We must never speak of this again.”
“What exactly are your butt problems?”
“I’m not sure it’s ok for that part of me to bleed.”
“We can leave after I email my midwife about my, uh, anal disturbances.”
“I’m going to leave my boob out all day. My nipple feels like fire.”
Yesterday, we spent 15 minutes at Target weighing the pros and cons of maxi pads vs Depends and then deciding on what size and absorbency of pads to get after I refused to go down the adult diaper path even though they’ve been strongly recommended by women I know who had to suffer through both heavy postpartum bleeding and incontinence. I figure if we have that problem, we’re overnighting things from Amazon. And I will be checking the “this is a gift” box so that I don’t get suggestions based on my history of buying adult diapers. Pregnancy isn’t pretty. It’s just not.
After leaving the “feminine needs” aisle feeling very unfeminine, we headed on over to the aisle full of products for my previously mentioned anal disturbances. First thing I saw in that aisle? A pretty young woman quickly stood up, averted her gaze from the Tuck’s medicated pads she’d been eyeing, and started pretending to compare fiber supplements. It’s ok, honey. I understand. I do the same thing. Since my last shred of dignity was left behind somewhere between the Depends endcap and the wall of Always, I dove right in to loudly weighing the pros and cons of medicated wipes vs pads and Tuck’s vs Preparation-H vs generic. The pretty lady beside me seemed relieved, as she was able to stop wasting time at the fiber pills and resume her hunt for the perfect butt medicine. For those dying to know, I went with the Target brand witch hazel and aloe wipes, economy size. She got the Tuck’s.
This is how it really is, people. It’s not all crib assembly, nursery pictures, gently cradling a blossoming belly in maternity photos, baby showers, and shopping for adorably tiny clothes that make you cry when you hold that soft, sweet fabric up to your face. I mean, there’s that, too. Sure. But all of that is sandwiched between the half hour I spent naming my hemorrhoid (his name is Roy), the long trip to Target, and emailing my midwife to ask when a bleeding ass warrants a trip to the doctor. Speaking of hemorrhoids: as tempting as it is to get a mirror and check out what’s going on down there, don’t do it. Now I’m grossed out AND I have to think up a name for the second one I didn’t know was down there.
Nipples. Oh god, the nipples. They feel like someone chewed them up like pieces of bubble gum and then lit matches under them.
Heartburn. That’s back. It went away during the second trimester but in the third, you get all hormonal again. Progesterone and relaxin, they kinda loosen everything up. You get burpy and burny. The baby grows and presses into your stomach and that increases both of those things. You get to make fun decisions after a meal like, “Do I want to hold in this painful burp that’s making my heartburn worse, or do I want to burp and get relief but risk vomiting?” That’s a decision I make after almost every meal, which is partly why I snack a lot these days. I have to plan meals around heartburn so I can go to sleep at night. Indian food? Can’t have it after 5pm or I will never sleep.
What else is there? Oh, right. The post title.Waking the baby. Progesterone also causes gas. Lots. Of. Gas. I woke the baby, you guys. I actually farted so loud that I woke up my sleeping fetus. She startled awake with a jerk and then kneed me in the bellybutton and kicked me in the rib. No fucking joke.
Remember when I thought not reaching my feet to clip my toenails was my biggest problem? That was cute.