sure, maybe my hair's a little thicker, my nails are growing quicker, my skin is glowing--honestly, it's always been oily, and it still is--i have a more acute sense of smell, and my breasts are larger, but frankly, i had all that going for me BEFORE i got pregnant 4.5 months ago :). it's all of the other "symptoms" that come along with being pregnant that i'm not so sure about.
i sneeze at least once a day for several minutes at a time. if i'm lucky, i'm awake when that happens. otherwise, i get awakened from my already not-so-deep sleep. oh, yeah, what's that? aren't i supposed to be sleep-deprived AFTER the baby arrives? sure, i expected that the last month or so would be tricky with a huge belly to contend with, but now??? i frequently wake up with heart palpatations due to psycho, and i do mean psycho dreams. before pregnancy, i dreamt of everyday life, basic things. in fact, i didn't even regularly remember my dreams. now, it's people chasing me with knives and all sorts of craziness. and as if that wasn't enough, i pee...a LOT. last night, i peed four times between the hours of 9.30 and 12 when i should have been SLEEPING! did you drink lots of coffee or tea or water before bed?, you might ask. NO! i'm just pregnant. and some nights, i either awaken super early--don't get me wrong, i love early mornings, but 4 is WAY too early--or just can't fall asleep (last night, i was awake until past 2!!). part of the sleep deprivation is that i can't get comfortable; i feel like every bone in my body aches, and i don't know how to make it stop. ironically, however, falling asleep at random times during the day is no problem at all because i am constantly exhausted...
oh yeah, there was also the kidney stone i was rushed to the ER with a few weeks ago (2 days after arriving in NC to begin our summer holiday stateside). apparently those can be caused by prenatal vitamins. just stop taking them! you might say. oh, no. they're necessary. why does no one tell you these things?!?!? maybe because everyone would just want to adopt if they knew :).
seriously, i'm struggling. it was one thing to know that the first trimester would be tricky and not so fun because of morning sickness, which in my case was a combination of all-day, i-constantly-feel-like-i'm-going-to-puke-but-i-won't and i'm-starving-regardless-of-whether-or-not-i've-just-eaten sickness, but it's a whole other playing field when you realise that there's no magical cut off line with the trimesters. the first has flowed into the second without much change, so i've yet to experience the so-called "honeymoon phase" (really? that exists??). i still can't stomach the thoughts of rice, bulgar, couscous, or barley, all of which were favourite grains of mine until the all-day sickness started. WHY?!?
and i haven't even mentioned the hormonal issues. i haven't really had any crazy flip-out moments--not that i ever needed to be pregnant for that to happen ;)--but i just feel very unlike myself and constantly irritable over stupid things. i was craving a sausage, egg, and cheese mcmuffin (and i don't even like mcdonald's) while we were on holiday in savannah, and when i opened my sandwich and found it void of egg, i cried. i sat in the parking lot and cried. and the thing is, one part of my brain was telling me that a lack of egg on my breakfast sandwich was no glass of spilt milk, but the hormonal side of my brain took over. ridiculous. my precious husband--a saint through all this, i tell you!!--patiently and calmly walked back into mcdonald's to get me some egg while i sat in the car and let the tears flow. on top of all my other pregnancy woes, the lack of egg at that moment was just too much for me to handle.
the ironic truth is, though, that i've wanted to be a mom for as long as i can remember. i had more cabbage patch kids--remember those??--than i can count, and i've always loved babies and the thought of having one (or more) of my own. but now that i'm here, in this process of God creating life inside me, i just feel like crying...a lot. so far, it's not what i thought it would be, and i'm really struggling with disappointment. don't get me wrong; i WANT this baby very much, and i have so much love to give him/her, and i certainly didn't expect to be a "magical pregnancy unicorn"--watch "What to Epect When You're Expecting" if you haven't :)--but i didn't expect THIS. i didn't expect to be so disappointed when i have a healthy baby growing inside of me for whom i've longed for what seems like my whole life.
that said, i'm just trying to wrap my head (and my disappointed heart) around that fact that pregnancy isn't dreamy...not yet, anyway, and maybe it never will be for me. i don't have a cute basketball/watermelon belly (and i'm sure that my stomach will never look like that, unfortunately), but instead some other alien-like tummy; i only eat certain foods; i'm constantly exhausted and hungry; headaches and heartburn seem to be standard these days; my body makes all sorts of foreign noises you don't want to know about; and exerting myself beyond walking down the street makes me breathless.
so far, that's what pregnancy is like for me. if you're out there, and you're feeling anything similar to what i am, then i hope you realise that you're not alone. i'd love to chat with you or pray with you over life as we know it. if you are one of those magical pregnancy unicorns, congratulations! don't talk to me until mid-january...when my precious little one has arrived and i've long forgotten my present-day woes :).
in the meantime, i'm trying to focus on the fact that our baby is healthy, that God has blessed me with a husband who loves me with what can only be described as holy love, and that God's grace is so much greater than all my griping and complaining. here's to the beginning of an early countdown to one of the best gifts God could give us! can't wait for THIS to be over and for our precious little one to arrive!