When I found out I was pregnant, it goes without saying that I was excited. And of course I wondered about the demon spawn in my belly. Would it be a mini-me or a mini-Mike? But I also dreamed about the maternity clothes (I know, weird, right?) and the changes my body would go through. I always wanted to see how big I’d get, how much weight I’d gain, how different I’d look.
Things didn’t quite work out that way for me.
When my water broke and I was forced to go on bed rest, my stomach had JUST popped. Very few people in my office knew I was pregnant. Literally – my sudden disappearance prompted many emails from coworkers who feared I’d been fired. I was only nineteen weeks pregnant. I took this picture 36 hours before my water broke.
Sidebar – this shirt made me so popular with USC tailgaters that they were all offering me drinks – usually beer. Obviously they bought their way into college.
After that weekend, my stomach size went way down. I looked smaller than I did BEFORE I was pregnant. It’s funny what some amniotic fluid can do. Unfortunately, I only managed one other true belly picture after that – it was taken on my way to my weekly checkup.
I entered the hospital the next day, and had Maddie three weeks later. It makes me sad that I only have a few pictures of my belly. My mom has very few pictures of when she was pregnant with my brother and me, and I always wanted to have more photos of myself for my future children. Oh well. What are you gonna do?
I have a few friends who’ve had babies in the last couple months, and another friend who is due on election day. I don’t want to corner them and make their pregnancies about me, but if I could I would say, “what’s it like?!?!” I want to know all the good and the bad. What’s it like to feel a foot in your ribs? How is that whole swollen legs and ankles thing? Is it true that you actually have a crazy urge to clean? What’s it like to go into labor?!?!?!
Maddie missed out on the last eleven weeks of her development, but selfishly, I missed out on the last twenty weeks of being pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant at my baby shower. My big belly never got me a table at a restaurant. I was never huge, GET THIS BABY OUT pregnant. What’s that like? I don’t know if I’ll ever experience it. When I think about it, I’m wistful. What did I miss?
I learned after my second pregnancy that my first pregnancy was a piece of cake. I only gained 15 lbs., I didn’t get cankles, and I walked out of the hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans after giving birth to an 8 lb 6 oz.girl–two weeks early. My second pregnancy was not even close to that. Even though my doctor had decided to induce me two weeks early (my husband’s genes=behemoth children), I was doing everything in my power to get her out because I truly feared that I was going to explode. I had BUSTED out of my work clothes (from the previous pregnany) in the beginning of the last trimester. I would be having a conversation with a co-worker and their eyes would eventually drift to my girth because they could SEE Genna rolling around through my shirt. They could see her kicking, flipping, pushing, hitting. She was all kinds of busy.
I did have the strange urge to clean and organize the last two weeks that I was pregnant both times. I also became obsessed with making lists–not a list person by nature.
Labor was bizarre. My water broke with the first, I was induced for the second. Labor pains are like these rolling waves of the biggest period cramps of your life multiplied by 100. Wait, make that 1000. Drugs were good for me. When it is time to push, you feel like you need to take the biggest crap of your life.
Hope this helps.
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Lee Anne says:
I went 38 weeks with my daughter, but never experienced labor either (and every once in a while still feel sad/cheated about it). I had an emergency c-section due to pre-eclampsia. I was so swollen that even my nose almost doubled in size. Seriously.The last 3 weeks in Atlanta summer heat really took a toll on me.
The best part about late pregnancy for me was when my husband and I would cuddle in the mornings and he could feel the baby’s kicks.
moosh in indy. says:
The postpartum milking. Nurses come in and massage your uterus about an hour after delivery and get out all the extra blood, chunks and they call it a “uterine massage” to make sure it goes back down to size.
Dude, I’ve never seen so much blood SQUEEZED out of a human being. Having your spine massaged through your stomach just after giving birth? Meh.
moosh in indy.s last blog post..moosh in spanx.
It think since every pregnancy is so different everyone misses out on some expected experience. I missed that 2nd trimester glow and the fun cravings because I threw up every. single. day. of my pregnancy.
The cankles were a nightmare. I had to buy a larger pair of shoes because I couldn’t get my sausage feet into any of mine! I seriously thought my skin would split.
