Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bumps in the Night

You'd think that, having gone through the rigamarole of medical school, that I would know what to expect with being pregnant.  And on some level, I do:  I know that I'm supposed to be gaining weight. I know that hormones wreak havoc on many things, including moods.  I know that strange cravings and random hunger pangs are par for the course.

But it's one thing to know, and another to experience.  And nothing has prepared me for the emotional ambiguity--and, to a certain level, the loathing--that comes with gaining weight.

Like many women, I've never truly felt happy with the way I look.  Even at my skinniest, I was still vaguely dissatisfied with the shape of my body.  That dissatisfaction has never gone away entirely, even as I've become resigned to the fact that my body seems to like being somewhere between 130-140 lbs, and not like a ballet dancer's.  It's resignation that makes me accept that being healthy and happy necessitates some compromise--I don't want to be thinking about food and counting calories all the frickin' time, the way I did when I was running 7 miles a day (I never developed an eating disorder, but there was a time when I literally would not eat anything until I looked up the calorie count on the USDA website).  Had I not plucked Shadow off the streets, there's a good chance that I would still be obssessing over food and calories and all that stuff now.

So letting things like pregnancy "happen" is a bit strange and antithetical to the mild neurosis under which I've lived for most of my life.  I simply can't be excited that I've gained 10 lbs so far, nor about any of the other bodily changes that accompany a pregnancy--the mood swings, the occasional twinges, the tiredness, the constant threat of dehydration.  I "should" feel, according to most resources, like a million bucks.  Screw that.

The strangest thing of all?  Is that I'm actually pretty excited for when the baby comes.  It's the "bearing" part of "childbearing" that will probably have me somewhat bummed for the next few months.  


  1. Don't let baby books and crunchy granola moms fool you: being pregnant blows. There is no period during it that I've felt any better than when I'm not pregnant. The most I can generally hope for is feeling "normal". The first trimester is like 12 weeks of hell between the nausea, the bizarre food aversions, and the fatigue. The third trimester is an exercise in frustration because you take for granted having a certain amount of flexibility that just DISAPPEARS when you're lugging a boulder around in your midsection. The second trimester is only good relative to the first and third. And yet here I am, doing it a second time. How did I forget how much it sucked the first time? Because you totally do forget. ;) So hopefully that makes you feel a little better. I also agonized over how much weight I gained, but find this time around I don't care, coz I now have the experience of having lost it all the first time with fairly minimal effort. Turns out between breastfeeding and forgetting to eat because the squalling newborn won't let you put him down, losing the weight happens pretty naturally. At least it did for me. ;)

  2. Good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way about being pregnant. The books make you feel as if being pregnant is the greatest thing in the world--and I'm thinking, "What's so great about not being able to take my bike anywhere or having to sleep on my side?" (I'm not averse to the exercise, just that I've had a few tumbles without having an extra weight on my midsection).