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Really Pregnant! Confessions of a New Mom-To-Be or Why I Couldn’t Stop Eating Brownies
Also by Kim Rinehart:
Goodbye, Fatty! Hello, Skinny! How I Lost Weight And Still Ate The Foods I Loved—Without Dieting The Big Clean: How to Clean and Organize Your Home and Free Your Mind (Revised and Updated)
Really Pregnant! Confessions of a New Mom-To-Be or Why I Couldn’t Stop Eating Brownies Kim Rinehart
For Little P—you are the light of my life. Also for my husband, Kris—thanks for the understanding. I love you both very, very much.
Really Pregnant! Confessions of a New Mom-To-Be or Why I Couldn’t Stop Eating Brownies Copyright © 2010 by Kim Rinehart. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher except in case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and articles. For information go to www.artrummedia.com. Published by Artrum Media. eBook ISBN–13: 978-0-9841957-9-4 eBook ISBN–10: 0-9841957-9-3 First published in the United States and United Kingdom in 2008 by Bright Yellow Hat under the title You Know You’re Pregnant When…Reflections on the Longest
Nine Months of My Life.
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-9841957-8-7 Paperback ISBN-10: 0-9841957-8-5
Disclaimer: This book is not intended to replace medical advice or be a substitute for a psychologist. The author and the publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse affects of this book. Neither author nor publisher is liable for information contained herein.
Caution: Clueless Pregnant Woman Coming Through—
Uh, no. What just happened? I was going along, minding my own business when, all of a sudden, I became pregnant. After the thought sunk in, I realized that I knew almost nothing about being pregnant. I was totally clueless! The biggest anxiety I had during pregnancy was that I didn’t know what to expect. Before I got pregnant, I never really thought about the actual process of being pregnant. I had a vague idea of what it entailed but really didn’t know the ins and outs of the whole thing. If I had known what to expect, I might have had an easier pregnancy. However, until you actually go through a pregnancy, you don’t know what it feels like. And I can tell you from experience, it can feel pretty darn strange at times. So, on one hand, I knew I was having a “normal” pregnancy as my doctor kept telling me everything was fine and I that was doing good. On the other hand, I felt as though I couldn’t quite get a grasp on what was happening to me and my body. The whole situation left me feeling a little out of sorts. Regardless, I’d never been through this before and had no clue as to what to do, when to do it or even what I should be eating. I had no clue as to what sort of clothes to buy or how to decipher all the new aches and pains that go along with pregnancy. As far as knowing about all that was going on, I was, to put it simply, at a loss. So, like most other clueless pregnant women, I went to the source and the only source I knew to go to was all the books on the market today about pregnancy. And so, I began to read a gazillion books on pregnancy. And most of them left me feeling like I still didn’t know what the heck
was going on. I was still at a loss. Sure, the books were good, but they didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know before I got pregnant. I knew about food cravings, but had no clue about having an actual hunger attack, which means, in essence, you have to have food now or somebody gets hurt! I didn’t know how my body would swell up or the pain I’d experience on the bottoms of my feet. It seemed as though none of these books actually described what was happening to me. I kept searching, but I never found any good, simple information about pregnancy. And that made me feel just a little bit alienated. And yet I kept buying books, looking for something that would make me feel okay about the whole thing and that might alleviate a little bit of the anxiety I felt about actually being pregnant. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them lacked something that all pregnant women need—some humor. I kept looking for a book that not only described what I was going through, but also laughed at it a little, too. I soon found that these books are in short supply. So, when I set about to write a book about my pregnancy, I wanted it to be very relatable, but also funny as well. I hope I’ve accomplished that in this book. Even though every pregnancy is different, they all do have one thing in common: They can sometimes be a pain. However, within that pain, we can sometimes find commonalities that allow us to relate to each other. We’re all women about to have babies and that’s a big deal in and of itself. But that doesn’t mean we have to take it too seriously. Because, really, pregnancy can be kind of funny. Here you are with raging hormones and this enormous belly and porn-star-sized nipples and all you want to do is eat brownies and drown yourself in fat. And you also want to hide. I felt unattractive and I was tired most of the time. But that didn’t stop
me from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel because after nine months of hell, I got a baby! And that’s why we do it, right? So, yeah, it’s definitely worth it. This book is basically anecdotal stuff. There are times when I will make suggestions, but you need to always check with your doctor before doing anything in this book. Mostly, it’s just a book written by a former pregnant woman to other pregnant women. However, within these pages are lots of things, I think, that other pregnancy books don’t tell you about. I’ve also included a lot of pregnancy dirty little secrets no one writes about for some reason. Of course, just as you might have some unique pregnancy experiences, I may be the only one who’s ever gone through these things, so they may be unique only to me. Let me reiterate: Keep in mind that I am just a normal, everyday woman. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. This book is just my experiences with pregnancy and some tips that might make it a little easier for you. Also, as with anything of this nature, if you have any questions, always consult your doctor. In the end, the hardest thing for me about pregnancy was that I just didn’t know what to expect. I just didn’t know what was going to happen. And that is the purpose of this book—to demystify pregnancy in ordinary, practical terms. I hope I’ve done that.
I was searching for the “right time” to have a baby and wondered what age would be best. at the ripe old age of thirty-six. including my own mother. We decided whatever happened. After years of going back and forth about when to have a baby. to say the least. she was a surprise. as many women are. While I was never uncertain that I wanted a baby. “She wasn’t an accident. I know I was far too immature in my twenties to consider it and wanted to spend most of my early thirties traveling and doing stuff that a baby might not like. The great thing about unexpectedly getting pregnant was that I no longer had to wonder or worry about it—there was no longer a question of should I or should I not have a baby. we’d have a baby. And everyone had something to say about the constant bathroom breaks. happened. was getting ready for the biggest surprise of my life. I also no longer had to chastise myself with worry about making the wrong choice by not going ahead and doing it before “time runs out.Surprise! You’re Pregnant! My Story My pregnancy came as a bit of a shock. I’d heard various women. Me! Who woulda thunk? “Wow” was the operative word. So. I was a bit ambivalent about it. I wanted the baby. the time had come—I was pregnant! As my husband likes to say. I was floored. If God wanted to bless us with a baby. My friends talked about how hard it was. but being pregnant? That was another story entirely. the whole “being pregnant” thing kind of scared me. yes.” And I.” My . such as visiting the Mayan Ruins in Belize. I was going to have a baby.” we weren’t not trying either. While my husband and I weren’t really “trying. Still. moan and groan about it for years.
Having a baby didn’t make me grow up. But. it was a tradeoff but not one I had trouble living with. And brownies. while doing things and attaining things are great. I also see her and the good. I would hear it. nothing beats having a mini-me around. I knew I’d eventually get around to it. “Today. Today. But getting her here is a while ’nother story entirely. And while you’re doing it. and mowing the yard. I just didn’t know when. Being pregnant gives you the excuse you need to kick back and relax. Being pregnant can be hard. sometimes it did really suck. but it was a tick that was barely noticeable. but just understand it is certainly worth the trouble. You can always think to yourself. There was always something to do. But it did make me put things in perspective and along with that perspective came the knowledge that. I see myself. huh? All in all. Because. So. Well. I have created a little hand or a heart. something else to get done and having a baby fell to the back of the list. but it always gave me an excuse to eat a brownie whenever I wanted. besides that. really. wonderful years she has ahead of her. hard workouts. but then it’d go away. But I did most everything I’d done before. And I have to say this: It is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. “when” finally came. Eat a cookie and take a nap whenever you like. have some fun.REALLY PREGNANT! biological clock ticked. When I look at my daughter. running.” That’s pretty cool. I got out of doing stuff like lifting heavy objects. She is sublime and I only hope I can be as good to her as she’s been as good for me. I didn’t find pregnancy a walk in the park. sans some of the fun stuff like the occasional hot bath or glass of wine. you’re creating life and that’s probably the world’s hardest job. I am building life inside of me. 5 . Sure. as I’ve always been fairly mature for my age.
as I did.KIM RINEHART as I found when I was pregnant. have fun with it! Well. I found out the best way to approach pregnancy was with determination to do what was best for my growing fetus and to have a sense of humor about it. too. that there are several universal truths about it. You might want to take that approach. You’re gonna need them. Your belly will expand at an alarming pace. Your butt will get wider. as much fun as you can. I just could not stop eating them. And somewhat flatter. Don’t go riding any rollercoasters or decide to try rock climbing. Be conscientious and don’t take unnecessary risks. were like elixir from the gods. In the end. As you get along in your pregnancy. So. 6 . And they are… • • • • It’s not really fun to shop for maternity clothes. Suddenly. you might discover. But do take lots of naps. talking about things like constipation and hemorrhoids doesn’t bother you.
First Trimester: Tales of Morning Sickness. Inexplicable Weight Gain and Surrealistic Feelings .
Bun in the oven. But it never arrived. my God. Now what was I supposed to do with this knowledge? Oh! I guess I should probably tell my husband. I was really pregnant. With child. Several times. They were so real it was almost surreal. I did this a gazillion times. P-r-e-g-n-a-n-t.The Stick Says Pregnant It didn’t say “congratulations” or “Great news! You’re knocked up!” It just said—a little ominously.” Pregnant. I kept thinking I was going to get my period. Barefoot and pregnant. I did. Any Day Now… Before I found out I was pregnant. It’s almost like the world stopped moving for that long second as the knowledge of my being pregnant sank in. Oh. I might add—“Pregnant. I felt a little weird once I read my pregnancy results. I was pregnant! Really pregnant! How could this be? To be honest. crap! What have I done?” sense. Wow. Wow. Huh. So. Huh. I actually felt it “start” and would run to the bathroom. Knocked up. Pregnant. I stared at the stick a little longer. always sure this was it. Pregnant. And do you know what he said? “Congratulations. Any day now… I would be so certain it was coming I’d race to the bathroom to check. feeling more than a little strange.” He was serious! That meant I was pregnant! Surreal had just turned into plain weird. Where was . Surreal in the “Really? I’m pregnant? Seriously?” sense. I was really pregnant. Pregnant. Real in the “Oh.
Well. I just didn’t know how to recognize them. the kicker is. “It’s coming! It’s coming!” I just knew it was coming. I kept thinking I was going to get my period and. Where was it? My October period never came and I was sure it would be here by November. Well. but it was only after my baby was born. But I knew my period was coming. that he was stupid and I was just stressed. Ah ha! There Were Clues I Was Pregnant All Along… Looking back on it. One reason I didn’t think I was pregnant and kept thinking that I was going to get my period. I told him. so I knew I’d soon have it. was that I was very stressed due to the fact that we were building an addition onto our house. I know it’s coming. It was just pure hell. Someone was always late with something or not even showing up and there was always a decision to be made about something and. I mean. of course. I knew that was impossible! I did eventually get my period. I was so exhausted. to say the least. more or less. I’d never been late before in my life. November came and went and my husband “innocently” mentioned that I “might” want to get a pregnancy test. I think this might be called 9 . but it was missing in action. there were clues that I was pregnant all along. “It’s coming. The first was my stomach hurt horribly. I’d tell myself.REALLY PREGNANT! it? I kept telling myself. and I just thought my missing period was because of all the stress. Even after I found out I was pregnant. at the end of every day. he wasn’t stupid. it never came.” I felt like it was coming. it hurt. I had a lot of contractors around and a lot of painting to do. It was very nerve-racking. I was. I’d fall asleep as soon as I sat down on the couch. But I didn’t admit it.
on and off. Not the “take me to the mental hospital” turmoil. so I might as well eat.” This was almost maddening. I just didn’t fell like doing anything. In fact. The first indicator in regards to this tiredness that had overtaken me was that I didn’t want to do things that I would have normally loved to do. a task like this 10 . (I think he thought I was losing my mind. The second clue was. Nope. I remember this big storm happening and I was scared to death. I’m not sure. the fact that my period was missing in action. I was really perplexed by this.) The sixth clue was that I was very.KIM RINEHART implantation. And even when I didn’t have to pee. I was just pregnant. I told my husband. I’d gain a pound or so. “It seems like I’m going to gain weight no matter what I do. The first was to arrange my pantry with the new shelves I’d just bought. though I could still get into all my clothes. It was one of the best periods I’ve ever had. I was really anxious about stupid stuff. But because I’d had a period the first month of my pregnancy. This is called implantation bleeding and mine was a very slight period with almost no cramps. I couldn’t go into a store without using the bathroom. from morning to night. as I mentioned earlier. (If only they could all be that easy!) The third clue was the fact that I kept gaining weight. I felt like I had to pee. It ached.” And so I did. but I was in some serious pain. Every other day. I was sure I wasn’t pregnant. The fourth clue was the fact that I had to urinate more than normal. The fifth clue was that I was in emotional turmoil. so I’d go “just to make sure. It kind of felt like a bad menstrual cramp that stretched across the lower part of my abdomen. Also. Usually. even though I hadn’t changed my eating patterns. very tired. I called my husband at work and insisted he come home immediately! He insisted I get a grip. but I was sad and crying more than ever.
I put off going to the doctor because I was sure something was seriously wrong and I didn’t want to hear the bad news. I mean. I wish I had. I could have made my husband organize the pantry instead. mostly. In fact. (I can be a little weird and overly excited about organization. “Good grief! Why didn’t I get it?” I have no idea. I just didn’t feel pregnant. take a test. I slap myself upside the head and think. But how would I have known? I’d never been pregnant before. 11 . you’re just growing a baby inside of your belly. But. I just did the bare minimum and forgot about it. but the ones I’ve mentioned were the big ones. You don’t change that much besides dealing with the insane pregnancy hormones. Because. It was actually a huge relief to know that nothing was wrong. And the seventh clue was that I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I was kinda scared. Or. but at the time. And I could have used the pregnancy excuse to get out of stuff a lot earlier on. like I said. really. there are the signs of belly aching and nausea. Looking back on it now. The thing is.) So. Looking back now. I am sure there are other things that might have clued me in to the fact that I was pregnant. yes. My advice: If you’re unsure. helped me to deal with the symptoms better. like the anxiety. I was just pregnant. you still feel like you.REALLY PREGNANT! would have gotten me excited. I’d pretty much resigned myself to the idea that I had contracted some strange disease. I am sure it would have alleviated many of my symptoms. Physically. my stomach ached and cramped so badly. this makes me laugh. at the very least. I Just Don’t Feel Pregnant Yes. It was probably because I did get a period there to begin with. but.
I’d want to yell. I’ll admit it. “But I don’t feel it!” Maybe I thought my little fetus would start knocking around inside my stomach earlier than she did. I Think I Might Have Just Lost My Mind Goodbye rational thinking. But. let me rephrase that. Pregnancy comes with many joys. Or. Wait a minute.KIM RINEHART Even so.” people would just irritate me. It’s like they were always in my way and would not move. Let’s face it. to begin with. maybe. but a really amped up you. crazy! I file all these remembrances in the “I have lost my mind” chronicles. I just didn’t have any clue as to how being pregnant was supposed to feel. It was like that time I got my tattoo. the evidence was there. Hello. Someone you really don’t like. Maybe I thought there should be a marching band to herald in the news. now that I think about it. Yeah. Or I did. almost. getting pregnant felt just like that. Mostly. you can’t do that without risking getting thrown out. I’d tell my husband. I was terrible. It’s like the darker side of me took over and there was nothing I could do but succumb… Whenever I’d have to go to some crowded place like “the supercenter. Someone not many other people in the world like. Sort of. You turn into this other person. But I couldn’t help it. Maybe I was just a little too shocked and the news wasn’t sinking in yet. The problem is that that store is always like this and always 12 . an explanation. you don’t feel like yourself. either. But there is also a lot of weirdness involved. “Just get the hell out of my way!” But. but it was a little strange to have this tattoo on my body and I couldn’t readily remove it. I knew I’d done it. But it is a bit surreal. You do feel like you. you turn into one helluva bitch.
of course. go!” Of course. I’d get so frustrated and angry at the contractors. I wanted to yell. after I became pregnant. Just stay out of the super-centers. You just realize that this just comes with the territory and learn to accept it. (Out of earshot of the contractors. “Just leave! If you can’t do any better than that. It is so busy.) Looking back on it. I should have avoided these places like the plague. Any emotional issues you’ve let slide.REALLY PREGNANT! has been. these people would get me so infuriated. My theory is the more baggage you have. really. The downside of this is you’ll probably look like a raving maniac. the louder you will scream and the harder you will cry. Pregnancy amplified these emotions for me. And. everyone is almost standing elbow to elbow and trying to fight their way through. I’d imagine blowing my top like on some cartoon. However. too. They did nothing but irritate me. I’d want to just fire them all. 13 . if at all possible. To deal with this. I’d call my husband up at work and rant for thirty minutes at a time. I was pregnant. The plus side of this is that you’ll probably get over a lot of your baggage during the process. (I think I had actual smoke come out of my ears once. Because we were adding the addition to our house during this time. I still had some wits about me and that would have been totally stupid.) There were other things that irritated me. It’s almost like you can’t hide from your real feelings anymore. I could have done without the bar of soap or whatever to keep my blood pressure down. how could I have not been irritated? I think what pregnancy does to a woman is basically put everything out on the table. will come to the forefront. but still occasionally bothers you.
Please. So. we got there early and they didn’t have any pizza out yet. They looked hungry. Thankfully. It was need. Just then. I would get so hungry and so focused on food.) But pregnancy hunger is like no other. just feed me. as most people do. I had to have it—right then! God forbid if I couldn’t get some food when I needed it. it went beyond love. Well. I couldn’t wait. I’d just eat a few breadsticks. but when I was pregnant. But it did happen once. But the example I am thinking of is the pizza buffet. My eyes zoomed back to all those people. Real hungry. either. One day. It is a sound that will pierce your ears. really hungry and the hungrier they are. I would turn into an awful person when this would happen. Without another 14 . the pizza maker was setting some pizza out. more than once. I had to have it. the louder they cry. (They get really. whenever I wanted pizza when I was pregnant. My eyes zoomed to the buffet. I love food as much as the next girl. That was okay. There was only one pizza out and it was pepperoni. Now that I have a baby. Whenever I’d experience a hunger attack. my favorite. I love pizza. I couldn’t handle being hungry at all. we would go to the pizza buffet where I could eat myself into an almost comatose state. I know how they will cry and wail when they’re hungry. it didn’t happen that often. I noticed that a large group of people entered the restaurant. That’s how hungry I felt. I’d feel as though I had to get food or I was going to go out of my mind. Forget going to some restaurant that makes you wait while they cook your food.KIM RINEHART Food! Now! The Joys of the Hunger Attack Food! Now! Get me some food now or else! Why aren’t you feeding me already? I was worse than a hungry baby. I’d feel like I could have eaten my arm. As soon as I sat down. It was like the most intense hunger I ever had.
I always watched what I ate and could go hours between meals. The Beach Ball Effect It was the weirdest thing. And I had to have that pizza. a pregnant woman has got to do what a pregnant woman has got to do.” And I did. slack-jawed. “You sure did. After. but you get the idea. like a beach ball. But I could poke at it and it would almost bounce. but that was almost impossible. my stomach suddenly felt like I had a beach ball inside of it. I could barely go minutes. I explained to my husband. There was a tall. of course. either. I had to have it when my body demanded it. I leapt from my seat and walked as quickly as possible over to the buffet.” He eyed me and said. I needed something to eat. big man headed in the same direction as I was. It was like the direct opposite of a hunger strike. Just get out of my way. Not literally. I intercepted the pizza and put about half on my plate. It was like I could not get enough food—for almost nine months! Before I got pregnant.REALLY PREGNANT! thought. I guess that’s what’s supposed to happen. Afterwards. And this happened right after I got pregnant. My husband sat there. I didn’t care. Just before he got there. I was going to eat and nobody was going to stop me. I guess I could call it the eating strike. I tried not to snack too much. Maybe that’s what the uterus acts like—a beach ball. Hey. then nearly ran back to my table. After I got pregnant. Or. Well. at least. I would take their head off. but it surprised the heck 15 . which was most of the time. Sorry. I’m not sure. I had to have it. “You don’t understand. that’s the way it felt to me at the time. If anyone came between me and my food. Or something.
I felt a slight wave of panic. She probably had a purple couch she took naps on and cool pictures on the wall to look at. Unfortunately. But bigger it got. It was always soft and squishy. I got myself a buggy and headed to the baby department. Choices Right after I found out I was pregnant. but mine never was. even when I was in my ninth month. I suddenly became overwhelmed by everything. I wasn’t having that much fun on the outside. this is really groovy!” I think she had a good time inside the beach ball (or bottle) because of all the wiggling she was doing. As I looked around. It was going to be so fun! Once I got to the store. I had to sit down. But maybe it wasn’t a beach ball at all.KIM RINEHART out of me. God. And bigger. I thought I was huge and could not fathom how my stomach could get any bigger than that. floating around like she was in some psychedelic dream. At four months. how am I going to do this?” I became so over-stimulated. I insisted on doing the best thing about being pregnant—going shopping for baby stuff! I got all psyched up to go and we headed out to my favorite department store. “Hey. stuff I didn’t even know the purpose of. I didn’t know this was what my stomach was going to feel like. I imagined her saying things like. Sure. Choices. “Oh. I thought. I imagined it looked a little like the inside of the bottle on I Dream of Jeanie. Maybe it was something else entirely… I imagined my baby inside of there. I always thought that pregnant stomachs looked really hard. Either 16 . Choices. but there was all this other stuff too. I knew what diapers were for and bottles. The thing was out of control and my beach ball was suddenly becoming one of those big exercise balls. man. There I was greeted with all kinds of stuff.
Some of it was 17 . I began to worry about whether or not I was going to be a good mother. How was I going to do it? I was scared. I’d have to find the answers to these impending questions as they happened. I shook my head and said.” He didn’t have a clue. All I needed to do was to take it one day at a time. This was our first baby. It was like I just knew what she needed and when she needed it. I was scared about making mistakes with the baby once she got here. I had to have faith that once my baby was here. I did figure out what I needed and there was a lot more stuff than I ever anticipated. I’ll admit it. It just seemed as though there was this impending anticipation to the future. after all. or even the next. Eventually. but my natural maternal instincts just took over once she came home from the hospital. It was definitely overwhelming. But then. but realizing you are going to be responsible for another human being is what is really overwhelming. And I did. I didn’t have to do it all that day. I began to wonder about all the future choices I would have to make on her behalf and if I was up to the job or not. Strange thoughts ran through my mind: Was I really pregnant? How was I going to go through with this? There was so much stuff to buy! So much stuff I didn’t even know existed! What the heck is a Boppy?! How could I ever sort through this? To say the least. And that’s what got to me that day.REALLY PREGNANT! that or I was going to freak out. I’d know what to do. that was the least of it. How was I going to pay for all this stuff? My husband then came up and asked what I wanted to buy. Buying stuff is easy. It sounds like a cliché. “I have no idea. However. I realized that I was new to all this and that meant I didn’t have all the answers. I just figured it out as I went along. I was very overwhelmed with all the stuff I needed. either.
