Memo to My Future Self

so, you know how there’s this trend in society to have more than one kid? this is not like having more than one piece of cake. that is just sensible. no, this is lunacy. and again and again i’m told that the reason people indulge in this severe lapse of judgement is that they forget how bad labor was, forget how bad pregnancy was and just fall in love with their adorable progeny and want more.

well, i am not going to fall for it. i will not let myself forget, because i will write it all down on this here blog and i will have all of you (hi, mom!) as witnesses to keep me honest. if, say, in 2 or 3 years my beloved and i gaze at our spawn with fondness and remember back on the early days of infancy with pangs of longing, it is YOUR job, readers, to point me back to this post and to shake me out of it. use force if necessary. start giving me pamphlets on the merits of adoption or statistics on how successful only children turn out to be later in life.

so here is a short list of what i might forget when no longer pregnant, about pregnancy. acknowledging that i have had a kickass, easy pregnancy, these are still all things i have and continue to experience. i obviously don’t have a list of labor complaints yet, but will soon. without further ado,

Dear Sarah, Don’t Be an IdiotThis is For Your Own Good

1. you have to pee ALL the time. i mean, like sit down on the toilet to pee, go, wipe, stand up and flush and have to pee again.

2. if you work full time, which you do now and likely will then, you will have constant back pain. your lower back aches when sitting, standing, and lying and only feels reasonably ok when you’re hobbling/waddling like a fat old arthritic man.

3. your feet will be excruciatingly painful until the heel part just goes numb. at this point, you can walk across hot coals and not really feel it, but only up until the arch. arch and toes are still free to burn like hell. and, unless you’re wearing compression socks all the time (recommend), your feet will swell to look like pig hooves. and you can’t reach them to polish/cut your toenails, so you’d better have someone close to you who is willing to deal with your pig toes.

4. your boobs will get ridonculously big. like hard to contain and harness in a thing you would still call a “bra” big. it will take 2 hands to lift one up to wash under it, which you will have to do with your toes or by holding a washcloth in your mouth or something. and the areolas will look….terrifying.

5. your belly button will flatten or even poke out, making body shots impossible. you will notice that the inside of your belly button is a darker hue than your tummy skin and you will scrub it raw thinking there’s something unfriendly in there, but eventually just realize it’s no man’s land with laws of its own, best to be left alone.

6. your body does not look like anything you ever knew before. it has morphed into this large doughy version of your former self, and rather quickly. some people find pregnant women sensual and extremely womanly and all that. i’m sorry, i think i look best when i’m at my ideal weight and my chin(s) is up above my neck meat where it belongs and my boobs are restrained and can fit inside normal people clothes and i can actually visualize my lady parts under a moderately flat stomach. there you have it.

7. oh, lady parts. sigh. hang in there.

8. you will get hemorrhoids. this involves searing pain, poo, and blood. need i say more? if you’re LUCKY you will work in surgery and have a kind coworker willing to cut them out for you. so, if you’re LUCKY you will have the tenderest part of your body carved into and one of your peers seeing your holiest of holies. if you’re lucky. if not, they’ll go away eventually. good luck with that.

9. braxton hicks- you will have these “pre-contraction” contractions all throughout your pregnancy where your whole torso seizes up and makes it hard to breathe for a while and then lets go, just to do it all again a few minutes later. you will also get kicked under the ribs and have your bladder bounced upon. these are rather endearing because you know it’s your kid up in there frolicking around, but nonetheless, not the most comfy experiences.

10. this is all later pregnancy stuff. in early pregnancy, you will feel motion sick all of the time for months. and none of your go-to foods will sound good at all. your sense of smell is off the charts and you might straight up reject your spouse from your life because you cannot handle the way his left arm smells. and you don’t know why he insists on brushing his teeth with cow dukey.

11. speaking of your spouse, forget sex while pregnant. i mean, it is possible and it is safe and every blue moon it actually sounds appealing…but betwixt the full bladder, hemorrhoids, nausea, and body issues, you’re better off just writing him an enormous I OWE U for sometime down the line. maybe this is actually why people start working on having another kid a couple years after the first. maybe that’s when they finally get back into the saddle.

12. everything is hard to do. moving becomes a chore. you have to plan how you’ll get out of a chair or bed or on/off the toilet. breathing is difficult. and people will laugh at you as you lug your two-ton self around. and all you really want to do is lie around and sleep anyway. like a manatee. people will also feel free to ask you how much weight you’ve gained, give their opinions on how you’re carrying and the sex of the baby based on the fatness of your head. you will try to be gracious, but you will be then weighed down further by the guilt of having planned their deaths in your head.

13. that’s pretty much it. and remember, of course, that all these symptoms you will experience only if you are lucky enough to actually get and stay pregnant. fertility issues and miscarriages are always a risk and the threat of them will lay heavily on your psyche. joy.

14. AND, most importantly, when you already have one and you go to have a second, you can’t just shelf the first one while you’re going through all these pregnancy woes. you have to be chasing a toddler WHILE mopping up bleeding hemorrhoids and walking on only the front half of your feet and peeing in every public bathroom in the city.

so there you have it. a friendly reminder to my future self on why to keep the goalie in the goal and not get snared by revisionist history.

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