What Pregnancy is Really Like

I remember my first pregnancy like it was over a decade ago. Mostly, I remember anxiety, confusion, surprise, and trepidation -besides feeling sick all the time, of course. I wrote a journal to my baby. Nearly all of the entries included, “I’m so nervous,” or “I’m not sure what to expect.”

So I picked up a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. From it, I learned that any odd ailment may occur in pregnancy and that my growing fetus was always a type of fruit. If you’ve read it, you know what I mean.

Really, though, for one as curious as I, that book and my laid-back OB/GYN utterly failed to help me know what to expect.

For there is no book that can give you the sensation of pregnancy.

It’s weird.

When you are pregnant, you always know there is something off about yourself. Videos of babies and children and young animals make you cry. Commercials make you cry. Dropping a cup of milk makes you cry. Not being able to think about sex because you are so sick and feel fat and your favorite chocolate bar tastes awful makes you cry.

Then you get some sleep and are sunshine and rainbows.

But… that’s for about two hours. Then you’re exhausted and dropping milk again.

If you make it to a little over halfway, the real fun begins. I referenced the movie Aliens in a previous post; because, at this point, you can feel the growing child inside of you. I explained the sensation to a coworker once: “It’s like you ate something that’s alive and it’s moving around.” If you’re that imaginative, the analogy works.

Now that I’m at hippopotamus size, I can literally watch my stomach surface undulate and jerk. Inside, meanwhile, my organs, lungs, and bladder get kicked, pushed, and butted against.

Pregnancy can bless you with all sorts of side effects like hemorrhoids, diabetes, high blood pressure, changes in saliva pH, swelling, nausea, dizziness, sudden paralysis of legs, hair color or curliness, tender women parts, nail and hair growth changes, spots, skin lines, breast enlargement and tenderness, loss of short-term memory, exhaustion…

It begins to sound like one of those new drug commercials, the kinds where you listen and think, Why in the heck would ANYONE take this medication??

I can’t speak for others out there, but I often wonder that about pregnancy.

Yes, I know this is my fifth impregnation.

Yes, I should have a good reason besides shrugging and saying, “Well, I suppose it was because I wasn’t doing anything else at the time…”

Because -yes, pregnancy sucks. Raising the children produced from pregnancy is difficult. Given my druthers, I’d prefer to selfishly play video games all day while eating a pan of brownies.

However, most employers won’t fund that lifestyle.

And, making kids is actually pretty cool. I remember Bill Cosby dubbing it “erotic arts and crafts.” Really, though, it is. Every time we’ve gotten pregnant, my husband and I have speculated on how the kid will turn out. Will he have my dark hair or my husband’s lighter blond? My brown eyes or his hazel? Will he understand our jokes? Will he be creative? What sorts of dreams will he have? How tall? Cheerful or serious?

Will he like Firefly? What about Starcraft??

Even at almost five, we still have fun guessing.

So, that’s what you can take away from today’s lesson: pregnancy is weird. It’s full of many things you cannot expect. In the end, you get a tiny human that will be like you and your husband.

Yes, that means he or she will be a nerd like you.

Happy crafting.


©2019 Chelsea Owens

39 thoughts on “What Pregnancy is Really Like

  1. I understand your comments about pregnancy, Chelsea. I sailed through both of mine and I didn’t feel fat and ugly at all. I quite enjoyed being pregnant. Both my boys suffer from chronic illness, however, and that has not been fun at all. It is exhausting, mentally and physically. I do not want any more children and take great care to make sure it doesn’t happen.

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    1. I’m happy your pregnancies went well. My husband’s grandmother always said she felt better pregnant. Me, I feel like a whale on a beach.

      I know you’ve written a bit about your sons, and I’m sorry they have chronic illnesses. Yes, that is very hard. You are a good mom.

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  2. Despite all it entails, I find you well suited. If it was me, I’d have nailed my husband to the cross after the second one, but you can still find the humor in it. That definitely counts for something…..

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  3. Comparing pregnancy to a drug commercial is funny. Those pesky side effects. My wife had weird medical issues during a pregnancy. Each time one cropped up the doctor would say, ‘We would treat it with ____, if you weren’t pregnant. Giving life to another human is wonderful, but the real work is in raising them. Best to you in these weird and wonderful days.

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    1. I should’ve touched on that, too! -I DID start talking about how I feel like any choice I make will mutate the baby (including taking an ibuprofen), but decided it didn’t fit the overall post.

      Being a woman, in general, is a lot like you described with your wife. “Oh, your nose changed shape? Yes, that’s a premenopausal effect in 2.5% of women. We’d treat it, but your hormones would react negatively and one ear would fall off.”

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  4. Pregnancy is strangely amazing. To carry life within—what an amazing blessing. Makes those stretch marks seem more like stripes of achievement than reminders of endurance.

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  5. I actually liked being pregnant, but I had a lot of hip and back pain with the last one that made me wary of another one. It’s the raising kids after they reach puberty that’s tough! 😩

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  6. I had similar thoughts! I remember having sudden hunger attacks that would very nearly make me faint. I would feel sick and tearful. But then I would eat, and as you said, it would be sunshine and rainbows again. I miss those days of eating constantly out of necessity. 😁

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  7. My first son was a very hard birth.. I always said no more.. With my second I broke all the capillaries in my face.. I truly looked like a halloween monster with no mask.. hahaha.. and now thank goodness i’m too old.. Love the fact that people can have kids and are happy about all those things that happen because in the end you have a little babe in arms.. Have a great day.. 😉

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      1. Well, that is to say I regret never having kids. I guess the bright side is some woman was spared that trauma, though I assume they just had it with someone else. At least I didn’t cause it Maybe if my Toilet Gator books hit it big I’ll adopt some third world kids or something.

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  8. This is fantastic! I’m in my first pregnancy and literally laughed out loud at the crying part… I look forward to meeting our little nerd. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I’m glad I can’t get pregnant. I self-consciously look at pregnant women all the time and wonder how it must feel and if the rewards are worth it. It’s obvious that it’s uncomfortable, but I didn’t know all the TV medicine commercial side effects you listed. Anyway, I really hope he likes Firefly. And Stargate SG-1. And Doctor Who, but only the early ones before the reboot.

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    1. 😀 My kids enjoyed that “Doctor Who” with the garbage cans that ate people. I admit we haven’t watched any since a handful of the Matt Smith ones.

      I found pregnancy and delivery so odd that I repeatedly attempted to describe, catalogue, and explain with my first. It’s so strange.

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