My advice: Just relax! This feeling is going to pass sooner than you expect. I Guess I Am Really Pregnant Sure. no doubt. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be completely thrown for a loop. But when it really hits you that you’re really pregnant—WOW! I was really pregnant! It’s overpowering. especially if this is your first pregnancy. But it boils down to this: It’s just the fear of the unknown. 18 . but that goes with the territory of being a new mom. so I didn’t know how to do it. In fact. Now if I could just figure out what to do with all this baby stuff I’d bought. this little bit of panic passes. it’s almost like you start thinking of the baby as a guest who is going to be coming soon. this is something you’ve wanted for a long time. I remember I kept thinking. However. I’d never done this. so you have to get everything in order for her—or his!—arrival. it’s enough to really throw your world completely off balance if you let it. That. it happened more often than not those first few months. “I’m really pregnant. I’m really going to have a baby! Oh…my God!” Thoughts raced through my mind: What am I going to do? How can I get through this? And this just didn’t happen in the baby department of my favorite department store. it might be abnormal if you weren’t even a little bit scared. believe me. I mean. can bring on some fear. Things are going to change and they’re going to change in a big way. too. And. And the kicker is. After a while.KIM RINEHART winged. you’re standing at a threshold. It was like a panic attack. in and of itself. Being pregnant and having a baby are huge life changes. these feelings are normal. to say the least. You’re overjoyed. of course. In fact.
that was me and my nipples were huge. I rarely had time to think about all the stuff that had bothered me before. I just wanted to get some sleep at night. The first time I noticed my big old porn star nipples. As in “porn star” big. She really became more of an addition to the family than anything. Thank God for that. My nipples are normal-sized. In fact. I jumped back from the mirror and vowed to not look again until the baby was born. What Is Up With My Porn Star-Sized Nipples? Let me just put this out there. Even then. but that means your pregnancy will soon be over! Yea! The great thing was. yes. But what is up with the porn star-sized nipples? Is it because your breasts swell or something and the nipples get stretched? Was 19 . She didn’t really disrupt my life that much and the joy she’s brought to me has more than surmounted any fears I actually had about having her. But when I got pregnant. I had to glance twice in the mirror to make sure that I wasn’t looking at someone else. And they did. but it’s not like I resent that or anything. My life didn’t go topsy-turvy or change that drastically. she is the most important member of the family and her needs come first. And that. once she got here. Of course. Mostly. they became abnormally large. once I actually had the baby. eventually. It was just that I brought a baby home from the hospital and she became my number one priority. And they were dark. these fears rarely came up and I found that my life wasn’t nearly as upset as I thought it’d be. would come in time.REALLY PREGNANT! you really start to look forward to it! Not only are you going to have a new baby. Had a porn star been invited over to my house without me realizing it? When I realized that. too. I avoided them until they went back to normal.
I was having a good meal and suddenly. Yuck! Oh. Morning Sickness Strikes Some women call it morning sickness. The smell of wood was horrendous to me.e. But I was even happier when I got my normalsized nipples back. which didn’t just happen in the morning. Experiencing Pure Hell. certain I was going to throw up. No. And I was glad of that. The smell of the meat on the plate was too much. please.. But I didn’t. too. real bad. I hated the smell of any sort of gas. “Please no. I couldn’t eat at all. I just held onto the wall and panted for a few minutes until it was over. Whenever he’d come close to me. everyday and mostly when something had a strong odor to it. I felt this uneasy nausea for months on end. “What smell?” This describes my morning sickness. But everything else stank. I can’t stand it. it hit in a really nice restaurant. I called it Pure Hell. It literally smelled bad. One time. and the strangest thing was that I hated the smell of my husband’s hair. i.KIM RINEHART this something I could talk to my doctor about? Should I talk to him about them? I wasn’t sure but I had read it was normal. I should have known I was pregnant for sure when everything began to stink. I’d hold my hands up and cry. it happened to me all day. I just felt like I could throw up at any time. noon and night sickness. I jumped up and went to the bathroom. or the fact that I gained five pounds overnight. Others call it morning. mind you. I keep asking. Once the addition to our house was complete. The smells were so strong. “What’s that smell?” and everyone would look at me and say.” And I couldn’t. Another thing that nauseated me was the smell of wood. How weird is that? I literally couldn’t stand to be around his head. I couldn’t stand to even go 20 . Not life. so overpowering.
I only threw up one time due to my morning sickness but that was enough. It’s really nauseating. the thing is. Well. It’s true. What was the deal with this? From paint to grease to my dog. it’s really horrendous. And. I didn’t know what to expect. real morning sickness isn’t funny. And I think I threw up that one time because I’d over-eaten some mashed potatoes and gravy. sniff a little. everything started stinking to me. Whereas this stuff in movies and on TV is funny.REALLY PREGNANT! into it because of the strong wood smell from the floors.) It’s funny but. but the smells certainly made me want to. (That’s the thing about pregnancy. Everything made me want to hurl. you can’t stop at one serving. over time I realized this was it— nausea caused by strong odors. Well. Oh. the smells were about the extent of my morning sickness. the joys of pregnancy! Luckily. to be honest. I could not stand anything. Sounds weird. 21 . Like I said. odors that only I detected thanks to my new super-smelling nose. even though I was pregnant. I don’t care what kind of spin you want to put on it. I thought it was going to be like it was in all the movies. but the smell was so overpowering. then run back into the other part of the house. Or even three. I didn’t throw up that much. I didn’t even know this was it! I kept waiting for it to kick in even though I was already experiencing it. Like when the pregnant woman is throwing up all the time into garbage cans or all over her husband in the morning. it literally made me sick. I know. Literally. I’d cautiously take a step in. I didn’t even know this was my version of morning sickness. As I’d never had morning sickness. The smell of a pair of new—and gorgeous—curtains I’d purchased made me want to throw them out. you have to eat and sometimes.
I Hurl For You. So. Something that did help a little—a very. A Song by a Pregnant Woman I hurl for you And you and you and you You made me sick With your icky smells I hurl for you And yet I can’t stop eating Whatever it may be. I’d munch on crackers all the time to help settle my stomach. this was probably the worst part of my first trimester. I was wrong and it was nothing like I expected. I’d say about fifteen pounds of my pregnancy weight could be attributed to those crackers. just let me be Yet I can’t. 22 . I Hurl for You. I’d even take a baggie full of crackers around with me wherever I went and whenever I felt the need. I ate a lot of crackers.KIM RINEHART So. I just can’t stop Hurling for you I just hope it passes soon… Everybody now…I hurrrll for yoooouuu! Maybe I should have just purchased a gas mask and wore it around all the time. And all because I couldn’t stand the smell of anything. very little—was saltines. I’d eat a few. I had always assumed I’d just get morning sickness in the morning. Well. I managed to make a little joke out of all of this it by singing. in the end. a little song I made up to help me through the tough times. But. but I don’t think my doctor would have approved.
REALLY PREGNANT! The smells. at its best. but there I was. All of a sudden. please! It sounds gross. or both. I wanted to. Why Can’t I Burp? This is one of the biggest problems I had throughout my entire pregnancy: My inability to burp. The only remedy—and relief—I had was antacids. a little bit of air moving around in my belly. God. They didn’t do that much. And kinda gross. Or pass gas. thankfully. “Uh. I’d down cans of caffeine-free soda and sit and wait. I’d feel it come on. I’d ask my husband to burp me—literally. just let me burp. Looking back on it. what could be done about it. I eventually could eat meat and walk into the new addition of my house and I even stopped hating the smell of my husband’s hair. unable to burp and unable to pass gas. to say the very least. Please. I’d pray to just let out a big one.) He’d always say. but the doctor said I could take them. I don’t know why this happened or really. I know a lot of women have too much flatulence when they’re pregnant but this wasn’t the case with me. but I’ll pat 23 . but being pregnant. all I’d get was a “Brrup. “Would you hit me on the back really hard?” (I thought this would release the gas or something. as all that built-up gas rumbling around in my stomach caused me loads of physical pain. is gross. I felt the eruption and I’d wait for the big cartoon-like burp sound of “Ahhhrghhh!” But. I’d say.” It got so bad. almost from month one. Suddenly. I didn’t burp nor pass gas all that much. And wait and wait. It all went back to normal and that was a good day when it happened. I wish I’d had that problem but my problem was that I had too little. The gas would sometimes settle in my chest cavity and make me beg for relief. no. stopped bothering me after a while. Now. It was a horrendous time. Other than that.
They just ached. literally burping me. they felt like they were going to fall off. Bad. they looked good! I was so proud of them.KIM RINEHART your back.” That was good enough. whenever I’d complain about this. They took their sweet time coming about. These puppies had purpose. but I didn’t want it to get into the wrong hands and wind up on the internet. This is a happy day when you get the boobs you’ve always wanted. I’m glad I didn’t have to explain that. my husband would offer to massage them for me. But once they did… Damn. If someone had seen us… Well. Back off. “Look what I got!” He was amazed. I’d have done anything to release that gas. My Cups Runneth Over—Big Boobs! My boobs didn’t grow overnight. And they hurt. However. On the down side of all this foolish pride was the pain that came with bigger boobs. But. Of course. I’d show them off to my husband. you realize you can’t keep them. They felt so sensitive and tight I could barely stand to put on a bra. My boobs hurt so bad. these were for the baby. mister! It’s not like I went out and got a boob job just for his enjoyment. 24 . Trouble is. I even considered taking a picture of them. hey. so why would I let him? Besides. not him. to say the least. It’s only when you are pregnant that you can appreciate something like being able to burp. And that purpose was to put me into a lot of pain. I couldn’t even stand to touch them. I’d lean over and he’d pat my back.
in the end. boys abound. Maybe I’d luck out and have twins—one of each. But wait a minute. but in the end. having one of each. I saw a nice pink room with that cool white furniture and pretty dolls. I saw him going to law school or becoming a cool musician. How cool would that have been? And that’s what I began to fantasize about. I saw buying her all the things I never had like a really cool dollhouse.REALLY PREGNANT! Is It a Boy or Is It a Girl? I think this is one of the biggest questions during all pregnancies. I saw us running around the yard. in my family. I didn’t have a mini-van. throwing baseballs. I’d probably have to build another bedroom onto my house. But having a boy still sounds good. So. I saw me helping her get ready for her prom and all that good stuff. But it was not to be. it was a toss-up. my husband and the twins—all in our mini-van headed down to Disneyworld. I wasn’t pregnant with twins. probably because in my husband’s family. I would be done having kids and I’d only have to go through one pregnancy! I could see us—me. too. I did get what wanted. Suddenly. Sure. at the back of my mind. However. So. 25 . but I was pregnant with a wonderful little girl. I wanted both. that would be fun. girls dominate. I saw buying him cute little baseball hats and neat trucks to push around on the living room carpet. Yeah. I found myself in a conundrum. I began to wonder what I was having—boy or girl? I really wanted a girl but was more than sure I was going to have a boy. Right after I found out I was pregnant. But a boy would have been good. While I was sure I was having a boy. I saw a little girl.
Only I wasn’t going to do that and I wasn’t reading books on survival.” I wouldn’t know that “every woman’s pregnancy is different” but if I “feel this way or that way” then I should “consult my doctor. In the end. Sometimes I wondered if I’d just be better off winging it and not researching every single detail of my pregnancy.” Along the same lines are those pregnancy/baby shows that are all over TV in the early morning hours. I was already pregnant—and not a teenager—so I consumed these books as though I was about to embark on a wild adventure where I’d be dropped in a remote location and forced to survive with only my wits and knowledge gleaned from these books. I thought. I wouldn’t know about “this thing that could happen” or “that other thing that might happen if I do this or don’t do that. “This is the prefect scare tactic for teenage girls against sex. I just didn’t know! The things these books described would scare any woman away from pregnancy. most of them just scared the crap out of me. I made the mistake one 26 . However. as “every woman’s pregnancy is different. I just wanted to know what to expect but the only thing I ended up expecting was the worse.” Or. because something that happened to me ten years ago could mean this or that and had I ever been around any lead paint? Good God. From engorged breasts that hurt like hell to varicose veins. it was almost like a compulsion. I spent a lot of money for these things and in the end. I got my share of all the pregnancy books on the market. But maybe I should have because they scared me so much.” However. most of what was covered didn’t apply to me. I couldn’t stop reading them.KIM RINEHART Why Are Pregnancy Books and Shows About Pregnancy So Scary? Like every single pregnant woman on the planet. That way.
I began to watch. (It was almost like watching The Exorcist or 27 . I flipped for a few minutes before I came across a show that promised to take me through one woman’s pregnancy to the birth of her baby. She shopped a little and made a good home-cooked meal for herself and her husband in her fabulous apartment while she chatted about the homebirth she was planning on having and the nurse who would be assisting. But I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen. Wrong move! The show started out innocently enough and the woman walked around a big city being all pregnant and beautiful. And. She was in enormous pain. The woman was happy. She finally pushed the baby out and let out a scream that would break glass. so I figured that this was something I might need to know. I still don’t know why she went into the bathroom. Why hadn’t she gone to the hospital?! This woman needed drugs! She didn’t want drugs. therefore. And I think I have been scarred for life after that viewing experience. my God. Her husband hovered nervously around. I was pregnant. Her nurse held her hand. I couldn’t watch anymore. I knew I definitely wasn’t having a homebirth after seeing that! No way. then back to the living room. She was in some major pain. She got into the bathtub. The nurse took her into the bathroom and made her sit on the commode. She got down on all fours and howled with each contraction. the show took a dark turn. all of a sudden. She was in labor. The husband disappeared. The baby was fine. she wanted a natural birth! Was she out of her mind? Oh. Two weeks later: She sits holding a cute baby and talking about how wonderful being a mom is. Then. no how.REALLY PREGNANT! Saturday morning of getting up early and turning on the TV. Did she have to pee or something? No. She had what is called “back labor” where the contractions were in her back. The husband was suddenly back in the picture. Nice life.
I tried. Broccoli killed me. I found that it was better to just look stuff up in the books whenever I had a particular question. they just made me paranoid. I am not the kind of person who normally enjoys veggies. rather than seeking out stuff to worry about by reading them. too. My pregnancy dictated it. Of course. hands down. 28 . I tried but given the choice between brownies and say…a salad? Brownies won. the brownies. I never felt one twinge of guilt whenever I would consume a whole pan—by myself! But the thing was. In the end. but after I found out I was pregnant. But the thing was. Some of those imagines still give me the heebie-jeebies. I couldn’t really digest all those vegetables that well after I got pregnant. Creepy!) Afterwards. most every other vegetable besides corn made me sick and I don’t think corn is technically even a vegetable. I realized that the only people who should watch those shows are women who don’t plan on having any more kids or don’t want kids at all. I’d always order a salad. I stopped watching those baby shows. But back to the books. yeah. to go along with the salad. for the most part. And. I wanted to eat right. That one was more than enough for me and I thought about it for weeks after. I could not stop eating them. Is It Okay to Bake a Pan of Brownies and Eat Them In Two Days? How About Two Hours? Oh.KIM RINEHART something. I just couldn’t. Granted. And the kicker is. Seriously. In fact. I really. really tried to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. as did onions. When my husband and I would go out to eat. Once you see that movie. I’d order ribs or a steak. I mean. it stays in your brain forever. I could not stop eating brownies when I was pregnant. too. my God.
But what could I do about it? I just didn’t crave these good things. but do like to occasionally indulge in fashion magazines. And I didn’t need to see any superskinny women in tropical locations who made me feel even fatter than I already was. But after I got pregnant—and started to balloon up—I realized that looking at these magazines was giving me a complex. I don’t think I looked at too many fashion magazines while I was pregnant. The only difference was that they had a little baby bump. But. Even the magazines designed for pregnant women didn’t appeal to me much. I couldn’t wear the clothes. It was pointless. Besides. The more the better! I wanted greasy French fries and hamburgers. shape and form. I don’t think so. I can literally take them or leave them and. I felt so fat and unattractive and those women were just perfect in every way. And. I didn’t care about the make-up and I certainly couldn’t try the fitness tips.REALLY PREGNANT! I felt bad. mostly. They’re fun and a great little escape from reality. did I really need to see these super-skinny. guilty that I wasn’t giving my baby the best. honestly. Really fat. I had my fill for almost nine full months. Fashion Magazines Pretty Much Become Pointless I don’t consider myself to be a fashionista or anything. So. I wanted anything that isn’t green and good for me! And lots of it. perfect women? God. I wanted fat and lots of it. But did I need to see this at this particular time of my life? No. I leave them. then again. I still have yet to 29 . And I didn’t. the fashion magazines went the way of the dinosaur while I was pregnant. And now? I could care less about brownies. I wanted refined sugar deserts and lots of fatty ice cream. Those pregnant women looked better than the other non-pregnant supermodels. Seriously. I felt fat.
my husband said we could wait on something. even parenting magazines. There’s really no explaining all the crying I did while I was pregnant. The cuteness abounds. I’d squeal. I couldn’t stand it. The thing that became important to me was taking care of my baby and then getting some rest and that was about it. I couldn’t stop with the exclamations of admiration for these little things. Squealing—“Cute!” All the Freakin’ Time? Whenever I’d see something for babies. “Cute!” All this stuff was so itsy-bitsy and baby-like. I think it was buying something or another. It was so adorable! And there are so many cute things in this world for babies. However. And it really makes a pregnant woman look forward to her baby using all these cute things. Maybe I was just ready to give birth and use this stuff for real. Maybe this cute thing kicks in when you’re pregnant. Even so. So. One time. I still had several more months to go. afterwards. all I could do was stockpile this cute stuff and wait for the arrival of my cute little one. Why Am I Squealing—Yes. I didn’t have much time to look at magazines. After I had my baby. I don’t remember getting too excited over baby stuff before I became pregnant. I don’t even remember what it was. I Cry—A Lot—For No Reason File this in the “I have lost my mind” chronicles.KIM RINEHART really get back into them. Having a baby really does change your priorities. period. I flipped out and then proceeded to cry for 30 . I just couldn’t wait to dress my baby in some of the cute clothes I found. I even thought baby bottles were cute.
of course. I know it was because of the heightened emotions due to pregnancy. These jeans are the best. too. I cried. It was almost insane at the stuff I cried over. those tear ducts.REALLY PREGNANT! two hours. So. I was just sad.” they seemed to say. I felt like a fool. “We’re ready when you are. It’s your pair of jeans. it’s probably going to be a pair that has 31 . And it was a huge relief when it passed. It’s like my tear ducts were storing up millions of tears and standing by waiting for me to drop something or have a sad thought so they could spill out. They are exactly worn in the way you want and the only sad thought that ever enters your mind concerning them is the day they will be too worn out to wear any longer. I would cry at the drop of a hat. the waterworks really get turned on once the pregnancy was underway. You go into your closet and you pull out “that pair” of jeans. their replacement isn’t going to be a pair like them. now that you’re pregnant. I mean. sad day and it’s a day that comes for almost every single pregnant woman. Mostly. you might even be able to find their replacement. It’s like I couldn’t do anything right and that made me cry. the ones that make your butt look good and go with every single top in your entire wardrobe. My Favorite Pair of Jeans No Longer Fit—Wah! This was a sad.) The ones that never fail you. I don’t even remember what it was about! Yeah. And felt really foolish when I was done. But that’s not for a few more years and in the meantime. I’d even get choked up at sad commercials where the son has to leave for the army or the daughter is coming home on a train. (You know which ones I’m talking about. I knew that and yet I had no control over my tear ducts. Of course. And the kicker is. I wasn’t sad I was pregnant.
you have to say. this is a sad. if I ever got pregnant again. And a little more. woe is me. yes. Woe is me. that day comes for all of us. sad day. But anyway. We pull a little more. is it? When did I get so big that my favorite pair of jeans won’t fit any longer? Oh.KIM RINEHART a band and that are a lot bigger. Having a great pair of jeans was motivation enough for me to start counting calories and exercising more once my doctor said it was okay. This isn’t happening. 32 . I had to get back into those jeans before they went out of style! I had to do it! I couldn’t let them go so soon. God! I’m not going to be able to wear these jeans again!” Oh. It’s probably going to be a pair that involves some elastic. The jeans have made it about up to your hip and they refuse to go any further. It heralds in maternity jeans and sweatpants. It took a while but I did do it. The only problem was I had already found another favorite pair of jeans. I really needed to keep an eye on my brownie consumption. They no longer fit. no! You stop and look into the mirror. I got back into those jeans. We step into them and pull. But I kept “that pair” around to remind me that. We pull out our old favorites and try to put them on. Noooooo! Again. You have outgrown your favorite pair of jeans. “Damn! My butt looks good in these jeans!” Now. The only good thing about this—and. Panic sets in. “Oh. No longer can you say. there is something good that comes out of it—is the fact that you will be more than motivated to lose your baby weight once your little one is born.
you eventually will. I was sure something was wrong. I got a sore on the tip of it. It looked like a carpet burn. Regardless. And it hurt! I couldn’t even touch it. This scared the crap out of me. I blew so much gunk out of my nose. I was going to worry about it. This is gross. Ouch! Such is the life of a pregnant woman. at least. be sure to talk to your doctor about this. (If you have any concerns. but I also blew a lot of blood out of my nose. Even so. I read up on it and supposedly. 33 . but if you’re pregnant.REALLY PREGNANT! What Is This Weird Stuff I’m Blowing Out of My Nose? So. Why your body insists on doing this is beyond me. there are a lot of things about pregnancy that are disgusting. but then I had to because as soon as I blew my nose. Or. right on the tip. It’s normal. So. Who wouldn’t? However. I suppose. out of my nose. yeah. the increased mucus discharge has something to do with your body clearing its passages or something. but that’s what I read somewhere. I began to wonder if I was doing a shift at a coalmine in my sleep.” Don’t worry about it? It’s normal? On what planet? And why does everyone say this to pregnant women? Of course. you’ve heard worse. I needed to blow it again. Something had to be wrong with this. when I addressed this concern with my doctor. there wasn’t anything to worry about. Not only that. “Don’t worry about it. I blew my nose so much. but none more than the stuff that comes out of your nose. he said.) It happens to a lot of pregnant women and I was one of the lucky ones. Or if you haven’t.
I drove with the windows down in the car. I turned the heat down in our house. I’d have to get him to recount it several times before all the pieces fell into place. sometimes.KIM RINEHART Good Grief. someone threw a switch on and my body just started heating up like a stove eye. like I was going through menopause. really hot. I don’t know if I could have stood it or not. Really. so that’s what happened. and. And whenever he’d tell me a story. unfortunately. I couldn’t stand to wear heavy sweaters and I’d go outside in the cold without a coat.) Also. my body temperature rose significantly and I was hot. “What happened?” for the fiftieth time. And why are you telling me this?” 34 . Smokin’ hot. I’d do anything to just get a little relief from the heat. I slept with a sheet on me and nothing else. It’s like all of a sudden. “Oh. (I even considered going to bed naked. while I was pregnant. let alone a whole book. I didn’t want my husband to think he was sleeping next to a beached whale. It was almost like I was having hot flashes or something. towards the end of my pregnancy. The ceiling fan in the living room had to be going at all times. but it sure happened to me. I got so hot. because I was so large. my baby came early in the spring and I didn’t have to endure that. the thought of being pregnant in the summer was torturous. bodywise hot. I don’t know exactly what month this started for me. It got so bad that. I opened windows. I Now Have the Concentration of a Gnat I don’t think I finished one magazine article. I’m Hot! Hot as in temperature-wise hot and not. but. but all of a sudden. I’d try to watch movies but would end up driving my husband mad when I’d ask. even though it was winter. I’m not sure if this happens to all pregnant women. Thankfully.
