Sunday, February 10, 2013

Getting Real About Pregnancy

Kaitlin at The Abortion Gang wants some straight talk about pregnancy.

Lies! So many lies. And so much lying by omission; so much just not-telling about the truth of pregnancy. Media has a nicely packaged version of pregnancy that is meant to make it look difficult, but funny, and ultimately completely worthwhile. This is understandable, since most media is run by people who can never, ever actually get pregnant. I have a theory about the lying and lying-by-omission done by people who have understand pregnancy on more intimate terms, too. I think that people who know the truth about pregnancy lie about it because if we knew the truth about pregnancy, almost no one would ever consent to being pregnant.

She goes on to say how freaky pregnancy is, and how weird it is that the baby can practically high-five you through the womb.

I've had four full-term pregnancies.

And I was in the dark about pregnancy until I got pregnant. And so are many other women.

I don't think it's some big conspiracy.

I think people just don't give a rat's butt about your pregnancy symptoms and they sure as heck don't want to hear your birthing horror stories. Yes, vaginas tear during birth, but it's not something you tell at your Christmas get together. There is such a thing as over-sharing.

Here's the reality about pregnancy: results vary WIDELY. Take morning sickness for instance.
Morning sickness? That ain’t some cute sh** you see in the movies where you throw up once or twice and then the truth slowly dawns all over your face and then you run to the drug store, pick up a test, and flash-cut to you sitting on a toilet holding a stick with a plus sign and then it fades away so you can hurry up to the setting-up-the-crib montage. Morning sickness often doesn’t fade away. Morning sickness is crippling. For some pregnant people, morning sickness is code for “7 months of constantly having the flu, running a slight fever, vomiting several times a day.” You should read the whole post I just linked to. It’s by a young woman who’s pregnant and it mostly details sitting on or near the toilet literally all day, every day.

Morning sickness crippling?

Depends. It can be.

It can also be non-existent.

I had dry heaves. That means that I had the feeling I was going to hurl all day, but nothing would come up except maybe acid reflux. In my first three pregnancies, the only way I knew how to get rid of that sick feeling was eat Kraft Toffees. I'm sure it's no shock for you to learn that I'm forty pounds overweight. For the fourth pregnancy, I managed to control my nausea by bingeing on carrots.

Was it crippling? Crippling is a bit of a strong word. More like: very annoying and depressing. I would dream about food, then eat it, then want to throw it up and have the dry heaves.

The fatigue, however, was fairly crippling.

But it goes away for the second trimester. To return in the third.

But this is just my experience.

All this to say that just because somebody has a bad episode of this symptom or that symptom doesn't mean you will.

You will not know how pregnancy will affect you until you`re actually pregnant.

The question is: how badly do you want to have a child?

For most of us, pregnancy was was worth the discomfort. And in some ways, it's almost like pregnancy makes you worthy to be a mom, because you're willing to suffer for your kid.

I would also like to impart another notion that is often not said about pregnancy and childbearing:

They toughen you up.

Before I had a baby, you could not pay me to change a diaper.

Having had four now, I am astonished at the various effluvia I have wiped up. Things that would have made me gag in my pre-maternity days don't even bother me now.

All this to say that, pregnancy can be hard, but don't be too melodramatic about it. A woman who is having the baby will have a different perspective than a woman who's never had one.

And oh, how nice of you to call the fetus a baby, like the rest of us do.