Why didn't you tell me pregnancy lasts 40 weeks? That isn't nine months. That is 40 weeks of watching your body change, your hormones go off the map, and your appetite bounce between being starving and being too nauseous to eat. Since when did people start rounding down to say you’re only pregnant for nine months?
There are movies, books and all sorts of reports that reference the 9-month journey to being a mother. But I’m in my 30th week now. I figure that with an average of four weeks per month, the real equation is: 4 x 10 = 40 weeks. I have now discovered 40 weeks of gestation really feels closer to the ten-month mark. The idea that pregnancy lasts only nine months just sets women up with false expectations
Now I’ve heard women describe pregnancy as a “joyful journey”, and a “miracle in the making.” While I agree with so much of that…I don’t think I would categorize my pregnancy quite on that level. Oh, I’m happy to be an expectant mom. I know this little bundle growing within is such a blessing. I just wasn’t expecting all the changes to my body and moods to happen so drastically. In fact, I don’t think you can ever fully expect what’s going to happen to you during pregnancy. Just like I can’t really predict what kind of mom I’m going to be.
First there were tears. I saw the commercial for the rerelease of Titanic. Tears started flowing and didn’t stop for two months. Movies bring out the tears in me. The worst was watching Air Force One. That movie is like 15 years old, with Harrison Ford playing the President of the United States. He is flying back to D.C and all of a sudden terrorists attack. Before I know it I am bawling on the couch, and I’ve got the ugly cry going: sobbing and heaving, with snot dripping down my face. Not pretty ladies…not pretty.
Then the mood swings came. My husband, who is currently in pilot school, found these to be the most surprising part of pregnancy. (He knows not to say scary, or it could bring “the Beast” out.) The Beast, as we lovingly call my alter ego, comes out when I’m extremely hungry or just decide my husband is driving me crazy--like the time he came home late and had the gall to change clothes before putting the burgers on the grill. I couldn’t believe he expected me to wait an extra ten minutes for dinner. I was STARVING.
I have found I am not the only one who has an alter ego. A pregnant friend of mine told me the story of asking her husband to get two twenty pound bags of ice for the cooler before they headed to the lake. Well the poor guy heard wrong and only brought one bag home. She exploded, and the next thing you know, he’s on his hands and knees in front of the freezer filling zip lock bags full of ice from their icemaker to make up the difference. It’s the Beast’s fault-- because we pregnant ladies are just too nice to ever get mad over something so silly.
Lastly, came the body changes. Now that I am getting bigger, I find myself grunting a lot more. I don’t know why, but all that grunting seems to help me get stuff done. Getting up off the couch requires at least two grunts. Picking something off of the kitchen floor, one grunt. Putting on cute sandals, four grunts. Two to put them on, then two to change into the flip-flops I’ve come to live in. (Who was I kidding…heels are not going to happen.)
Really though, I don’t want to scare anyone away from this TEN month journey. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing…I know the minute I hold my baby in my arms, I will be so happy that I’ll forget all about the “joyful journey” it took to get here.