) What kind of man does something like this? I sympathized by saying. a pregnant woman has to do what a pregnant woman has to do.” She replied. I overhead. “He whined more than the baby did. I guess he was in the doghouse after that. really. She said her husband took a hunting trip the day after the baby was born and didn’t come home for two weeks. but you try to be as optimistic as possible. She said. However.” I was almost stunned into silence. I wanted to know what was going on with other pregnant women and because I didn’t personally know anyone at that time that was also pregnant like me. It’s Not Called Eavesdropping. I did hear more than a few stories that made me wonder what’s wrong with some people. 35 .REALLY PREGNANT! I think he began to wonder why he bothered to tell me anything in the first place. Which. “And still is. And for me. you never know when one of them might know something you don’t that could make this whole experience easier. I thought I had no choice in the matter. “Well. well. It’s Called Active Listening—Actually. but it did make me feel better to know others were kinda. I took to eavesdropping on the conversations in the doctor’s office. One woman. (I was astounded to find out that she is still married to this jerk. that’s saying a lot. was talking about her first pregnancy. So. Besides. It’s called a sisterhood for a reason. It Might be Eavesdropping Oh. isn’t possible. sorta going through what I was going through.” She went on to tell me about how he complained that the baby was keeping him up at night and he needed his sleep. I know I did. Still. I didn’t learn that much.
I began my search and soon came upon an OBGYN that was close to where I lived. no. non-pregnant patients. you heard me. It was one of the first things the doctor did. of course. not only because I had to climb up on the examining table. made the appointment and waited to go in. but I didn’t. Alas. I thought my first visit to my new OBGYN was going to be exciting. Wow—I was actually going to see an OBGYN. going to do a pap smear. I thought he was going to tell me all the secrets of pregnancy and what to expect. I’d be off the hook as far as pap smears go for a while. The First Doctor’s Visit Is Less Than Exciting One task I had to complete since I was pregnant was to find an OBGYN. even if he was my doctor. I had the task of finding a new one. but because I’d have to strip and spread ’em almost every single time. that’s not where it ended. However. Since my old gynecologist had moved away. let alone allow an older man. as finding a new doctor for anything can be a pain. are you?” And. in fact. right? You’re not confusing me with some of your other. When he announced that he was. I didn’t do that. Almost every time I went to my OBGYN. Don’t ask me why. besides the pap smear. I thought once I was pregnant. How weird was that? For some reason. to poke around down there. 36 . I wanted to. I almost considered asking him. I didn’t even want to look around that area myself. “Are you sure? You do know I’m pregnant. I called.KIM RINEHART What Do You Mean I Have to Have a Pap Smear? Yeah. Each doctor’s visit I dreaded more than the last. I’d want to ask him. but I kind of looked forward to it. But the day I found out I was pregnant. Great. I did not look forward to this at all. “Can’t you just feel my stomach a little and let’s call it a day?” But. he’d want me up in those stirrups for something.
no. Was I acting alright? Wasn’t I acting with enough excitement? I didn’t know. “Is that your baby catching gear?” He just looked at him like. I didn’t want a prankster delivering my baby. Maybe they didn’t believe me when I said I was pregnant? The nurse actually said. He was the 37 . at least when it comes to his patients. Alas. my doctor didn’t. I can’t complain too much because. Of course. this guy has to be one of the most somber people I’ve ever met in my entire life.” (The nurse nodded solemnly at my husband’s joke as though it was a serious question. you are pregnant. “This isn’t the time for jokes. it was just another day at the office. I guess. He even had goggles on! My husband joked to him. he’d look at me as if he just didn’t have time—or patience—for any of that silly business. He’s very gentlemanly and has a sense of humor about like a bowl of rocks. In fact. he has very little. Which means.” I said and wondered what she was getting at. I guess that was his baby-catching gear. Whenever I’d try to joke about something. it was a life changing affirmation: “Yes.) Seriously.” Okay then. My doctor is an older gentlemen and I don’t use that term loosely. I’m pregnant. I got my pap smear and then my doctor took my husband and I into his office. For me. but I think it would seem like they would have some sense of humor. though. that is. For her. you’re pregnant. he was a very good doctor and he got me through childbirth. I actually got another pregnancy test. all in all. Are you excited?” “Uh. “Yup. However. he came into the room all outfitted in what looked like a blue haz-mat suit. my first visit with my OBGYN was less than exciting.REALLY PREGNANT! which is never anything short of completely and totally mortifying. when I was about to give birth. funny man. After they took some blood and weighed me.
Then he went on with some more blah. After the tests. because of his attitude. I’d probably still end up having it. but then he told me. even if there was something wrong with the baby. let alone one the size of which he was explaining. So he didn’t really know when I’d have my baby? Was that what he was saying? I had no idea.) That was pretty much it. I was bored and sat there and dreamed of where we were going to eat lunch.KIM RINEHART kind of doctor you’d see in an old movie or something. that’s a big part of being pregnant. well. no playing around. Soon. All business. I didn’t want to let that craving pass. Oh. he gave me a prescription for some prenatal vitamins and told me to make another appointment for a month later. I wasn’t too hip on getting poked with any needle. some salad. Then he told us about the amniocentesis test. He’s pretty oldfashioned and didn’t seem to believe in doing anything that isn’t part of the natural gestational process. then I’d have to have weekly visits until I gave birth. he sat us down and talked a little. But. as I thought about it. I opted out of the test. Why play with fire if you don’t have to? Besides. right? So. In the end. he was the expert. oddly enough. well. and he seemed to know best. I was definitely craving some lasagna and. “I don’t think it’s necessary. which means they basically poke you with a huge needle and draw out some amniotic fluid and test it to see if your baby might have any abnormalities. we won’t. we will do it. (I’d have to have monthly visits up until my last month of pregnancy. If you want to do it. you don’t 38 . Oh. If not. not me. I suddenly realized all I thought about was food. blah. explaining that the so-called gestational period is just an approximation and basically that my due date was a guess. blah.” He was almost nonchalant about it. It was less than exciting but then again.
Now I could go eat. I wasn’t. Anything I did made me angry. I am sure there are many pregnant women who smile at rainy days and who bask in the glow of their pregnancy. yeah. being pregnant was like being in a permanent state of PMS—or nine months of PMS. I felt like a cow and I was pretty damn mad. Why Do I Feel Like I’m In a Constant State of PMS? To me. I stopped trying to rationalize it. I wondered why I was so angry in the first place. I always felt a little on edge and a little off kilter. mind you. If it’s too exciting. I got mad a lot. But you’re still a bitch from hell. over stupid things. There was no explaining it. instead of your period. too. Or I was. Just in a PMS kind of way. Phew. I was hateful. It’s like you’re always anticipating the arrival of your period. I did. Not in a bad way. I got angry because my dog ate all the cat food. And.REALLY PREGNANT! want too much excitement on your first visit. so I was relieved once it was over. So. Soon enough. And finding out that I was in good hands with this very stern doctor gave me some peace of mind. something might be wrong. I also got upset at my husband once because he couldn’t get off work early one Friday. I would get upset even if I had to do something as simple as make a phone call. I was very glad to get that done. I was sometimes mean to my husband but that comes with the territory of being married—everyone knows that! It was sad to see the slow 39 . And that kind of made me angry. Mad at everything and everybody. I also liked to call this little phase of my life the Mad Cow Disease. But you know it’s not coming back for a while because. after I got angry. It was the Mad Cow disease and it wouldn’t be over until I gave birth. you get a baby. And I used to be so nice.
KIM RINEHART degeneration of my former self. whenever I was out in public. I was a Mad Cow. I was like a fire-breathing dragon that was pissed off that she had been awakened from her slumber and made to evacuate her lair. One day. specially. but I was curious. how I mourned the loss of my sense of humor. It was like I was in some kind of 40 . But. Not only do you wonder if you’re going to be pregnant forever. Oh. How dare she? Who does she think she is? Blah. who else is pregnant. “Excuse me. I actually began to scowl at people in the supermarket if they were in my way. those were the days. How I mourned being unable to laugh at a silly joke. too?” It was an odd obsession I had. Am I? Just a few months into my pregnancy. In fact. I didn’t care. How I mourned how I began to loathe romantic comedies. my sense of humor did return after I had the baby. The good thing is. “Is she pregnant. but you also begin to wonder about other women. What were those days like? What was I like when I didn’t have the constant heartburn or raging pregnancy hormones? What was it like to put on an outfit and feel good about myself? What was it like to get some sleep? Oh. blah. So.” she snapped. I began to feel like I was going to be pregnant forever. blah. the Mad Cow certainly came out during my pregnancy. yeah. The bad news is it took a few months. I felt like a terrible person and yet. some old lady stopped in front of me—for no apparent reason—and when I said. I Feel Like I’m Going to Be Pregnant Forever—I’m Not. I began to forget what it was like to not be pregnant. I’d look at all the other women and wonder. “I’m trying to move!” I held my tongue—she was lucky—but stayed upset about that for an hour afterwards. Those were the days.
I’d see a lesser huge woman and think. as you wait and wait. I could barely lift my own grocery bags. even after she gives birth and still feels pregnant. you get really excited. In addition to feeling empathy towards other pregnant women. But then there’s that three month rule. Hey. I knew what she was going through and I felt her pain. I’d also sigh with pity if I saw her struggling with grocery bags or trying to get out of a car. It’s more like a superstition to me. I think this is something every pregnant woman does. I’d nod at her with recognition. “Damn! I’m huge!” Mostly.” I suppose. You wonder what the response will be at your wonderful news. I’d think. To my relief. it was the latter. we were. At least we were all in it together. “Damn! She’s huge!” Or. But I couldn’t stop and help her. Keepin’ it real in the sisterhood. I’m Pregnant! For some reason. too. I was also curious to see what all the other pregnant women were wearing.REALLY PREGNANT! secret club and constantly looking for other members. We look at the other pregnant women and surmise her situation. This is to make sure the baby “takes. You 41 . they were mostly dressed as badly as me. Sometimes. mainly because the belly doesn’t go down as quickly as we’d like. I began to compare myself to them as well. Yeah. Everybody. as I had a hard time finding good maternity clothes. mostly because I was going through it. I could not wait to tell everyone I was knocked up. I felt her pain. Well. Was there a code besides the big belly and bitchy behavior? If I happened across another pregnant woman. but it basically entails not telling anyone you’re pregnant until three months.
I proposed it to my husband. Maybe I was afraid she’d disapprove in some way. It’s like this strange thing happened once the doctor gave me the go-ahead to tell everyone my great news. telling him we should keep it on the “down-low. Anyway. In fact. starting with my mother. I was so gung-ho to go with this idea. And so I did. Suddenly. they went back to their lives and I went back to mine. but once I knew for sure I could share the news. all pumped up. but then again. It was strange. feeling like an unwed teen. And that was only about six or so months away. 42 . Sure. So. I am sure of it. would it? But on the other side of this. I didn’t want to tell anyone I was pregnant. It had to be the hormones. Who knows? It’s just this strange mindset I got into. you don’t really want to tell anyone you’re pregnant. So. Maybe I could keep it secret until I had the baby? Maybe I was afraid of the responses I would get. You wonder if they might throw you a party. tell them I must. I remember calling my mom up.KIM RINEHART wonder what kinds of gifts everyone will buy the baby. I guess I had to tell everyone. It was almost anti-climatic. and thinking she was going to scold me for having sex. she was happy and that was it. Maybe I was afraid of everyone knowing I’d had sex. Here I was. then kind of let down. It was the hormones. even though I’d been married to the same guy for eons. everyone was happy—and surprised—at my news. even though I put it off for as long as possible. Or I didn’t. I did it. as a pregnant lady.” He told me this was a ridiculous idea because there was no way I’d be able to hide it after a certain point. Had to be. And now all I had to do was wait until the baby decided to be born. I didn’t want to. And having a party wouldn’t be a bad thing.
From then on out.REALLY PREGNANT! The Reluctance Over Sharing Baby Names Once you tell everyone you’re pregnant. The main reason is because everyone has an opinion about what the baby should be named. They also have all their own favorite names picked out for your child. wearing a bathing suit to the beach or to the pool. This is a trap a lot of pregnant women get caught in. I refused to divulge any names I was considering. And guess what she said? “Oh. I thought so.) Why do people do this? You find the perfect baby name and they spit on it. either. Believe me. the first thing they want to know is what you’re going to name your baby. like maxi-pad?” I literally wanted to slap her for her insensitivity. Whether it’s to get a pair of jeans on. Soon enough. Served them right. this happens. so I’d picked out what I thought was the best boy name ever—Max. or just being out in public in general. I Can No Longer Suck In My Stomach I think most women are overly conscious about their bellies and for that reason. we’re always sucking them in. I thought I was going to have a boy. (This wasn’t the first time. Isn’t that a great name? Well. most of us tend to suck in our stomachs. But when you’re pregnant eventually the time comes 43 . I haven’t decided. My sister insisted I tell her the names I was knocking around for my baby and I told her Max. In addition to this. you find that you begin to second-guess your name choices. “Uh. I would just say.” And if someone pressed? I’d make up a name I knew I wasn’t going to use. For some reason. “What are you going to call it?” I heard this over and over. they will end up ruining whatever name you thought you liked. Max. even after I found out I was having a girl.
After a while. “Did I get it all out?” And I’d go back just to make sure. Then. On the other side of this. No more worrying about sucking it in. but it’s something. On the plus side of this. This happened quite suddenly. you can no longer suck it in. Once the urge to urinate started. it felt good to just let my belly flop out. Did I Get It All? The Paranoia of Emptying the Bladder It’s true. “Why not just buy a box of adult diapers and forget it? This is torture!” While I never did this. Your belly gets so big. For some reason. 44 . “just in case. Why this freaked me out is anyone’s guess. I could have a thimble full amount of urine in my bladder and it would feel like ten gallons. It’s not the best tradeoff. (I read somewhere that this actually helps to flatten the stomach after the baby is born. One of my most common thoughts was. Pregnancy brings on the urge to urinate worse than a beer guzzling contest. Not that I ever participated in such a contest. Maybe I need to file it in the “I have lost my mind” chronicles. as it would no longer go in. I say. it freaked me out—I could no longer suck in my stomach! It was beyond my control. I’d always make sure to use the bathroom before I left the house. it did seem like a pretty good idea.KIM RINEHART that this is no longer a possibility. It is somewhat of a relief. but you get the idea. you have to start sucking it in again. I’d scour the facility I was in to make certain I was never too far away from the bathroom. it seemed.” Whenever I was out in public. just before I was about to leave the house.) So. I began to think. I’d go use it again. once you have the baby. enjoy this while you can. I might actually have gotten some shopping done between my bathroom breaks.
Eat all the ice cream you want and not feel one ounce of guilt? I was in! Well. I’d get very. I’d never been one to do that. But the idea seemed like heaven to me. Whatever happened isn’t entirely necessary to explain. Who knew I’d develop lactose intolerance? Not me. Whenever I’d eat dairy. but never to be realized. after all. I’m not sure how it came about.REALLY PREGNANT! Lactose Intolerance—Otherwise Known As Sheer Hell One of the biggest perks of being pregnant was the idea that I could eat all the ice cream I wanted. I’m not mildtempered to begin with. I got 45 . My point is: Pregnancy can make you feel like a fighter. I’m Ready to Brawl! Pregnancy may sometimes be without its perks. but that’s not my point. To this day. that’s for sure. I was only able to indulge a few times in this wonderful thing called ice cream. Then. I think it was because some jerk cut me off in traffic. I didn’t like ice cream that much anyway. This was such a wonderful thing for me. I am still totally lactose intolerant. It was a nice thought. that never happened. my ice cream dreams vanished. It was sheer hell. Oh. But once I realized that this had happened. but it can make a fighter out of even the most mild-tempered of us. But what happened afterwards might be of note. It’s a lot of fat and calories. And the bad thing is. very ill. I just thought this was yet another strange illness that had come to my body since I’d gotten pregnant. well. Unfortunately. it didn’t go away once I gave birth. a street fighter. Lactose intolerance is a nice way to put it. I won’t go into details. I didn’t realize this until about my sixth month. but I was hugging the toilet one minute and sitting the next while holding my cramping belly in agony. I became completely and totally lactose intolerant.
I glared over at him and spat. “Bring it on!” The image felt satisfying. ready to take someone on while screaming.KIM RINEHART really pissed off. I’m ready to fight and you’re next!” Pregnancy made me feel like a bona fide badass. 46 . “Yeah. My husband said to me. As for the jerk who cut me off in traffic? Oh. they’d completely obliterate their competition every single time. He’d better watch out. I began to think that if fighters were injected with the pregnancy hormone—hormone badass. “It sounds like you’re ready to fight someone. Then I thought about what my husband had just said. his time’s coming.” I briefly imagined myself as a street brawler. Blame it on the hormones. I suppose—I was experiencing now. Was that meant as an insult? So.
Second Trimester: Tales of Kicking Babies. Lots of Weight Gain and More Raging Hormones .
Do you want some of it in a cup?” So. One time. I loathe going to the doctor’s. no matter what you’re here for. a woman who’d just had a baby told me. this is something you have to do a lot.) But—hello? How was I supposed to hold my urine for that long? I’d hold it for about ten minutes before I’d go up to the desk and tell them. “I have to pee. But when you’re pregnant. why do they make you wait every. he was off delivering a baby—not that I minded. (I was swearing. too. I had to wait over four hours. Then I’d be back out in the waiting room…waiting. too. not just me. one day. so there was no way I was rescheduling. And.” . So why is it that they make you wait at least two hours before they see you? I mean. this was the day of my ultrasound. So. I wanted him to get a lot of practice in before he delivered mine. single time? And why do they have such small seats? How about a few big comfortable couches with soft pillows? And how about something interesting on TV? And some hors d’oeuvres? And maybe a nice fish tank to look at and some magazines that aren’t three years old? In addition to this. they’d send me back and I’d get to pee in the cup. this very pregnant woman got so mad she started swearing out loud. well. And it wasn’t just me they were doing it to. what is the deal with this? You’re pregnant and those teeny-tiny seats are so uncomfortable.) Another time. They made all of us wait every single time. (I suppose every pregnant woman has to do this. every time I went to the doctor. just under my breath. of course. I had to have a urinalysis. My doctor wasn’t being inconsiderate.Stuck In the Doctor’s Office For a Minimum of Two Hours Like most people. “It’s always a minimum of two hours. Oh. however.
I didn’t want any surprises and. too. when the doctor said. she yawned! I didn’t even 49 . who wants to reschedule? I just wanted the visits over with as soon as possible. of course. so be careful. Because. But there’s not much any of us could do about it but wait it out. I might have done that anyway. I really couldn’t wait to start decorating the nursery and buying cute baby clothes. tropical island for a five-star vacation. It might have also been because the baby was so active. I have always known I’d want to know the sex of my child. it’s a girl!” I was shocked. yeah.” I don’t know why I was so convinced it was a boy. It’s Ultrasound Day! I’m So Excited. would have loved a boy. “Yes!” I fully expected him to tell me. Or is it a girl if they’re very active? I didn’t know. but I did know I wanted to find out the sex of my baby. I Could Pee My Pants! Well. “It’s a boy. A lot.REALLY PREGNANT! And. really. Really? A girl? And then I was very. I eagerly said. too. but I just knew it. after the doctor asked me if I wanted to know. My doctor then moved the screen around so I could see her.) So. “Oh. You’d think I was traveling to some remote. I’d always wanted a girl but. one of the most exciting things for me was having my ultrasound. And you might. very pleased. (Truth be told. sometimes. And there she was! She was so real and little! I could make out her face and as soon as I could clearly see her. This news made me smile. But. But it was better than that for me. it could be even longer than that. I couldn’t wait! I’d heard about these things for years and was glad it was finally my turn to see what it was all about.
right? So. I wouldn’t tell you. “Don’t I get a picture?” She said.” It was official. The assisting nurse just looked at me as if she was wondering what I was waiting on and I said. Unfortunately. All this excitement and no way to document it. I had another ultrasound and did get two pictures—after I asked.” I said. So. Luckily. I mean. but that’s what I get because I didn’t ask for my pictures. I thought they just gave you a picture. you should have asked for one. bigger than life. “Why not?” She said. they aren’t as clear as the first ones would have been. “If I wasn’t sure. I had to ask the doctor. I was having a baby girl! And now for the bad news. “Are you sure it’s a girl?” He said.” Huh? Excuse me? I should have asked for one? I didn’t know I had to ask for one. just to be sure. most of us want a memento of this in the form of an ultrasound picture because we want to show it off and also save it for the baby book. She also spread her legs again as if to say. I will say this: Ask for the picture! I didn’t and when the ultrasound was over. To say that I was irritated would be a gross understatement. Who would have thought you had to ask for the picture? I didn’t and I got screwed. “Well. you heard me. “No. Tell the doctor you want a picture of the ultrasound and keep reminding them! Another thing: If they have 50 . “See. but she did. don’t hesitate. I am still angry about this. Yeah. Of course. of course. having your first ultrasound is a big deal in and of itself. So. I was one of the unfortunate ones who didn’t get an ultrasound picture. I am a girl so stop thinking I’m a boy!” Even so. some of us don’t get it.KIM RINEHART know they yawned in the womb. I stood there dumbly waiting for them to give me a picture of my baby. In fact.
That’s all I’ll say about that. I didn’t and guess what? They didn’t press record. I did feel some “fluttering” from my baby in the weeks prior to the first “real” kick. Even so. It’s hard to describe. I’d been waiting for it for a while. My baby just kicked! I refrained from yelling. It wasn’t a hard kick—those were still to come—but a nice. But. All of a sudden. but it was easy to recognize. when I finally felt the first kicks from my baby. too. but I did giggle with glee. 51 . To say I was happy would be a gross understatement. Feeling the First Kick It happened probably in my fifth month or so. My baby just kicked me! It felt odd. It felt like a bubble bursting or a heartbeat. too. It might have been gas. bitty foot. to say the least. I was. I was pretty excited. of course. Actually. It sort of felt like gas. Finally! She kicked me! If anyone else had kicked me in such a way. I was worried that it wasn’t going to happen. Of course. soft kick from a little. I still get goosebumps whenever I think about it. “It’s alive! It’s alive!” when this it happened. no. It came from the right side of my stomach. there was little thump. Suddenly. this was good. I felt this little jab.REALLY PREGNANT! the ability to record your ultrasound. sitting on the couch trying to pay attention to something on the TV when it happened. which signaled that my baby had just kicked. I worried something might be wrong. No video of my ultrasound exists. I might have been angry. you might want to tell them to press “record” when you give them your videotape. good stuff.
