So please forgive me if you happen to be aware of all of my newly founded revelations I’m about to make about pregnant women (mainly THIS pregnant woman). I really had no idea… and shame on me since I’m a nurse, too! So these are the things I’ve learned so far — that is, in the past 18 weeks of pregnancy. I’m sure I’ll have a whole new post for things I’ve learned during the remaining 22 weeks!
1. A women’s taste buds literally go haywire during pregnancy. As in: “This broccoli tastes like bitter poison.” And what tastes semi-tolerable during the 8th week of pregnancy may taste positively disgusting just a day or two later. There is no diagram for predicting what one’s tastes buds will prefer, because they seem to undergo chemical changes multiple times a day. (Just ask my husband who recently ran out to pick up the dinner I had been dreaming of, only to find that I could barely choke it down.)
2. Back pain. Who knew that carrying a tiny baby the size of an almond can literally cause sciatica nerve pain in your back? Really? How is something that small already infringing on nearby nerves? If someone had told me this before I got pregnant I would have seriously wondered if they were a hypochondriac. These were complaints I had expected from someone in their last trimester, not their first. That is, until it happened to me…
3. Despite being pregnant, I haven’t forgotten what it felt like to go through years of infertility and pain associated with endometriosis and the possibility of never having children. The pain from that experience is still very fresh, and although we have a child on the way, my battle with endometriosis may very well be decades long.
4. Always knowing where the closest restroom is. At work, at the mall, at a restaurant, at the airport, at church– you name the place: The location and proximity of the nearest restroom is always on the mind of an expectant woman.
5. Getting over the fact that for several months you just looked like you gained weight or “got fat.” Sure, whatever. One of these days that belly will really pop out and the confusion will be over once and for all.
6. Some very few women skip and hop through pregnancy like it’s the best and most fulfilling time in their lives. The rest of us wonder if it’s normal to feel so uncomfortable when others still can’t tell from appearances that we’re pregnant. So tell me… I’m still wondering… Is it normal?
7. Adding on to #6, the thought of holding one’s newly born child and knowing that pregnancy is just a season is one of the few things that alters one’s perspective for the better when dealing with daily pain.
8. Dreams so real that you wake up and wonder if it really happened. And, dreams about what your own baby’s delivery will be like. Please tell me it won’t be that horrible… (as in painful!).
9. Ibuprofen is a beloved and very good but missed friend. Tylenol is a pathetic acquaintance who always fails to deliver.
10. Having your belly patted is a strange experience.
So there are some things I’ve learned along the way about pregnancy. It is much harder than I ever expected, but more thrilling than I could have dared myself to believe. I look forward to the things I will be learning in the next months to come!