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Why Pregnancy Turns You Into a Three Year Old

The title of this post speaks for itself.

Now that I’ve made it to third trimester, I feel knowledgeable enough to write such a post. The following are reasons why I now feel like a three year old instead of a twenty-eight year old woman:

Reason #1: Pregnancy makes you feel like you could possibly pee your pants at any moment.

Pregnancy makes you pee. Any pregnant woman or mother will tell you that. By the end of a woman’s pregnancy, the amount of blood in her body is almost 50% more than before getting pregnant. This extra blood and fluid is processed through the kidneys and bladder causing you to have to pee a heck of a lot more. The growing uterus also adds pressure on the bladder as well. As a teacher, I don’t get to go to the bathroom whenever I feel like it. We have ninety minute classes, so I have to wait quite awhile. Even if I go between every class during passing period, I usually have to go again within ten minutes of the next class starting.  Likewise, there have been many times when I will go to the bathroom a few minutes before David and I are planning to leave the house, only to run back to the bathroom before actually walking out the door.

Reason #2: You cannot eat a meal without getting food all over yourself.

This is what bibs are made for, people. However, I don’t feel like it would be appropriate to go purchase a bib only to wear it myself while eating my lunch at school. (Plus, would it even fit around my neck? Probably not.) My friends may not care about the bits of food and saliva falling out of my mouth, but the new guy filling in as a maternity sub? Yeah, he probably cares. Too bad he’s seen this happen already.

In fact, David will tell people that this is one of the biggest changes in me since getting pregnant (aside from my growing belly, of course). I am not a particularly messy eater, but for some reason, nothing makes it into my mouth without falling all over my face and clothing first. (Side note: This is particularly frustrating when you feel like you are starving all of the time.)

Reason #3: You cry over spilled milk.

Okay, I haven’t actually cried over spilled milk, but pregnancy has made me cry over stupid, meaningless stuff. I’m not really a crier; I never have been. Even the movies that make “everyone cry” usually don’t make me tear up at all (unless we’re talking about The Notebook, because the first time I saw that, I was hyperventilating.  That was circa 2004 when it came out in the theaters. Ask David for that story.) Anyway, pregnancy hormones do all sorts of crazy things to the body, and apparently making you cry is one of them. Yesterday I cried because I stepped on a hanger in the closet and it broke (true story.)

Reason #4: You want to eat dessert before dinner.

I haven’t had MANY cravings during pregnancy–I still have thirteen weeks to go, so maybe that will change–but I definitely crave SWEETS. I’ve been tempted to eat an entire batch of brownies for dinner. (Disclaimer: I’ve never actually done this.)

Reason #5: You cannot tie or buckle your shoes by yourself.

I have reached the point in my pregnancy which makes it really uncomfortable for me to bend over. One thing I took for granted pre-pregnancy? Tying my shoes. I know it seems ridiculous, but if my shoes have ties or buckles, it is absolute misery trying to get them on and tied/buckled. I often give up and then David will come and help me.  He will make a good Daddy. (Side note: Can three year olds tie their own shoes? I have no idea.)

Reason #6: You wake up in the middle of the night–sweating and in a panic–from the most horrible nightmares, and all you want is to be re-tucked into bed.

Before I got pregnant, I heard a lot of people talk about pregnancy dreams, specifically nightmares. I never thought they could be that bad, but I take it all back. I still have normal dreams every once and awhile, but usually my dreams are actual nightmares. One time I even woke up yelling and crying, and didn’t calm down until David had his arms around me and was able to convince me I was dreaming. Pregnancy hormones are brutal. Why can’t I dream about rainbows and puppies and Ryan Gosling?

Reason #7: You constantly feel sleep deprived, which causes you to sleep like crazy or not at all.

I don’t think that three year olds constantly feel sleep deprived, but they do sleep a lot, right? There will be days when I feel like I could sleep for twenty-four hours straight if someone let me. And then there are other times when I wake up in the middle of the night and for the life of me cannot fall back to sleep. Sometimes I even wake David up, so that he can snuggle me. “What’s wrong?” he’ll ask, and I’ll tell him “I can’t sleep.”

When I was little I remember waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. When I was really young, I’d wake up my parents and climb into bed with them. When I got a little older, I’d wake them up and they’d ask, “What’s wrong?” and I’d say “I can’t sleep.” I usually didn’t get the sympathy that I hoped for and was sent away with a “Go back to bed.”

Reason #8: Sometimes you talk and make no sense at all.