As for missing a foot in the ribs – just have someone give you a good hard two fingered poke in the ribcage 10 times in a row, preferably at 2am, and you’ll know exactly what it was like.
catnips last blog post..playdateland
The last few weeks of pregnancy are brutal. But in retrospect, I can see why you would want the experience at least. You missed being so bloated that you had to beg to work from home the last few weeks because after lunch time, you literally couldn’t sit in a chair comfortably.
Zellmers last blog post..Funk
I love this!!! Heather is always making me swear I’ll do natural childbirth so I can give her the DL – all of our friends except the last one had c-sections! Am I off the hook??
Andrea's Sweet Life says:
Personally, I loved every minute of being pregnant, and even giving birth (naturally, even). I’m just one of those crazy people. It makes me sad to know my body wouldn’t be able to do it again, even if I wanted more kids.
I don’t think there’s a pregnant woman out there that wouldn’t be happy to share her experience with you, even if it’s to say, “pregnancy sucks hairy balls”. So ask away, I say – because yes, there are some common things all pregnant women go through. But the experience itself is as unique as the women going through it.
Andrea’s Sweet Lifes last blog post..Her Independent Streak
I’m due today and I’ve been at the “get this baby out of me” stage for the last week or so. I’ve gained so much weight and am pretty consistently uncomfortable. The baby’s hasn’t really been poking me in the ribs but sometimes I swear she’s trying to escape out of my side. One thing you missed, which I couldn’t stand, is the constant questions-about my weight, due date, sex of the baby and the name. At work, it started with people telling me I was getting so big and then a few weeks before going on leave, I would be asked when I was due about 20 times a day, usually followed by the person saying something along the lines of “not too much longer”. I swear, no one talked to me about anything but my pregnancy for the last 3 months or so that I was in the office. It got really annoying.
Luckily though, no strangers have come up and touched my belly.
Baileys last blog post..Pregnancy Update
Whenever I’m feeling ASSTASTIC about the third trimester I think about your and Julie from A Little Bit Pregnant. As much as this blows I can sympathize with not knowing and wishing you did know. So I try not to take the whole thing for granted. Especially the part where you can just leave the hospital with a baby after delivery.
I have so much respect for what you guys went through and how extraordinary the entire situation was.
Also I want to smooch Maddie. All the time.
Marias last blog post..tuesday morning, you sure look fine
Daddy Dan says:
From personal experience, YES, the crazy urge to clean thing is true. My wife was constantly cleaning and organizing every room, drawer, and closet when she was close to giving birth. She was nuts. =)
Daddy Dans last blog post..Google Will Pay Millions For Your Great Idea
There was this great look on my husband’s face when I sat down next to him and explained that I wanted to have sex right.this.second. I was sexy like a constipated buffalo. I’d read that myth that sex will jumpstart labor and as I was about 19 months pregnant at the time, if he didn’t poke this baby in the forehead until he decided to come out I was going to reach up there and rip my own cervix out.
There is such a restlessness in those last weeks, unsatisfying because you can’t really DO anything. I couldn’t see my feet..if I sat down and stuck them on the ottoman, I still couldn’t see them.
But there were really cool moments when your belly is stretched so far and the baby is so big that they move and you can actually know that it was a knee or a hand that just went by. I know from having one that went way overdue and one that wanted to come way early that praying the baby will stay in is so much harder than riding a bike over railroad tracks in hopes it’ll jar something loose.
Maddie is ridiculously wonderful and you did some good work there.
Anissa@Hope4Peytons last blog post..Do I hear him now?
Headless Mom says:
Carrying an 11lb. baby 12 days past his due date is not what I call fun. I was ENORMOUS. I wouldn’t choose either method-yours or mine.
Headless Moms last blog post..WOMM-Tuesday Crock Pot Edition
That makes me a little sad Heather! My stories are similars to others above me. I had one a day early, and one a week late. Both were born naturally, with drugs of course, and both were big girls!
On another note……GO BEAVS! Yep your Trojans are in OUR house tonight!
Honestly, do we even stand a chance though?? My husband is optimistic, I on the other hand am staying home to watch Greys Anatomy!
