Not Everyone Loves Being Pregnant

I discovered during my pregnancies that the people I know are liars. Sure they meant well, but had I known then what I know now, I'd never have believed them in the first place. Following are the lies they told me and the truths I found.

1. Morning sickness goes away after the first trimester.
HA! Try this instead: Morning sickness is a myth. Instead I affectionately refer to it as "morning-noon-and-night" sickness. I vomited from day 12 all the way to delivery. I think I even vomited a time or two during labor. I gained a whopping 10 pounds and how I even gained that much is beyond me. I ate, vomited, and then ate again while praying continually that it would stay down for even just a few minutes. If I wasn't vomiting, I was feeling as though I would vomit. I knew my "dear uncle john" better than anyone/thing during that time -- he was my friend.

Have you ever vomited into a toilet that stands 12 inches tall with nine 18- to 24-month olds looking on and giggling? Yup, that was me. I had the privilege of teaching preschool during my first pregnancy. Those kids thought it was just the funniest thing to see me vomit into that toilet. I can guarantee you the one thing I know they learned was that vomit goes into the potty just like pee and poop. I'm sure that knowledge made their parents proud.

2. Almonds or sprite and crackers or whatever other combination of food items makes the nausea go away.

HA! That's a load of hooey if I ever did hear any! Those very things that were supposed to make the nausea better actually served to make it worse. Trust me, if those had worked I would have put number 1 up there as number 1!

3. Movement is a wonderful thing to feel. It's so magical -- movement marks the point at which you realize the gift God has given you.

HA! Movement... How shall I say this? At first was mistaken for more nausea. Or maybe it was actually nausea that was mistaken for movement. At any rate, the two were often closely related. The more my baby moved, the more I vomited. Of course, I did find a slightly magical quality to the feeling of movement -- mostly in that it was quickly followed by either having to lie down or run to the bathroom to vomit. Never was there just "movement." Movement was always followed by an undesirable action.

Sure, it was reassuring to know that my baby was healthy -- something signified by movement -- but it was also quite disconcerting to feel the constant jabs that felt as though her foot would pop out of my belly like the alien in the Schwarzenegger movie, "Total Recall."

There was also the feeling of pain as she jabbed her head into my bladder causing severe pain followed by the (often described as amusing) sight of a very pregnant woman running into the bathroom to pee. Of course what no one saw while I was at work was this very pregnant woman trying to sit down on a toilet that was a mere 12 inches tall (the only one in the building taller than that was too far from anywhere I ever was for me to make it there) and then trying to get back up again. Yup, that was me.

Oh, and we can't forget the complete roll performed by my son as I was reading to a group of 5-year-olds. I had the book rested on my extremely large belly and was doing my best to fight off the urge to pee and vomit at the same time. Suddenly my son, described affectionately then as a hippo trapped in a watermelon, rolled. His head which had previously been sitting on my right side just above my hip rolled across my belly causing the book to shift significantly and then settled on the left side just above my pubic bone. The children's eyes all grew to the size of saucers. Tears welled up in my eyes from the pain of that particular gymnastics move. One precious child whispered, "Mrs. Carol? Did that hurt?" Of course, not wanting to ruin the moment for the kids (who were frozen in awe) I answered, "No. Not at all. But, let's go play in centers while Mrs. Carol takes a quick break."

4. You won't even notice that your hips are spreading until after it's already over.