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Becky Harks

What I Wish I’d Known About Pregnancy

A couple of weeks ago, Daver and I ran into my neighbor across the street, one who had recently had her first baby. Being the lovable sap that I am, I immediately made a beeline for her in a desperate attempt to hold the squishy baby!

When I asked her how she was, she began to weep. She told me precisely how I felt after Ben was born: she was actually quite terrible. Her baby wouldn’t stop crying, well, ever, and she just didn’t know what she was doing wrong. Where were these maternal feelings she’d heard about? Why did she feel like she was doing it all wrong?

I told her that I was not in the habit of telling people horror stories before they had children/bought a house/ate at Jack-in-the-Box, because I always thought it sounded kind of mean. She then told me that she’d WISHED that someone had told her how hard babies are.

In this vein, I am going to start making my own lists of things I wish someone had told me before I’d had kids or been knocked up.

Things Aunt Becky Wishes She’d Known Before Getting Pregnant:

1. After your first pregnancy, you will look about 6 months pregnant as the positive pee stick is drying.

2. Your nipples will now reach epic proportions of pancakes. And not the whimsical silver dollar ones.

3. Oh, and they’ll turn from a delicate pinkish hue to a much darker brownish/black.

4. Okay, and then they’ll turn into something entirely freakish if you nurse.

5. You’re certifiable, but you have no idea of this. Instead you think you’re the only sane one left on the planet. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you will be forced to watch yourself go off the wheels on the crazy train and be powerless to stop it.

6. If this is your first pregnancy, you will assume that this pregnancy is the most important pregnancy since Mary birthed Jesus.

7. You will eat a whole lot of food to try and make yourself less queasy. While it doesn’t work, not really, it will cause a couple of extra pounds to be added inexplicably to your frame. Which will annoy you because YOU DIDN’T EVEN ENJOY PUTTING THEM ON.

8. Worrying will become part of your daily routine. And will annoy the hell out of the rest of the world.

9. What To Expect While You’re Expecting was written by The Devil. Ignore this book as it will just make you feel badly about yourself.

10. Taking a decent poo may feel like cause for a press release. Don’t do it, for God’s sake, spare people the thought of you hunched over trying to push the world’s saddest poo out.

11. Suddenly anyone and everyone will waltz through your dreams and have wild passionate sex with you. Even people you find disgusting and/or hate. (Randy Jackson, anyone?)

12. While I’ve heard of some people having wild sex FOR REAL while pregnant, I can’t say I’ve been part of it. Especially once I’ve reached whale-like proportions and it feels like what it is: A Mercy F*ck.

13. Someone, somewhere will buy you the ugliest clothes you’ve ever seen for your unborn child. And you will have to sit there while grinning like an asshole and tell them that you looooovvvveee the little outfit with the stupid looking bows on it…. for your 7 year old son.

14. Honest to God strangers will not only feel the need to rub your belly without so much as a handshake hello, but will then ask you if you plan on breast feeding or not. This be dangerous waters, matey.

15. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, tell no one what you plan on feeding your child. Or make a really tasteless joke like, “We were thinking Jack Daniels, but do you think that Crown Royal is better?” Otherwise, you’re going to get a lecture. If you’re tasteless, people will just run away from you.

16. Most of the baby crap out there that they try to sell you is just that: crap. And newborns look stupid dressed in anything other than onsies. Trust me when I say that I speak from experience here.

17. You will hardly ever spend time in your perfectly coordinated nursery. Kids don’t play in their bedroom until they’re about 4 or 5, so while I would never suggest NOT doing up a nursery, I wouldn’t go ass-wild on it either.

18. YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU ARE IN LABOR. NOTHING ELSE FEELS LIKE LABOR, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT IT TO.

19. Your ass becomes pregnant too.

20. No one, but you, can figure out what is actually on the ultrasound pictures. Cute, perhaps. Frightening, also perhaps.

21. Feeling the baby kick for the first time is perhaps the finest part of pregnancy. It only becomes painful when their ickle feeties get to be the size of golf balls. Mean, busy golf balls. And then they sometimes bruise your liver. For serious.

22. Maternity clothes will fit you differently during different parts of your pregnancy. What might look cute with your wee beer-belly during the first trimester will look downright dumb and ill fitting hours before you give birth.

23. Steer clear of anyone who claims any of the following:

  • I was back in my size 4′s when I left the hospital!
  • I’ve never felt better than when I was pregnant!
  • Breastfeeding really helped me take those 5 pesky pounds off!
  • Having a baby is soooooo easy!

I mean, even if they’re not lying through their grubby teeth to you, they’re going to make you feel bad. And TRUST ME when I tell you that you will have plenty of things to feel bad/inadequate about.

24. Pregnancy is an excellent cure for modesty. I cannot recall a time when I didn’t just whip down my pants in front of the doctor whether it was my OB or not. Perhaps I am also a nudist.

25. Enjoy it as best you can. Sure, you feel ugly as shit, you’re gangly and have reached hippo proportions, you can hardly make it an hour without going to the bathroom and peeing out a tablespoon of liquid, you have heartburn so badly you could sear paint from the walls, and you’re starving but queasy. It’s all true. BUT, unless you’re a Dugger or someone equally creepy, it only happens a handful of times.

Besides, it’s one of the few times you can actually evoke the, “But I’m pregggnnnnant!” excuse on your partner.

And that, my friends, NEVER gets old.

THE AUTHOR

Becky Sherrick Harks is a bachelor's prepared nurse and freelance writer living in Chicago with her three small, yet very loud, children. When she's not running her non-profit organization, The Band Back Together Project, or writing on her award-winning blog, Mommy Wants Vodka, she enjoys a life pretending to be married to men from television, dreaming about aresolized ...

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