23 July 2011, by Tan Yi Lin
(Warning: I am writing this post while feeling incredibly HOT (not in a sexy way) and cranky from being in physical discomfort 24/7. So this might turn into a bit of a rant at parts. It does not, in any way, reflect any ungratefulness or lack of appreciation on my part for my gravid state.)
HOW DID I GET THIS BIG IN ONE WEEK?!
Just Saturday, I blogged about being thankful that my shoes and accessories still fit, and about feeling blooming-ly beautiful.
This week, my watch and rings are threatening to cut off all blood supply to my hand and fingers. I kicked off my shoes in the office in favour of flip flops.
Last night, while lounging on the bed, Dan stared at me aghast, as I started flouncing about like a beached whale in distress (as much as a beached whale can flounce… which is not very much.)
D: What are you doing?!
YL: Uhhhh! *rolls left* *flails arms*
D: DON’T ROLL ONTO MY COMICS! *protectively snatches his precious cartoon sheets closer to him*
YL: Uhhh! *rolls right* *flails arms*
D: I’m going to put my comics on the floor. SAFER. *abandons distressed wife to take comics Far Far Away from Her Crushing Weight*
No, I wasn’t experiencing any contractions just yet. I wasn’t even anywhere near labour. My pillow had somehow gotten wedged under my back and I was thrashing from side to side while trying to pull it out from under my own big body.
I had lunch with my friend Hon Yi earlier this week and was telling her how hot, heavy and uncomfortable I was feeling nowadays. She said, “I understand. I couldn’t fit into any of my maternity clothes at this stage, and needed both the fan and the air-con on the whole day.” She added, “It gets really difficult to hug too. Hang in there, babe.”
And that was it. It was nice to have someone to just listen, acknowledge and empathise (thanks Hon!) No counter advice like “Better enjoy now before baby comes out”, “It will only get harder once baby arrives” or “Better sleep while you can”.
I KNOW that life with a newborn isn’t easy. I KNOW that I will get less sleep. I KNOW that I will be really tired. But I still am looking forward to it all and advice like this doesn’t help. I DO already sleep as much as I can but uninterrupted sleep is a rarity now given the occasional insomnia and frequent toilet trips. Turning over in bed is akin to moving a house now. I know what people mean when they tell me to “enjoy” but there’s nothing enjoyable about my state right now.
Sometimes, the discomfort plus all the unsolicited advice just makes you want to scream.
Over the week, I’ve been mentally listing down all the things that I’m not going to miss about being pregnant. Unbelievable, since just a month ago, I was revelling in the perks of pregnancy. Well, with exactly one more month till my estimated due date, I’ve morphed into a cranky-ass (in more ways than one) mother-to-be writing a pregnancy hate list with a vengeance.
Dannie wrote a similar post just a few days ago. Since he always complains that I’m such an overachiever when it comes to blogging, I shall gladly outdo his 7 points with my 20 Things Not To Miss About Pregnancy (that’s for rescuing your COMICS first before your wife!)
1. Third-trimester hemorrhoids
There. I’ve said it (and probably just breeched my readers’ threshold for TMI online.) I just publicly admitted that I had – have (because one stupid bugger insists on living life al fresco outside the back door, even where the sun don’t shine) – piles.
It’s physically and mentally disturbing how something the size of a raisin can cause so much pain and grief to a woman. This must be how the poor princess felt in ‘The Princess & The Pea’. I tried to comprehend the situation ‘down there’ and was so horrified by what I touched and saw (which involved some serious body contortions and a mirror) that I ran to the husband CRYING about my disfigured butt.
Needless to say, he was suitably alarmed and drove me to the hospital the next day to seek treatment. I shan’t share details but it involved the duty doctor snapping on rubber gloves (snap! snap!) and me limping to the pharmacy with a prescription for numbing gel in one hand and a $22 inflatable donut cushion in the other.
2. The donut cushion
Related to Point 1. I thought I had cleverly disguised my embarrassing ring cushion in an IKEA cushion cover, which I then brought to the office. I didn’t feel so clever anymore when my cubicle mate sweetly and innocently asked, “Is that a special cushion for pregnancy? J (another colleague) had one too when she was pregnant. But hers was smaller and she put it behind her back, not sat on it.”
Good god. I couldn’t find it in my heart to lie to the sweet girl or tell her to mind her own business. So I explained the whole hemorrhoid incident. Then, it was her turn to look suitably alarmed and horrified.
3. Blind shaving
I’m amazed I haven’t cut myself yet given that I can’t see anything below the bump. And I don’t mean my legs. Muff, I mean ’nuff, said.
4. Constant peeing
Actually, it is only the constant need to pee. It is especially inconvenient when you’re in a large shopping mall, to hike across the endless rolling plains (well, it certainly feels like it!) in search of the toilet, queue up and finally pee… for an entire THREE seconds. I feel so cheated each time.
To my bum. Decreased accessibility, whether you make the attempt from the front or the back, has resulted in strange bodily contortions in tiny toilet cubicles. It makes wiping annoying.
