Pregnancy has taught me two things. Yes, you have creepy dreams during your first trimester and of course there is the morning sickness, but that isn't what I've learned. Yes, you get really tired and you'll feel your baby kick around week 19, but that isn't what I've learned. Yes, at 25 weeks you basically cannot paint your toe nails and you may have to ask a stranger in the hospital parking lot to help you buckle your shoes, but still, that isn't what I've learned.
Aside from all the stuff you can read in What to Expect When You're Expecting these are the two take-aways I'd like to share with any woman who has yet to make the long jump into motherhood.
1. On Wednesday, when you wake up at 6:05 am in a panic because you forgot to take the garbage cans to the curb...and you thought you heard a garbage truck...give yourself about 10 minutes to get out of bed. What used to be a simple thing, jumping out of bed, now looks like you are wrestling a blanket in slow motion. And losing.
2. There are 2 possibilities for your pregnancy and which one you get is decided for you. Nothing you do or say can change which kind of pregnancy you have. You could have a graceful pregnancy where everything goes well, your skin glows, your hair gets thick and you can wear your regular jeans thru the fifth month. This type of pregnancy is usually saved for the girls who already have good skin, wear skinny jeans with dignity and can fit their calves into Hunter brand wellies from Nordstrom. Option 2 is, well, less ideal. Option 2 can also be referred to by making a few simple sounds like "Ohhhh", or "Ugh", or even "Umph!". Movies are made about option 2. Comedies. Gwyneth Paltrow may even appear in a fat suit.
There is no prenatal yoga in option 2. No dewy skin or dignified jeans. Option 2 is pure humiliation with moments of hell mixed in. Cellulite forms. Bed rest is issued. Fibroids grow to the size of a softball. Jobs are lost. There's lots of pelvic pain and cramping and contractions. You grow thick blond hair on your belly and along with a swollen tummy you also get swollen flanks. FLANKS. Trust me, if you were a cow going to slaughter in option 2, you'd have about 30 good flank steaks and rib eye on each side.
Option 2 turns you into a fart machine and if you're lucky you get random B.O. in your left armpit no matter how much scrubbing or deoderant you apply. And the best part about option 2 is that your house suffers. You still keep up with the laundry but now have piles of clean folded clothes all over the house, and fur balls have collected in the corners because you haven't done the floors in a month and a half.
On the bright side, neighbors bring you cookies and pedicures are a slice of heaven. Laying in bed on a rainy morning (you can do that because, remember, you lost your job?) brings a simple pleasure you wouldn't otherwise know. And you actually come to like the bran cereal you eat for breakfast every morning.
And there you have it. Pregnancy 101.