Expert

Here ma’am, have a seat.

It sure must be rough being pregnant with a summer baby.

I’ve heard that your body is ten degrees hotter when you’re pregnant.

Bless you, honey.

All well meaning comments I get from strangers. They don’t bother me.

Is this your first? “No, it’s my fourth” I say proudly.

Fourth? On purpose? (That should be your response if you promptly want our conversation to end.)

Fourth? You’re an expert! Why thank you, but I’m soooo not.

Sure, I have the confidence that a first-timer might not have and I kind of have an idea of what I’m in for, but expert? I’m definitely not an expert. If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that just like every kid is different and every birth is different, every pregnancy is different.

There are lots of lists out there of things you wish someone told you about pregnancy or childbirth or the aftermath. They’re all pretty much similar versions of each other but thought I’d share some of my experiences this time around.

Morning sickness and exhaustion

Sure, I was nauseous with the others but dang, this one got me. At around four and a half weeks I thought I had come down with a stomach virus. Oh yeah, it’s totally a stomach virus, I think it’s going around. I honestly thought it was a virus despite my positive pregnancy test. What’s four and a half weeks? A ball of cells? I took a Zofran every 8 hours and I think it worked like maybe the first hour. Then I met my best friend Unison and vitamin B6. I still take them.  Every night. Am I addicted? Maybe. But guess who’s sleeping through the night?

Varicose veins

Okay, so I thought I’d had them before but no, no, no. These are bad. They hurt after a while and then they start to swell and itch. Yeah, I’ve done compression stockings and they help a little bit. I’ve also made another best friend, my Birkenstocks. I’ve always been a flip flop person in the summer. Y’know, the kind with zero arch support. That never bothered me before this pregnancy, but now I find that I can’t walk ten steps without my cankles swelling.  So now I almost exclusively wear my Birkies. Partially because my feet don’t quite fit into them but they’re also so darn comfortable. I have a new appreciation for good arch support.

Sciatica

Well that doesn’t make me feel old at all. At around nine weeks I had terrible hip pain. By the next day I couldn’t get out of bed. It was bad. I even made Craig stay home from work. I spent two weeks limping around, going to PT, and then it was gone, as though it had never happened. Go figure?

Incontinence panties

TMI. Deal. One of my favorite postpartum hospital freebies is the disposable underwear. It’s one of those things that I would hoard each time there was a new nurse on call. I hoard them the same way I’d save some limited-edition holiday chocolate. Well I broke into my stash the other day and they were heavenly, so I decided to just order some on my own. I was kind of bummed to see that Amazon calls them incontinence pants but F that. I’m wearing my incontinence pants now and I feel great.

Fear of a taxi baby

I love birthing babies. That’s something I truly believed until Lisi was born. Annie hurt; I labored for nine hours, pushed for about two and the floor was a bit of a bloody mess when we were finished.  Judah was induced and was out after maybe three hours of labor and a push or two. It was oddly great and I expected Lisi to go just as smoothly. She didn’t. She flew out shortly after arriving to the hospital. With no epidural (which totally gives me street creds with all he hippie moms at the park, but still). My fear this time is that I won’t make it to the hospital. It’s your fourth, you’ll know when you’re in labor. Really? REALLY?? I’ve been having contractions for weeks now. How am I supposed to know?

Now, I’m not complaining here. Actually that’s totally a lie.

Confession? This pregnancy totally kicked my butt. Maybe it’s because I’m older or maybe it’s because there are three other boogers flying around. In the meantime there is still about a week to go and for many reasons I can’t wait to meet this little snot rocket.

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