If you ask any mom what childbirth is like, or more specifically, whether it was painful, she’ll most likely tell you that the joy of having your child in your arms will make you forget whatever you were yelling at your significant other three pushes earlier. This is true, and I can vouch for it, because after twelve hours of back labor, contractions, bouncing on a birthing ball, yelling that I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO PUSH RIGHTNOWRIGHTNOWRIGHTNOW, all without drugs, I can honestly tell you I don’t remember what it felt like. I remember describing it to Evan shortly thereafter, so I know what my words said it felt like, but all moms are correct: as soon as they hand that little, tiny, sweet-smelling bundle to you, the only thing you feel is love. Lots and lots and lots of love.
Now, the second time around, I’ve learned that this same “you’ll totally forget about it!” thing holds true for something else: THE FIRST TRIMESTER. I originally wrote this post weeks ago, when we were still in the first trimester (maybe five or six weeks along?) No matter how close together your pregnancies are, here’s what I know: as soon as the first trimester is over, the memory of its grossness is out the window. The second time around arrives, you pee on that stick, see those pink lines, and you’re super SUPER excited. Then, two days later, the following happens:
- SNOT. All snot in your body, including snot not yet produced, relocates to the back of your sinuses/throat. You can’t blow it out and you can’t cough it up, unless you want to vom all over your coworkers. If you’re like me, you don’t even know how to hock a loogie (I feel like a moron just typing those words – is that what they call it everywhere, or just in the South?) so you just swallow the goo all day long. ALL. DAY. LONG. Sometimes you can blow your nose, and it looks like a Christmas tree. My details end there, but former pregs, you know what I mean.
- BOOBS. Maybe thee one redeeming quality of the first trimester: you will have enormous boobs. Unfortunately, you can’t have any fun with them. They hurt all the time, and your cute bras do not fit, unless you want quadra-boob every time you bend over and stand up. You take out the old standbys from the back of the drawer: the ones with padded straps, and no patterns or bows. Basic colors. We’re here to do a job, not to look cute. Nothing to see here, and HANDS OFF.
- BLOAT. No, you aren’t showing. You won’t be showing for many, many more weeks. But you feel like you’re showing, because you’re so bloated you can’t button your pants. So you resort to wearing nothing but yoga pants and sundresses until this feeling finally subsides after five weeks.
- SMELLS. If you had garlic shrimp for dinner three nights ago, I can still smell it. Please go away.
- FOOD. Really, it’s more like food aversions. I’ve never had morning sickness or nausea, but there were always certain foods that would make me want to yak all over the place during those first few weeks. Maybe it was a texture thing; the mere thought of eating yogurt would turn me green. Same goes for soggy cereal, tuna fish sandwiches and mayo. As a former Weight Watchers follower, I should appreciate that part of the first trimester, because it was really God’s way of keeping things in check for when the second trimester arrives and you instantly need to be fed hourly. All the food in my face hole right now, please. Extra frosting.
- EMOTIONS. Okay, this one hangs out well past the first trimester (actually, once you become a mom, it never goes away) but it’s especially prominent for me right now. And no, it’s not always tears you’ll see (happy tears and sad tears and hungry tears…pregs cry about everything) because your crazy, raging hormones mean your fuse can be pretty short. Like if the dog doesn’t stop staring at me, I’M JUST GOING TO LOCK HER IN THE GARAGE. LEAVE ME ALONE.
- DREAMS. Holy shit, I forgot about how weird the dreams are. John Stamos? Burritos? Christmas trees?
And so, for the duration of the first trimester, I lived with a Vicks humidifier on my nightstand and drank two mugs of Sleepytime every night (warding off the John Stamos dreams). Yoga pants were (still are) my best friend. At least now everyone knows why I’m always wearing yoga pants (because I’m lazy and buttons/zippers are the work of the devil).