It’s been a few months since I posted, but that’s because I was busy cooking up a person.
You must be thinking, “wow, Carrie is by far the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen, but you were just sitting there gestating this whole time. You couldn’t come up with anything to write about?” But it takes a lot of a person’s focus to procure stretchy pants, and then even stretchier pants. And it’s no piece of cake, choosing which baby forehead thermometer to register for. Obviously you need to read all 52,781 Amazon reviews to be absolutely certain that it won’t turn your baby against you forever.
So I figure why not type up a new post now, when I get about half the sleep I’m used to getting? I know I cheated all six of my fans with the lack of “being pregnant is so crazy, you guys!” posts. I am disappointed in myself, truly. It was a rich opportunity for me to entertain you, and I failed. But let me try to ease the pain by offering a comprehensive pregnancy post to sum up the last several months of my life. Bonus: practical pregnancy advice is included, free of charge. Donations are of course welcome.
First Trimester (weeks 1-12…ish)
This trimester was the hardest of the three, in my opinion. And it makes sense, looking back on it. Only your closest friends and family members know you’re pregnant, so you just come across as someone with a really bad hangover at all social gatherings. And you feel like someone with a really bad hangover at all social gatherings… oh, and also all day long.
To give you an incredibly non-personal and hypothetical example that absolutely did not happen to me specifically, spending a warm summer day lounging by a pool with good friends who are all drinking refreshing cocktails used to be awesome pre-pregnancy but is a living nightmare in your first trimester. Or so I’d imagine. If that were ever to happen to someone. (To my four fans who were there that day we lounged by the pool and you drank refreshing cocktails: of course you being drunk was amazing, and not at all close to super annoying.) Readers, I’m sorry if you’re looking forward to having kids someday and you bought into that whole “oh, giving up alcohol for a few months was a small price to pay to have this little bundle of joy!” myth. I did too. It’s all a lie. Being tired, bloated, nauseous, and sober, especially when everyone else is having a blast, kind of sucks.
What helped get me through: taking a lot of “naps” (AKA hiding in a quiet room to play Candy Crush and feel sorry for myself. See brooding monkey photo for a visual) and Unisom Sleep Tabs. These are available over the counter and while they’re marketed as a mild sleep aid, these puppies should actually be called “Unisom Keep You From Barfing Tabs.” No idea how they work, but they’re incredible. I took one each night before bed, and in addition to helping me sleep well, it kept my nausea at bay until about mid-afternoon the next day, at which time I’d typically start to try to think of something I could stomach for dinner, be grossed out by every available food option, and cry bitter, sober tears of self-pity.
Second Trimester (weeks 13-27ish)
…But then things got less terrible! Honestly, I felt pretty good during my second trimester. You are starting to look pregnant, so people offer warm, knowing smiles as they rush to open the door for you. You finally feel somewhat energized and have a healthy appetite, after weeks of feeling like you have the worst jet lag of your life. You get all the perks of being obviously pregnant without yet feeling like a beached whale. And (if you’re comfortable with it and your doctor says it’s okay) you can even have a glass of wine or a beer here and there, if you want! I’d recommend doing this in the privacy of your own home, where no Sanctimommies can glare at you.
What helped me get through: Pretending to still be nauseous for a while in front of Matt so I could get away with eating chips and candy a lot (“ugh, nothing sounds good to me except this king sized thing of Reese’s cups I bought at the store today in case nothing else sounded good later!”).
Third Trimester (weeks 28-40… I only made it to 38!)
I was prepared for the worst by my Mom friends who were miserable throughout their third trimesters, but I found that there were big payoffs for the discomfort that didn’t exist in the first trimester. For example, if you think people are nice to you in the second trimester then they’re really nice to you in the third, which is good, because there’s no way you could bend over to pick up that king sized thing of Reese’s cups you just dropped in the candy aisle. You also get to feel your baby wiggle around a lot, which is one of the most amazing and bizarre things I’ve ever experienced. You also get to have parties thrown in your honor where you eat cake and get presents which, for the most part, you chose in advance! Sure, there are also a ton of weird things happening to your body. Heartburn from eating plain toast. Carpal tunnel pain. Needing to pee every ten minutes. Oh, and the times when your baby head butts you in the cervix, making you gasp audibly in the candy aisle and causing other shoppers to have sudden, panicked visions of driving a pregnant stranger to the hospital.
What helped me get through: Craploads of Tums, and a Snoogle pregnancy pillow. The Snoogle is a long, C-shaped pillow that you can wrap around you when you sleep to help relieve pressure on your hips and give you something to prop your (now fairly giant) belly on. Readers, if you’re pregnant, get one. Seriously, look how happy this woman is:
And there you have it, the highlight reel of my pregnancy! In coming posts I plan to share more about my labor and Carrie’s arrival, and I definitely have some thoughts on being a new mom… which, as far as I can tell, is about 85% guilt/exhaustion, 10% awe at the lovely creature you can’t believe you made, and 5% pure joy at being reunited with alcohol at last.