As I near the end of my pregnancy, I'm not just looking forward to finally having Stephen in my arms but I'm really looking forward to having my body back.
The first six months of pregnancy were so easy for me! I felt like I was special because there was no morning sickness, no bad pregnancy symptoms that really hindered my life, etc. And then the third trimester hit and I learned that the joke was on me. Funny enough, many of the symptoms that I began to experience in my third trimester were things that I never knew affect pregnant women.
So, here's my PSA to those women out there that think that after the morning sickness, pregnancy is a breeze. It's just a small run down of the pregnancy issues I've come in contact with over the last few months that I'd never knew were possible.
1. Sounding like the new lead baritone of a chorale group or one of those old slot machine junkies who sucks on eight cigarettes at a time
Seriously, my speaking voice dropped probably a total of 6-8 pitches in a matter of weeks. You think I'm kidding? Half of my friends and family don't recognize my voice over the phone. One who is near and dear to my heart breaks out into giggles every time we talk on the phone because she thinks I sound so weird. Sometimes when I start speaking, I sound like that woman from Beetlejuice who is like the gate keeper to the afterlife. You know the one...with the slit in her neck that she exhales through?
2. Baby-is-sucking-up-all-my-blood Carpal Tunnel
So it turns out that there is a form of carpal tunnel that is caused by pregnancy. "How?" you ask. Well, in your arms you have some awesome nerves. As your body starts to produce more fluids to help baby grow into the large, life-source sucking amoeba it will become, it causes those nerves to swell. In case you didn't know, nerves can be pretty finicky and uppity. They like their personal space. So the second they start getting a little squeeze, apparently, they will sometimes throw themselves on the floor like a three year old mid-tantrum and refuse to do anything. Long story short, my right hand hasn't had full feeling in it for months. Sometimes, I poke my fingertips just to make sure that there's some circulation there. And I'm scared to paint my fingernails because if my fingers turn purple and threaten to fall off, I feel like I'd be able to tell by the color under my nails. No, I don't have scientific evidence to support that theory other than I'm NINE MONTHS PREGNANT AND I SAID THAT'S HOW IT IS.
There isn't a cutesy way to describe this. Because it's not cute. When you have a husband that sleeps lighter than a feather, snoring is not cute.
At night, I turn into an overweight rottweiler.
I know. It's a total turn on.
5. Low platelets
Part of the fun of being a fetus is sucking your "host" dry of anything that they require in order to survive. In some ways, a fetus can be compared to a vampire. Hence the low platelets. So what does that mean for mommy who has completely sacrificed her body, and let's face it, the rest of her life, for this allegedly adorable baby? On the surface, it means that if she bumps her leg, a massive bruise the size of Canada develops. Or if she cuts herself, you'd swear her femoral artery had been slit. Alright, that's dramatic because that's only in extreme cases. However, I recently found out that if my platelet count gets low enough, and I go into labor, I can't have an epidural.
That'll be my face during labor (why not invite the entire family to witness this miracle of life, right?). Don't worry. I'm going to trim my nails before labor that way Eric doesn't have any lasting scars on his arms from me attempting to rip his skin off while I'm struggling through a contraction.
I'm adding to my hospital bag a strip of leather to bite down on, holy water to be sprinkled over me to help exorcise the demon, and a list of all the people I have a grudge against because I'm fairly certain labor will give me the courage to finally get some closure with them.
6. Flesh eating disease that competes with leprosy
(I realize that the title of this symptom probably doesn't make sense. Guess what? I'm super pregnant so I do what I want!)
If you become pregnant, and someone mentions you might have this, please call me. I will immediately arrive by your side with two ice chests. One will be full of frozen ice packs. The other will be filled with pints of your favorite ice cream. The best part? They will refill automatically on their own. How? Because the man who did this to you (because believe me, HE DID) will be on call to make sure that neither of those ice chests goes empty or that the contents defrost.
No that's not a picture of my skin. I wouldn't want you to vomit while reading these posts now would I? If you want to learn more about PUPPP, here's the wikipedia article on it (because wikipedia is infallible).
Here's the shortened version:
It starts on your big ole belly. As if seeing yourself at nine months pregnant isn't hard enough because you have a bowling ball hanging off your body where there used to be a flat tummy (IT WAS FLAT!), add to it this crazy redness that slowly appears. You can feel the tiny hives starting to form and there's an itch taking place. Within two days, BAM! You'd SWEAR that you have a localized case of chicken pox or poison ivy.
It gets better.
Try having this torment wrap itself around your feet. My feet are now so swollen from the rash and because I'm ginormous that I can no longer wear my shoes. NONE of them. So what do I wear? Eric's slip on sandals. That's right. I have clown feet with this bizarre rash that makes grown men cry and women vomit or pass out when they see them. It's now on my arms as well so one of the few areas of my body that was once untouched by pregnancy, now looks like it may leap out and suck the face off the person next to me.
It gets better.
So you may be thinking, "hey, it really can't be that bad! it's just a rash!" Tell that to my face. I dare you. Because the fact of the matter is that there is NOTHING that relieves this itch. NOTHING. I repeat: ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY NOTHING that relieves this itch.
-"Oh but Caroline, what about benadryl?"
As if I haven't tried that. Benadryl just makes me a little drowsy. So I'm half asleep while I try not to scratch my skin off with a cheese grater.
-"Have you tried oatmeal baths?"
Yup. And while these are luxurious as I attempt to curl up into a fetal position in the bath to make sure that every infected spot of my body is submerged in the bath, I can't stay in the bath all day. Or even more than half an hour considering the water does start to turn cold. Plus, coming out of the bathtub smelling like a bakery just makes me hungry. AGAIN.
-"How about medicated creams?"
You know why these work? Because you are rubbing the infected spot. Once you stop rubbing in the cream, the itch begins again. So when it's time to go to bed, not only am I wearing an arm brace for my carpal tunnel, a nasal strip in a VERY feeble attempt to curb my snoring, a body pillow to support my growing belly so that my legs don't slide out of my hip socket, I also smell like a walking pharmacy.
Seriously, why wouldn't Eric want to try to have another baby with me?
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