Hmm well I’m overdue 6 days so I’m not sure I’m the right one to ask. Plus I feel bad for you, cause I’m sure you’d have loved to have been overdue.
So I’m not complaining (at least not here) but I’ll give you a few of the um..highlights.
Non-sleeping, because of getting up too pee twelve times a night. (Am not even kidding)
Having a head on your pelvis and a foot in your rib cage.
Continuous heartburn and back pain.
The game at the baby shower, the let me see how fat the preggo lady is with this string.
One thing…a good thing, because really it’s not all bad: Feeling them “swim” inside of you, before they get too big to move around. Ok one more: Eating whatever you want, claiming it is for the baby. Cause all babies adore Ben & Jerry’s.
Issas last blog post..Am going to try they only thing I have left….
I know that longing feeling. I am obsessed right now with other women’s births. My little G came out via c-section because he was breach. I was actually really looking forward to experiencing labor and delivery, it was going to be in a birth center and I fantasized about the rocking and the walking and how I would concentrate and my husband would rub my back and the music I would listen too. It was a dream I’d had in my head for so many years and I never even had one contractions. It’s a hard dream to let go too, and I still sort of mourn the loss of my “vision”. And hope that next time (that there is even a next time) I’ll get the chance.
Leshes last blog post..I can haz beechis?
Wow, ok this is hard to do. Mostly because there are good things~feeling your baby (s) kick, the hiccups they get, watching them move. And the bad~never sleeping, up all night to pee, being so uncomfortable because there is a foot, or elbow, in your ribs. I had 3 deliveries (4 kids remember) and only had time for drugs with one. It was the longest two days of my life. My son was born so fast the doctor barely made it to the room to catch him coming out. And the twins came, sans drugs, fast and furious and almost in the hallway! Everyone is so very different.
The really good thing, no matter what, is that you got a beautiful baby. Smoochies for Maddie!
Kristins last blog post..He’s not old. He’s 37.
You missed incontinence and heartburn and lower back pain and sleepless nights because you can’t get comfortable and swollen feet and hands requiring you to buy new shoes and wear your wedding rings on a necklace and waddling and trouble breathing because your diaphragm is crammed up in the top 10% of your torso along with the rest of your organs.
Ah, the memories…
Caras last blog post..I Used To Be Cool
We missed A LOT heather.
I was getting really big at 25 weeks- bec twins- everyone noticed. Other than that, the last 5 weeks of being pregnant were robbed from me.
I also had my baby shower after they were born. Good times.
mayas last blog post..Birthday Ideas!!
I completely understand. We got royally ripped off and it sucks. I dreamed of maternity clothes, getting big and people actually noticing that I was pregnant. In my entire pregnancy I only got to feel two kicks, she squirmed a lot but I only ever felt two proper kicks. So, yeah, I completely understand.
Becs last blog post..The life I lead
Teen was born at 40 weeks weighing 7#s and 10 oz. I was induced due to high BP and pre – eclampsia. Bedrest from month 4 on. It sucked. Did I tell you he was born at 0 apgars? 0 at 5 too. 9 at 10. Yeah, the kid was dark when he came out and we didn’t think he would make it but I could not concentrate on him anymore because the placenta delivered and a gush (2Liters total) of blood left my body and the doc thought I was going to die due to placental abruption.
Middle: Heart murmur, high blood pressure, kidney stones, gall stones, and I was once again diagnosed with pre – eclampsia. He broke his own water on 7/24/95 and when I told the nurse (after 15 hours labor) that he was coming she didn’t believe me. The doctor kept Middle from hitting the floor and he wasn’t even gowned. I think the bitch believed me after that. Then, once again, I lost a ton of blood due to placental abruption.
Baby: High blood pressure, major swelling and I was no longer “pre” eclamptic – I had it. I started going in to labor with him at 3 months and thanks to drugs I was able to bake him until the 37th week. Thankfully I didn’t bleed out with him but that’s only because there was no room for placental abruption because the little shit weighed 10#s 14oz. Did I tell you I delivered vaginally? Oye!
Honey – I know you were robbed. But guess what? You got your loot, and then some, in that darling baby girl. (((HUGS)))
preTzels last blog post..Isn’t It Ironic?
