Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pregnancy Recap: The 20-point System

I think I need to write a little ditty about this whole experience growing a baby. If not to inform my readers about what I've learned throughout the process, but to also to write something down to remind myself what it was all like. I've been told that I should journal about my experience so that I can "remember this magical time," but I'm not a natural journal-er so of course, I've haven't done a speck of it. Not to mention it hasn't quite been magical. I've also joked since the beginning that I need to write a letter to myself about how horrible some of it has been so that I think about the consequences before deciding, in a fit of love hormone-filled insanity, to try it again.

So let's start with that.

Dear Future Hana-

So you're thinking about getting pregnant again. Are you effing kidding me? Do you remember how horrible the first 3 1/2 months were? The sickness, the fatigue, the ugly-face crying? You could barely walk to the bathroom without gagging and crying. You could barely walk anywhere for that matter. You hated vegetables. Even the thought of green vegetable matter made you sick. Remember that time you touched a garlic scape and went into a fit of uncontrollable gagging? Horrible. And don't get me started on rotten vegetables.  Remember how even thinking about bacon and pho sent you into a fit of uncontrollable gagging because those were the things you ate just before all the sickness started? You could barely watch TV because of all the Applebee's commercials that made you sick. You would come home from work and lay out on the couch like a worthless slug and had to make Shawn do everything. This time you have to take care of another human at the same time. How are you going to do that? How about the heartburn? Maybe you forget what it's like to have heartburn EVERY DAY for 8 months straight. Let me help you: it sucks.

You think about these things before you make your decision.

Sternly yours,
Past Hana

Ok so that's out of the way. I doubt it will work since I've heard those hormones are awfully strong. Oh well, all I can say is I tried.

Also, how about we not let my future self read the rest of this post.

Despite the fact that the first few months were arguably the worst of my life, the second half of the second trimester and the first few weeks of the third were absolutely lovely. I felt like I was back to my old self with normal energy levels, I started showing a belly, which made me feel more legit, and I was back to eating mostly normal foods. I was even able to go to the gym once a week for a few months. Of course, as mentioned earlier, the heartburn has followed me throughout the pregnancy which has been pretty terrible. I can't eat any spicy foods, I need to watch out when I drink water, and I was worried about developing kidney stones with all of the Tums I was chewing. A few months ago I was introduced to papaya enzymes which work just as well without the worry of taking too many throughout the day.  It helps neutralize the stomach acid without making your stomach feel like it needs to create more soon after. It just soothes. And they taste good. It's totally win-win. They've been a bit of a lifesaver over the last 2 months.

The last two months have gotten progressively more and more uncomfortable. Which makes complete sense. As my belly has gotten bigger and bigger, sleeping and rolling over in bed has gotten harder and harder. I have definitely gotten used to not sleeping through the night. From the leg cramps that are super sudden and painful, to the heartburn, to getting up to pee, I've definitely been training for this whole lack of sleep thing that's about to descend on my life. Then there's my carpal tunnel. But you already know about that.

About a month ago, as I was wallowing in my beached-whale state with my swollen, aching feet propped up on the side of the couch, I came up with an ingenious way for all pregnant ladies to score their crappy side effects in an across the board equal way. Let me introduce you to the "20-point Pregnancy Shit Scoring System." Maybe this is my way of coping with all the crappy things that have happened to my body and put them into perspective to help appreciate the crap I have been able to avoid.

It goes like this: All ladies start their pregnancies with 20 points worth of shitty things that are going to happen to them and their bodies.  Some of these things include (but are totally not limited to):
* Morning/All day nausea
* Fatigue
* Anger and major mood swings
* Vomitting
* Lack of appetite/being unable to keep anything down
* Heartburn
* Varicose veins
* Stretch marks
* Acne 
* Hemmorhoids
* Placenta previa
* Various baby-related health issues (low weight, etc.)
* Carpal tunnel syndrome
* Preeclampsia
* Painful swollen feet and ankles/leg cramps
* etc, etc, etc,

So... A LOT to choose from. But, luckily, most women only have a handful of these. Now, depending on the severity of these side effects that get to you, you get to choose how many points are designated for each. For example, let me break down the points for my situation:
* Nausea - 5 points
* Fatigue - 2 points
* Heartburn - 8 points
* Carpal tunnel - 4 points
* Achy ankles/leg cramps - 1 point
Total: 20 points of pregnancy shit.

I want to mention that this does not take into account labor and delivery.  That's a whole different can of worms.  Who knows, maybe I'll come up with a point system for that too once I go through the experience.

This is where I acknowledge that this whole post has been relatively negative. Sorry, it's easy for me to go there.  Let's turn things around, shall we?

It's silver linings time.

Though the beginning of my pregnancy was the worst thing to ever happen to me, now that I am in the home stretch, I have to thank all the pregnancy gods that this is the way things have panned out.  Every single thing that has been crappy has happened to ME. Nothing has happened to Baby E. She has checked out at every single appointment as "perfect" (midwives' words, not mine, though I wouldn't expect anything less :)), and I have never once had to worry about her well-being. Her heart rate has been perfect and steady, she's positioned in the locked and loaded position, and I have thoroughly enjoyed her practice to become a star soccer player/boxer/gymnast in my belly.  (She will be all three. You'll see.) So I am thankful.  So, so thankful. I know I'm not in the clear just yet, seeing as how she still needs to enter this world, but for now, on this day, I feel extremely grateful for this textbook pregnancy.

Now we can't wait to meet her.

Sooner rather than later, please.

10 days 'til launch day.


  1. And the things that no one tells you is that while you are currently pregnant and dream of getting your body and your life back, that doesn't exactly happen when you have the baby. You don't get your body back until after you stop nursing. Even if you are able to drop any gained baby weight and squeeze back into your "normal people" clothes, you are still physically leashed to your little one, every 3 hours on average for up to a year. The baby dictates when you go to bed, when you wake up, when you get to shower, when you get to eat. It is really mind boggling how two separate human beings can seemingly be one person. And getting your old life back... well... that never really happens. I wish it was a melodramatic phrase, but in all honesty, your life as you know if is basically over once the baby arrives. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. But gone are the days of coming and going as you please, setting your own schedule, and enjoying your routine as you fancy. The new life you'll enjoy is a good one, but it can be drastically different than what you are living now. Once you come to terms with that (which does take some time), you can really love your new life and savor with fondness the life you used to have with Shawn. Best wishes for a wonderful baby-having and baby-raising experience.
    (I'm a friend of Shawn's from high school)


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