For two and a half years, I wished on every star, eyelash, and birthday candle that I would get pregnant. I had almost lost hope of giving my daughter a sibling when boom: two pink lines. I was blissed out on baby dust for a solid week. Then, the symptoms kicked in and my gratitude was replaced by round-the clock complaining.
“Kill me now,” I moaned to my husband recently, after bowing to the porcelain throne. “Didn’t you, um, want to be pregnant?” He reminded me. “Desperately?” I did. I do! But I was under the mistaken notion that the second pregnancy would be somehow easier. Muscle memory would be on my side.
Instead, I have all the symptoms from round one plus a whole new batch of so-weird-I-have-to-Google-it ailments. For instance, cotton mouth, the likes of which I have not experienced since college, when my roommate had a bong. I’ve created a tropical eco system on my side of the bed with a humidifier and a case of electrolyte-enhanced bottled water, and I’m still waking up parched.
Below the waist, it’s the opposite. I’m borderline incontinent, and really wondering if I should just keep a stash of Depends next to the Pampers Swaddlers. I’ve also got a rash, from — get this — my thighs rubbing together. It’s very attractive, and probably here to stay thanks to the freakish fall heat waves we’ve been having in Los Angeles.
I get these headaches (plus nosebleeds!) that I’d be sure were a brain tumor if Dr. Internet didn’t keep reassuring me that they’re a normal part of pregnancy.
Meanwhile, my body clock has reset to nocturnal. I’m wandering our house wide awake at 3 a.m. and crushingly exhausted as soon as the sun rises. This would be fine if I were an owl — an owl who wasn’t in charge of a toddler.
I’m starving all the time, but when I feed the beast, I’m rewarded with heartburn. And that’s the best case scenario.
My sense of smell could be used to solve crimes right now, but instead it’s just creating reasons for me to throw up. My prenatal vitamins turned out to have fish oil in them, something I never noticed until super smeller was like, “Gross, let’s expel all these nasty vitamins and nutrients before they can help the baby and then let’s go eat some fish-oil free cake!” It’s at these moments when my husband — who would have been perfectly happy with one child — likes to tease me by saying, “After this baby, I think we should try again for another one right away!”
I can’t laugh, or round ligament pain shoots through my abdomen. It’s worse when I get out of bed too fast, a clear sign that I should just stay there.
And then there is the guilt. Just months ago, I thought I was losing my infertility battle. It was hard to hear anyone’s happy baby news, let alone someone humble bragging about her damn pregnancy symptoms. And now, here I am, that whiny knocked up girl I used to cross the street to avoid. It’s not that I don’t want this baby, or know how incredibly lucky I am to have this chance, it’s just that I truly forgot how crazy hard it can be to be pregnant.
Let’s just say I could never be a Duggar.