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There are some pretty vast mysteries in life: birth, death, love. The Milky Way and universe. The beginning of our planet. But one of the greatest mysteries I've encountered is the woman who says things like, "I just loved being pregnant. Every minute of it!"
I mean I want to understand. I really do. And I try. I smile and nod and pull at my deepest heart strings to relate, but alas, all I find is utter disbelief and awe.
Enjoying every minute of pregnancy? Surely she doesn't mean the first three months, when all you want to do is fall in a coma on your bed (and vomit)?
She must mean the middle three months, when things don't suck that badly.
But what really, really baffles me is that anybody, and I mean anybody could possibly enjoy the last month of pregnancy. Hell hath no fury like the last month of pregnancy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If we could bottle the last month of pregnancy and give it in doses to young people, I'm 90 percent sure the teenage-pregnancy rate would plummet drastically. Oh, you think you want a cute little baby? Try this on for size. How about some hemorrhoids, heart burn, back pain, itchy skin and swelling fingers and feet?
OK, we'll throw in some extreme irritability, life-changing mood swings and a persistent desire to clean your house and sort baby clothes (while life goes on, forcing you to engage when all you want to do is build a nest, damn it.).
Wait. We're not done. Sleep on your left side or right side only, pee 243 times a night and get up from supine positions by throwing your legs over the edge of the bed, creating a sort of gravitational pull to the floor that swings your upper body upright. Enjoy how graceful you feel during these maneuvers.
Try to put underwear on without falling over.
Try to recall what your toes look like, or shaving your legs.
Don't try to bend over, pick up small items from the floor or get up from an overly soft couch. You pretty much can't do it.
Oh, and waddle. Just a little. Because that's fun.
Run into everything because your balance is whacked and, just for an added good time, enjoy searing sciatica pain if you stand too long.
This? This is what they "enjoy every minute of?" They must be lying. Are they lying? Or perhaps they're having a fundamentally different experience than I am, sitting here at a billion weeks pregnant with my fourth child.
Yes. You heard that correctly. I said "fourth," which means I just wrote 400 words whining about something I have chosen to do not once or twice or three times, but four times in the last 12 years.
I guess that's the next mystery, the way we forget the last four or six weeks, the way we forget the pain and misery and surety we're never going to be not pregnant again, the way we forget it all the moment we set our eyes on the child we just met but have always known, somehow, as our own, the perfect addition to our home and life and heart.
Huh. Maybe we should go for five.
We should not go for five.
Now excuse me while I go bottle my present moment to administer to myself when I forget all of this in three years, sure I just need "one more" and thinking, "Ah, shucks. Being pregnant wasn't that bad."