Warning*: For those that know me personally, this might be a little TMI (aka too much information) about my current physiological state. In that case, stop here and read next week’s posting. For those of you who had or are having a lovely, glowing pregnancy, or if you might be a bit squeamish about bodily fluids or functions, you may stop here and continue to toodle around* Today’s Mamafor recipes,craft projects, movie reviews andgreat ideasforsummer activities.
But*, for you who are brave and may need to feel like someone understands how you and your pregnant state are beginning to disgust you, read on and know that it is temporary, you are not alone, and that someday (hopefully) this will all be just a little bit funny.*
Okay, here it goes: Think David Letterman and his Top Ten Lists (though thankfully, this one is half the length)
Bleeding Gums—This is not just a touch of blood from vigorous flossing. Oh no, this is an amount great enough to make me look like a Fangtasia-clubbing extra on an episode of True Blood. It is thick, metallic-tasting mouthfuls— enough that I make sure my preschooler is not around when I am flossing. It’s more than a bit unnerving, even for me. The reason for this is that during pregnancy, hormones cause a woman’s gums to become swollen and more tender. Increased bacteria in the mouth during pregnancy also makes her more susceptible to plaque and gum irritation. That lingering, nasty taste in my mouth makes dental care a full-on production when it leads to the next item, as I choke and gag at the bathroom sink.
The Ever-Present Gag Reflex—As if morning sickness weren’t enough for my new relationship with food, I’m even having trouble getting the food to go all the way down. It’s not coming up anymore, exactly, just lingering slightly below my sternum as a reminder that what I had for breakfast may not taste as good at lunch. Except that I’m still tasting it. In the third trimester, it’s quite obvious that the reason that the food’s not really going anywhere is because there’s no where for it to go—it’s getting pretty crowded down there (see symptoms below). The other reason for heartburn and reflux during pregnancy is, ah yes—those pesky hormones again, cause the valve between a woman’s esophagus and her stomach to relax. Digestive acids have the freedom to creep back up and make a poor mama awfully uncomfortable in yet another way.
Gas That is Out of this World— And it will certainly send you out of the room if I erupt unexpectedly. Both your ears and your nose will get seriously offended. It’s not just embarrassing, it makes me feel like a social outcast. It’s rarely an issue when I’m out in public, as long as I stay home in the early morning and evening. It’s not surprising, considering that my stomach and my entire gastro-intestinal system are being evicted from their previous quarters by a couple of growing little babies. But I can’t wait until food goes in my mouth, goes all the way down and then comes out the other end in a normal, timely fashion. As it is now, a trip to the bathroom for a ‘number 2’ is so lengthy (as if it wasn’t frequent enough with the constant urination—there’s no room for my bladder, either) needs to be accompanied by at least half the morning paper or a really good book.
Now I know what the inside of my belly button looks like— Normally, I have an ‘innie’ and one that’s rather deep. Before kids, and during the height of my belly dance career, it looked lovely with a little gold ring. Not anymore. The turkey timer is out and huge, and if I look at the front of me with the help of a mirror, I would be able to examine exactly how it was thirty-odd (I’m not telling how many exactly) years ago I was separated from my mother. When I gaze at my inside-out navel, it is rather amazing how that all happens—something I’ll get to see in double in a matter of weeks. And, to add an interesting note, there are no nerve endings at the bottom of my belly button. Who knew?
And the Grossest Thing about Pregnancy… (drum roll, please) Varicose veins in my, ahem, labia. Yes, that’s right, ladies— thick, swollen and protruding veins downstairs and underneath in my female parts. It was bound to happen with two growing people in my lower abdomen. Someone is sitting on the vein that normally drains the blood out of there, and all that tender flesh is tinged purple and swollen. Even my esthetician was amazed by the size and dimensions of my labia—and she sees her fair share.
A couple tips I’m not afraid to share with those who may be suffering in silence:
- Get your butt in the air—this will drain the blood out of your tender parts for a bit and give you some relief. Modified yoga poses such as child’s pose (with knees spread and a pillow under your tummy) and downward-facing dog may help.
- I had a friend who wrapped the varicose vein in her leg during pregnancy, and so I follow the same concept by wearing (and changing several times a day) good, snug, cotton undies that keep everything nestled tight. I may think of inventing a ‘jock strap’ for women for such purposes—the concept is the same.
And there it is—the list. If you were brave enough to read it, please appreciate the fact that I was brave enough to write it. Now I’m trying to be brave going through it, and if you’re going through some of these not-so-lovely pregnancy symptoms, be brave, carry on and know that you’re not alone.
Teenager counting five pic by Imagerymajestic
woman brushing her teeth by photostock