If you’ve got about 10 minutes…. you can read about our labor here and here.
Sarah was MISERABLE towards the end of the pregnancy. The swelling of her ankles was horrible for her.
Maybe baby #2 will be a full-term one for ya (when the time comes)!!
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Raging Dad says:
I don’t think my wife had the cleaning urge. She certainly was miserable though, especially when she was 30-some weeks pregnant with twins. I am pretty sure she is horrified when she sees pictures of those last few weeks.
My mother only has one picture of herself as a child with her father (he died when she was 2). That picture is so incredibly special to her, because it is such a rarity. I think that we take so many pictures and videos these days, that each one individually becomes much less important and emotional. Maybe someday you will look back and have a special connection to those two photos, especially the full body one. Maybe turn it into black and white, and frame it up. I think that would be lovely.
Raging Dads last blog post..The pictures have all been washed in black
meh. I’m pretty tall so if it’s any consolation, at 39 wks. I only looked about as p.g. as you did in those pics.
I’ll be out and run into people now who never even knew I was pregnant and are surprised to see me with a baby. Even some neighbors! What can I say, it was winter for most of my pregnancy.
Heathers last blog post..Baby Firsts
Constant heartburn. And outgrowing the largest pregnancy clothes you have and just needing something, anything, new to wear.
Bonnies last blog post..Paging Dr. Jack
Aww. That sucks.
It sucks when you feel like you missed out on something… I’m sorry.
Those maternity clothes though – I see them in stores and swoon over how cute they all are. I swear that I want to be pregnant “right this second” to wear that cute outfit…
But when are I’m actually pregnant, they are NOT cute. They do NOT feel cute… They do NOT look cute.
Why does it work that way?
Danielles last blog post..What in the…?
honey – i know you have a rough time but i tell you a twin pregnancy to 37 weeks is not a pretty sight and it don’t feel too crash hot either. i was begging my obstetrician for a caesar at 35 weeks!
Things you probably missed that I loved:
– The ATTENTION! I’m one of the (apparently) rare people who loved having people ask questions about my due date, the sex of the baby, and even how much weight I’d gained, and I totally didn’t mind strangers touching my belly. I’m kind of an attention whore (only child syndrome).
– SEEING the baby move. I felt my son kick rather early (around 16 weeks), which was cool and all, but the most amazing thing was when I got really pregnant (say 30 weeks +) and he would roll over and you could actually see my whole belly move, even through my clothes. Or there would be this odd lump sticking out from a knee or elbow or whatever. It was wild – totally freaked my husband out, by the way.
– The food. I’m sure you had cravings too, but from what I remember hospital food isn’t so great, so you have my sympathies. My personal favorite thing to do was sending my husband out to Sonic for a strawberry banana smoothie at 2am.
– Labor. Don’t get me wrong, contractions hurt like a mofo, but something about the whole process was so cool to me. I mean, it was like my body was on autopilot and knew exactly what to do without any direction from me. It all felt so natural (and I’m far from a hippie-chick) that I plan to do a homebirth next time.
– Actually going home the day after delivery, baby in arms. That’s the thing that always breaks my heart when I hear stories like yours. I just can’t imagine not being able to have my baby with me immediately. I’m so, so sorry for all the trauma that you and Maddie and Mike went through in the first days and weeks, and I’m impressed with how strong y’all seem because (and even in spite) of it.
The things you probably missed that I could have done without:
– The heartburn. My one major complaint about pregnancy was the heartburn. After about the 30 week mark, it became unbearable and I had to sleep in my husband’s Lazy Boy half the time because I thought I was gonna DIE if I was flat on my back. People swore the heartburn meant my baby would have a lot of hair – he was bald as an egg!
– Fat in weird places. I expected to gain weight in my stomach, hips, thighs, and even butt when I was pregnant. What nobody told me was that my face would get fat. I hate looking at pictures of my last few weeks of pregnancy (and first few weeks postpartum) because I don’t even look like myself – even my nose got all stretched out of whack.
– Maternity clothes. They’re expensive and never look cute on people who are actually pregnant.