Well. my unusual dreams turned quite bizarre and somewhat terrifying. Well. you don’t have much control over it. it was 52 . especially during “that time” of the month. Granted. My husband made this mistake by excusing my crazy behavior after I was going insane on him about something insignificant. even when it is the hormones’ fault. which can really scare a person in real life. therefore. but I put them down to just dreams. And I was very glad when this happened. Another dream I had involved clowns. let alone in dream world. shall we say. I don’t think it’s necessary to recount these bizarre dreams. these dreams were strange and unusual. most women are a little. a lot. The good thing about this is that you can always “blame it on the hormones. Typically. they can get pretty freaky.KIM RINEHART Sweet Dreams Are Not Made of This I’ve always had strange dreams. according to him. I’d much rather just forget about them. once you get pregnant. In fact. I’d always heard that pregnancy brings on strange dreams. Once I dreamed I was in a lawn mower race with an elderly aunt. that time of the month stretches to nine complete months and the bitch certainly comes out. I mean. But once I got pregnant. it’s me—my hormones. short-tempered. Blame It On The Hormones It’s not you. you don’t want anyone telling you that. but I had no idea to what extent. Well. let me just tell you. the dreams were more bizarre during my first and second trimester and then tapered off as my pregnancy progressed.” The bad thing about it is that it really is usually the hormones’ fault. But they were almost unnerving and very vivid. The good thing was. And yet.
eat a tomato. an orange.” My husband looked down at my hand and said. I said. that’s called an orange.” Even so. modern light fixture we’d installed in its place. Right! An orange!” I marveled at its shape for a few minutes. that sentence was enough for an extended stay in the doghouse. Miss Ditzy would take her place. While. “An orange. It gets worse. it’s just your hormones. that would be a hard thing to accomplish. I was fast becoming one of the craziest people I know and.REALLY PREGNANT! insignificant. considering some of the people I’m acquainted with.” I said. What I’d forgotten was that I had insisted we get rid of that tacky thing four years earlier. I began to forget what things are called. I told my husband to turn the fan on in our bedroom. “Here. Another time. “Huh. Otherwise Known As Pregnancy Brain From the “I have lost my mind” chronicles… Some people call it “pregnancy brain. “I know it’s not you. He had the nerve to say. And I was astonished to look up and see the cute.” I call it “the stupids. then smiled dumbly at him. please. “Oh. a few months into my pregnancy. But he was right. either. However.” It took a few seconds to register. The Stupids.” When the bitch would wear off once in a little while. I’m not stupid. “Uh.” 53 . The first time it took place. Hormones or not. I don’t consider myself to be an intellectual snob. let’s just say. I stared at the thing in question until it came back to me. I wanted to reach through the phone and choke him.
I kept pointing to “that thing” and grunting at my husband to do something with it. like in that movie. And I insisted I was right. Horsy!” In fact. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t turned it on. as if he was worried that the stupids might be catching.” Of course. uh…” I’d say and point. One day. Maybe it was my baby taking over my brain and seeing through my eyes. Either that or an alien took over my brain during those times. I began to marvel at things—shiny things. yucky laundry an hour later. In addition to pregnancy brain.” he muttered and moved away from me. But that I could handle. He might not have caught it.” That doesn’t even sound right.KIM RINEHART “Right. though what exactly I wanted him to do was beyond me. I put the dirty laundry in the dryer.” I said. perhaps?” he asked. I didn’t go clapping at funny toys. “Yeah. “It’s red!” “Sure. only to have hot. Being John Malkovich. “Oh. but it got worse.” My husband insisted otherwise. “Uh. does it? Red bananas? One day. I was pregnant and being pregnant can sometimes explain just about anything stupid you do. I do think that’s what happened. “Do you want me to open the window. but I came close. Also. They knew what was going on. “Red bananas. But then again. either.) And that I was—I 54 .” I’d say whenever I’d see a horse. pretty. as in “that banana is red. sticky. bright things. Something was going on. one of my favorite parts of being pregnant was what I liked to call “nervous over nothing. “It’s not yellow. I’d often have to stop in midsentence because I’d forgotten what I was talking about. like those monkeys with cymbals. I nodded eagerly.” he muttered and moved away from me. “How very pretty. open the window.” (Please note sarcasm. And I’m not ruling that out. no one minded. the color yellow became red.
It was scalding. My heartburn was bad. really wrong with me. Well. and that means I overate at almost every meal. It was awful. “Just sleep sitting up and the heartburn won’t be so bad. 55 . like most normal humans. when I actually got some sleep.” Who can do that? I have to be lying down to sleep. Heartburn Strikes! After I became pregnant. The bitch for no reason? We’re still working on her. It wasn’t just a little heartburn where an antacid would help. The nervousness eventually subsided— after I gave birth. but now you’re a Nervous Nelly. But that didn’t happen too often as I ate like most pregnant women do. Even before I was for sure certain I was pregnant. if I lay down.REALLY PREGNANT! was nervous over nothing! It’s not bad enough that you can’t stand to smell anything or that you get hungry about every ten minutes. that knowledge didn’t take the heartburn away. However. fiery heartburn that made me groan with pain. I got so bad. It was like I’d drunk battery acid or something. which led me to believe that something was really. bitch for no reason. The kicker was. fortunately. I had heartburn. too. And that’s what’d I’d do. I was just pregnant. it wasn’t as bad. it made me feel worse. Of course. real bad. I have to say I had horrible heartburn from the get-go. I noticed when I didn’t overeat. everyone says. That is. And then there is nervous over nothing’s wonderful sister. I couldn’t stand myself. The only reprieve I got was when I was asleep.
Oh. Unfortunately. which didn’t happen that much. It was unrelenting and really a pain in the butt. miraculously. Someone told me to do that when I was pregnant and it worked. Nothing really helped relieve it except for. I told my sister about this pain and she promptly said.” There wasn’t much else I could do about my other aches and pains. this was about my only “miracle cure. that is. either. except bitch and moan about them. but. being in a deep sleep. And the bananas did give me some more heartburn to add to my already horrible heartburn. They wouldn’t just stop at my legs. no. but nothing like before. though. I did and. They started during my fourth month or so and then progressively got worse until I gave birth. but it was a tradeoff I was willing to make. I shouldn’t try to qualify it. but would shoot down to my ankles. After all. I Know I Do Maybe hate is a little strong. alas. Maybe I should say “strongly dislike. pregnancy does strange things to a woman and the strong dislike I 56 . either. It felt like my legs and ankles were in a vise and someone kept tightening them all the time.KIM RINEHART The heartburn lasted almost until the moment I gave birth. how my legs and ankles ached. maybe. So. maybe. Miracle Cures? We all have our troubles during pregnancy but none was as bad as the aching leg cramps I got. I thought it would ease up in the second trimester. Of course. they still ached occasionally.” A banana a day would keep the leg cramps away? This I had to try.” Or. I Think I Hate My Husband—No. “Eat bananas. I hate bananas now. it worked.
it is. especially my mother-in-law. Who knows? All I know is that I am very lucky that he didn’t divorce me during this time. However. I really did give him hell. Maybe not all pregnant women respond to their pregnancies in this way. but there wasn’t much I could do about it. but I thought I had been concealing it better than I had. God. However. Sorry. “All pregnant women hate their husbands. The way I knew he knew how I felt was because one day he said out of the blue. It just seemed as though he was really getting on my nerves. Anything he did annoyed me. these weren’t normal circumstances.REALLY PREGNANT! began to have of my husband came about quite suddenly. honey. he wasn’t doing anything he didn’t normally do. But my husband wasn’t the only one I was hatin’ on during my pregnancy. I didn’t pay much attention to it. Was he saying this because it was factual or was he saying it because he wanted to reassure me that it was okay to hate him as long as I was pregnant? Then I began to wonder if I hadn’t just lost my mind again. There was a time in my first trimester that I pretty much hated my husband’s guts. Maybe my body was sending out messages “not to come too close” in order to protect my unborn fetus. but is it so hard to not get on someone’s nerves? Is it so hard to just step back and let a pregnant woman be for a while? Obviously. He just got on my freakin’ nerves! The thing was. but I sure did. how that woman got on my nerves! Sure. Maybe it’s just because he forgot—once again!—to put the toilet seat down. I knew it was because of the hormones and all that. Was this a dirty little pregnancy secret no one told tells you about? I looked on message boards on the internet and found out 57 . Anyone was up for scrutiny. and it probably was. this may seem a bit cruel. Now.” I wondered. but none more than my in-laws.
But what could I do about it? It just seemed like he really got on my nerves during this time. I did find myself upset with remorse that I verbally abused him so much. 58 . Other pregnant women. “Boy. which is probably the best thing he could have ever done. After a while you do stop hating on your husband. The good thing is that after a while. my father-in-law took my husband aside and said. An illustration: As soon as we told my in-laws that I was pregnant. He needs to understand that it’s the hormones talking and this is just part of pregnancy.” My husband didn’t know what that meant exactly. but soon enough. And by the way. too. I wasn’t alone in my feelings. though. Thank God it wasn’t just me! Phew. And know it’s not just you. Until you become “un-pregnant. also hated everyone. no.” you’re probably going to act a little crazy. it seemed. And if you find yourself in this predicament? My advice: Just get over it. it does pass. I pretty much thought I was completely justified. too. there did come a time when my husband just stopped taking me seriously. right? Yet. he came to understand it. The in-laws might take a little longer. your husband might not get upset over your constant bitching. but sometimes I did feel bad about being so awful. However.KIM RINEHART that. the very fact that he stopped taking me so seriously upset me even more. Not that it matters how upset mine was during this whole process. I was relieved because I was beginning to worry. I just could not accept that it was the pregnancy that made me crazy most of the time. it was his fault. However. But whenever I would try to rationalize it. Tell your husband to get over it. you’re in for it now. For some reason.
hello? It wasn’t that I never went. Or. “Uh. “Ummm…yeah. Maybe some of it can’t be explained. I don’t remember. And a lot of those questions remained unanswered. my questions were left up to the computer and all of my pregnancy books. take it. maybe no one had any of the symptoms I had. Maybe other women block it out of their minds once they give birth. just take a stool softener occasionally and try to eat more fiber. So. who has three kids. And she was pregnant herself! So. She said.” It didn’t end there. I would have terrible constipation combined with a lovely condition I like to refer to as “gut busting” diarrhea. “When they ask you if you want the epidural. I asked the nurse practitioner on one of my doctor’s visits about it. had “forgotten” a lot about her pregnancies—all five of them.” Uh. never a good resource anyway. to say the least. like any good pregnant woman. Maybe pregnancy is part mystery. she was still clueless. Uh. it was just really painful when I did go. You should just get on the computer and look that up. My sister. This happened a lot.” Like the computer knows whether or not my burning heartburn is serious or not. Even after I explained this.REALLY PREGNANT! Does Anyone Know Anything About Being Pregnant? My mother. I would constantly call her up and ask her questions about my pregnancy and I’d get the inevitable. 59 . only offered this advice. It got on my nerves.
I’ll never know because I didn’t take one bath once I 60 . There was this whole other world of “bad” you could do to your unborn fetus. I guess we should just cut our losses and sleep standing up. was to avoid soft cheeses.) With that life you are creating comes great responsibility.KIM RINEHART Must Avoid Everything In Order to Protect Growing Fetus There’s a lot to being pregnant. you have to take these giant horse pills called “pre-natal” vitamins. In addition to the fact that they can sometimes become lodged in your throat if you don’t drink a gallon or so of water with them. which I didn’t hear until after I’d given birth. However. a good soak in a hot bath might have helped some of my aches and pains. no! This meant all those grilled cheese sandwiches could do… Something. you can’t lie on you back. Everyone has a different opinion. so why would you further torture yourself by stepping into a pair of stilettos? Also. either. The bad thing was. you’re creating a new life inside your belly. they give you horrible heartburn. And that means you have to start avoiding everything in order to protect your growing fetus. I realized there was a whole barrage of things I “shouldn’t” do and it wasn’t just the obvious “no drinking or smoking” either. but I was told no baths. I mean. It can do something to the baby. That’s huge! (And I’m not just talking about the belly. what pregnant woman in her right mind would even consider wearing high heels? Your ankles and feet ache anyway. What? I have no idea. I ask you. I was told not to take a bath and don’t even consider getting into a jetted tub. As I progressed in my pregnancy. Did this also include American cheese? Oh. such as wearing high heels. To begin with. Secondly. Another thing. Or is it on your side? Or is it on your stomach? I have no idea.
61 . another thing I was told—no hot water. I had cut my shower time down to almost half of what it used to be. it seems almost as unappealing as about any other manual task. sex seems about as appealing as doing dishes. Or mowing the yard. so there went my popcorn. In effect. a lot of people are going to tell you a lot of different things. Well. But the kicker came from my husband’s aunt who gave me this helpful tip. others. I don’t normally go around hanging around these things. in addition to being unable to soak in a tub. I’m sure there are some women who really get into the sex once they become pregnant. The point is. In fact.REALLY PREGNANT! found out I was pregnant. “Don’t eat cucumbers because the baby can’t burp. Some of them might make perfect sense. I did. too? Yeah. But that’s not even the craziest of it. Sex Becomes an Alien Concept You know you had sex—and probably really enjoyed it—’cause you’re pregnant. I know none of these women. Or grocery shopping. I know that by the end of my pregnancy. Oh. So. What was the point of standing under almost cold water? Some people say you shouldn’t use any dairy products. My advice: Don’t do anything you’re unsure of until you talk to your doctor. and I’m not a pyromaniac. loud radios. and fireworks. And we all know how relaxing a lukewarm shower can be. I have to use tepid water. But how am I going to eat my ice cream and pickles if I can’t do that? Some said to say away from microwaves. I heard to stay away from power lines.” Well. there goes my dream of having cucumber sandwiches for supper. But after the egg gets fertilized by the sperm. so at least these things weren’t difficult to avoid. not so much.
my husband probably still wanted to have sex after I got pregnant. Of course. I didn’t feel sexy at all. honey. Sure. “It’s okay if you don’t want to have sex right now—many women don’t. really. I could have cared less about sex when I was pregnant. In fact. And. if ever again. being pregnant isn’t sexy. In fact. I don’t care what anyone says but I don’t think pregnancy was designed to make a 62 . “Go ahead! Have fun! Rock his world!” This made me feel even worse because I didn’t want to have sex at all.) But.KIM RINEHART they’re all on TV. But that was his tough luck. I felt prudish. You may feel completely different about yourself and. Why didn’t I want to do it? Why didn’t I just do it? I don’t know! I just didn’t feel like it. the experts say. What they should say is. though. Seriously. I did feel bad about it. ugh!” It’s not like I became a total prude or anything like it. I didn’t even like to watch people on TV have sex. too. I felt guilty. “Why are they getting so worked up over this? I mean. good for you. if so. (Maybe that does mean I turned into a total prude. I was more interested in eating brownies and taking naps. And. In my opinion.” And I didn’t. I pretty much began to accept that I wasn’t going to feel sexy for a while. besides that. what good is a sex drive to a pregnant woman? It’s like I had basically turned into a goody-two-shoes and sex was something other people did—naughty people. while not actually being pregnant themselves. Sorry. My husband claims to be one of them. Even in PG-13 movies! I’d watch them and wonder. playing the part of a perfect pregnant woman. what with all the retching and big belly? I know there are men who think their wives are very sexy pregnant. that is. how could he find me that attractive. I just can’t phantom it. really. It’s more like I totally lost my sex drive.
my uterus wasn’t that big. In fact. When Pregnancy Becomes a Pain In The Ass—Literally It’s called sciatica. Where Is All This ‘Special Treatment’ Pregnant Women Supposedly Get? I have to tell you. My ass literally hurt. However. It’s like everyone is afraid you’ll want to get ahead of them in line just because you’re pregnant. it can begin to hurt—a lot. I had other. It was so nice to be able to walk normally again. I didn’t get treated that well when I was pregnant. It’s like they were rude and mean. I was very happy when it finally disappeared one day. I didn’t feel sexy and I was beginning to wonder if I ever would again. but I think I had this from the moment I conceived.REALLY PREGNANT! woman feel sexy anyway. out in public. As in it felt like someone had placed a long. Of course. And it wasn’t just me. I did. Once you get pregnant. And you know what? I was fine with that. I’d be willing to bet. but it took a few months after the baby was born. though dull. I guess some women get it worse than others. I got treated worse. almost. but mine hurt from the get-go and back then. razor blade in the side of my butt and made me sit on it all day. that was way more important. but for me. The sciatic nerve runs down your buttocks and legs. the joy of sciatica didn’t end with my pregnancy. Something about the way your uterus is expanding… I don’t know exactly. eventually. Yeah. I watched a TV documentary 63 . Disagree if you must. more important things to do than feel sexy anyway. but continued on for months afterwards. we can all blame it on the expanding uterus. Like create a life inside my belly.
I didn’t have anyone ask me if they could do anything. I don’t think it’s me. it would nice to not have strangers run ahead of you just so they won’t have to hold the door. but I didn’t get any of the special treatment they say you do. It seemed like most of the culprits of this were old women. Maybe everyone hates me. but every once in a while. They would push past me to get ahead of me in line. They were. mostly. And they were rude. even when I was pregnant. maybe she didn’t put it like that exactly.) Strangers did not open doors for me and I only once got a close parking space designed for expectant mothers and that was because I was shopping at a baby store. though. Maybe you have to be a celebrity of some sort for others to make a 64 . I don’t know. Maybe I just live in the rudest part of the world. I think it’s them. Of course. They agreed with me. all the other pregnant women I’ve talked to say the same thing. I have held the door open for lots of people. I don’t know. I didn’t get any offers for casseroles or housecleaning. we’re not asking for special treatment. but she did say something like that. “You can have either my big belly or my big butt in your face. I have no idea. It’s like they were afraid someone would give me special attention because I was pregnant and they were going to do everything in their power to stop it. She said the old lady wouldn’t get out of her way so she could exit the bus! And she had to yell. (I added the old hag part myself.KIM RINEHART about a young pregnant woman who was complaining to her boyfriend about some “old bag” on the bus ride home. But then again. you old hag!” Well. They would glare at me if they thought I was going to beat them in line. just pain rude. I mean. Maybe they were angry that they could no longer procreate or something. but these old women were the worst.
my baby boy was taken out of my stomach by a tiny incision and. he started talking. and my pregnancy didn’t demand any media attention. But I’m not a celebrity. So. as soon as he was out. believe me. And why would I do this? Because. I just knew it! 65 . I’d be like a bear being awakened from hibernation. I’d awaken an hour later to find I’d completely missed my show. I will always hold their doors and let them have the parking space closest to the store. Why not? It’s not that hard to be a little bit nice. What would bother me was if someone had the nerve to wake me up. I will allow them to cut ahead of me in line. all snug and really into my favorite show. And it didn’t bother me one bit. And he spoke more eloquently than a lot of people I know.) In this dream. but that’s beside the point.REALLY PREGNANT! big deal out of your pregnancy. Don’t wake the pregnant woman—ever! The First Baby Dream—Ahhh… The first dream I had about my baby was when I still thought I was going to have a boy. Then my eyelids would feel heavy and. (He turned out to be a girl. I had a smart kid coming. I’d be lying on the couch. I’d get so angry. My Favorite Show Is On! It Must Be Time to Fall Asleep This happened a lot. I know what pain they’re in. almost like I was hypnotized. I vowed to always help pregnant women myself. like most pregnant women aren’t.
growing a baby inside your belly. I bought a CD player and some classical CDs. I’m just that kind of gal. He’d read that this will make the baby smarter or something. but it happened to me. old belly and turn the player on. I also wondered if the baby would grow up to hate classical music. I’d stretch out my headphones across my big. “Why not? Let’s try it. this feeling will pass. well. On the other side of this. passes.KIM RINEHART Men Have It So Easy! Let me just say that pregnant women have every right in the world to hate men. my husband insisted that we play our baby classical music every night. Oh. Don’t they? They basically have a little fun in the sack and slam. Every night. Of course. So. bam. After all. It sounds strange. they did this to us. they’re done! Then we get to do all the work. 66 .” I’d think and shake my head with pity. but it’s hardly satisfying to hate just one. You can always blame it on the hormones until then. one specific one did this to me. I began to feel sorry for men because they don’t get to experience pregnancy. I thought.” So. thank you ma’am. Poor thing. I’d look at my husband and shake my head.e. Well. I suppose. too. feeling somewhat sad for his lack of a uterus and somewhat superior for my ever expanding one. “Will this make her smarter?” Maybe it’d make me smarter. this too. “He’ll never know what it feels like to have a baby in his belly. Babies Really Dig Classical Music. I wondered. Right? I personally prefer rock’n’roll. One thing that really began to upset me after I found out that I was pregnant was the fact that men have it so freakin’ easy. However. i.
That was fun. I’d crank it up and soon her fussiness would subside. “Not this again!” and covering her little ears while screaming. I would sometimes imagine the baby waking from a deep slumber in my womb. The thing is. thinking. so why not let the bear talk to the 67 . as usual. I suppose.REALLY PREGNANT! While I would do this. It sounds crazy. she had a major reaction to country music while still in the womb. Sometimes she’d kick whenever it would come on. It could be worse. but I immediately downloaded the song to my MP3 player and sometimes I’d play it for her. turn it off!” Maybe it was just that visual. flipping channels and. baby?” She didn’t kick again. but something happened that told me that she might be rebelling against the classical music. I thought this was funny and after she was born. “Turn it off! For God’s sake. I bought the cutest teddy bear for my baby and one day I was so overwhelmed at how cute it looked. but one day I was lying on the couch. Baby-Talking stuffed Animals This is another one from the “I have lost my mind” chronicles. She’d ignore any other music I’d play for her. A video of a famous male singer was on and I was just about to change it when she kicked—hard. So. stopped on the country music channel. I picked it up and started baby-talking it. “Do you like that. My mouth dropped open and I stared down at my stomach and said. for some reason. my baby is going to be a country music lover. to get back at us for overloading her with classical music. She could be into hair bands. she only did this with this music. I’d play the song whenever she’d get a little cranky. Something about that twangy guitar would make her turn her head and pay attention. All of a sudden.
I jumped back and hopped around and hollered for a good two minutes.” After it was over. or in the car. It was strange. I was so unbelievably uncomfortable I didn’t think I’d ever find relief again. One Word to Describe Pregnancy: Uncomfortable! I began to wonder if I would ever be comfortable again. It soon degenerated into a conversation between the bear and the baby. I couldn’t find a comfortable place on the couch. I was pregnant during the winter. with just arms and legs and a big old belly. I had a head. In fact. she’s lost it. Of course. What would it feel like to sit back and relax? I’d never know again! In addition to that. so this meant big. My belly got so big that I couldn’t bend over to wipe off the table. As my belly grew. Oh. It hurt. I think I was the only one who got a kick out of that. There was a pan of—what else. I could not stand wearing those clothes. so I froze most of the time. “Yup. too but I didn’t wear a goofy smile and a funny little hat. it got in the way of things and would knock stuff over or bump into stuff like chairs or tables. My belly got so big that I burned it. I was sure I had. brownies—hanging over the edge of the kitchen counter and—you guessed it—I bumped into it and burned my belly. if I could have gone around in 68 .KIM RINEHART baby? So. so I’d just wear loose t-shirts and sweatpants most of the time. My clothes didn’t fit. or in my bed at night. ill-fitting coats and boots. I am sure my baby—and the bear. too—were looking at each other and saying. I turned the bear to my belly and pretended he was talking to my baby. all done in classic goo-goo babytalk. I was just the medium. bulky. It got so big I began to think of myself as Humpty-Dumpty. too. it was one of the coldest winters on record.