On my part. Related to Point 4. Half-waddling, half-dancing to the entrance of the house when visiting friends and blurting out, “HiGuysCanIPleaseUseYourLooIReallyNeedToPeeBadlyThanks” as a greeting, is not a show of good manners.
7. Big Underwear
Unlike big bras, this is not something to be proud of. I don’t understand what pregnancy does to one’s bum that makes sexy thong underwear so incredibly uncomfortable (except, of course, the onset of hemorrhoids.) Super stretchy, super soft, maximum coverage cotton undies have become a pregnancy staple.
VPL? I’m beyond caring. Comfort rules!
8. Loss of balance
Related to Point 7. This happens most often when attempting to put on or remove Big Underwear. Foot often gets caught in the abovementioned super stretchy, super soft, maximum coverage Big Undies and I lunge sideways like a drunkard. Thankfully, Dan usually catches me in time before I topple over.
Ever played Panty Toss? Nope, that’s not a new game for the iPhone. It’s when you’ve totally given up bending over to pick clothes off the floor. So you drop your undies, pinch them between your big toe and second toe, and try to toss them into the laundry basket without the use of hands. I don’t even know why I bother since I’ve got really bad aim.
9. Maternity leggings
Related to Point 8. No doubt the most comfortable bottoms to wear and a welcomed life-saver that goes with anything. But they are the hardest thing in the world to put on when you can’t bend over. I’ve resorted to lying in bed to wear them, cos it’s easier to get my feet through the holes this way without falling over.
10. The omnipresent panty-liner
I’m so sick of slapping on a pantyliner 24/7. But then, with birth, comes the need for mattress-like maternity pads, which eventually will dwindle back down to panty-liners again for awhile.
So this point isn’t counted. Scratch that.
11. Being called Big Lady, Mrs Giant and other such names
By kids. I was strolling along the poolside en route to the changing room in my bikini when I heard two little girls comment on my “wobbly legs”. Their swimming instructor chided them and said that when they grow up, their legs were gonna get pretty big too. The girls wailed as though they were being shaved bald and packed off to the abattoir. Ahhhhh, the sweet sound of revenge.
12. Belly stains
Because, unfortunately, I am a Big Lady with a Big Belly which gets in the way of things, especially liquids. Reaching over the pantry counter to rinse my drinking glass or refill my bottle will almost always result in a dark wet patch across my belly. When eating, crumbs or morsels which would otherwise fall back onto the plate, land snugly atop my belly instead. Spiffy.
13. Being shoved
Amazingly, the Big Belly can actually become invisible. This is when I’m boarding a crowded train and moving in the best I can, but commuters behind me still push forward thinking that there is room in front of me. So I probably look like this fat selfish inconsiderate b*tch from behind. Oh well. Whatever.
14. Lying on my side
I miss sleeping on my stomach. Even more, I miss getting a full back massage while lying on my stomach. I still get a sufficiently good back rub during a pre-natal massage, while supported by a complicated set-up comprising rolled up towels and numerous pillows, but it’s just not the same.
15. Being able to type properly
As the belly gets bigger, I have to sit further and further away from the edge of my desk and laptop. At home, when I type sitting up in bed, I can no longer rest my laptop and laptop stand on my, well, lap because the belly is in the way. Typing with arms outstretched is awkward. Getting an iPad is not a solution either, according to this pregnant tester.
16. Wearing my husband’s clothes
I’ve never been a fan of cross-dressing. But at home, I don Dan’s loose-fitting grey army PT singlets because I’ve long outgrown my own. Yes, wearing your husband’s shirts can be sexy, but not when you look like you’re going to stretch them into oblivion.
17. Being the ONLY hot one around
Apparently the key word in the phrase “bun in the oven” is not “bun”, but “oven”. This is what makes me roll up my singlet – Dan’s singlet – to expose my belly and fan myself with the newspaper like an Ah Pek in a coffeeshop. I’m just short of a glass of ABC Stout and a bucket of ice to complete the look.
At work, I’m constantly asked “Don’t you feel cold?” because I walk around (and fan myself) in a sleeveless dress. I feel like a sweaty freak amidst the shivering, cardigan-wrapped girls.
18. Third trimester insomnia
This involves waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to go back to sleep. This is cruelty at its max – knowing that you only have a few more weeks of baby-free sleep but your body won’t let you do it.
Ahhh, the sense of power and achievement in being able to tie my own shoelaces again. And trim my own toenails. I indulge in pedicures but would still like to have the ability to reach down and trim a chipped nail when it happens.
I was doing just that a few nights ago, albeit uncomfortably positioned like a human pretzel with my leg twisted up onto the vanity top and my foot wedged under my belly (it’s hard to picture this, so don’t bother trying.) Dan heard the clipping sounds coming from the bathroom and cried out in alarm, “BABY! ARE YOU TRYING TO CUT YOUR OWN TOENAILS?!?! STOP IT! IT’S DANGEROUS!”
20. Being asked “You mean you’re still around?”
Or “Hey, you’ve not gone off yet ah?” when people see me in the office. Kinda makes you feel as if people can’t wait to see you go!
There you go! That’s my wonderful long list of things that I’m so not going to miss when all this ends in a month’s time.
I think I’ll just go disappear now before yet another person asks why I’m still around.