Monday, December 28, 2009

What Really to Expect When You're Expecting: The Physical Guide

I'm less than six weeks from evicting my fetal squatter.  This is the home stretch of my third pregnancy in four years, so I'm just going to go ahead and call myself a bit of an expert. In that frame of mind, I present the first chapter in a completely un-thought-through series on What Really to Expect When You're Expecting. Tonight, The Physical Guide:

You thought you loved your laptop but these days it's more of a kneetop.  You don't really mind the strain, though, because only for your internet access will you willingly do these deep back stretches.

It's late December and 20 degrees outside and you're not wearing socks. Getting them on is calisthenically impossible and they will obliterate any chance your swollen feet have of slipping into any shoes you'd willingly wear out in public but since your heart is now pumping twice its usual blood volume you're never really cold anyway.

It's really important to stay hydrated. Not because of all the conventional medical reasons (and if that's what you're here for you can get that nonsense out of the regular Expectingbook), but because if you don't you'll get terrible leg cramps in the middle of the night. You can't ease the cramp without jumping out of bed and putting weight on your foot but you can't jump out of bed because your stomach muscles are currently stretched curvy-outward like the frame on a funhouse mirror and are completely unwilling to hoist you at all, let alone quickly. Plus, all that hydration stores somewhere when you sleep, and when you do finally launch vertically and ease your foot cramp you will simultaneously send your little angel's placental barnacle's round little skull dropping right on your abused bladder. You're just trading one cramp for another, but now you have to pee. And now you're awake.

No pee comes out? Here's a tip that should be on page one of all those "expert" books: lift your belly with your hands, and lean back.

Your hair and nails are stronger and grow faster than ever. This means your pedicure will grow out faster than ever, and you can't reach down to touch it up.

If you look big, people will say, "you have HOW MUCH LONGER to go?" If you look small, people will say, "mmm, look at that big belly. That baby's going to be a nice big size -- you're huge!" You are a spectacle, on this earth for public comment.

What does a Braxton-Hicks contraction really feel like? It feels like cresting the steepest hill on a roller coaster. That moment that takes your breath away immediately before your freefall to the unknown is exactly what it feels like when WonderFetus tries a downward dog stretch and sends his rump into the bottom of your lungs, sending in turn your lungs into the bottom of your throat, sending the oxygen you thought to be in your possession back out into the atmosphere.

And just think: soon he'll be pushing like that at your South Pole instead of your North and once he succeeds he'll forever be cresting the moment before your freefall to the unknown, and you'll be forever hoping to keep pace.

Oooh, look at that. The Physical and the Metaphysical. You just got a bonus Guide, and you didn't even know it. Pin It