It hurt—a lot. either. And that’s what I eventually ended up doing. I’d get down on my hands and knees almost every night and try these things. I realized the only thing that was going to relieve the discomfort was to give birth. but it doesn’t matter. you get down on all fours and round your back towards the ceiling. like in yoga. It reminded me doing a modified cat pose. they did almost nothing to relieve the tension I felt in my back. I mostly just wanted to sit and vegetate all day long. And I have to admit. my husband insisted that I get one of those leg massager machines. And the kicker was. I decided to give them a try. release a little. I’d round my back. But I did do some things to help alleviate my discomfort and one of the things I did was waste a lot of money. Well. Basically you sit in a chair and then place your legs into this huge contraption and get massaged. I did research and found an article that said doing “pelvis thrusts” would help. I think this was my idea. While it felt okay. In addition to that. I probably looked totally ridiculous doing the pelvic thrusts. 69 . and round some more. No amount of rubbing or stretching would help. it never really helped me that much. most of that money was wasted. Because my legs ached so much. Actually. I probably would have. In the end. And I have to say. I don’t think anyone on the planet would have approved. One of my biggest complaints was my back pain. I spent a lot of cold. So. you can’t go too deep or you could hurt the baby.REALLY PREGNANT! just my underwear. However. hard cash on all sorts of gadgets in an effort to make myself more comfortable during my pregnancy. Basically. it was over four-hundred bucks! I still feel guilty about spending that kind of money on something I got so little use out of. I was so big and so tired. though.
70 . is a good old-fashioned nap. Well. so I just walked. most of them sucked. needless to say. Everyone I talked to insisted that I needed one. In the end. but not that badly. I wanted to stay in shape. that was forty bucks I’d never see again. I felt like I was inside some kind of marshmallow that might just swallow me up if I wasn’t careful. all the things you buy because you’re pregnant aren’t a waste. I got rid of it. I finally did find a good prenatal workout that I used until I was about eight months or so. Well. They didn’t work at all. the only thing that really helps with the aches and pains of pregnancy. though. After eight months. in my opinion. but a lot of it is expensive. And let me just tell you. which I’d heard was one of the best things you could do. for that matter? I only wanted to exercise twenty to thirty minutes and be done with it. Ninety minutes! Who has that kind of time? Or energy. I also bought these things to put on my toes that were supposed to stretch the ligaments and help relieve pain. Just be conscientious when spending out that kind of money. So. it was horrible. my energy level plummeted even more. I became so paranoid I’d somehow suffocate in it. I got one of those huge ones you lie in. I also bought some of that super expensive tummy butter for stretch marks and realized it didn’t work as well as the less expensive shea butter lotion I’d purchased on a whim.KIM RINEHART Another thing I bought was a pregnancy pillow. In addition to that. I spent more than a few bucks on some pregnancy workout DVDs because I really wanted to stay in shape as much as possible. Of course. One DVD wanted me to do yoga for ninety minutes.
(I didn’t do this. Hopping Up Off the Couch Becomes Impossible I guess I really started to feel what I like to call being “overly pregnant” about my seventh month.REALLY PREGNANT! When the Good Stuff About Pregnancy Doesn’t Necessarily Happen to You There are lots of great things that supposedly happen to pregnant women. clip and clip some more. I did get to experience the strong nails thing. because I’ve always been a little prematurely gray it looked pretty horrible towards the end. My nails became so strong it was hard to cut them with clippers! I’d have to sit there and clip. sometimes it looked a little green. once that happened. They were so tough I considered using a pair of wire cutters. hard nails became too great.” Well. I was actually looking forward to these things but. However. it didn’t happen to me. I’d always heard about beautiful hair and strong nails. doing anything was difficult. Supposedly you get gorgeous hair and nails and beautiful skin. of course. but the thing is.) And forget about trying to get to those toenails! I couldn’t reach them after a while and just let them grow until the pain of walking with long. mine never looked worse.” I’d heard women say. I wasn’t able to color it—they say not to use those harsh chemicals while pregnant—and. and you shouldn’t consider it. I’d always head about that “pregnancy glow. and sort of 71 . but it wasn’t that great. “My skin never looked better. of course. My hair looked okay. But especially difficult. either. This was the time when my belly began to grow at an alarming pace and. And then I’d begin the arduous process of trying to get at my feet and chop—I mean clip— my nails off. In fact.
I couldn’t just hop up anymore. Wrong move! After I’d worked a good thirty minutes. Then I turned to the side. grabbed onto the back of it and pulled myself up. Now. I couldn’t really just stand or “hop” up. knowing how difficult it was to get up off the couch. was the fact that I could not get up off the couch. you would think I’d have better sense than to actually get down on the floor at all. And I didn’t have anything to hold onto to leverage myself. I found myself in a bit of a pickle. One day. then to the other side and then I just sat there and waited. I decided it might be advisable to get up and empty my bladder. either. not me. And always make sure someone is around who can pull you up. Then I ran to the bathroom. No. plant my feet firmly on the floor. Well.KIM RINEHART embarrassing. had to pull me up. after the decision was made. hold onto to the arm of the couch and slowly rise. what I ended up doing was this: I got on my hands and knees and crawled over to the couch. Maybe a force of nature would propel me up if I prayed long enough. But. enough. I still can’t believe I went a whole thirty minutes without peeing!) Well. My advice to you: After a certain point of pregnancy. easily. I found myself pitching forward in an effort to gain some momentum so I could get up. no. 72 . as the floor was really hard. This didn’t work. I forgot about my condition of being overly pregnant and actually got down on the floor to work on some photo albums. I had to roll over. Or I had to have assistance and that meant someone. I didn’t really want to roll around and “launch” myself up. don’t sit on the floor unless absolutely necessary. or out of bed. I was all alone and I had to pee—bad! Soon. (Looking back. literally.
The thought of a large needle being inserted into my spine gave me the heebie-jeebies. 73 . really didn’t want to experience any pain during labor. young lady?” I believe it’s a good idea to always be looking ahead. Even so. I got all these conflicting messages. I was hesitant about getting an epidural. So. I made my husband take a picture of them. even a month or so later.REALLY PREGNANT! Say Hello to Cankles! In my case. “Look at this! This is what I went through to have you! How could you be so ungrateful. When I showed it to my friend. I had telephone poles! My legs looked like telephone poles—straight up and down and thick! I could barely see the tops of my feet! My ankles got so grotesquely swollen. “Only you would take a picture of this!” Well. When my baby is a teenager. Along with this confusion. I couldn’t believe how big they had gotten. Pondering the Question: Epidural Or No Epidural? I really. those telephone pole leg things of mine were unbelievable. I can pull it out and yell. I had to document it. what should I do? Not get one and risk the pain? Get one and risk the pain of a needle? I didn’t know. but when they started shrinking. They looked so much smaller. she laughed and said. cankles would have been a compliment. My sister said her epidural prolonged her labor for twelve hours. I couldn’t believe how small they looked. I was confused. They truly were. I would have loved to have had cankles! I didn’t even have cankles. What woman in her right mind would? However. I have it in my arsenal whenever she starts giving me crap. I’d stare at my ankles in amazement. So they must have really been enormous. After I gave birth and my body began to go back to normal.
too late. once I started. It hurt. My advice: Talk to your doctor. Believe me. after getting the shot. The nurse kept telling me he was coming and I kept praying. One minute. I wish I had taken the epidural. If only! 74 . I almost burst into tears and begged him for the epidural. One even went to sleep! While she was in labor! After she woke up. it seemed as though she gave a few pushes and then had the baby. “I told you to get the epidural. However. So. I just put off making that decision. By the time he was able to get to me. so I put the decision off. they were in labor. And she didn’t scream once. The anesthesiologist was called to an emergency and couldn’t make it. But what should I do? I didn’t know. it was not meant to be. explore the pros and cons and then make the right decision for yourself. Oh. who didn’t have one with any of her children. However. I had natural childbirth.KIM RINEHART My mom said to “just watch the clock on the wall and deal with the pain. it was the worst pain I’d ever felt. The next minute. simply. you would have thought he’d told me the end of the world had come.” My friend. I figured I’d decide once I was in labor. said. The problem was. when I began to really start dilating and the big pain really started. And believe me. I knew I wanted it. good Lord in Heaven. I’d seen women on TV who had gotten epidurals. “I wished I’d had one. once I actually got into labor I still didn’t know if I wanted it or not. whether I wanted it or not. screaming with pain and begging for the shot. but it was.” She was right.” If only I’d listened to her. they were relaxed. my doctor informed me that it was too late and that I’d be having a natural childbirth. I saw all these other women in the hospital who got them and they were laughing and watching TV and having a good old time. my sister said. For the most part. After I delivered and talked about how much pain I had been in.
but they did pile up in the dishwasher. Before I was pregnant. but I didn’t clean windows for the whole nine months. the dishes never piled up in the sink. but I don’t have that kind of money. I could have cared less. Paying Fifty Bucks for the World’s Ugliest Bra Seems Like a Fair Price I’ve never been one to spend a load of money on a bra. a dirty house didn’t matter to me. I’d get upset if there were dishes in the sink or unopened mail on the counter. but I didn’t win any points with my husband whenever I’d yell at him for tracking in mud or leaving his coat out and not in the coat closet. I didn’t become a slob by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve actually calmed down a bit and am no longer such a neat freak.REALLY PREGNANT! I Could Care Less What My House Looks Like The first clue that was really and truly pregnant came right after I conceived. And forget about laundry. I wasn’t living in filth and I would get myself up off the couch once a week to clean the bathrooms. Who cares? I didn’t. And the kicker is. but it just didn’t seem to matter as much anymore. I just didn’t care. I know they have fancy brands of lingerie where a bra can cost you up to two-hundred bucks. so why not give myself a little break? The curtains covered them up nicely. I hate cleaning windows anyway. It was in the demise of my former freakishly neatfreak fanatical ways. it mattered even less once the baby came. All of a sudden. All of a sudden. Who wants to do that crappy chore? All in all. Sure. I won’t say I was obsessive about keeping my house neat and tidy. I began to relax about my housework. I rarely 75 . But I am more than sure the urge to clean will return in time.
after a few months of washing.) And the good thing was. I kept looking for other comfortable bras and spent a lot of money trying to find one. I would have saved myself so much time and money. it felt like heaven. From the day I found out I was pregnant. I found a bra online. I’m not going to hand-wash to extend the life of a bra. but it was not to be. I stopped wearing my old under-wire bras. I just made due with what I had. Who has that kind of time? But once I was pregnant. I wore it almost every single day until I outgrew it. If I had only known then to get a few good sports bras. However. but I didn’t want to risk anything. I had heard that this could do something to the milk ducts in your breasts. thirty or. I could not find any maternity bras. the search for the perfect bra was on and all bets were off. what were we supposed to wear? Those other non-under-wire bras wouldn’t work either. If we weren’t supposed to wear under-wire bras. They offered plenty 76 . It can be torture to try to pull the other kind over your head. Finally. After that. I don’t see the point because. So. I wasn’t for sure what this was. made out of stretchy stuff and made my boobs stick out like bullets. the thing starts coming apart and you have to buy more. I would just be flopping everywhere. on rare occasion. once I outgrew the sports bra. I didn’t care how much it would cost me. I could just buy one in a bigger size. spending fifty bucks on another ugly bra seemed pointless. And what I had was bigger-sized sports bras that basically did the job the maternity bra did for a lot less price. (I advise getting the kind that hooks in the back. And by that point. It was called a maternity bra. forty bucks on a bra. And. and we needed some support. I looked and looked and looked to no avail. It cost fifty-dollars. The problem was. It was so unbelievably ugly I can’t even describe it other than to say it was white. of course.KIM RINEHART spend more than twenty.
All I did was to buy the same underwear in bigger sizes. Well. Remember.REALLY PREGNANT! of support and they didn’t make me look like I was about to hold up a bank. staring numbly at the TV. I never gave the thought of my underwear much consideration. I do like those boy-cut panties because they’re the most comfortable. But whenever I’d see a pregnant woman out working somewhere. Most days. I didn’t succumb to the granny panty theory. I felt so bad for them because. I was so tired. By night. but it is pretty hard. so I didn’t have to worry about giving that up. I Am So Tired I Feel Like I Could Fall to the Floor At Any Moment and Sleep There For Days Being pregnant is a lot like working a double—or triple—shift at a factory without the breaks. I’d sit on the couch with a glazed look in my eye. I’ve never been a thong person. a little sadly. I asked my husband. “How do they do it? I can barely get out of bed in the morning!” He replied. I didn’t see any reason to do otherwise. When I got pregnant. then just got bigger sizes. On the other side of this is the issue of underwear. it’s probably not that hard. There was a waitress at one of my favorite restaurants who was 77 . I was exhausted almost as soon as I awoke in the morning. I’d feel her pain. comfort is key. all I wanted was sleep. I pretty much kept what I had and wore it until it no longer fit. I felt like bursting into tears. in addition to all the aches and woes of pregnancy. they had to put up with some stupid boss and cranky customers. “Because they don’t have a choice.” When he said that. I was lucky in the fact that I worked from home and could take naps while I was pregnant. I was just so tired. So. However. There is something about it that just zaps your energy.
Once I became pregnant. but I could at least walk and talk at the same time. on several occasions. I was never like a ballerina in Swan Lake or anything. I began to really watch my step and take my time while doing anything. I’d be going up the stairs. even invisible things. I considered getting a cane. minding my own business when. “BAM!” I was on my ass again. It didn’t stop there. wrangling with the water hose. I saw a weary young woman. My husband got leery of going out in public with me because he said I was like “a bull in a china shop. racks of clothes and shoes would get in my way and soon they’d be knocked over. I’d trip over everything. I was out in the yard. She broke my heart. I did fall. I had been so graceful before. like an inner ear infection or something. The World’s Biggest Klutz This started even before I knew I was pregnant. “BAM!” I’d trip and almost fall. which still hurts to this day. Maybe it was a combination of the stupids and the ever growing uterus. Not only that.” Suddenly. He was especially nervous around glassware. I read somewhere that pregnancy does this because it throws your balance off.KIM RINEHART pregnant at the same time I was. but I landed on my hand. Once. 78 . It was odd because there was no real reason why I was tripping and falling. but soon enough. I am sure I fractured it or something. Working pregnant women. I mean. I was so off balance. She’d smile and try to be friendly. even this was hard to do. I salute you. I pulled it back and then. but beneath her cheery demeanor. Well. that must be true because I was very klutzy.
I did try to watch what I ate. Remember. otherwise. they tell you to “be careful” for a reason. Again. However. 79 . howling with pain. I do like a glass of wine on weekends and the occasional fruity tropical drinks at restaurants. too. I no longer fought with it. God forbid. other than to just succumb. Yet. it was the smell of it more than anything that turned me off. this moment came for me pretty quickly. Yeah. So. A Glass of Wine Is No Longer Appealing I didn’t have to worry about giving up drinking because. you might end up on your butt. Facing the Ugly Truth—My Body Is Going to Hell I really tried to keep my body together once I found out I was pregnant. made me want to upchuck. the way I found myself on more than one occasion. from day one. I just let my body tell me what it wanted and it wanted to eat around the clock. there was a point when I realized that my body was going to hell and there wasn’t much I could about it. beer.REALLY PREGNANT! I suggest you do the same. The smell of liquor or red wine or. While I’ve never been a big drinker. I bought some pregnancy work-out videos and tried to walk almost everyday. as soon as the baby came into the picture. in the beginning. I guess I was in my fifth month or so when I just totally gave up trying to watch what I ate. one thing that went pretty quickly for me was my taste for alcohol. I was over it. I could not stand the thought of drinking alcohol. It just didn’t appeal to me at all.
Is It a Pound a Week Or a Pound a Day? I’d heard “A pound a week is normal. after I gave birth it would. I began to gain about a pound a day. Looking back on it. And my baby only weighed six pounds. on the other hand. let me tell you. I wish I’d done this. What could I do? Oh. I paid the price in the weight I had to get off.” Okay. I was amazed to find myself gaining so much weight and I went from about onehundred-thirty pounds to a little over two-hundred. and got fat and flat. I know! I could have had another brownie! And I did.” Normal for whom? Would it ever slow down? Yes. a stack of pancakes. my whole body just went all pear-shaped. that sounded fine to me. it was there. rather. literally. Therefore. I had fun eating whatever I wanted. And it was up to me to get it off once she was born. Or. But at the beginning. but from about my sixth month or so. tough road. I might not have gained so much to begin with. I know now that if I’d known how hard it is to lose the baby weight. a day! But I kept hearing that gaining a pound a week is “normal. On my calves! I’d never had cellulite on my calves before and now. most of the weight was me. that’s seventy pounds total. I got cellulite not only on my butt and thighs. 80 . But I didn’t really care after a while. suddenly.KIM RINEHART However. That’s a lot of weight. but on my calves. too. I would have done a better job watching what I ate. but afterwards. like a pancake. And that was a hard. Soon. Yeah. My advice? Do watch what you eat. Maybe turn down that last cookie or bowl of popcorn before bed. What was up with that? My butt eventually went. my body began to go to hell and there was nothing I could really do about it. fourteen ounces. Yes.
Also. But I couldn’t help it. all the experts in magazines I read said twenty-five pounds was good. but I needed more food than ever—my baby almost demanded it. I wish I’d been a bit more conscientious. You should gain about twenty-five pounds during your pregnancy. However. “It’s normal for you as every woman’s pregnancy is different. just let me tell you. it didn’t help me not to gain weight. I gained about seventy pounds with my baby.” That didn’t help much. I felt like a failure. My body wanted me to gain as much weight as possible.REALLY PREGNANT! But. I did try to watch what I ate. Besides. However. as they say. To this day. I reiterate: I wish I would have told myself no a little more often. seriously. what’s the fun in being pregnant if you can’t eat some good tasting food? But. hindsight is twenty-twenty. at all. I just got bigger and bigger. And someone else told me they gained sixty. We know! Every woman’s pregnancy is different! Tell me something I don’t know. it was just what my pregnancy dictated.” He said. gave me what I thought was a license to eat like a pig. But. looking back on it and going through the struggle of getting all that baby weight off. already! 81 . Twenty-five wasn’t going to cut it. Wait a minute. I am still struggling with my trying to lose those last ten pounds I gained during pregnancy. So. And the first sixty were hard enough! Even so. I asked my doctor if it was “normal. I exercised and walked almost every day I could. Just how much weight am I supposed to gain anyway? Confused? Think of how I felt. and did. how much weight are you supposed to gain? The experts pretty much agree. Someone else told me thirty-five. But I did eat like a pig and I paid the price. as I said before. I think getting pregnant. I was so alarmed at the amount of weight I was gaining. As I said. This was not a good idea. in my mind. My body wanted to gain a lot of weight.
I also had to have chocolate chip cookies and strawberry cake. it was all junk. if at all possible. Trust me on this one. I’d say. I did eat some vegetables sometimes. nauseating sensation in my neck and chest. And it did. Like I said. Even after she was born. But this is just part of pregnancy. fruit 82 . I was just the innocent bystander.KIM RINEHART My advice: Just watch what you eat. you can blame the food cravings on the baby. But on the other side of this. you might find that you have weird cravings for food/candy that you never had before. unfortunately. Onions killed me. I didn’t want them. And it wasn’t good. “She’s the one who wanted all those brownies. Forget veggies and lean meats! I had to have French fries and hamburgers. I won’t eat much of either for fear of that burning. I didn’t really know what to eat when I was pregnant. they will be difficult getting off your hips later. No amount of reading or feeling guilty would have convinced it otherwise. Even so. Sure. all I craved was junk food. I wanted those chewy. Sure.” I rationalized. I only wanted junk food. Even to this day. Also. It was junk and it was probably horrible for me. I never read one of those books.” Sorry. “But the baby wants brownies. I thought my body would let me know what to eat. as did broccoli. Or at least it was for me. baby. there are a lot of books out there that can tell you what to eat when you’re pregnant. that’s what my body wanted. And. but they gave me enormous heartburn which only added to the enormous amount of heartburn I was already experiencing. But. I know how good they are for your body. I did. Why can’t we ever crave green vegetables or fresh fruit? I wish I had craved these things. not me. While they taste good now. Do the best you can and try to stay away from the brownies. Nevertheless.
I don’t know anyone who has ever really dressed that great during pregnancy. even though I’d never liked them before in my life. they tasted like cardboard and were so flavorless that I began to wonder why I was bothering eating them in the first place. But I loved them. But then again.” I craved starches— pretzels particularly—and sweets and grease and fat. Bad food which made me become a bad eater. But I don’t have any of those stores near me. I wanted wheat crackers. Yes. but I don’t think they live anywhere near my town. I marveled at their tasteless wonder. In fact. Be aware of this if you get a craving for these things! Also. What had I been missing out on during all these years leading up to my pregnancy? While the wheat crackers may have been somewhat healthy. and when it gets to you. that’s what the baby wanted. However. These are probably the healthiest thing I craved. However. that was the extent of my healthy cravings. Maybe I just didn’t know how good they are. have you ever heard of anyone craving something that’s good for them? I never craved anything “good” and green. these chewy goodies pulled my back fillings out and I had to go to the dentist four times after I gave birth to correct the problem.REALLY PREGNANT! flavored candy you get at the movies. I had to have them. it probably 83 . which I did. I’ve heard there are actual stores where pregnant women can shop and get good clothes that are stylish and comfortable. Sure. you can order clothing off the internet. Why Can’t I Find Any Clothes That Fit? Or That Look Worth a Crap? There are stylish pregnant women somewhere. I later paid the price in a lot of dental work. But then again. In fact.
I went from medium to large to extra large to even larger. And. This way. At least it was for me. I bought one good pair of jeans with the stretchy stomach band and wore them until about my eighth month when they became too small. I didn’t know what to buy or when to buy it. especially maternity pants. I think about all that money I wasted on these clothes and I get sick now. I spent loads of money on maternity clothes and they all looked awful. I wore my trusty old sweatpants until they were almost in rags. I finally gave up and just began to buy bigger and bigger sizes of “regular” clothes. The clothes I did find made me feel worse and even more unattractive. too small or so big it fell off my butt. After you can no longer fit into your normal clothes. In reality. I mean. To be honest. They were either too big in the crotch or too small in the belly or just looked plain bad. who cared? I was over trying to dress fashionably by then. Everything was either too long. Barring that. should be everything a pregnant woman needs. Who designs these things? A tall. like I did. Trying to buy stylish maternity clothes is about like trying to find the Ark of the Covenant. I could never find a pair that fit just right. of course. From that point. maternity clothes. I just conceded to sweatpants. etc. maternity clothes confused me. super-skinny model? Maybe we should just all hang it up and start wearing those “Bun in the Oven” shirts/tents again. I would suggest that you try to wear your “normal” clothes as long as possible and don’t buy anything until absolutely necessary. let alone where to buy it. be very selective and 84 . In theory. you won’t waste a lot of money on stuff that you won’t wear.KIM RINEHART won’t fit that well or it’ll look totally different that what it appeared on the website. I felt fat and ugly anyway and trying to find clothes that would cover my bulging stomach was frustrating.