– Sneaky stretch marks. I was SO proud that I never got stretch marks on my tummy and was sure that I was one of those women who was meant to have gorgeous pregnancies. Until I turned around after my shower one day and realized that my ass looked like a map of the NYC subway system. And then after my son was born and my milk came in, I got stretch marks on my boobs too. Nice.
– People always asking about my health. While things can (and as you no doubt know, do) go wrong in pregnancy, on the whole it is a totally normal, natural thing, and the majority of women and babies get through it just fine. I hated when people always wanted to know how I was feeling or if I had any problems or wanted to carry stuff for me. I just felt like screaming that I was just pregnant – it wasn’t a freaking disease.
– Extreme Home Makeover: Nesting Addition. I “nested” to the extreme in the last few weeks. I scrubbed the floors with a toothbrush, put up new shelves in my laundry room (why?!), cleaned out every drawer, cabinet, and closet, and pretty much just drove my husband insane. I’m pretty sure he was thisclose to divorcing me when I made him stay up until 11pm one night re-hanging one picture in the nursery because it didn’t look “just right” in the spot I chose. Luckily, my water broke about an hour later and our son was born the next day, or I might have been a single mother!
– Oh, and about that water breaking? Totally happened in my bed, soaking my mattress and my brand new Egyptian Cotton sheets.
cindy w says:
The biggest perk: I was 7 months pregnant, and a flash flood kept the hubby and I from being able to get back to our house because all roads into our hick town were flooded. A lot of people were in the same circumstance and all the hotels were booked with other stranded folks. But when the manager of the first hotel we went to took one look at me, she magically found us a king suite. And she brought me extra pillows and chocolate chip cookies (that she’d warmed up in the microwave). Loved that.
And I do like the pics of my hugely pregnant belly. Still kind of fun to check those out sometimes and marvel at how this *person* came out of there.
The negatives: everything else. I spent my entire third trimester sick as a dog (lost all my pregnancy weight while I was still pregnant – NOT COOL, since it was all muscle and not fat). I was miserable. As for the birth issue: my water broke (in the bathroom, thank God) and they had to give me Pitocin to start contractions. So I don’t have that whole “going into labor” experience – feeling contractions and wondering if it was time to go to the hospital, etc. I also got the drugs as soon as they allowed me to, so I didn’t have much in the way of natural childbirth pain. I’m a wimp like that.
Btw, most pregnant women and new moms are more than happy to tell you all the good & bad about their experience. So stop worrying about making their experience about you and just ask away. I’m sure they’ll happily oblige.
I am sorry that you feel cheated. I totally get that, especially given how Maddie spent her first several weeks out in the world. But at least that beautiful little girl is here and healthy now. How she got here isn’t really all that important in the grand scheme of things.
cindy ws last blog post..asthma update
I would honestly have to say that you look more pregnant in that picture than I did with my twins at 32 weeks. But really, I have Elby and it took forever for me to look pregnant with her (I didn’t show until about 28 weeks) so I barely got to buy maternity clothes and no one ever commented that I was pregnant until I was two weeks from giving birth. But I still felt horrible, tired and hungry. And I gained 55 pounds. Nice. Also, a woman at the gym who I hadn’t seen in a few years thought I’d just gotten fat when she saw me working out at 30 weeks. Yeah, that’s how I showed. The sucky part is everything you’ve dealt with – the lack of normalcy in having an infant. I don’t think you missed out on much pregnancy wise. But you can always do it again!
Stefanies last blog post..I’m Still Alive
I’m probably the last person to ask as I suck at pregnancy (don’t believe me? Ask The Daver), but I’ll try for you, my sexy friend.
You missed out on the swelling–I tend to not carry weight in my face until the very end of my pregnancies, but when I do, I look like a moon pie. I’ll email you pictures if you don’t believe me.
The worst part for me (and those lucky enough to be close to me) is the mood swings. I turn into a rage-a-holic at the end. Anything, everything makes me so angry I could bite. And maybe I even do.
Dude, I’m sorry you feel cheated, I don’t blame you. I felt like that when I couldn’t breastfeed Ben and after successfully breastfeeding Alex, I know that I didn’t miss out on that much except the weirdness factor.
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Harvey Oneil says: