08 April 2010

Stages of Pregnancy

Hey, remember when I used to write a humor column for the local parenting newsletter here? Yeah, well I stopped that. They stopped mailing it out to parents and started emailing it instead, so I called it quits. Writing the darn thing was too much effort to have it immediately sent to everyone's email trash. Take that, stupid environment-loving Technology!

So anyway, here's the last column I wrote for that, or at least the last one that I haven't posted here yet. I'll explain some things at the end, too, but obviously this is quite dated since it's about being pregnant. And I'm not anymore. Are we all on the same page now?


We are taught in school that there are three stages of pregnancy. My husband and I have survived all three stages, three times now. We will not be enduring them again after this time as our minds and bodies can’t live through it again. Let’s review these stages, shall we? It’s fun!

Stage 1: the Age of Puking.

Ah, nausea. My, my how you manage to take over and deaden the soul! I hadn’t had many problems with nausea with my first two pregnancies, but this last one was determined to be different. The worst instigator of my puking habits happened to be my toothbrush. The first time it happened I was merrily brushing my teeth when out of nowhere I puked in the sink. Now, how lucky was that, right? I mean, the sink was right there. And what is this? A toothbrush with toothpaste already on it?? Why, that’s exactly what I need after puking! Perfect! And I proceeded to brush my teeth again, only to throw up in the sink again. After the fifth or sixth time of this happening in a row, I began to notice a pattern (I do have a college degree after all!). And that’s when I begged, with nasty breath, that I be medicated to the best of my OB’s ability.

Stage 2: the Age of Prosperity.

Finally, your energy has returned, the puking medication is working on all fronts, people recognize you as pregnant rather than grotesquely obese, and your OBs are doing their best to inflict a heart attack as soon as possible. “You look great, Abby! Keep it up so you WON’T KILL THE BABY. Sure, yeah, you’re doing well just as long as you stay calm enough to NOT KILL THE BABY WITH YOUR RISING BLOOD PRESSURE. Why are you suddenly so upset? All you have to do is make sure you DON’T KILL YOUR BABY. Have a safe and NON-LETHAL DAY.”

This is also right around the time when your kids start to question you about where babies come from and why you and your partner would feel the need to introduce competition to them. I recall my five-year-old asking me one day who will take the baby out of my stomach once I got to the hospital. “The doctors will take her out.” “How will they take her out?” “With their hands.” “IN YOUR MOUTH?!?” and she laughed that hysterical, maniacal laugh she reserves just for me. While I was listening to her evil little laugh, it occurred to me that a baby coming out that end probably couldn’t hurt any more than the standard way we shove them out now.

Stage 3: the Age of Perpetual Senility.

I’ve come to look at this stage as being a window into the future of what I’ll be like 50 years from now. I’m but 33 at this moment, and yet I’ve already turned into a senile old woman who is suffering from complete and utter memory loss. The other day I got a phone call from a friend and she started out by saying, “So your mom’s coming to stay with you soon, huh?”

I gasped in amazement. “HOW did you know that??”

“Because you JUST sent me an email telling me that, like, two minutes ago, you dork.”

Sure enough, my email history did not lie to me, nor did my friend. “Oh, um, yeah, I vaguely recall that now (which is to say not at all).” Again, this happens frequently.

On several occasions I’ve gotten up in the morning, gone to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and declared with some shock and horror, “My GOSH I have really let myself go! When did I get so darn fat?!”, only to realize two seconds later that I’m in fact pregnant. I’m fairly certain I could be arrested for committing a multi-state armed bank robbery scheme and summarily convicted based upon numerous eyewitness accounts, plentiful DNA evidence, clear-as-day security video footage, and I wouldn’t have remembered a single second of it.

I’ve heard it said that our memories can only hold so much before non-essential information is expelled to make room for new data. This leads me to conclude that my baby is actually growing inside my skull, preventing any information from attaching itself to my brain at all. That huge lump on the front of my gut must therefore be the stores of fat that will see me through the long winter months ahead or something. Or at least that’s what the baby inside my head is telling me.


Many thanks to Stephanie for proof-reading this piece. Apparently I went on and on and on and on in one section and she very kindly told me it was getting boring. The end result was far better due to her very wise warning.

About the puking. It was bad enough that when I'd throw up all the capillaries in my face and neck would burst (called "petechia" I've just discovered), leaving my face and neck completely purple. No, I am NOT exaggerating. It would eventually fade after about four days, but it was so embarrassing I never left the house unless I was going to the hospital to be put on fluids (yeah--like I was going to leave the house looking like a giant hickey? No thanks). So it was bad, hence the medication.

There is one more piece I started to write for the newsletter before I decided to quit. The columns had to be short and this one just plain didn't work as a short piece, so I buried it. If I ever resurrect it I'll let you know.


elesa said...

Puking because of your toothbrush is clearly one of those little jokes played by the universe. That is just the sort of thing the universe would think was funny.

Janie said...

can I admit that I don't brush my teeth while in the midst of my morning sickness. I figure constant stomach acid in my mouth by 'trying' to brush my teeth can't be worse for my mouth than not brushing.
mouth wash was my friend and when I am sure I won't throw up on him my dentist will be my next friend.

Heidi said...

Ah, you just reminded me why I never want to go through pregnancy again. I don't even feel nostalgic about it one bit. What a relief to be done!

TheOneTrueSue said...

What IS it with all of these sadistic OBs?


(This had me giggling.)

Kristin said...

Did you notice how they started embracing technology AFTER I quit doing the newsletter? I seriously wanted to strangle someone...it was a pain getting that whole thing together, printing it and mailing it!! Truth comes out on your blog..ahhh that felt good! I must say I did love being the first to read your contribution, always hilarious!

Leslie Green said...

And to think of how aged I am and still haven't had "my babies"...Ah, so much to look forward to if I ever get the green light to bear life... *sigh*

Bonny said...

When I saw this title, I thought you were making an announcement. I'm happy for you that you weren't. :)

Abby said...

What is it with everyone thinking I'm making a pregnancy announcement lately? Just how crazy do you people think I am?