• Consider getting one of those belly band things that helps you to keep wearing your old pants after you get a definite baby bump. sometimes trying all the trends. you will probably want to burn all the pieces you wore when pregnant because you will be so sick of them. I had a gray rock-n-roll concert t-shirt that I wore so much it got holes in it! From about the sixth month on. but I did take care with my appearance before pregnancy. It was comfortable. my wardrobe consisted of sweatpants and flip-flops. in order to keep up with fashion. Oh. frumpy and would do. and once you’ve given birth. The best thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to spend gobs of money on maternity clothes. I could have cared less. • Buy X-Large shirts instead of maternity tops. Most women do this. And if you’re going to end up burning them. Even so.) 85 . as we all like to look good. why bother paying a big price? So. However. my wardrobe began to consist of sweatpants and flip-flops—weather permitting—and I didn’t have the energy to be embarrassed about it. I’m not saying I’m a fashionista or anything. You should just buy a few basic pieces to get you through the pregnancy.REALLY PREGNANT! only buy the necessities. (This seemed to work well for me. there are a few things I wish I’d known back then about buying maternity clothes. once I became pregnant. this was my outfit of choice. such as jeans with the band and a few bigger shirts. Again. and big t-shirts. I think it’s just something we do. after a while. Oh. right? Most of us will spend the money on good clothes. Like I said. and they are: • Stay in your old clothes as long as possible. I always tried to look good and would buy clothes that accentuated my body best.
I was just a vessel. Of course. Believe me. It really made me appreciate my life even more. if not stylish. my body began to feel rented out—by the baby.KIM RINEHART • Buy a couple pairs of good maternity jeans and wear them until they no longer fit. Until then. I couldn’t wait to give birth and get my life—and my body—back. you’ll probably end up not wearing them. I also made her happy by eating her favorite greasy foods. But it would only happen when the baby was ready. she wasn’t paying a dime to do this. if they’re not comfortable. option. • Remember to save your receipts in case you need to return anything. I Feel Like My Body Has Been Rented Out One thing pregnancy did for me was make me feel like my body didn’t belong to me. but she had total control. Take them home and wear them for a few minutes to see if they will be comfortable enough. I was just the host. carrying her in my belly and making sure she was okay with lots of doctor’s appointments and prenatal vitamins. 86 . In fact. • Sweatpants can be a comfortable. take them back to the store. If so. believe me. Flipflops. too. • Don’t spend if you don’t have to! It’s not worth it. along with the sweets she so desired. keep them. If not. • Never take the tags off any of the clothes you buy.
I don’t know why the media puts this kind of spin on celebrity pregnancies. was pretty normal. in and of itself. bloated whale while every single one of them looked like a super-skinny fashion plate. it’s going to go a little haywire. I’ll tell you why. One said not to hate her because she wasn’t the kind of woman who got morning sickness. Three weeks! I still felt like I’d been run over by a truck after three weeks. Not once the entire time I was pregnant did I read about a pregnant celebrity who actually had a pregnancy like mine which. either. I’d be willing to bet that the woman who had gone back to her hosting job after three weeks had a nanny doing her nightly 87 . but it’s like they set out to make us mere mortals feel inferior because we have bloat and morning sickness and painful sciatic nerves. Every time I read about some pregnant celebrity. And they did—make me agitated. your body is going through all these hormonal changes. And that’s what it basically amounts to: Superiority. now that did make me sick. But. I suppose she was implying this was due to her superior genetics. and they never once had any pregnancy symptoms. have you seen these women once they give birth? They’re skinnier than they were before they were pregnant! I looked like a beached. But this was mostly due to the fact that my baby wasn’t sleeping through the night and that meant I wasn’t getting any sleep. I read an article about one who went back to work to her hosting job three weeks after she gave birth.REALLY PREGNANT! Pregnant Celebrities Make Me Sick Sick might not be the right word. of course. Oh. of course. I mean. It’s not possible for it to not to go a little haywire! Other than that. almost every single one of them had to make a point of saying how “great” their pregnancy was. so. Oh. I mean. Agitated might be better.
One of the first things the nurse said to me was this: “Your baby will take from you no matter what.KIM RINEHART feedings. We know they have lots of help. which means their baby is taking everything from them during this time. If you don’t eat enough. If you notice. mostly because I was creating my baby. I’d take morning sickness. It’s kinda like a parasite in that regard. they look skinny while they’re pregnant.” And I did. And I won’t lie about it. be sure to eat enough. I am actually proud that I experienced a lot pregnancy had to offer. So. Being pregnant was hard. don’t! I have a feeling many of them are lying because they want keep up their perfect images. it will take from your tissue and blood. However. I certainly did. then you’re dumb! Not only are you doing yourself an enormous amount of harm. not just their super-human ability to lose all their pregnancy weight in three weeks? Oh. And good for her. the point is this: If you read articles about these pregnant celebrities and they make you feel bad. too. I guess I just wish the media wouldn’t act like these women are superheroes just because they lose all their weight in weeks and get to sleep through the night as soon as their babies are born. 88 . sciatic nerve trouble and all that to have her—any day. but it’s a great life experience I loved having. too. I couldn’t. but your baby. these celebrities should be aware of this. They have maids and nannies and personal assistants. too. I would have done it. If you ask me. well. of course. Why not talk about that every once in a while. As far as their lack of weight issue—during and after their pregnancies? I’d be willing to bet these women didn’t eat that much. I say if you’re dumb enough not to eat during pregnancy just to stay skinny. If I could have afforded it. In essence: They have people to do these things that normal people have to do for themselves.
“Oh. But. So you suffer. I couldn’t wait for my second trimester to show up. Supposedly. my aching legs. I’d heard that the second trimester would bring a reprieve from many of the first trimester pregnancy symptoms. too. my whole body. I mean. And I was sick of “Oh. such as your anniversary. However. Therefore. during this time. during pregnancy. feet…” Well. my aching back. And isn’t it fun to cash in on the best guilt-inducing phase ever created? You can use this for anything. “You forgot our anniversary? Oh. all you have to say is. I was also sick of feeling like I was about to lose my mind at all times. Or. “I’m having your baby! How dare you?” Always works like a charm. I guess when 89 . anyway. yeah. peace and contentment. But you can really cash in on it if he forgets something big and important. too. And beg for massages from your husband. If he ever complains. you have more aches and pains than you ever had before you were pregnant. The thing is. how could he? But. have fun with this one and make him pay if he does something stupid. but I can’t explain exactly how it hurt. You can use it for foot rubs. I was sick of being sick.” being part of my daily jargon. you can’t take any over the counter medications for any of these aches and pains. ironically enough. the aches and pains of the first trimester wear off and you enter into this nice area of calm.REALLY PREGNANT! Does It Get Any Better? Any Easier? When?! The second trimester is supposed to be the nice time. my God! I’m having your baby! How could you?” So. to get out of going to the post office. I was so sick of the heartburn and the aching in my butt that I couldn’t stand it. bitchy and depressed. It just did.” it was. it wasn’t just “Oh my aching back. for me. I ached pretty much all over. so I had heard.
you can start looking forward to the third and that means. really. soon you will give birth and this pregnancy thing will be over. While the second trimester did seem easier.KIM RINEHART you’re pregnant you will ache and feel odd pains and there’s usually no reason. And waited. And waited. this might just be another myth about pregnancy. You’re that much closer to the finish line. 90 . how much better could it get? Like I said. So maybe that’s why everyone says it’s so easy. when my second trimester came along. It’s just because you’re pregnant. You’re getting bigger and bigger by the day. I don’t know. but not that much. Okay. So. isn’t the heartburn supposed to go away? And the morning sickness? It got better but that was because I’d learned to avoid anything with a strong smell. So. it wasn’t that much easier. once you get into the second trimester. Maybe it was just me. come to find out. it got a little easier. what about the aches and pains? When would they subside? Well. so all this crazy stuff is still happening inside your body as your baby grows. I gave a big sigh of relief. So. But then again.
Even More Weight Gain and a Little Something Called Incontinence .Third Trimester: Tales of Swelling Feet.
Sounds simple enough. A few weeks later. it has . I don’t have much choice but to do it. Then I would have to wait an hour and then they would draw some blood. I was informed by my doctor that I would have to have a screening for gestational diabetes. Well. Even so. what this meant was that I would have to go to the office early in the morning—around eight-thirty—and drink this orange. right? Well. the doctor’s office called to inform me that I would have to have another test which would include them drawing even more blood. they insisted. I was looking at a three hour office visit. In fact. Before I went. This sounded about as appealing as poking my eye out with a sharp stick. took my test and failed.) Not thinking. disgusting syrupy stuff and pray I didn’t throw it up.I Just Failed My Gestational Diabetes Test! How Is That Possible? I Studied Like Crazy! During my seventh month. even more times. I asked if I could eat or drink anything. They told me not to eat but said it would be okay if I drank some coffee. Anyway. but thought the coffee would be better as it has less sugar and caffeine. for some reason. Then they would send the sample off to a lab and see if I had gestational diabetes or not. being pregnant and all. Are you kidding me?! I knew what had happened before I went and I tried to explain to them that it was because of the coffee. during and after. (I used to drink a soda. they would be taking blood a total of three times—before I drank the orangey stuff. I drank a cup of this coffee. I drank a cup of instant flavored coffee first thing in the morning. No. not in my case. during my pregnancy.
they warned. I pretty much gave up shaving that area as soon as I could see my baby bump. almost going out of my mind with boredom and then. I was so famished and out of my mind with hunger. like a bat out of hell. especially your legs. I’d have to maneuver myself this way and that in the bathtub.REALLY PREGNANT! nothing to do with that. And if you do have to go through the second test? Have someone drive you because you might be so light-headed with hunger. I noticed I had more than a few stray 93 . at about eleventhirty or so that morning. you won’t want to drive yourself. I thought I was going to pass out. So. be sure to ask the doctor specifically what you can or cannot eat before this test—if anything. Be really diligent until you get a definite answer. No Shaving. I was almost foaming at the mouth I was so hungry. hit the closest fast-food restaurant. I went. Not Out of Laziness. after I gave birth and could see my ankles. Even harder to shave and keep tidy is your “private” area. I mean. why bother? I guess one reason I gave up so soon was that it was almost impossible to reach anything below my belly. It had been the coffee. they took the last blood sample and let me leave. only to be unable to reach the area around my ankles. while you’re pregnant. But this time. But Because I Can No Longer Reach What Needs to Be Shaved It’s hard to shave anything. And. (The funny thing is. So. of course. follow the instructions. which was packed because it was lunch time. And the test? It came back negative. after all. I didn’t eat or drink anything. I ran to my car—or waddled—and then. My suggestion: Before you take your test. By the time I got that hamburger. don’t drink or eat anything before you come. took the test.
I was one hairy pregnant woman. And so I did. the way I looked at it was pregnancy was painful enough without the addition of hot wax being poured on my body. 94 . I was pregnant. to say the least. No. too.” I ordered appetizers and deserts and sides of things I never had. thanks. Well. so I don’t really eat that much fattening or unhealthy food. But soon enough. I’d only occasionally indulge in sweet things like a good desert or whatever. Being pregnant seemed to give me a license to eat as much as I wanted. I guess I’d overlooked them too long. then ripped from my skin. let alone my vagina. To be honest. I was buying it every time I went to the grocery store. I am more than sure my doctor could have cared less. I had a pretty good time. but who doesn’t love that? The point is. (Macaroni and cheese has to the best dish ever created!) I have to say.KIM RINEHART hairs in that area. Oh. I’ve always been a sucker for a good hamburger. However. Well. I just didn’t care.) I eventually just gave up and would do a half-assed job whenever I had a doctor’s appointment. My! What Delicious Foods I’ve Been Missing Out On I’ve always tried to stay on top of my weight for a long time. I could barely even see my feet. my pregnant mind took over and my mantra became. But at least that was one less thing I had to worry about. I’d never think of buying brownie mix and suddenly. so what the hell? Before. Some women say they get waxes. I’d be willing to be most pregnant women stop shaving earlier than I did. “I’ll try that. I mean.
it took him almost as long to lose those ten pounds as it did for me to lose almost sixty of my pounds. I was waddling. I think they call this “your body contouring” to accommodate your growing fetus. The only thing my husband did was gain some pregnancy sympathy weight.) Another guy got pregnancy sympathy morning sickness. but that became too much of an effort. he might start feeling a little of what you’re feeling. However. not him. poor baby! Wah!) Still. This means. too. Oh. I tried not to waddle at first. Soon. And I mean. I’d heard of other men who had way worse problems than just a little weight gain. One Perk of Pregnancy: My Husband Develops Pregnancy Sympathy Symptoms (Hahahahahahahaha!) During this time. this is normal and a lot of men gain a little weight when their significant others get pregnant.REALLY PREGNANT! Walk This Way I noticed a strange thing happening to be when I entered my third trimester. I think I got pretty good at it. Yuck! He said he was nauseous all the 95 . What? Was that a nice way to say I was waddling? Well. after it was all said and done. A whole ten pounds! (Oh. But then. I walked weird. I guess that’s what I was doing. I have no idea why this happens— maybe because he’s listened to all your moans and groans about pregnancy?—but it’s almost satisfying. I started walking weirdly. I am sure he would be than mortified to know she has shared this. like a penguin. well. your husband may or may not develop some pregnancy sympathy symptoms. I was out waddling with the best of them. One guy I know got a pregnancy sympathy hemorrhoid! Ouch! (His wife told me this. I didn’t have a choice but to give in.
she would probably have thought we were both nuts. And. Amanda never came out. But anyway. in a way. “So you think I’m fat. huh?” That poor man. if not more. I was huge! I was also convinced I had more than one bun in the oven. I was so convinced I was going to have twins. what happened to Amanda? 96 . “What happened to Amanda?” She just looked at us like we were crazy. I’ll admit it. I’m not exaggerating. Maybe eight. “Where’s Amanda?” Well. There had to be. And I’ve heard of many other guys who have complained with pregnancy sympathy back pain. I suppose. I came up with a name for the other one. But she’s stuck with us. This seems to be the most common. she had no idea what we were talking about and. especially in the mornings. men do experience some of what pregnancy has to offer. and had a weird metallic taste in his mouth. I said. I Am Convinced I’m Having Twins—Or Octuplets I got huge.KIM RINEHART time. my husband and I would ask our baby. if she had. like. once he did this. so as a joke. six or seven. just not to the degree we women do. So. But. And maybe we are. I started calling her Amanda. All this big old belly for one itty-bitty baby? No way! I had to have at least two in there. Even my husband admitted that I looked like I was carrying more than one and he’s usually afraid to comment on the size of my body. I’d ask my baby. I had to egg him on to admit I’ve gained weight. Of course. of course. seriously.
so sometimes. Occasionally. I used to really love my bed. I hated the very thought of going to bed. First of all. just lying down was hard. I guess he thought there was some demon sleeping on the couch or something. I wondered if it would just be easier to sleep on the couch. settle on the couch and watch mindless TV until I fell asleep. I don’t think I ever craved the standard of “pickles and ice cream”—together or alone—and. 97 . But once the belly started to grow.” My Cravings Aren’t Really That Weird—Are They? I know I had some pretty mild cravings when I was pregnant. He was like. “When did you get up and come down here?” I said. quite honestly. the bed was the last place I wanted to be. I’d toss and turn and grunt and groan. Actually. I craved starchy foods like crackers and potato chips and chocolate brownies. I wanted a good slab of meat. instead of an insomniac pregnant woman. “Right after you fell asleep. whenever I couldn’t sleep—which was pretty much every single night—I’d get up. I’ve never known any other woman to have had that craving. Other than that. He saw me and screamed like he was seeing a ghost. I did this one night and my husband didn’t know I’d left the bed. I heard him coming down the stairs and sat up. Sometimes fried chicken.REALLY PREGNANT! My Bed Starts to Look Like a Medieval Torture Device Because I was so big and uncomfortable. Mostly. holding onto the headboard. when he got up for work the next morning. I’d kind of slide down it. So. I used to look forward to crawling into it at night and snuggling up in my sheets and blankets. I wouldn’t lie down on the bed. All night long.
laundry detergent! (Whether she ate it or not. sitting. if I did. he was unfazed because he had already heard about this happening to other pregnant women. sneezing. (Or. This didn’t start happening to me until the sixth or seventh month. I sneezed really hard and… Tinkle. moving. But then I did. This began to happen so much during my last months. I wasn’t so lucky. I was very embarrassed that it happened and almost didn’t tell my husband. But one day. Your doctor can help with that. I was not about to eat dirt. you might have a mineral deficiency or something. a woman I used to work with would talk about going out in the yard and eating dirt! Dirt! I decided that even if I ever did have these cravings. breathing—anything can cause you to lose control of your bladder when you’re pregnant. I do not know. I had to go change clothes. tinkle. I had to share the news with someone! “Honey! Guess what? I finally lost control of my bladder!” He should have bought be a gift or something. What Next?! It’s called incontinence.KIM RINEHART But I did hear about some strange cravings while I was pregnant that other women have had and the oddest was laundry detergent. All that was 98 . And if you get these kind of cravings? Talk to your doctor! Do not eat these things! Ever! Seriously. I sure wouldn’t tell anyone about them. I had to change underwear several times a day.) Also. It’s one reason I was so paranoid about emptying my bladder. I Have Begun to Lose Control of My Bladder! Oh. I was lucky that way. This inability to control my bladder began to make itself more and more evident: Coughing. Dear Lord.) Cravings or no cravings. Yes. lifting. there was no way I’d ever succumb to them. However.
I’d basically pee my pants. there wasn’t much I could do. no! No! No!” But yes. I’d throw up. (It might be of note to say that this can continue even after you give birth. it would come. It would creep up on me with a little rumble in my tummy. So. Anytime I’d exercise and do jumping jacks or what-have you. I Am So Constipated.” ’Cause that’s what I would do—scream and have diarrhea. However. it was that bad. yes.” I’d think. “Oh. No one would have known! And it would have saved me a bunch of laundry. Oh. “Not the screaming diarrhea! Please. no. This would sometimes go on for hours and it always seemed to happen around 99 .REALLY PREGNANT! needed was a little pressure and that gave me a little tinkle.) I don’t know why I didn’t just go buy some adult diapers and forget it. The constipation would finally break after a few days and I’d have what I fondly recall as “screaming diarrhea. My Belly Aches (Just Thought I’d Share That) I didn’t get overly constipated until my later months. I’d almost double over in pain. as it did for me. I’d have to eat a ton of broccoli and whole grain cereal. God. my stomach would ache so much. then the other would come. And that was calories that could be put to better use with a plate of French fries or something just as good. to get the daily recommended dose of fiber one needs. but at first. The doctor told me to eat more fiber. I won’t go into graphic detail. my insides felt like they were trying to escape my body. be sure to do those Kegels to help strengthen those pelvic muscles. Once the so-called dam broke. Besides. And when this would happen. being pregnant. yeah. So I did and it didn’t help that much.
“It’s fine. I think that’s one reason I started rubbing my belly all the time. whenever I’d ask the doctor. but. “I’m telling you. Sometimes she’d push it out and sometimes I could feel her elbow me. oh. I won’t go into details. of course. I wasn’t sleeping anyway. After this. for some reason. But it’s still great. before my belly decided I was too big to drive. I Am Starting to Feel Little Feet and Elbows! This is a great day. so what did it really matter? This would happen at least a couple times a week when my bowels would finally decide to free themselves and out would come… Well. How he was going to hurt her. Well. even if it does feel so weird. But. as strange as that is to say. I gasped and pulled my hand back. I was driving with my husband and all of a sudden. I’d 100 . feel it!” I grabbed his hand but he would only lightly touch the place where my little one had shoved her foot into.KIM RINEHART midnight. And she does have pretty big feet. the pain of the screaming diarrhea! I was sure there was something wrong with me. But. He was afraid he might hurt her. I don’t know. for a baby. every woman’s pregnancy is different. I kept trying to feel that foot again. I immediately placed my hand there and felt some boney matter.” Whatever. I felt something weird. my God. all I could think about was how big her feet were going to be. Then I put it back. he’d tell me. I guess I was searching for body parts. as for me. Here. Just eat your cereal and take stool softeners. One day. I felt a hard kick to my left side. I said. Remember. that is. It was one of the things that tickled me pink and I still smile whenever I think about it. It was still there and I think it was a foot.
especially when it got big. Morning Sickness In My Third Trimester? You Have Got to Be Kidding Me! I don’t know if it’s actual morning sickness. mainly because I didn’t want my daughter to grow up and find it 101 . And this happened in my third trimester! I thought I was over all this stuff. I could no longer find shirts to cover that thing. I’m Not Sure I Understand the Term Belly Proud Of course. By the time I was in my ninth month. then here it was again. towards the end.REALLY PREGNANT! feel around my belly. It’s almost like a compulsion. it got hard to keep covered. thinking about her having a nap in there or whatever. There is something about having a baby in your belly that makes every woman want to rub her stomach. And so I did. as the belly began to grow in size and expand in phenomenal ways. Embarrassing but unavoidable. I’d rub it over and over. you get the point. with nausea and diarrhea thrown in for good measure. The bad news was that I had to relive all this. And I was over trying to find bigger shirts by that time. I was proud of my belly. They’d all creep up and give everyone a little peek at my protruding belly. Great! The good news was that I just had a couple more months to go. trying to find a little hand or foot. The good news was… Well. but that’s what it felt like. it became less about being proud and more about keeping it clothed. This brings me to my point: Belly proud? What exactly does that mean? Does it mean I am supposed to take a semi-nude picture displaying my ample belly? I wasn’t interested in doing that. It felt neat too. I had a baby in there! Who wouldn’t be proud? But. It was so large that.
mom. what the heck is this?” Besides being quite large. “Uh. One day. I had this cute little belly button all to itself. everyone knows you’ve got one in the oven. stretched out looking knobby thing. again. I once had a belly button. that cute little belly button totally disappeared.. you wouldn’t stick something like that up on the mantel. I don’t know if it’s ever going to fix itself. would you? I just knew it would end up in the basement where it would eventually get broken after it fell off a shelf. I think this is an easy way to document a pregnancy. By the time you get in the seventh or so month. then trying to find somewhere in the house to put it. In the end. six fingers for six months. i. my baby would find it and ask. mom.e. My belly button is still stretched out. it looked like you could pop it with a pin. etc. Or does it mean I should have a belly-cast done? That was another pregnancy thing I had no interest in doing. it was also kind of veiny and the skin was stretched so tight. I imagined doing it. Over the course of nine long months. what the heck is this thing?” The only thing I did end up doing was getting my husband to take pictures of my belly a few times a month. Or. then all I had was this weird. this is a moot point after a certain stage in pregnancy. I mean.KIM RINEHART somewhere.” Of course. My Belly Button Just Totally Disappeared Just where did that thing go? It’s true. “Uh. It wasn’t until I was almost six months pregnant that I thought it might be a good idea to hold up my fingers to indicate how many months along I was. 102 . the best thing about being “belly proud” is to maybe just going back to wearing those shirts that say “Bun in the oven.
