The one who is thinking about getting pregnant again. The one whose memories of the first pregnancy are a little muzzy and distant and rosy:
Girl, I am in it. And I want to get some of this down in keystrokes for you, so you cannot pretend not to remember what all went on. These women with grown children keep telling me how much they LOVED being pregnant. Um, I don't hate it, but I certainly don't love it. So in the interest of full disclosure and science, I will document the current conditions for you.
You should know that I am writing this in the middle of the night. Robb and Sukey are snoozing comfortably, but I had to get up because once again I am itchy. The backs of my fingers, the soles of my feet, my neck, my belly, everywhere. This happens several times a week. Sometimes I cannot fall asleep because of the itchiness; other times I wake in the middle of the night scratching. Whichever scenario I have to get up until it passes. Then I make some tea or watch a movie or balance the checkbook. This is my body's sneaky way of training me to be awakened several times a night. As if the frequent trips to the bathroom weren't already taking care of that. And the fact that I can't roll over in bed without being awake because I'm a huge turtle.
Also I have never before expended so much energy thinking about my intestines as I have this past year. I am hopeful that I will be able to put this symptom behind me once the baby is born. But just in case it continues indefinitely I have contacted De Beers about getting on their payroll. We have worked out an arrangement: I will consume large quantities of carbon and excrete diamonds. De Beers in turn can jump on the green bandwagon and market them as "organic gemstones." Hey, while it isn't the most comfortable situation, it might at least be profitable. In the end. (Agreed, that was a terrible pun.)
The baby has spent the past month or so lodged in my ribcage, way up high. The top of my belly is frequently numb because baby's head putting the squeeze on some nerves or blood vessels there. And when his/her head is in my ribs, his/her feet are riverdancing on my bladder.
And sometimes I pee my pants.
Perfume is not a viable solution. My body chemistry has changed so that none of my favorite fragrances smell right anymore. This makes it sound like I wear a lot of perfume ordinarily. Not the case. But I do use body lotion, and lotions smell funny. There is one hippie perfume I love that smells like firewood, and I can't get anywhere near it. It smells wrong on me now. Since the beginning of the pregnancy Robb has insisted that I smell different. That's probably because I peed my pants. And four weeks from my due date the indignities are not over. No no no. They are just about to reach a major crescendo.
Remember if you will the sex ed class we had back in fourth grade. Ms. Williams wrapped shoebox on her desk for us to submit anonymous questions. After learning that menstruation was in my future, I recognized that this division of labor among the sexes was patently unfair. And when Ms. Williams informed us ladies that we'd be leaking bodily fluids for a week every month for years and years to come, I was pretty much mortified. I don't remember how I phrased my anonymous question for the shoebox, but it something along the lines of, "Is it possible for all this gross nonsense to skip me?--please say yes." I wanted a loophole. But Ms. Williams interpreted my question to mean something more like, "What if my period never starts?!?" And so she told us girls not to worry: we would all get our periods. No exceptions.
Other minor annoyances include the following: My left ankle swells and deflates intermittently like the tides. My insoles look (but don't feel) bruised. My boobs are large and very National Geographic. I want desperately to sleep on my stomach. I cannot tolerate long car rides. My chin is a sea of acne.
Well, I'm still itchy but starting to feel a little sleepy, so I think I'll give bed another try tonight. Future self, I hope this has refreshed your memory as to what you're in for should you decide to give it another go. Good night and good luck with that.