This blog post serves to document the groaning side of pregnancy nobody really told me about. Most women I've talked to about pregnancy tell me all the great things: your hair will shine... your skin will clear up... it's the most rewarding time of your life... you'll glow. I do glow when I'm documenting my bump - when the focus is on my baby boy. Nothing makes me smile as big as creating life, and preparing to step into motherhood.
But, it's not all glowing skin and pretty bump pictures. I realize I haven't taken the time to sit down and really hash some of this not-so-picture-perfect stuff out. Maybe another woman will read this and think "Oh my gosh, ME TOO!" Or, maybe she'll read this and think, "What an ungrateful *****." You've been warned: Here goes the most whiny post I've probably ever written.
Nobody told me about back-butt pain. It's this searing pain that starts one Saturday morning in your lower back and keeps you from standing up straight or being able to bend down. At first you think, "Hmm, baby must be sitting on a nerve weird..." UNTIL IT NEVER GOES AWAY. This started around Week 15. It's almost Week 23.
So, I'll be sitting on the couch watching Emerald City when I start moving to get up and get a drink. Suddenly, "Ah! OW... Ahhhhhh!" It sounds either entirely sexual or incredibly morbid. My husband has stopped freaking out and starting laughing out loud. I can't blame him - I know I look and sound like an 85 year old that just threw out her hip. I freeze mid-wherever-I-was when the pain hit me, and deliberate on how to physically move forward (Should I sit back down and let hubby get my drink? Do I complete this range of motion I've already committed to?) Seriously, it's excruciating. Sometimes it's pain in my lower back, sometimes it's legitimate butt pain, and on really lucky occasions - the sharp pain travels down my thigh.
I've tried physical therapy. They say my ligaments are stretching out and getting ready for labor, causing my pelvis to move in unholy ways so I have to be readjusted every day. I went to physical therapy for 6 weeks, and didn't notice much of an improvement. When I thought I was seeing improvement, it's like my body said "NOPE" and reset itself. And you know how insurance goes - they only cover a certain number of appointments until you're on your own. So now I'm back to mid-sit moaning. My husband has to hug me, lift me up, sit me on the couch and swing my legs up for me. Week 22, y'all. Week 22!!
What's really great is when it hits me at work. I'll stand up in the newsroom, and bam - I'm stabbed with pain again. I think I gave my boss a heart attack when it happened the other day and I couldn't stifle my groan. "I'm fine, I'm fine - just back-butt pain again." You know, a totally normal thing to announce. I proceed to stiffly limp out of the room and into the recording booth to attempt some awkward yoga poses behind a closed door before I go on-air.
One night while we were in Florida visiting my husband's grandparents, I woke up in the middle of the night with this burning sensation in the back of my throat. Never had that happen before. I massaged my neck, I tried sitting up to make the burning acid drain, but consequently - I was up all night. Not that I'm not used to that at this point.
Even in my first trimester I was hit with the need to pee several times in the middle of the night, and I know that's not getting any better any time soon. My nights look like this: 2:00 am - I wake up having to pee... I look at the clock and think "2 am... that's not bad. I can probably get back to sleep and get a couple hours of sleep before my alarm goes off." So I get up and go. Then I wake up again around 4:30 and look at the clock, "Are you kidding me... now I'm up for the day if I get up to pee. Maybe, if I hold it and force myself to lay here, I can sleep through it. But I really have to go... Do I bite the bullet and pee, then go make some therapy pancakes?" I decide one way or another. If I'm feeling especially strong, I sleep through it. But if I'm real honest, a trip to the toilet usually wins and I'm in the kitchen moments later.
Other nights, it's not peeing that gives me middle of the night decision making dilemmas - it's acid reflux. When I wake up with liquid fire in the back of my throat, I lay there thinking "Is it worth it to get up, walk across the house and take a couple Rolaids - taking the risk of waking my dogs and having to let them out, then possibly not even being able to fall back asleep? Or should I lay here and pretend like it's not happening until I eventually drift off again?" The latter almost ALWAYS wins that battle.
I haven't even mentioned my month and a half long saga of sickNAST. Think congestion, on more congestion, on more congestion to the point of having so much pressure in your face (I mean your WHOLE FACE... forehead, nose, ears, eyebrows, cheeks, gums, even your teeth) that you can't even speak. It started with a that-girl's-a-chain-smoker sounding cough, then moved up into my nose and settled there. I took two trips to my general practitioner to hear him literally say (and I kid you not), "Robyn, I know you're miserable... but pregnancy sucks - and you just have to suffer through it." *insert eyeroll/cry face emoji here*. So, for a month and a half, I've dealt with a mega virus that no over-the-counter medicine will boot. My sweet son will be a superhuman by the time I'm done with him - Mucinex, Robitussin, Sudafed and finally a Pseudo-ephedrine prescription won't have nothin' on him. (On the bright side - I think I am finally improving. My cough subsided, the intense facial pressure melted away, and I think I'm finally blowing out the last of the nast).
Phew... what a rant. Pregnancy has tested me in a way I never knew it would. My son is already preparing me for motherhood by keeping me up all night via snuggling into my bladder, or stretching stomach acid up into my throat. In a somewhat selfish-frustrating way, he's already making me think less of myself and all about him.
To round out this complaint-filled blog, I must say: despite all of the physical and mental challenges pregnancy has brought, I am abundantly thankful for the opportunity to carry this child. A doctor told me in college that I'd probably never be able to have children. Imagine our elation when we saw those two blue lines on that pregnancy test back in November. Despite all of the hard stuff pregnancy throws my way - I couldn't be more thrilled to be on this adventure I didn't think I'd ever be able to experience.
To my son:
You are worth every single cry of pain. You are worth every single sleepless night. You are worth every hour of sniffles and sinus pressure. You are worth every self-conscious glance in the mirror and every unexplainable tear. You are worth every trip to the doctor and every weird explanation to coworkers. You are my little miracle. You are the most difficult, greatest thing I've ever done.