So I’m pregnant. Yay! It’s exciting, scary, weird and most definitely overwhelming. I read a lot of books, I talked to a lot of people and even at 18 weeks (about 4 months and 2 weeks), I still really have no idea what I’m in for.
Nature is seriously awesome! I am in touch with my body and have always paid attention to my menstrual cycles, changes in my vaginal secretions, moods and even eating habits. So I have been able to be very keen in sensing the changes in my body, mood, uterus and even brain since becoming pregnant.
For one, I always thought pregnancy was this experience you didn’t feel in your uterus or lower abdomen until you felt that much anticipated first kick or movement of the fetus within. This is untrue if you are in touch with your body and pay attention to the aches and pains that come along with a growing and stretching uterus. This discomfort, as it is not really painful, is the ligaments in the sides of my uterus and pelvic walls stretching creating the literal feeling of my uterus stretching to make room for baby. A person’s uterus grows to 500 times its original size to accommodate for the eventual full-grown, 40-week-old fetus turned baby upon birth. So, yeah, its makes sense that one might feel that stretching at some point along the nine month way.
My curiosity was that in all my work as a feminist who knows countless women, many of whom are mothers, not one ever mentioned this pain/discomfort/the feeling of one’s uterus stretching for weeks as the baby grows and grows. (My suspicion is that pregnant people don’t get to talk about or honour their bodies enough during this special time, but this stuff is for another blog!)
When I asked my midwife about this sensation, she mentioned that many other folks ask about and describe the feeling as well. One even described the pain as electric shocks jabbing at their uterus! I wouldn’t say I feel that, but having never heard a woman or television show describe this, it came as a surprise to me.
Another thing that’s amazing about nature or the biology of a body that can give birth is that you start losing sleep right away because the uterus starts to expand and puts pressure on the bladder. This makes one have to pee many more times per day and night than normal. This is essentially your body getting itself ready for getting up a number of times per night for feedings and the rest of it.
I also had a hilarious conversation with a stranger recently about the astounding number of times a pregnant person needs to pee, and how essentially that gets you ready for having to live with pee on your hands for years to come once baby arrives!
Nature, in so many ways, is trying to get me ready for the arrival of my little one. Making me practice things I have never had to deal with in my 34 years so far.
Another incredible thing that nature has given this QBG who is actually pregnant, is glowing skin, adult acne, and luscious raven hair. Nature has made me feel like a teenager again.
Finally, being pregnant certainly isn’t solely about the changes in body, but in my mood and heart as well. I pretty much cry every day, with hormones raging to produce not only nausea but tears at extreme laughter or tragic drama or just at a weepy T.V. commercial.
Its also made me go back to that place in the beginning, when I was contemplating my relationships with my partner, family and friends and how will I support this kid that now lives within me. And of course there is the worrying. In my daughter role, worrying took the shape of worrying for or about myself. Now as a budding mother, worrying and its depth has already taken on a new meaning.
Nature, biology, or whatever you want to attribute the journey of pregnancy to, no matter what your gender identity, is incredible. Soon after 9 months, like, a person will come out of my body, one that I will feel a bond to like no one else on the planet.
A mother friend of mine confirmed with me an idea I shared with her, that being a mother or parent is a never-ending combination of ever-fulfilling joy and constant worry. She also added that once you meet and love your child, it is a love like no other love, not even partner love. You finally understand what your own mother feels like in loving you. While human logic has tried to explain this idea I’m pretty sure this instinctual and overpowering love can be somewhat blamed on (Mother) Nature. ;)
Please check out the Love and Relationships blog series for the upcoming Love and Relationships issue of Shameless!