“Pregnancy is beautiful.”
Haven’t we all heard this? Haven’t we all heard how much women love carrying life? How absolutely wonderful it is? So, that’s what you expect, right? Maybe a few niggles here and there, but obviously it’s going to be just wonderful.
Let’s start with arguably the most common and expected symptom. Morning Sickness. First, it isn’t what the name suggests, it isn’t morning sickness at all. It’s morning, noon, afternoon or evening and for the lucky few (myself included) ALL DAY sickness! It isn’t the romanticized puke a little in the am be okay by midday debolacle ever present in novels and movies. It’s awful gut wrenching, soul draining, hurling! For some, (you guessed it, me), it wasn’t throwing up at all. It’s perpetual, horrible nausea. It never goes away, it keeps you hungry and keeps you from eating. Everything makes you nauseous. You develop the sensory smell of a blood hound, and if it was going to make you sick, you could smell it a mile away! To my horror, I also learned of a more severe condition, medically termed “hyperemesis gravidarum” which just means excessive vomiting during pregnancy. This usually lasts longer than regular morning sickness as well. So while you are there feeling like you are on death’s door, you whisper a prayer of gratitude that you do not have HG and silently curse the women who never experience morning sickness at all.
Then there are the lovely food aversions. For me, this was accompanied by a wretched taste that seemed ever-present (it really was) and the inability to actually taste anything. As a pregnant newbie, the expectation was that a few things I used to like, I wouldn’t like anymore, right? My poor bubble! It was everything! If it was food, I hated it. The smell, the taste, the look. What saucery! I found I even hated fruits! Who does that?! Chicken. Oh how I hated chicken! As though the taste and overall stench wasn’t horrifying enough, the smell of raw or cooking chicken and meat! Take me now! By this terrifying point I was wondering what woman in their cotton picking mind would do this more than once. I even asked my mom, “A how you good suh?? 4???”. Losing 10 lbs from my 130 lbs frame was not what I bargained for at all. I thought my worries would be the reverse. Gaining, not losing.
Then the crazy came. Those dreadful hormones. The ones you tell yourself you will actively keep in check, because you have a wonderful husband, whom just didn’t deserve that. The next thing you know, you are going bananas over a question as simple as “What would you like to eat?”. I mean, the nerve of him asking me that! How dare he?! Doesn’t he know how sick I’m feeling? Doesn’t he know how hungry I am? Why isn’t he being supportive?…. And then it hits you like a ton of bricks. That your train of thought makes absolutely no sense. And yet, you can’t formulate a better one. So you cry. And cry. Because, well, you are crying over foolishness and being unreasonable and God knows why else but well, you need to cry.
Additionally, the one I had absolutely never heard of, the horrid skin problems. Did someone lose a lizard? Dry, scaly, itchy, sensitive skin. You drink water until you are blue in the face, and moisturize like you never have before, and yet, dry, itchy, scaly, sensitive skin. Dry patches everywhere. So now on top of it all, you’re feeling ugly now too.
But remember, ‘pregnancy is beautiful’ and then comes the general statement from everyone. “It will be better in the second trimester”…..
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