I am done with winters forever.
I’ve been a fierce defender of you, Ohio. I’m always happy to see the seasons change. I’m always happy for that first snowfall. I’m always relieved to see the tulips start to poke out of the ground in Spring.
But this winter was absolutely terrible. I know it had something to do with being pregnant. With literally being pregnant with expectation for spring to come. I know it had to do with all the pregnancy anxiety my hormones put me through and the inability to get a fresh breath of reality because I was stuck inside all day every day.
But I am so done with winter.
(I mean it when I say we go out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in the spring.)
You may think I’m exaggerating and sure, in the context of things women are experiencing all over the world, I would easily choose winter over a lot of other choices. As a middle class stay at home mom in the U.S. though, it was terrible.
While we did some fun stuff, the majority of the past couple months have felt like the entire world is moving along happily while I’m stuck in pregnancy prison. The first three months were fine. I felt a little sick but having exciting pregnancy news more than made up for it. I had a tiny little bump that was super cute but didn’t inconvenience me in any way. Life was pretty good in late fall and early winter.
My second trimester hit like a load of bricks though. I hadn’t gained any weight until around Christmas time, when I put on almost 15 pounds in one month. One month! My clothes didn’t fit and I was freezing cold with my belly was always poking out. My back and legs began having muscle spasms from the sudden weight gain. I was incredibly exhausted physically but beyond bored in my mind. I could’t find any interest in things I normally enjoy. I found caring for so many animals and children beyond daunting and we reduced our menagerie a bit. My favorite winter activity, baking, was off limits because of my large weight gain. In short, winter was 4 months of creeping hours and intense loneliness and the mind numbing boredom that comes with complete exhaustion with life. It was even worse by the feeling that I was rapidly losing the last bit of time with my husband and children before someone new entered our family. I felt like this guy:
(It sure looks like every one is having a great time! Wish I could enjoy it with you!)
(Whoa whoa whoa, no one is allowed to have fun for at least four more months, until I can participate!)
You cannot, I repeat, cannot, imagine how happy I’ve been to see the sun. I’ve felt like crying for joy. All I want to do is walk and walk and walk all day long. My body has gotten used to the weight increase and I’ve stopped gaining more, allowing me to be active all day and sit down at the end of the day with a bowl of ice cream. It’s been a dream. Pregnancy, although still tiring, is fun again. I feel both eager for the baby to come and sad at the prospect of being done.
And a little bit not ready yet. We have every thing set up. The empty crib and car seat and rows of unused clothes are getting a bit depressing to look at. Somehow I don’t feel 100 percent ready though.
It does seem a bit sudden to think about, even after 9 months, going to a hospital and a day later coming home with a baby. I wonder how in the world they allow people to do that, just spend a small amount of time in hospital and then be trusted with such a teeny tiny person. I can already tell that I’m more protective over number three than I was with the other two. I can understand why helicopter parents are almost always older parents….age seems to give you a bit more awe over the fragility of babies. Although in reality they are incredibly tough little things. I know how much the false contractions I’m feeling now can hurt. I can’t imagine suffering through those on the inside where your entire body is being compressed. I don’t even want to think about how traumatizing experiencing birth must be. Yet they all do it and rarely seem worse for the trip.
Speaking of trips, one of the best things about warmer weather (by which I mean 40s, as opposed to the -9 we went through before) are all the trips we can take now. And I’m including trips like going to Target and the grocery store. I probably could’ve done more this winter if I had just be willing to go outside to get to the hardware store or pick up yarn and thread. We just bought a brilliant new car and just taking drives no where does so much to lift your spirits. If I could sum up my current feelings it would be by saying that I’m surprised to find I still exist. The world suddenly seems real again. We took a trip to see my eldest sister this past weekend and it was like a revelation that there are still places in the world where you can go outside without bundling up.
(Sunshine? Never heard of her.)
(So do I eat it? It’s a lollipop right?)
(Hmm I could’ve sworn flowers were made out of silk…Must be some new kind of fabric)
(You mean you can go places and they give you food? Some even let you sit on couches while you do it? These “restaurants” sound vaguely inappropriate. I only feel comfortable eating in my own house…)
The end has finally come close and it feels amazing. For so long it felt like someone was missing from our family. I would head count on our way out of stores and have a moment of panic when I only counted two children before remembering that two was the correct number.
It makes the prospect of having a baby the most natural thing in the world, like why in the world did you take so long to get here, baby? We’ve been expecting you for years!
Bonus: My least favorite things that happen in pregnancy
Doctors doing “just in case” procedures. Way to give me a heart attack over the fact that my baby may have down syndrome even though I have no risk factors for it, Doc.
The intense annoyance at people for doing rude things like talking during Jeopardy. “Imma have to punch the next person that even breathes!”
Heartburn. Tums are somewhat helpful, ice cream is beneficial, but really it’s all about not eating anything spicy, acidic, full of sugar, full of artificial sweeteners, too crunchy, too mushy, or really anything at all. Sometimes even water will give it to you.
Body parts randomly falling asleep.
Waking up every time you need to roll over at night. It takes a lot of energy to move that belly from one side to the other.
The sore joints
Being kicked in the ribs is an annoyance, but nothing makes you think you’re about to die faster that being punched in the cervix. “Good God, my inside are falling out!”
The pain of wearing normal clothing like bras and pants.
Constantly feeling like you smell weird. They say there is a particular smell end of pregnancy women give off. Luckily only people who spend a lot of time around pregnant women seem to smell it.
The habit of falling asleep as soon as you sit down
The loosening of your ligaments. Seriously, this really happens. It’s amazing, your ligaments stretch and bones soften in anticipation of labor, but it’s also incredibly annoying when you want to do normal things like walk and you can feel your hips shifting all over the place. Speaking of which,
The waddle walk
Feeling incredibly unattractive, just craving for someone to give you positive attention, and then feeling insulted by the random strangers, men and women, who ask you personal questions, think it’s ok to touch your belly, or gush over how beautiful you look.
“Are you attracted to hippos? Because that’s what I look like right now creep”
Having people yelling across the street to you, or following you around a store with “excuse me, excuse me,” just to ask you when you’re due, makes you really wish you could still run. I’ve seen those stories about pregnant women being murdered, don’t think I’m not on to you people!
Favorite thing about pregnancy?
Having a relationship with someone who isn’t born yet. It’s like having an imaginary friend, except they’re real! But they’re just for you, and you can talk to them and feel them wiggle around in response, or touch your belly and feel a responding kick. I feel bad for people who don’t think about bonding with your baby in utero. This is the first time I’ve really experienced being able to communicate with your unborn baby and it is absolutely amazing. It almost makes me sad to think about her being born and having to share her with other people.