Thursday, June 07, 2007

Up the duff - Part II

Reading back my previous post it sounds as though I didn't want any of this (to be pregnant) and am resentful of the whole process. Actually quite the contrary is true. We had planned on trying for a baby this year, only we didn't realise that trying would involve pretty much one time on the right day when the planets were aligned just so, a dog was howling somewhere in the distance, and I had found a four leaf clover. In other words, I was ovulating. Seriously, we thought we'd have six months or so of, well, enjoying trying, and then maybe we'd strike it lucky. But it happened right off the bat. So it is true what they tell you in high school!

The sickness that I have experienced is probably on the extreme end of the scale. Some women have little to no morning sickness at all, others have, as I explained in my previous post, perpetual nausea and a sense of motion sickness. And then there's me and a handful of women who actually get the full on throwing up. I really didn't have a clue it would be like this, mostly because the women in my family and those of my friends that have had babies never experienced anything like it.

Along with throwing up and nausea, I also have an acutely sensitive sense of smell, and a lot of things make me feel sick: Cigarette smoke, garlic, onion (cooking worse), meat, fish, a lot of perfumes, clothing fabric, household cleaning agents - esp bleach. The list goes on. One whiff and I'm running to the loo or nearest roadside bin. Not fun I tell you, and very debilitating and limiting. I haven't been in a restaurant in ages, let alone attempted cooking anything beyond a piece of toast. Again, a lot of women don't have this problem - I guess I just got lucky.

The first three months are also tough because although you don't actually look pregnant, you are so tired it's unbelievable. This is especially difficult for women who have jobs and don't want to tell people before their three-month mark. By mid afternoon you are so exhausted it's hard to keep your eyes open. And simple things like climbing a set of stairs becomes a mammoth task, as you get out of breath really quickly. That's also because at some point in those three months you begin carrying 50% more blood in your body. It wares you out.

Your breasts get huge and painful, as in really painful. In my case I found sleeping in a bra, that better resembled a reinforced hammock, helped immensely. Definitely not sexy bedtime apparel, but what with being exhausted and feeling sick, looking sexy kind of plummets down the list of priorities. Your body begins to change shape, you lose your waist, and there are days you feel like not much more than a human host with little say in the matter. Apparently this gets worse especially in the last couple of months of pregnancy.

So yes, it's tough to feel excited and happy when you are so chronically and violently sick and exhausted what feels like 24-7. It's kind of like having a really shitty case of the flu, and your friend arrives and starts telling you about an upcoming party where there's going to be this gorgeous guy you've had your eye on for ages, and how there's this brilliant sale full of great dresses at your favourite shop. These things would usually have you grabbing your credit card and running out of the house, but because you feel like shit you simply nod and say, "That's nice, maybe when I'm feeling better," which feels as though it's going to be never.

That's kind of how it's felt for me up until now. I know I should be happy and exited, and there are brief moments between feeling sick that I genuinely do. Like the day Robert arrived back from Hong Kong with a miniature Chairman Mao-style silk jacket in pale blue for our pending arrival. Our little one's first gift making it suddenly feel more like a reality rather than just a virus. (And no, we don't know what the sex is yet - but he's a man, and they all assume their first born will be a boy, ergo the pale blue).

Or when we have our scans, and I see this little person, who is only the size of a lime, but already has these little fingers and arms and legs, and facial features, and it's doing little flips and waving it's arms about, that it dawns on me and I'm like, 'Oh my god, this is pretty amazing, and this little person is going to be with us in six months.' Those are the moments that strangely make all the vomiting, soreness, and tiredness suddenly feel very worth it, and keep you going.

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