This pregnancy has been a lot different than the one I had with Emory. For starters, I’m wearing my fat a lot higher. Did this happen to anyone else? I’ve heard that second pregnancies tend to show faster, but this is silly. It’s as if all of my body fat got evicted and migrated north, settling directly under my boobs, like an aggregation of bloated hobos looking for shade.
I don’t yet look pregnant, instead I look like I’m wearing a padded, bulletproof vest. But I have boobs! And thanks to my progesterone levels (which are so high my doctor asked if I’ve been taking progesterone supplements; I’m not.) my boobs are on the large side. The good news for them, I guess, is that they have a shelf of fat to rest on whenever they get tired or my bra gives out. I’m ready to move into a muumuu. And believe me, there are stores lining Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint that specialize in selling just that.
I’m not wearing this pregnancy very well. And just to kick myself further down the self-loathing ladder, I went and compared this 15-week belly with the one I had with Em. And: ugh. It ain’t pretty.
Toby has been reminding me lately, whenever I complain about how horrible I look or how can he stand to look at me right now, that my hormones are all wacky and I’m being too hard on myself. Granted, sometimes he’ll throw in the bit about not buying the big bag of BBQ potato chips, which I asked him to do, but dude, you try telling a pregnant woman she can’t eat that certain something.
But he’s right. I need to lay off the chips and food in general. Not only because I’m putting on more and more weight, but because every time I eat, I feel like complete and total ass. It’s a catch-22. I feel my best on an empty stomach. But as soon as I introduce food into my stomach, it’s all over. I’m down for the rest of the day or until I find myself starving again.
And that terrible taste in my mouth after eating—will it EVER go away? With Emory I had an excessive amount of saliva and a terrible taste for a few weeks, maybe a month. This time? There’s no end in sight and it’s worse! I’ve gargled with salt water, brushed my teeth after every meal. I’ve tried different types of food. I’ve tried not eating. I’ve tried new vitamins. I have googled every remedy out there. Nothing works. And I hate gum, but I’m chewing that as well.
I am grateful for this pregnancy, elated. And up until very recently I wouldn’t let myself complain about being pregnant because the alternative is far, far worse. So instead of talking about it, I’ve been internalizing everything.
So, earlier this week whenever I went in for my 14-week checkup, I got myself so worked up, convinced bad news awaited, my usual even and low blood-pressure was high. When the nurse asked me if I was nervous, I just looked at her and shook my head in defeat.
Nervous isn’t the word I would have used. Fucking terrified is more like it.
Here’s the deal: I want to enjoy this pregnancy completely and part of that enjoyment comes from being able to complain about it. And I’d love to have my innocence back in order to do so. With that innocence I would feel OK complaining about how sick I feel. Instead of thinking about the infertile girl who promised she wouldn’t ever complain about being pregnant if she could just get pregnant, I’d feel OK bitching about the nausea, the weight gain, the spit and the horrible taste in my mouth. I’d allow myself to complain about the nipple pain, the insane boob-itch, the joint ache, the dizziness, the heightened sense of smell that leaves me gagging.
Innocence allows for all of this.
When my doctor put the sonogram device to my stomach, the baby’s heartbeat was right there. It was solid, steady and fast. And the little Gangsta was moving around just like Ndugu used to.
So, screw it. I’m letting myself complain out loud today.
I feel terrible. I feel sick. The taste in my mouth is just awful. I feel fat and gross and I’m sick of the summer. I just want to curl up on the couch with my Kindle or iPhone, read the news, moan and NOT eat BBQ potato chips or drink Bubble Tea.