When you’re pregnant. the magazine was an impulse buy. Backrubs. trash duty—anything you don’t feel like doing and can get your old man to do. grocery hauling. I was sitting there. no. sometimes the questioning went beyond this. “Talk about pregnancy cravings!” I glanced at my stuff and zoned in on the dog biscuits. a teeny-tiny waitress came up to me and pointed at my belly.” as this was my due date. An odd combination. The strangest thing that happened was when I was eating—or. everyone always asks the same question. Girl I say all women should work their pregnancies for everything it’s worth. make him do. the cashier said. I began to explain.REALLY PREGNANT! On the bright side. girl! You deserve it! People Say the Weirdest Stuff About My Being Pregnant I went to the grocery store one day and got some caffeine free soda. they’re really for my dog! I swear!” She just stared at me and said. However. good. as soon as I set my items on the conveyer belt. eating some sesame chicken when out of nowhere. minding my own business. gorging—at a Chinese buffet. “June 13th. Well. 103 . but that’s what I went there for. “I knew that. a magazine and some dog biscuits.” Oh. Well. Work it. “No. Work It. I didn’t have to worry about belly button lint anymore. take-out. Before I realized she was just joking. And then there is the odd thing about strangers commenting on your belly. Even so. rather. “When are you due?” I’d say. I know. It could no longer hide.
I can still see a faint outline of it on my stomach to this day. It was pretty obvious. but. even so.KIM RINEHART “Baby?” she asked and nodded vigorously. I smiled and said. it looked really odd. A Weird Brown Line Now Runs Down the Center of My Stomach—Okay. I’ll stop asking now. Why? It’s called a linea nigra. okay. I have no idea why we need that in addition to everything else we get with pregnancy.” she said and seemed very uncomfortable. rubs my belly hard and then runs off. In fact. But.” “Oh. wait a minute! Was she comparing me to Buddha? I stared down at my belly. she quickly bends over. Had I just been a victim of a hit and run belly rub? What was going on here? Was that some superstition or something? I know people like to rub Buddha’s belly for good luck or whatever and… Hey. then over to a big statute they had of Buddha and realized we definitely had something in common. I glanced at my husband as if to say. “What does she want?” The next thing I know. And it usually doesn’t disappear for a few months after you give birth. “Yes. either. if she thought she could get some luck out of my belly. To me. 104 . more power to her. I’m going to have a baby. why? Why do we need this? Why? Okay. But then again.
Bears can’t compete with my dad. I got some reassurance. And another said it was like hatching out your insides. Somewhere else. I wish I’d had a better attitude. I know you can’t help but be afraid as it is a very painful process. I defy anyone to try to top it. all of a sudden. labor is hard.” Thanks so much. By nature. However. I could out-snore anyone—anytime. though. And once you understand that. I am not a snorer.” Of course she had to add. in my case. But if I was snoring. What About This Birthing Business? Of course you’re going to worry about it. “Oh. I knew being pregnant was hard. especially my father who could break glass with the decibels of his snores. it’s not that great of an accomplishment and it is kind of embarrassing. but. I was giving him a run for his money. I have to tell you. everyone decided to scare the crap out of me about labor. you’ll go into it with a better attitude.REALLY PREGNANT! Have You Ever Woken Yourself Up Snoring? Me. it’s nothing to be scared of. but it is something you have to do. However. that meant I was sleeping. someone described it as gouging your eye out with a pick. so I wasn’t complaining too much. Many times. from one friend who said. but I had a feeling that giving birth was going to be even harder. I read somewhere that labor was like pulling your bottom lip over your head. Too! I am ashamed to admit that I did this. Yes. “It’s not giving birth that’s hard. That is left to the men in my family. I woke myself up snoring. This is normal. it’s raising the baby once it’s here that’s hard. yeah. But then again. But. Given all this information. 105 .
(I read somewhere that those classes can cost up to three-hundred bucks. wiped it off and took it back to her village. so could I. a few times a week. Regardless. this idea didn’t last. Well. this is the impression the book gave me. I didn’t actually take any Lamaze classes as there was a time conflict. The one that stayed with me the most was about these bush women in Africa.) So. my husband and I would watch the DVD and I’d practice breathing and “going with the contraction. And.KIM RINEHART Even so. she just went out into the bush—by herself. Seemed easy enough. but I found a DVD on the internet that was pretty much the same as going to a class—and it was a lot cheaper. She picked it up. no man has ever given birth. I was very impressed by this and figured if they could do it. what do they know? Also. anyway. Well. In fact. This was one reason I didn’t think I’d need an epidural. She did this all by herself. the women in the book would have their babies so easily that they were begging to do it again within minutes of giving birth. Also. the women he talked about had already given birth a 106 . One of them was very pregnant and once she went into labor. I also read some books about giving birth and watched some videos. no less—and squatted down and out came a baby. I was screaming for an epidural—and cursing the overly optimistic man who’d written this book and fooled me into believing that I could have a baby with little or no pain. with no help from anyone. so really. we all know. The first clue that this might not necessarily be the truth was the fact that this book was written by a man.” One book I read described how animals just find themselves a place and have their babies with no fuss and no bother. I began to do a little research by watching a few shows about nature. once my labor started and the contractions really started kicking in.
as I said earlier. So. as they say. “It’s not that bad. I just knew I’d be one of those women wailing and cursing loudly at her husband for long. yes. And I was. “You make it easy on me during labor. horrendous hours.” Well. it was that bad.” Damn them! I believe they wanted me 107 . I only wished I hadn’t been overly optimistic and would have listened to my sister when she kept telling me. all in all.REALLY PREGNANT! few times. no one would answer my questions. I wish I’d settled on getting epidural from the moment my water broke. “Believe me. But. the nurse told me a younger woman had come into the hospital with false labor and heard me. I was so bad. get the epidural. hindsight is twenty-twenty. I hate to break it to you.” I guess all I wanted in my research was for someone to tell me. but. God. so they were kind of in a better position than a first time mom. They’d just be really vague and wouldn’t tell me anything. is it?” I can laugh at it now. You can’t expect to push a full-sized baby out of your vagina without some pain. In the end. I just wanted someone to answer my main question about giving birth: Is it that bad? Is it that hard? However. afterwards. then turned to her mother and said. I told her. that. that didn’t happen.” My mom had “easy” deliveries but I just knew mine was probably going to be hard. So. she said she really couldn’t remember anything about them. I’ll make it easy on you. but I am pretty easy on her anyway. “Oh. But. “It’s not that bad. I foolishly decided the best course of action would be to make a “deal” with my baby. don’t believe everything you read and always do your research. though.” and others would say. just know that labor is going to hurt. “It’s bad. Some would say. I guess. so I went into labor with no idea about the intensity of the pain. In fact. therefore. it’s not that bad. if you get my drift.
there. who cares? Let me tell you from experience that. In the end. it’s painful. oh. once you go into labor. It hurts and it hurts a lot. “Pooping On the Table” I never worried about this that much. The people in the hospital are quite prepared to take care of anything like this. but just know you will get through it. It is hard. but at the same time. they hadn’t suffered all that much. you’ll be asking yourself this question afterwards. as soon as it’s over. Sure. but don’t be overly scared about it. My suspicions told me that maybe. Sure. Of course. I know there are many women out there who worry. I don’t think I did and even if I did. however. why didn’t I plan on getting the epidural?” And please discuss this with your doctor before making your decision. I am giving it to you straight. Seriously. My advice: Just don’t worry about it. you’ll look back at it and say. And. once it starts. it’s something that 108 . We are built for it. But you can do it. the anticipation of the pain can sometimes drive you mad.KIM RINEHART to suffer. I just didn’t see the big deal. So. you will be fine. in fact. This subject came up time and time again in almost every pregnancy book I read. “Why. “Wow! I gave birth! I did it!” But. quite possibly. I mean. almost obsessively. about pooping on the table. if you’re like me. my suspicions were wrong and I realized that there was a reason something like the epidural came about and that’s because labor hurts really bad. as they had suffered through childbirth. I am certain my doctor has seen worse. to be quite honest. pooping on the table will be the least of your worries. I still wouldn’t care. but we women were meant to do this. we were made to do this very thing. it is an embarrassing subject.
I’d pant and grin and shake my arms and legs in the air. if he’d just do it. And then came the tough part. That something is your belly. That’s one way to look at it. I pushed them around a little with my feet until I had them aligned. I thought about rubbing it up against a tree to get the itch out. I got so tired of scratching my belly. I think the day came for me when I was going out for a walk and sat down—carefully—to put on my sneakers. if I’d had the nerve to ask him.REALLY PREGNANT! sometimes happens. I could not bend over to tie them. then somehow slipped them on. I’m not sure how to explain it but it was a very definite itch. with me lying back with my feet in the air. but that would have made me seem even crazier than I already felt. I think it has something to do with the tissue stretching. 109 . the day will come when you bend over to tie your shoes only to realize that you can’t. I couldn’t reach them. I put on lots of lotion and that seemed to help a little. And he probably would have. but all of a sudden. I Can’t Bend Over to Tie My Shoes—Seriously Oh. it just wasn’t happening. yes. right? My Belly Will Not Stop Itching! Help! I’m not sure when this happened. just to relieve the itch. Problem was. I thought about asking my husband to scratch it. At least until the lotion dried up and the itching started again. It would start in the middle and slowly make its way across my stomach. like a dog or something. Something is in the way. my belly began to itch—bad. And if you do poop on the table? Congratulations! You are that much closer to giving birth and not being pregnant anymore. And then I’d start scratching. Try as I might.
No maternity wardrobe would be complete without them! And if you look closely. it seems as though you wake up with a different body every day. and bigger. it’s a major fashion statement.KIM RINEHART Finally. broader. They are. indeed. That was the last time I put on sneakers until after I gave birth. Afterwards. But really. isn’t this one good reason they created flip-flops and those great slip-on shoes? Good old slip-on shoes. I grabbed my leg behind the knee. Permission Granted to Wear Overalls And. I have to admit that they can sometimes look cute if you have the right body type. Not only for old men to wear with black knee socks and shorts. this would be a major fashion faux pas. need I even ask why? Okay. I was never going to be that uncomfortable. What is up with this? I mean. a pregnant woman’s best friend. it’s not because you’ve just inherited a farm. But in the pregnancy world. You go from looking like you do “normally. In any other world. So. almost all maternity shops carry them. why? Why? Someone explain this to me. go for it. as I’d look like Humpty-Dumpty in overalls. I was out of breath.” to being wider. “I’m pregnant! I can wear overalls! Look at me!” However. My body type wouldn’t allow me to wear them. It’s because you’re pregnant! But when you’re pregnant you’re suddenly encouraged to wear overalls. You get bigger 110 . if you like them. What Did I Look Like Before I Got Knocked Up? I Can’t Remember With pregnancy. plopped it on my other knee and tied my shoes. No matter how uncomfortable I was. no.
making a baby. This was the new me. And. too.REALLY PREGNANT! breasts and your butt might flatten out. you can sometimes forget what you used to look like before you were pregnant. I remember I looked pretty good. I’d study pictures of my former self and not recognize the girl in the pictures. Pondering Yet Another Question: What Will My Baby Look Like? I think we all have some fear that our baby might come out looking like a… Well. If that’s not worth a new body—even if it’s one that’s not quite as aesthetically pleasing—I don’t know what is. I had a baby in there! Who cared what I used to look like? Creating life is always more important than losing five pounds or getting into your favorite pair of jeans. but what if the genetics my baby got stuck 111 . I suddenly couldn’t remember what I had looked like before. every day. My husband tells me this anyway. I think I look pretty good. It’s doing something. Who was she? Then I’d think about how I always complained about those last five pounds I wanted to lose. I was way bigger than that and didn’t know if I would ever see the scale hitting around that number again. right? I was a lot smaller and I could walk without waddling. not so good. I’d think about it but the image of my former self would rarely come. But then… Then I’d look down at my big belly and I’d smile. I could also tie my shoes. This is a gradual process and it’s a new day. How could have I been so vain? Now. I know I had it. And I think he looks pretty good. as your body evolves to accommodate that little growing fetus. Your hips will certainly get wider and your ankles will probably swell. With my new pregnant body.
you never know. but afterwards. I began to worry whether or not my baby would even like me. On the other side of this. I also worried that I might not like her. I loved her when she was in my stomach. how would I feel? Of course. Sometimes she looks like someone I’ve never seen. those genetics. but it must get so over-stimulated that it keeps you up almost every single night. I don’t know why. Laying Awake Every Single Night and Wondering What It Used to Be Like to Sleep Well…If That’s Not the Makings of a Great Country Song. and sometimes I see my little brother in her. I’d usually drift off and then I’d suddenly jar 112 . It’s a crap shoot. It’s strange to say. This happened pretty early on in my pregnancy. a little oddly like my dad. all these fears were totally unfounded and once she was born. she seems to change a little every day. these fears were unsubstantiated and once my baby was born. It was like she was part of the family and she had the role of being the baby. I loved her more than I ever thought I could. She’s just mine.KIM RINEHART with reached way back and picked up some odd uncle’s facial features? I mean. but one that certainly came. But who knows what she’s going to look like as an adult? It doesn’t matter. but it’s like she’s been with me all along. I Don’t Know What Is Something must really happen to your brain once you get pregnant. How strange is that? I mean. she looked like a combination of me and my husband and. I stopped sleeping at night after about the first month or so. once she was here. As she grows. but it is fun to watch. There wasn’t any awkwardness once she came home from the hospital. What if she didn’t like me? What if she hated me? It’s a strange fear. Of course.
I’d turn to my alarm clock and. realize I’d only been asleep about thirty minutes! I would usually manage to go back to sleep. On the brighter side of this. Sure. All these years of lunges and running were for naught. Unfortunately. it seemed to flatten. either. I’d lie there. I noticed that I began to consistently wake up at about two o’clock every single morning. staring at the ceiling and wonder. And. of course. that didn’t work at all. In fact. I wondered if this was Mother Nature’s way of “preparing” me for the baby as she’d probably be up and down all night for months on end. my ass never looked better. I Just Can’t Get Over My Big Belly Being pregnant means having a big. this was not to last and soon enough. 113 . I couldn’t do anything that would help me sleep. Maybe it was in proportion to my big belly. Why? I have no idea.REALLY PREGNANT! awake and look around. this was hardly fair. After the first month or so of sleep deprivation. The only thing I could do was lie there and count sheep. but once in bed at night. thinking it was morning. As I progressed in my pregnancy. “What did good sleep used to be like?” It’s like I’d totally forgotten. at least for a short time anyway. pregnant belly. I couldn’t drink herbal tea or take a relaxing hot bath or even drink warm milk as I had become lactose intolerant. but after I while. Unfortunately. my butt was the best it had ever been. I noticed that while my belly kept expanding. sleep was even harder to get. to my astonishment. I’d take some naps during the day. If so. I’d toss and turn and just become upset that I could not sleep. It’s like I never slept. This is a fact of life and you can’t do much about it. but for the first six or seven months. my butt started to sag a little.
I was always on the go. But soon enough. a friend I hadn’t seen for a while actually jerked back and gasped at the size of my belly. It was huge! And my belly was big from about four months on. the sight of my unclean house began to wear on me.KIM RINEHART But the belly was always astounding to me. something I’d never really done before in my life. But soon after I got pregnant. I didn’t care about a clean house or cooking a good meal or doing anything really. I just wanted to lie around and eat brownies. It was actually refreshing in a way. doing things. it was okay taking it easy because growing a baby is activity enough. I just didn’t care. Before I was pregnant. When I was in my seventh month. I Have Turned Into a Fat Slob of a Human Being (Don’t Tell Anyone) Towards the end of my pregnancy. I didn’t care! I didn’t have one ounce of guilt! Being a fat slob of a human being actually helped me overcome some of my obsessive cleaning and doings. I’d get up and clean here and there until I fell exhausted on the couch. I’d look down at it and just marvel at its size. to me. I’d been lazy during the first and second trimester. just let me tell you. but that was nothing compared to the third trimester. So. I got really lazy. My little baby must have needed a lot of room to move around in. That’ll take it out of anybody. shopping. Everyone commented on how big it was. of course. cleaning house. The thing was huge and it only got bigger. This baby growing business is hard. And. I did the same thing almost every morning after I rolled out of bed and walked past a mirror. And the great thing was. I was no longer maniacal about things. I’d just sit back and relax. 114 . etc. I turned into a slob.
I never even thought I’d have to worry about something like aching gums. I’d look down to see a big wet spot on my shirt. but it definitely goes beyond that. You Heard Me— Leaking Breasts At Odd Times I was into my seventh month when out of the blue. Anything too hot or too cold made me grimace with pain. after I gave birth. My gums ached so much. I had to resort to using the softest. To use an adult toothbrush on them was like torture and I had to get a baby toothbrush just so I could stand to brush my teeth. I’d be sitting on the couch. It wouldn’t be so bad if you just had to worry about your expanding belly. That was normal. But that’s pregnancy for you. And. What wasn’t normal—or in my option of “normal”—is that they would leak when I would watch my birthing DVD. one other thing that changed in my life was my choice of toothbrush. smallest toothbrush I could find and that happened to be a baby toothbrush. I began to experience sensitive teeth. 115 . too. What is it about pregnancy that does these things? I have no idea. Leaking Breasts At Odd Times—Yeah. Huh. but I was lucky I never had that.REALLY PREGNANT! And Now I Have to Start Using a Baby Toothbrush In addition to elastic pants. really. but I know it seems to hit every corner of your body. My gums just ached and felt bad. really trying to “breathe” when all of a sudden. I know a lot of pregnant women experience bleeding gums. my breasts started leaking.
I almost doubled over with pain. too. I was walking quietly. that is. This kid’s kick packed a major punch. It is also a great responsibility to undertake. minding my own business. My Baby Kicks Butt Mine. but then it kept happening. this could happen to you. So. That was freaky. “Oh. it might just have been pregnancy brain that made me think this occasionally. it didn’t just stop there. human baby inside me never failed to make me go. Even after all the evidence. But then again. that’s strange. live human being into the world. “Are You Sure You’re Really Pregnant?” Even at eight months. It was almost mind-boggling. “Am I really going to have a baby?” I have no idea why I kept thinking this. my baby drop-kicked me.” I think the first time it happened was right after I found out I was pregnant.KIM RINEHART Oddly enough. even so. whenever I’d be out in public and hear a baby cry. either. when all of a sudden. pretty much one in the same for me—and I’d suddenly have this thought: “Am I really pregnant?” This would be preceded by. it just seemed so surreal to me. Whenever she 116 . I’d be shopping or surfing the internet—which is. I guess I couldn’t get my mind around the concept that I was going to be bringing a real. That wasn’t the only time. She kicks my butt. out of nowhere. They leaked at other times. But. I’d have this weird thought. too. Like. The fact that I was carrying a live. at odd times. No kidding. it hurt. An Odd Question to Ask Yourself. but I did. be warned.
she is exactly that. ow. Of course.” We had some deep. She didn’t listen. she’d kick my butt or. My husband even got in on the act and he’d lean over and say to my belly—I mean. I didn’t expect her to either. Oddly Enough. what do you look like?” And “Baby. She was so rambunctious. intellectual conversations. either. yes. even in the womb. what are you doing in there?” I’d talk to her. In addition to that. but howl with pain. You soon find that you have become accustomed to being pregnant and that… 117 .) Over Time. you start talking to the baby. (And. “Baby. it did hurt. you begin to accept the inevitable and things that once bothered you cease to do so. owwww!” Ow. “Ow. Nothing I could do about it. as your belly enlarges and you come to grips with the fact that your little passenger is going to be here soon. I’d say.REALLY PREGNANT! felt like it. I mostly baby-talked her and begged her to take it easy on me during labor. I Am Starting to Become More and More Accustomed to Being Pregnant Soon enough. maybe she did. baby. Well. She doesn’t necessarily kick my butt. “Hello. But then again. rather. my baby. I Find Myself Communicating More and More With My Baby Soon enough. but it also made me proud. but she does totally wear me out. you realize that other things have occurred. “Baby. I just knew I had a little firecracker on my hands. too. please don’t hurt mommy too much when you come out. I must admit. when are you going to come out?” and. my stomach.
But. She was a baby in her crib. to let me know she was having a good time inside my belly. You find yourself communicating more and more with the baby in your belly. You take lactose intolerance in stride. You accept the inevitable weight gain and stop fighting it. My Baby Hiccups—All the Time I never minded the little hiccups my baby got while she was inside my body. I guess you don’t think about the baby as being… Well. Not getting any sleep becomes a habit and not something you fight. whenever she’d do this.KIM RINEHART • • • • • • • • • • The sight of your porn-star nipples no longer startle you. it might even keep you up at night. a baby. And babies do things like hiccup.” Your blotchy skin no longer depresses you. The concept of nursing bras no longer confuses you. Maybe she was drinking too much fluid or something. You can freely talk about incontinence and constipation with your husband without worrying about it “grossing” him out. And she was cute! 118 . “There she is! Having some hiccups!” It was like she was connecting with me. I’d smile and think. In fact. they can hiccup so much. After I gave birth. You stop expecting any piece of clothing to fit you “right. You being to really plan for the baby’s arrival by buying up baby stuff. I’d sometimes experience phantom hiccups and I’d touch my belly and think. It was kind of neat—like a little gas bubble erupting inside me. What I did find odd was that she even hiccupped at all. “What’s she’s doing?” But then I’d look over at her and realize she was no longer just a bun in the oven.
Of course. And. I still had to wait. so I made due. I’d have to pee again. While giving birth seems like a painful experience. With a lot of bitching and moaning about it. Seriously.REALLY PREGNANT! I Need Bigger Everything I needed a bigger couch. Not so. The Sound of the Flushing Commode Means I Have to Pee Again Those last few months get bad. house. car. I couldn’t afford any of these bigger things. But I wasn’t so worried about the birthing processes any longer. beds. of course. And then the cycle would repeat. this becomes more like you know you’re ready to give birth when the thought of giving birth doesn’t bother you. so. clothes. shower. after the eighth month or so. All this just to find some comfort which had completely eluded me since I became impregnated. The Thought of Giving Birth Seems More Like Welcome Relief Than Anticipated Pain I think most pregnant women go through this phase. then flush and then… I’d have to pee again. for me. I was sure the doctor had given me the wrong due date and I was sure I could go into labor at any time. it begins to look more like welcome relief. about the start of eighth month. 119 . shoes. Because I was so huge. I’d do my thing. I just wanted to get it done. And it happened. As soon as I’d pee.
my entire body began to swell. I was so puffy. I looked terrible. I looked and felt awful. so I had to start seeing him more often than I would have liked. towards the end of my pregnancy. It is like I was filled with fluid. I just puffed up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. It was awful but there wasn’t much I could do about it but lie back on the couch and pray to give birth soon. my body reacted to the warmer weather by swelling up. Twice! It was awful. but on the couch with my feet elevated above my head. In addition to the fact I couldn’t drive myself—my big belly would no longer allow me the freedom of motion driving requires—I’d have to have an afternoon appointment so my husband could go with me.KIM RINEHART My Whole Body Begins to Swell During my last month or so. Because of this.) You know. (This was supposed to help the fluid drain or something. the doctor said he’d like to see me “a bit more often.” That’s basically like bed rest. once the warm spring air hit. even in my hands. I Am Going to Flip Out Like I said. towards the end. twice a week. My doctor was a little concerned. so the office visits would take sometimes three hours! Three hours sitting in a crowed waiting 120 .” Try once a week and. He even confined me to what I like to call “couch rest. But some pregnant women get this and I was one of those lucky ones! Since I’d been pregnant through the winter. If I Have to Go to the Doctor One More Time. my body began to swell so much it was like I’d drunk barrels of water. so I could watch TV and stuff.
