I’m reading every book that seems well rated on Amazon about pregnancy, child birth and infant care. My trick is to check out reader reviews and search for the titles through my local library, because I’m committed to only buying books that are worth keeping. Not all of these books are keepers, which once again proves my theory that just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s worth your time and energy. Based on my research thus far, here are some observations:
1. You will glow with pregnancy. I am not ‘glowing’. That’s MAC bronzer and Bare Esscentuals powder concealer. Also dark brown Bare Esscentuals mascara. If I don’t apply these products over a light layer of Aveeno moisturizer my eyelashes are so fair that they vanish completely, my eyes are ringed like a raccoon, and my skin is see-through like a character in a teen lit series. Pregnancy has not enhanced my natural beauty one whit. My mother blessed me with good skin, however that skin now looks like a road map because my naturally pale complexion is the perfect canvas for my newly-engorged vascular system.
2. Your breasts may ‘slightly’ change in early pregnancy. Maybe this is true for some people, but my perky perfectly round pregnant lady tatas have me finally understanding the breast augmentation phenomenon. Sure they ache some days like I’ve been slashed with paper, and true my aureola now resemble slices of salami but I’m rocking every low cut shirt and push up bra in my wardrobe like never before. My tits are so awesome that even my kids can’t keep their hands off them. It’s funny that I get a rack like this at the same time I get a belly like Santa. By funny, I mean that I’m going to breast feed until this kid is six so I can enjoy this phenomenon well after my uterus shrinks.
3. The ‘Girlfriend’s Guide’ books are the best. Don’t even bother with these, unless you like condescending, super-negative, man-hating cranky bitches for your girlfriends. I’ve tried now to read two books in this series, and both got me only ten pages in before I tossed them across the room with a groan and an eye roll. With such sage advice as “you’ll never want to have sex again” I think I’ll leave it up to the real life awesome women I know to guide me in the right direction. When I feel like listening to other people.
4. You only need 300 additional calories until your third trimester. This cannot be possible. Unless they mean 300 additional calories per meal.
5. Carrying around snacks in your purse is a good idea. Carrying around snacks is one hundred percent necessary unless you want to end up a single parent. My hunger comes on so fast now, and is so intense that if I don’t eat something immediately terrible things happen. Like me shrieking at N “I can’t think! I don’t know what I want! Just pull over at this Loblaws!!” I then proceeded to stumble out of the car, into the grocery store in search of a ready-made sandwich they didn’t have. I got confused, and disoriented and began pacing the aisles in desperation, only to be rescued by N who snatched me and a bag of Smart Food up and that was the end of that. I liken it to how Bruce Banner must feel just before he transforms into The Hulk. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry…”
6. Pregnancy may affect your digestive tract. “To poo or not to poo” has become my tortured soliloquy each and every day. There is no rhyme or reason to what helps and what hinders my digestive process. It seems to be up to the fickle hand of the gods. And so I have decided it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fiber intake than to take arms against my C(olon) of trouble and by laxative end this misery. Also my GP basically told me I could poo out my baby by engaging the same muscle response used in labour with over-stimulation by laxatives. To which I shot N my best “I told you so” look. “Better to be constipated” my doc said. Yeah, no kidding.
7. You may notice as you enter your second trimester that you are starting to show a little. I admit that I am not exactly a lean, mean, fighting machine but that does not explain why I look six months pregnant at this 14 week marker. I now detest pants. None of my normal pants fit anyway, and my uterus has not yet climbed high enough out of my pelvis to make any kind of waist band comfortable. Maternity pants are a bit more comfortable, but my real happy place will be when I can switch to dresses once and for all. Warm up already, please! The good news is that I can still see my feet.
8. You may feel a little bit emotional. I don’t feel a little bit emotional, I feel like Sybil. One day I’m calm and serene and feel like the world is a beautiful place, the next I am filled with panic and despair and I cry at the drop of a hat. Actually, I cry either way. About everything. It’s fun.
9. You may have more vivid dreams. I’ve gone from not ever being able to remember my dreams to remembering at least one dream each night in great detail. Highlights include sexy times with Keanu Reeves (this was a surprise to me) to a work colleague licking my ear, to being the old lady in an HBO biker gang. Perhaps I need to watch less TV?
10. You can tell people not to touch your belly. Oddly, this doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Perhaps it’s because most of the people who have reached out to give me a pat aren’t strangers. I think the real reason why I’m largely okay with this is because whenever I do get a tummy touch it’s delivered with such wonderment and joy that it’s actually sweet, and I rather feel like people are bestowing a blessing or trying to get close to the “baby magic”. It’s especially cute when delivered by my man props or burly crew men. Nobody has ever attempted this when I’m hungry though. Perhaps that would be another story altogether.
In short, I’m loving the physical experience of pregnancy and the hilarious an amazing changes therein. No, truly I am, there is no sarcasm here whatsoever. It’s an amazing ride. If this continues to go as well as it has, and I am not totally traumatized by giving birth, I may want another shot at being preggers. Or maybe we’ll just get a puppy.
I’m reading a great book right now by Penelope Leach called the Essential First Year. The photos are beautiful, the advice sound and current, intuitive really from my perspective and it’s written joyfully and positively. This will be an addition to our home library for sure, and if you’d like a copy you can pick it up here.