Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it. For nine or ten months you will serve as a gestational host for a growing life form. You will be mentally incapacitated and will more than likely lose all touch with reality. You may experience mild schizophrenia and drastic and sudden mood changes. Your gastric and digestive systems will shift between the polar opposites of ravenous hunger and not even wanting to look at food. Your stomach may rebel completely and return whatever food you manage to bring yourself to eat in your constantly nauseous state. Your waistline will expand at an alarming rate, and you may find yourself "coordinationally challenged" as you adjust to your new physique. Your primary responsibility from this day forth is to parent this being stirring within you. This message will never self-destruct; instead, it will replay over and over and over and over again at various intervals for the remainder of your life. You are pregnant -- good luck and Godspeed.
Hello again, fellow readers. How are all of you? I hope all of you are feeling well, and if not, I hope you are feeling better soon. Okay, level with me, ladies. How many of you read all of those preachy pregnancy books and kept a mental running list of all of the symptoms you just knew could never apply to you? Examples: "You may experience euphoria, anxiety, elation, and depression, often at the same time." (Uh, nope, not me.) "You may find an intense aversion to some of your favorite foods." (Never gonna happen, not to me.) I admit it; before I even got pregnant, I was dumb enough to think that I wouldn't fall victim to some of the most common pregnancy symptoms.
Emotional instability has been rather interesting. Just yesterday I was stupidly bawling over a peanut butter commercial, and a minute later I was about to blow a blood vessel from laughing so hysterically at something that wasn't really all that funny. Frank has been rather skilled at handling my split personality. I was almost impressed, until one day I was clear-headed enough to realize that he's been talking to me in the same tone of voice you would use with a mental patient. "What's wrong, hmm? It will be all right. Why don't you go lie down and I'll bring you a hot cup of decaffeinated tea. How does that sound, hmm?" I was almost taken aback, but much to my dumbfounded surprise, I let myself be led to the bed, because after all, I was quite tired, and a cup of tea did sound appealing.
The topic of gastric upheavals is worthy of volumes, but due to graphic content, I'll attempt to keep this section to a minimum. Morning sickness first hit me around six weeks, and now at thirteen weeks, it's just aggravating enough to keep me streaking top speed to the bathroom once or twice a week. At first it was so bad that I was nauseous 24/7. The average number of times I made a generous donation to the Tidy Bowl Man was two or three times a day. Oddly enough, immediately after vomiting, only one thought ran through my mind, playing like a broken record of Neanderthal grunts -- "Must-eat-more-food."
I have also developed a nose like a K-9 unit drug dog. Odors ranging from my husband's cologne to my nephew's dirty diapers are enough to activate my gag reflex. My eighth grade students never miss an opportunity to demonstrate their superior intelligence and maturity. On a day when I was feeling particularly queasy, I was munching on a granola bar in between giving explanations on how to solve equations with polynomials. One of my more comedic students raised his hand and primly said, "You know, Mrs. Barney, you shouldn't eat in front of people unless you have enough to share with the entire class." This immediately prompted a chorus of chuckles and nods of agreement. Now, any good teacher recognizes an opportunity to earn a few more "cool points." So I turned to him and curtly said, "Lookie here -- it's either watch me eat or watch me puke. You choose." Then I smiled at him, batted my eyes, and waited for an answer. "Uh, no, that's okay Mrs. B. Eat up." Cha-ching! Two more points added to the "Cool Teacher Scale." I had used the word "puke," a less teacherly and proper connotation of "vomit." This, in turn, spurred a ten-minute tangent on variations of the word "puke." I came up with the best ones, of course. Gastric encore, blowing chunks, stomach spew, and tossing cookies are my personal favorites.
I've resigned myself to the fact that I am going to be somewhat of a spectacle within the next few months. I started wearing maternity clothes about three weeks ago. Though I've only gained two pounds, my stomach already protrudes past my pregnancy enlarged boobs. Perfect strangers (who we all know are enthralled with pregnant women) ask me how far along I am. When I reply that I am just three months, they politely say "Oh." while thinking "If she's that big at just three months she's gonna be a whale by the end of it all." When I tell them that I am expecting twins, all politeness is shoved aside and is replaced by thoughtless candor -- "Oh my GOD!!! You're gonna be huge!!!" Gee thanks, lady. Believe it or not, I am very proud of my baby belly. I can't wait until I can see the squirming of my kids through my shirt. These babies are my mission possible, even though they have invaded my body and make me feel like a space cadet. I'll do whatever I have to in order to keep my creatures safe, even if it means being a bipolar, mood swingin', upchuckin', super sniffin', Shamu lookin', raving lunatic for the next six months. Wait a minute -- I could have those symptoms even after the babies are born, couldn't I?
Uh, nope. DEFINITELY not me. :o)
Much love, Kym