That’s how big the in utero one is according to babycenter.com at 29 weeks (and two days, but who’s counting?). Pregnancy has been interesting. I did some research prior to getting in this condition, but that mostly revolved around safe practices during pregnancy (eg. Can I take Claritin for allergies? What should I avoid eating? etc.). What I didn’t research was the side effects of pregnancy on the host (i.e. me). Here are my top five things that took me by surprise:
I heard all about morning sickness during the first trimester. The key word being morning. What I found out was that morning really means “It’s always morning somewhere.” My morning sickness/nausea lasted all frigging day. This seems like a rather large evolutionary disadvantage. I needed to be eating to help support the young I was growing, but eating was a difficult task to pull off successfully. When I did manage to eat most of my food consisted of carbs because it was what agreed with me. Still, the in utero one survived so Mother Nature must have figured something out.
- Gastrointestinal Issues.
I’ll try to avoid grossing anyone out, but let’s just say that my bowel movements have never held such a high importance in my life.
- What Fetal Movement Really Feels Like.
Whenever I asked someone what fetal movement feels like I got the same couple of answers: “It’s like popcorn popping.” Or “A goldfish swimming around.” Or “A rubber band pinging you from the inside.” To me it didn’t feel like any of those things. At first it didn’t feel all that much different from gas (icky, right?). After that it felt more and more alien. Right now, I’m half convinced that kiddo is going to make his entrance to the world a la Aliens.
- Round Ligament Pain.
I had never heard of this phenomena prior to getting knocked up. So, let me describe it to the uninitiated. It’s unexpected sharp pain that occurs randomly whenever you make normal movements-- even involuntary ones. For example, I sneezed this morning (lots of tree sex is going on around here). Normally sneezing is fine as long as I have a tissue. This morning I felt a sharp, stabbing pain in my middle that made me gasp and look for the knife that had just been shoved in my gut. This is round ligament pain.
- The Number of Idiots Out In The World Unsupervised.
I’m normally a fairly tolerant person. However, I am getting rather tired of everyone having an opinion. From the woman at the coffee cart who criticized my caffeine intake (I was having a 8 oz cup of brewed coffee-- not cocaine) to the acquaintance who informed me that my openness to having an epidural was tantamount to murdering my unborn child. Seriously, people stop. I know that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but can you stop sharing them with me? Yes, I know that too much caffeine is harmful. Yes, I know that having an epidural can lead to further interventions. Amazingly, I didn’t earn my Ph.D. on my looks alone. I know how to research a subject and ask intelligent questions of my healthcare team to determine the best choices for me. In summary, the population of the planet can stop their quest in educating me.
- Reactions Everyone Expects Me to Have.
Ok, I lied. I thought of one more. Everyone expects me to be super sentimental about all stages of my pregnancy. I’m asked if I’ve taken pictures of my belly (I haven’t). And I’ve been asked (more than once) if feeling my child move isn’t the most magical thing ever?!?! To be honest, nope. It’s cool, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t the end all be all of existence. I found out I was pregnant a few days before my defense. When I tell people that, they look at me and ask how could I ever keep my mind on my defense?!? To tell the truth, it wasn’t that hard. I had been looking forward to defending for an awfully long time and I was very excited about the prospect of being done. That’s not to say I wasn’t excited about kiddo. It was just... well... defending was a big accomplishment and I was (and am) proud of it. Being pregnant was another thing to be excited about and not something to compete with the defense.
I’m sure that I’ve missed some things and they will be further blog fodder in the future. Also, I apologize for the sudden turn towards pregnancy that this blog has taken. It’ll probably only get worse as this is a pretty big thing in my life right now (both metaphorically and physically-- my belly is huge!).