Fairy Tale Pregnancy

As I’ve mentioned, this is my first pregnancy. I’m an older FTM (first-time mom, for those not with the lingo) and I am a little saltier, more cynical and rational-minded than a lot of people. Sure I have my moments of sentimentality, but it’s not my primary mode. Anyway, one of the things every FTM will encounter is a ton of advice from other BTDT (been there, done that) moms. In addition to advice, there are the stories about pregnancy. About half of these stories seem to be meant to horrify you so much that you decide to launch a scientific career to design a time machine and go back in time to prevent yourself from ever becoming with child. These actually don’t bother me much at all because I grew up with people who were masters at one-upmanship. If you had a cold they had pneumonia. You know the type, the internet is now full of them. The other half of stories I’ve heard are the “I loved being pregnant” and “My pregnancy was like a fairy tale” stories.  These get to me because they seem to come out to make you feel terrible because not every moment of your pregnancy has been a magical experience where you ran a 10K every week and ate only organic, free range fruits and vegetable that are so blessed they don’t even cast a shadow.

I’ve had a magical, fairy tale pregnancy. Let me introduce you to the 9 dwarves of my pregnancy:

  • Queasy
  • Potty
  • Bitchy
  • Achy
  • Lazy
  • Gassy
  • Clumsy
  • Forgetful
  • (Doctor) Bob

These are some of the magical beings I’ve experienced in my pregnancy. Queasy was like my closest buddy for the first 3 months strait. In fact, Queasy and Lazy are best friends and spent a lot of time with me. Nearly every day for 3 months I was sick to my stomach, barely able to keep down crackers and juice and my energy level was slightly above corpse. As someone with life-long fairly untreatable insomnia, sleeping through the night was new for me, and it never made me feel rested. In fact, I always felt more tired after those nights. So I’d sleep all night, get up, go downstairs and go into the living room. And I’d lose 6 more hours. Who knows what happened. I’d wake up on the couch hours later and have no clue why. Perhaps I was abducted by aliens.

Now that I’m further along, the other dwarves have become less shy. Especially Potty. Potty though is a bipolar dwarf. Sometimes he refuses to let me pass a bathroom the way a dog on a walk can’t pass a bush. Sometimes Potty refuses to let me enjoy the comfort of regularity. Potty’s good friend is Gassy, who also likes to play both sides.  Fortunately, Gassy seems to like my upper half, but the gift of acid reflux is one I can live without.

The other dwarves are common and fun in their own ways. Achy comes and goes and is easy to appease. If I do my T’ai Chi Chih every day and try to get in a walk most days Achy is pleased to keep a safe distance. Clumsy, too is a bashful sort, but I’m sure as more relaxin enters my system Clumsy will be a more frequent visitor. Forgetful is more frequent for me and one of the most frustrating dwarves for me, since I’ve always been proud of my intellectual capacity and ability to remember things well. Nothing is worse than feeling like your best quality is slipping through your fingers. Then there  is Bob, because, well, every list of dwarves need a 3 letter, one-syllable name and I can quantify it with calling him “Doctor Robert.” This dwarf just represents the doctor. I’ve never visited a medical professional this much in my life.

The last dwarf, Bitchy, has a friend, the hormone fairy. When the hormone fairy arrives, Bitchy lets her hair down like a co-ed with a bottle of tequila. Bitchy is the most sneaky of the dwarves. She arrives in the middle of the night and I wake up with her whispering in my ear.

The most recent magical creature to enter my pregnancy is the Nesting Fairy. The Nesting fairy is a unique being who leads me to believe that the only way to prepare my home for my child is to burn it to the ground and rebuild using completely natural, chemical-free materials. In addition, she seems to speed up time making every item on your to-do list impossible to achieve in the mere weeks you have left. Nesty also seems to imbue you with a false sense of strength. This is where because the seeming time constraints and urge to prepare your home leads you to overdo yourself cleaning and sanitizing and planning for your baby’s arrival. The next morning Achy is back with a vengeance. But Nesty also wipes your memory, so as soon as you feel better, you do it all again.

So when people ask me about my pregnancy I can, without lying, profess that I too have had a magical, fairy tale pregnancy. Fairy Tales weren’t always the sanitized, happily ever after stories Disney would have us believe. Truly, Cinderella as we know it is a far cry from the original, which was Chinese foot-binding tale where her stepsisters were so jealous of Cinderella’s tiny feet that they cut off their toes to try to fit in her shoes. Original versions of fairy tales are filled with magic, yes, but also horrifying details that most deem too much for today’s children. That’s how I view my pregnancy. It’s an old-fashioned fairy tale, the type you sanitize for others. It may not always be pleasant, but at least I have a sense of humor about it.

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