When I was pregnant, I had the pregnancy glow. And because I didn’t have much appetite, I was fortunate to limit my weight gain. In short, it was the best that I ever looked, with full hair and glowing skin to boot.
But there were some things that I did find unpleasant while I was expecting.
The Sensitive Nose
I was actually lucky because I didn’t get dizzy upon waking up. But my sensitive sense of smell got so intense and weird. I became nauseated at the smell of cooked food. Garlic especially made me heave. I couldn’t tolerate the smell of our car and would gag at the scent of my husband’s cologne. Basically, I hated everything that had a distinct smell.
The Stretch Marks
It was strange that one minute, I was flawless and then one day, there were angry red marks around my hips and under my belly. I tried lathering on more body butter but there they stayed. Every time I checked them out in the mirror, I felt slightly horrified, feeling like they’re cracks in my skin and I’d just suddenly burst open. Plus, it took awhile before the red marks turned white. Fortunately, I didn’t have any around my breasts!
It was technically a blessing that my baby got to full term. After all, every week inside a woman’s belly counts for an infant where physical development is concerned. But once a pregnant woman’s belly has gotten big, people start asking when the baby is due. And when the obstetrician tells you that the baby can safely arrive at 37 weeks, you end up getting excited over every twitch, wondering if labor has started. Ask any mother who has been pregnant and they would tell you that the last month was the longest they ever waited for something.
Because a woman’s hips widens in preparation for childbirth, every mother waddled at a certain point in her pregnancy. I started walking like a duck around the fourth month. Heels may have probably reduced that, but they are not really comfortable for a woman carrying that amount of weight in her middle. The waddling made me self-conscious.
The Weird Shape
Having that much weight in front meant a perpetual backache. It also meant that I really had to wear maternity clothes because just bigger-sized clothes, especially formal gowns, wouldn’t fall right on me. Plus, it was a challenge just finding a comfortable way to stand, sit and sleep. I guess it was nature’s way of preparing me for the sleepless nights to come. I also had to literally bounce myself up the bed. Thank heavens though that I never had to ask my darling husband to pull my delicates up for me.
There you were, finally sleeping, and you shift your position and stretch a leg. Suddenly, a pain creeps up that leg and climbs up your thigh. You start clutching your stomach because you’re feeling protective of the baby. Plus, it’s not like you can reach your legs anymore. You yell and howl and maybe even start crying and your partner fusses over your belly too, asking if labor has started and you tell him, through gritted teeth, that it’s just cramps.
It could also have been nature’s way of teaching me responsibility as a parent. After the pregnancy was confirmed, I became obsessed with knowing for sure that I was doing right. Every stumble, every ache was reported dutifully to my doctor and consulted with friends who are already mothers. Every new food I ate had to be approved by them as well. I started jotting down what I did, how I felt, and what happened that day. And for everything that went wrong (spotting and bouts of gastroenteritis), I beat myself up, wondering what I did wrong. There were times I was literally exhausted of the fact that anything about me will affect my baby.
Now, the stretch marks are a badge of motherhood I wear proudly. I have even learned to embrace the fears and let them guide me in my parenting. I did ultimately lose the waddling, got my appetite back and even recovered my old shape. So yes, I, along with billions of mothers who have come before me, am proof that such annoying things generally disappear after delivery.
Or you just get a new perspective for it all.
Just between you and me though, what annoyed you most when you were pregnant?