But it was a lot of work. along with the nightstand. get hooked to a fetal monitor and lie on an examining table for over an hour. for when she’s older. One time. She’s such a good girl! There’s An Awful Lot of Stuff You Have to Assemble for a Baby Well. I watched. Getting the baby’s nursery done was a big pain. The good thing about this visit was that it was my last as a pregnant woman. This was so he could check on the baby. though. I didn’t have to put anything together. For him. I had to go in. he wanted to see me twice a week. The great thing was that the actual visits with my doctor took only about five minutes or less. it was for my husband. (Sometimes men are good for something. I mean. and a changing table. My baby came a little early and that meant. I even found a cute little twin bed for her. I couldn’t read or watch TV or even listen to music. right?) But the amount of stuff he had to put together—whew! He had to put together a play-yard and a bouncy chair and a crib and a dresser. Especially when you are as swelled up as I was. to make sure she was okay. so he had to put that together.REALLY PREGNANT! room is like an eternity to a pregnant woman. 121 . But once I developed this swollen body thing. I was done with all those stupid visits. My husband did. Well. Once it was done—and that took some time—we had a great looking nursery for our little girl once she decided to make her grand appearance. I supervised and picked out the stuff. but he did almost all of the work.
cotton swaps. just in case I might need it down the line. In addition to all these things. you have to buy baby clothes. diaper rash ointment. if your baby has to go on formula in the hospital.KIM RINEHART There Is a Lot of Stuff to Buy Before the Baby Gets Here I didn’t even know where to begin. The nurse told me I could switch to a cheaper brand by the time she was four months old. which were a total waste. This means. I bought lots of stuff. My husband picked out her “coming home from the hospital” dress. baby shampoo. as they’re too small and made of a strange material which doesn’t allow them to soap that well. but I bought it anyway. are also super thin. (At least this was the case at the hospital I went to. they will probably only have two kinds. Wrong! First of all. I could actually use them to clean her with and they also came in handy for spit up and bottle feedings. I also bought baby wash cloths. just in case I couldn’t breastfeed because I’d read somewhere to do this. and I got her some super-cute hoodies and 122 . baby body wash. I ended up getting some really cheap washcloths—about twelve for four bucks—that. What was I supposed to buy for the baby? What did I need? I really had no clue. But soon. but I decided to stay on the formula she was used to until she went on regular milk. baby oil.) So. in my opinion. baby lotion. I started scouring the shelves at the stores and began to assemble my own arsenal of baby supplies. which included: Diapers. in addition to being super cheap. when you leave the hospital. which is the most fun. you will probably have to buy the exact kind they fed your baby in the hospital. I also bought a can of formula. You pick the kind you want and that’s what they feed her. Lots and lots of baby stuff! I wasn’t even sure what you do with something like baby oil.
though. it was just hell. this had to be the longest. among the others.REALLY PREGNANT! little onesies. Seriously. The only problem I had was that I didn’t know how big she was going to be. Just let me have the baby! Now! Please! But the baby won’t come until she’s ready. I guess when you get to that ninth month. I’d wonder how I was going to do it and then I’d just want another brownie. 123 . of course. we didn’t know about some other stuff we needed. you have no say so in what they do. I suggest buying the basics like diapers and onesies. It was frustrating because I could no longer really move without pain. The Ninth Month Comes and I Realize the First Eight Were a Piece of Cake Compared to This One Maybe because the end is so very near. And then I started worrying about giving birth and would get panicked. As a result of this. I would suggest getting a couple of preemie outfits just in case. You’re just the vessel and. and just adding as you need it. hardest nine months of my life. my God! It was so hard! It was so difficult. Because I was now swollen like a balloon. I practically couldn’t do anything. Ah. so I got the smallest size. but be sure to get a little hair brush and comb and. Some stuff I didn’t even need and never used. I was definitely ready to give birth. a cute little hat to wear home from the hospital. it was hell. really. Of course. so my husband had to make several “emergency” trips to the store after she came home. And then I’d pray to God to please let me get some sleep. I’d break down and cry. you just want it over. which still ended up being too big as she was a little premature. I didn’t feel like doing anything anyway but that last month—oh. I’m not going to lie to you. Mostly.
The bottoms of my feet were so tender. the pain of my sciatic nerve was almost unbearable. I couldn’t take anything for it. I don’t know. I mostly ate for distraction from the pain and discomfort. of course. Before I was “splurging” and “enjoying” my food. I even had to buy a pair of plastic clogs to wear out because that’s all I could find 124 . Also. I actually began to look forward to getting back to exercising and losing weight. This wasn’t so bad as all of my shoes were now too small for my engorged feet. It no longer had any sort of meaning. This definitely meant I was really ready to give birth. But there was nothing I could really do about it. Now. I had to walk barefoot whenever possible. During the last month of my pregnancy. but as I progressed in my pregnancy.KIM RINEHART Another clue that I was ready is that the eating anything I wanted was no longer appealing. Wah! The Bottoms of My Feet Ache Like I’ve Walked to Timbuktu and Back—Barefoot and On Gravel My feet hurt from the get-go. Before the pain had felt like a dull razor blade. I suffered. Even my old reliable flip-flops made them ache. It hurt when I walked. The pain was never ending. I think I must have had one of the worst sciatic nerves on the market. the pain in my legs got worse that last month. So. As my pregnancy drew to a close. but it soon progressed into feeling like someone had taken a steel rod and rammed it into my leg—without pain medication. And. when I sat. when I slept. My baby must have been in a position that was really putting a lot of pressure on the sciatic nerve or something. All I know was that I was in pain. they began to hurt even worse. I just ate to eat.
I also cursed a little. the more I noticed the subject of breastfeeding. I always thought I’d put the baby right on formula and be done with it.REALLY PREGNANT! that fit. I always thought I’d never breastfeed. (And I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money for a pair of shoes I’d be unable to wear once I gave birth. even after I gave birth. “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” like I was walking on a bed of nails. too. whatever show I happened to see on TV. I have friends who breastfed and they always looked so miserable doing it.” Yet. others can—and will—make you feel guilty about it. Whatever book I happened to read. One reason it changed was because the more I read about pregnancy. To begin with.) My feet especially hurt in the morning. it seemed that the topic always segued into breastfeeding. Well. It just didn’t seem like my thing. 125 . Pondering the Mother of All Questions: To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed? This is even bigger than the epidural question. a lot. Also. But that wasn’t so bad ’cause by then. My siblings and I were raised on formula. so I didn’t see the big problem with it. Of course. And the kicker is. The bottoms of my feet were so tender. whatever article I read about pregnancy. It felt like that anyway. I never gave it much thought until I actually became pregnant. Mostly because if you don’t do it. I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I remember getting out of bed and going. I could barely walk. it took months to be able to just get out of bed and walk without pain. they’d tell me it was a “must” and “the best. And then my perspective changed.
I’d have to stay on my prenatal vitamins to ensure I was getting the proper nutrients in order to feed the baby. I didn’t even deserve to be a mother. But that was okay. I felt out of sorts about the whole subject. The idea of having a glass of wine or whatever was still in no way appealing to me at this time. I began to doubt my decision to not breastfeed. This meant I couldn’t have my body back for at least six more months and. I wouldn’t be able to drink any alcoholic beverages and limit the amount of caffeine I ingested. the more I realized this. I decided that I. I felt like if I didn’t do it. I was in a conundrum. Your baby will be puny and sickly and be plagued with problems throughout her life. I was pretty much trash. But. I felt as though I was being told I was a horrible person not to give my baby the best start in life and that meant I should breastfeed. I would be doing the right thing. I was told if I breastfed. I’d really have to watch everything I ate. and. too. Breastfeeding is serious. But I was going to suck it up and do it. So. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t nourish my child in this way? I’d be a terrible one. but this never seemed true to me. really wanted my body back once I gave birth and I knew how hard breastfeeding could be. you’re asking for all sort of bad things. in addition to that. The things I read and saw made me feel like if I didn’t do it. business. Some people told me I’d lose a lot of weight once I began to breastfeed. Also. Additionally. The thing is that you have to eat a lot in order to produce a lot of 126 . In essence. The breastfeeding subject was always coming up and there were always connotations of it being “right” for the baby. after much consideration. would breastfeed my baby. a little bullied. The more I read. truth be known. If only I would breastfeed.KIM RINEHART Soon enough. I have a friend who breastfed all four of her babies and she gained an enormous amount of weight doing it. The message I got was this: If you decide not to breastfeed your baby. I really.
therefore. However. I didn’t want anyone to think that I wasn’t doing the right thing by my baby. My baby came three weeks early and. Well. I was determined to be the best mom in the world and if that meant some sacrifice. the baby was getting hungry. I probably was looking at keeping a lot of my baby weight on until I stopped breastfeeding. she didn’t get to eat much the first day or so of her life. or so I was told. I suppose. and because I had decided to breastfeed. In addition to that. It was what was best for my baby. which is like breast milk but not so much. I was going to go through with it. you don’t readily produce a lot of milk to begin with. soon enough. This meant. needless to say. She and I weren’t connecting because of all these other variables. right? Right. Even though I didn’t personally see what the big deal was. The lactation specialist kept asking me when I’d like to try to breastfeed and I told her as soon as possible. there’s not much for the baby to eat. She finally brought my baby to me and showed me how to get her to latch onto my nipple so she could suck.) Because she was early. So. Due to this. Also. Well. once I got started. You start out with colostrum. Because of this. I had my opportunity. much harder than I’d ever anticipated. it was much. she didn’t have time to put on that extra weight babies need in order to sustain themselves while mommy produces 127 . it didn’t all go to plan. Because she came early. because of this. she had to be put in an oxygen hood almost as soon as I gave birth and then into what they call a “billy bed” for her jaundice. that’s what it meant. (This is way harder than it seems like it would be. What all this added up to was that I didn’t really get a good attempt to breastfeed her at first. It comes in smaller quantities and.REALLY PREGNANT! milk. she had a little trouble breathing and also had jaundice. my baby got really hungry. That meant. she especially had trouble latching.
They don’t tell you how hard it is. What was I going to do? I asked the nurse about this.” which makes you feel like crap if you really don’t want to do it. having just given birth and feeling like I’d been run over by a transfer truck. even if she’d been able to. What was I going to do? Soon enough. so it could take some time. could not produce the milk my baby needed to survive and I couldn’t do anything about it.” A week? She wanted me to wait a week for my baby to eat? What the hell?! Now I understood why formula was created in the first place! I suddenly understood why wet nurses came into play. I tried and tried and tried but it just didn’t happen. she’d been sedate and very calm. “When will she latch?” “Well.” Indeed. I called the nurses’ station and said. Now she was almost enraged. she’s a bit premature. The kid was starving! And I couldn’t do anything about it! I couldn’t give her any milk and I’d read so much bad stuff about formula.KIM RINEHART some milk. 128 . “You know. I was almost in a panic. She wouldn’t latch and I didn’t have much milk coming from my breasts. too. there wasn’t anything in there to feed her with. This was crazy! I. you might have to wait over a week. After stewing about this for a while. And she was! The kid was hungry! She’d try to latch onto my nipple but. “How much time?” “Oh. I just knew she was hungry— real hungry—but I couldn’t feed her.” And that’s why my baby’s on formula. All they do tell you is “breast milk is best.” she told me. “Bring her some formula. The night nurse told me I’d made the right choice and even said. about the second day. they don’t. I tired to breastfeed my baby. too. I just knew she was starving. she was in a fit. I was terrified to do that. I finally made up my mind. Before.
I began to wonder what it would feel like to have a flat belly again. no matter what. 129 .” In the end. You are the one who will have to take care of your baby. by that point.REALLY PREGNANT! The nurse told me I could try later. go for it. and not waddling. “We used to be so good together. so I don’t think anyone should look down on me because I couldn’t. I Am Starting to Get Really Jealous of Women Who Aren’t Pregnant Maybe jealous isn’t the right word. If you want to breastfed. I only wish I’d known how hard breastfeeding is. But I did feel a little envious. I wish I had. I began to wonder what it would be like to run again or even just walk normally whenever I wanted. However. I don’t think any of us need to feel like we’re being bullied into it. We certainly did. but I didn’t want to upset the baby even more and. I would look longingly at my favorite pair of jeans and say to them. My nurse told me. “I’ve seen just as many kids who are breastfed with ear aches and colds as those who weren’t. I’d wonder what that would be like. And it should remain so. My suggestion: Go with your gut. Breastfeeding is hard and it is a personal choice. didn’t we?” Yeah. we did. I began to long for all those cute panties and bras I used to wear and began to really loathe my ugly sports bras and gigantic panties. it’s a personal choice. I was over it. Whenever I’d see another woman walking freely. I don’t think anyone should pass judgment on anyone else who doesn’t want to. I don’t look down on anyone who chooses to breastfeed.
And I did. but not in a bad way. when I’d look down at my belly. My husband always watched them with me. that this special time my husband and I were sharing was really special. Soon—it would be very.KIM RINEHART But then. I’d much rather play with a baby than watch that DVD one more time. it wouldn’t be about what we wanted to watch on TV or do at night. I was really getting bored with the whole child birthing instruction anyway. Sure. I began to watch my child birthing DVDs more and more. Soon. really. Right? 130 . I guess you could say this was our special time together. I really wanted to get the hang of this thing before it actually happened and he wanted to prepare himself for the big event. I realized. we’d have a baby to share our nights with. but three is a party. too. two’s company.” Soon. A baby! Soon.” “Two” would soon become “three. But then. it wouldn’t just be “the two of us. One night. the more bored I became. but they didn’t have a baby on the way. these women weren’t pregnant and they could walk without waddling. The “Special” Time I Have With My Husband Is Really Special Towards the end of my pregnancy. of course. However. I was no longer jealous. very soon—a baby would be there with us and consuming our lives. something dawned on me. the more I watched. And. but what about the baby needed. And that made me excited.
And sometimes during this time. Oh. My arms and fingers and legs all seemed stretched out beyond belief. it was the “in” thing to do at the time. you might notice your tattoos—if you have any—are getting stretched. pretty soon. I came to this conclusion: Pregnancy. Because this false 131 . Hey. and not just your belly. basically. my belly would harden up. soon I’d have my baby and. and suddenly. I also felt period-like cramps.” That’s pretty much it. The heart was stretched beyond belief and became less heart and more red-looking thingamajig. perhaps. I’m Not In Labor—I’m Just Having a Braxton Hicks Contraction This is what they call false labor—Braxton Hicks. During my last month. No. they came quite frequently. I make no apologies for it. they might think. However. My skin was a little stretched out looking and the elasticity of it was diminished. I’d be walking or. well. My husband said Braxton Hicks sounded like some country singer—“Everyone. too. If anyone saw it. Not a bad tradeoff. it was almost unrecognizable. They didn’t really hurt. I got a tattoo of a flaming heart to commemorate my thirtieth birthday on the side of my belly. so did my tattoo. as my stomach kept expanding. The little flame became wider and. just stretches your whole body out. I called them “the unusual hardening of my uterus. welcome to our stage… Braxton Hicks!” Whatever you call them is fine. “What the hell is that thing?” I know that’s what I’d think whenever I’d take a shower.REALLY PREGNANT! Pregnancy Basically Stretches My Whole Body Out By the time I gave birth. sitting. In addition to this. most likely. so much so that I could really see just how much damage was done just after I gave birth. the elasticity of my skin back.
“Epidural!” for the moment I set foot in that hospital. Had they been more difficult. Mostly I didn’t give them much thought. it makes me laugh. The movie just happened to be Look Who’s Talking. I found a commonality.KIM RINEHART labor wasn’t much of a pain to me. I now think: Hahahahahahahhahaha! Yes. I wanted to see it again and again! Didn’t I tell you that pregnancy makes you do strange things? Well. in a fit of boredom. And. Those contractions were nothing like the contractions of real labor. One day. I thought I could really handle labor if it was like this. However. it does. Suddenly. But they did begin to come more frequently as I came closer to giving birth. Because they didn’t really hurt me that much and came and went without too much discomfort. so I kind of fooled myself into believing real labor might be similar. I don’t know what month this happened in. But they weren’t bad. I was flipping channels when I came upon a pregnant lady on TV. Again: Hahahahahahahhahaha! Movies Like Look Who’s Talking Suddenly Become Interesting I think this one could definitely be filed in the “I have lost my mind” chronicles. but it was towards the end of my pregnancy. I would have said. I actually connected with her character! And I actually watched the whole movie. I didn’t even keep a record of them. Someone else was pregnant and they were on TV! Wow! It was like I’d uncovered some ancient mystery or something. there was one drawback to Braxton Hicks contractions for me that I will mention and this is the fact that they gave me a false sense of what labor would really be like. 132 . Yours might be but mine certainly weren’t.
Children would have been frightened by my wailing.REALLY PREGNANT! Uh…What the Heck Is a Birth Plan? My plan for my baby’s birth was simple: To give birth with as little pain as possible. I cleaned and I took stuff to charity and I made sure all the bills were paid and I washed windows (something I’ve always hated doing) and I made sure the baby’s room was perfect. I started acting like my former maniacal neat-freak self. I know my husband was. I also started stockpiling lots of groceries because. Sorry. That was pretty much the extent of it. I don’t know what happened. my husband 133 . Or. I did so much stuff. I Can’t Stop Nesting! Nesting is something that happens to most all pregnant women. During your last month or so. I also insisted on no videoing of the birthing. well. And that’s pretty much what I did. they have long. I did so much. I thought I’d just wing it once I was in the delivery room. However. which include every little detail. I did insist on no non-medical personnel in the delivery room besides my husband. I didn’t want to go shopping the day after she was born. Apart from having my bags packed with stuff for me and the baby and pre-registering at the hospital. though. but I just didn’t want that and. you’d think I wasn’t pregnant. For others. it’s probably for the best there isn’t a record of it or that anyone other than the hospital staff and my husband saw it. elaborate plans. in my case. you start acting like a maniacal neatfreak. but suddenly every thought I had was preceded by this one: “I have to get this done before the baby comes! Now!” And so I did. after my nonmedicated delivery.
And. that bag had only been packed for two days when she decided to show up. Maybe I thought once I had it packed. Of course. it would mean the imminent birth of my baby. It was nice to want to do things again.” Now. you don’t care. I Just Want It Over—Now. it took months to get back to this feeling. Please And so that time comes when you just want it over with. yeah. telling me to “slow down and take it easy. Okay. why would I want to do that? Wasn’t nesting nature’s way of letting mom get the house ready for the new baby? I thought so and I wasn’t about to mess with nature. maybe it was. Besides. quite truthfully. However. but there was something about packing that bag that I just couldn’t do. thinking it can’t be that bad and even if it is. to look at me. So. I suddenly had some energy and that was something that had eluded me for months. You consider asking your doctor if he’ll induce labor. In fact.KIM RINEHART started commenting on it. I was beyond ready. It wasn’t just procrastination. Maybe I thought I wasn’t ready but. once the baby was born. one thing I didn’t want to do was pack my bag for the hospital. And that’s all you think of—when will it happen? Will it happen tomorrow? The next day? Next week? You began to fantasize about labor. You pray to God to let you go into labor. You begin to consider all those crazy things you’ve heard of—like walking for miles and miles or having sex—to see if might get the baby to come on. My husband kept at me to do it and I even bought a new overnight bag for the occasion. The pain 134 . Well. I hoped I was. I looked like I was gong to pop at any moment. I eventually did pack my bag. even though it was one of the last things I did before she was born.
just let me tell you. In a few hours! And I was. decided to grace me with her presence a few weeks early—three to be exact. I was a new mom and no longer a mom-to-be. She’s such a good. But before we could leave. Nothing held my attention and I didn’t care about buying anything or doing anything. God. Just when I’d given up hope and consigned myself to a lifetime of pregnancy. nonetheless. I’m really going to be a mom. I’m no longer going to be pregnant!” And with that came another realization: “Tomorrow at this time. It was a good transition. You’re down to the wire and you just want it over with. but it is light. I was going to be a mom. I’d wander through my house and out in the yard. Then I stood up and the damn burst. Holy Crap! I Think My Water Just Broke! And then. My water had just broken! I was about to go into labor! With it came some relief. It happened one Friday afternoon and just after I’d made the decision that it would be a good idea to go to the movies so I could drown myself in a vat of yummy. Oh.” Oh. My. my water broke. you just want to give birth. buttery popcorn. And I guess that’s what I was. My baby. I also became restless. pregnant woman. comes light. I just wanted to have my baby and move on with my life. The best baby a new mom could have. I became so tired of not getting any sleep and of my increasingly worsening snoring. My first though was: “Tomorrow at this time. good baby. It’s a small light and it’s at the end of this enormous tunnel. amidst all this pain and discomfort. I felt a trickle. seven or so hours later. 135 .REALLY PREGNANT! doesn’t matter to you anymore. perhaps upon hearing my cries of woe. I guess to onlookers I looked like a crazy.
If you ever have any concerns. it all turned out okay. It just 136 . I was more than a little scared about the actual process. You do. I think it should be taken with ease and in stride. perhaps I might have had an easier time. this isn’t a bad thing. You get a baby! That. either. Sure. Sure. rather. you are going to do just fine. For me. Of course.KIM RINEHART Even Though This Was a Pain In The Ass—Literally— It’s All Been Worth It Pregnancy is not without its ups and downs. not knowing was the worst part of pregnancy for me. don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor. And—guess what—it’s pretty much beyond your control. in a way. Before I got pregnant. And. The baby will take over your body and. in and of itself. you need to take it seriously and do what’s right for yourself and your baby. pregnancy was a whole new experience. If I had known more what to expect. The best advice I can give is this: I think the whole process of pregnancy should just be taken one day at a time. However. become a different person. Believe me. makes it totally worthwhile. at least for a little while. occasionally. Or. as soon as the baby is here. but being pregnant is kind of funny. You don’t know what your body is going to feel like once you actually become pregnant and you certainly don’t know how your emotions will respond. you’re still you with a little addition growing inside your belly. I guess the main fear was the fear of the unknown. which was a supreme blessing. you get the biggest gift—and surprise!—of your life. there are new aches and pains to contend with and there is a lot of weight gain for some of us. But in the end. but in the end. he or she will completely take over your life. laugh at yourself a little.
137 . That is it. But once your pregnancy is over and you give birth.REALLY PREGNANT! means you’re doing what nature intended and that is procreating and raising your young. But then again. I am waiting to put that theory into practice. not so much. some say the second pregnancy is easier than the first. you might just think. Because having a baby is the best gift you will ever receive. in a nutshell. But right now. “Wow. this has been one crazy ride. Being pregnant.” And it has. perhaps.
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