I consider myself to be a pretty intelligent, competent person, but pregnancy has not made me feel that way 100% of the time.  There have been many times when I’ll be talking and in the middle of my sentence, I have no idea what I’m saying. Sometimes my students have to remind me what I was talking about, and sometimes they had no idea what I was talking about in the first place.  Other times I think I know what I’m talking about, yet I’ll say something totally insane and not even realize it.

One weekend afternoon David and I were sitting on the couch, and this conversation took place.

“Hun, why don’t you go take a nap? You are really tired.”

“No, I don’t want to.”

“Why not?”

“I want to be able to fall asleep yesterday.”

“Yesterday?”

“Yes, yesterday.”

I meant that I wanted to be able to fall asleep that night, but yesterday made complete sense to me at the time. There have been hundreds of conversations like this. I imagine that it’s kind of like when a three year old talks nonsense.

Reason #9: Your bodily fluids increase (especially fluids coming from your nose).

Now, I cannot actually say that three year olds have more fluids coming from their noses than the typical child or person, but they always have snotty noses, right? Well, SO DO I. I feel like I am constantly blowing my nose, because it is constantly running. I have no idea if this is actually attributed to pregnancy or not, but I noticed it quite early on and it hasn’t stopped.

Reason #10: People are constantly acting like your parents and checking up on you.

This is definitely a good thing, and it’s nice to know that people care, but sometimes it can be pretty humorous. One time at school one of my students said to me, “Mrs. Blythe, you shouldn’t be lifting that!” What was I lifting? A stack of library books that definitely was not that heavy.

My mom called me a few weeks ago while I was snacking on some chips and salsa (this HAS been one of my few cravings). Chips are obviously loud and over the phone, they are even louder. She asked what I was eating and when I told her, she said, “I hope they are low sodium chips.” I kind of ignored her comment and continued on with the conversation. A few seconds later, she said, “Well?” and I said, “Well, what?” “Are they low sodium chips?” “No, mom, and I’m a grown woman! The baby is fine!” See what I mean? Eight months ago she wouldn’t have cared about my sodium filled chips.

I probably could come up with a few more reasons, but I’ve dedicated enough time to this post (and have successfully procrastinated grading my students’ personal narratives) so I’ll leave you with these ten. The next time you question the sanity of a pregnant woman, cut her some slack, because she may be operating as a three year old.

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Personal Choices

I know I haven’t been very good about posting lately. There have been so many things that I’ve wanted to write about, but I just haven’t made the time to do so.
Today’s topic: personal choices.

Deciding to have or not to have children in and of itself is a personal choice. Every couple is different and whether a couple decides to have children or not, it is that couple’s choice, and it really shouldn’t matter to anyone else.

In my 26 weeks of pregnancy, there have been many times when I have been shocked at what people will say regarding personal, individual choices. Some of these I’ve touched upon before.

1) Our decision to not find out the gender: People LOVE to comment on this, and while we’ve received mostly positive responses, there have been some people who have tried to convince us otherwise. Some people even try to convince us to find out and then keep something else a secret, like the baby’s name. The reason we are not finding out the gender is NOT to give everyone else a surprise. In fact, it has nothing to do with everyone else. This is about us and even before we got married, we talked about keeping our first baby’s gender a surprise. I’m glad it will be a surprise for everyone else, but sorry, this one is for us. P.S. There are some people who are convinced that we actually know the gender but just aren’t telling anyone. This 100% couldn’t be further from the truth. We really do not know whether baby b is a boy or a girl!

2) Not sharing the names we have picked out: We do have a boy name and a girl name picked out, but we haven’t really been sharing our decisions with anyone. Again, this is not for the surprise factor, but in all honesty, we don’t want other people’s opinions. This is OUR choice and if we like the name, that’s all that should matter. In truth, the two names we have picked out have been chosen (or at least discussed) for 3+ years, and surprisingly, they are still our “front runners.” The girl name has been one we’ve honestly been talking about for at least 7 years and the boy name surfaced about 3-4 years ago. The middle names we have chosen have been more recent, but we want to keep the names to ourselves. Since David and I have talked about our “girl name” for a long time now, I remember mentioning it once to a friend about 5 years ago. David and I weren’t married and we weren’t thinking about having kids soon, but the conversation turned to baby names, and I mentioned the name we had chosen for a girl. One of my friends reacted really negatively to the name, and while it didn’t change my opinion about ever using it, it definitely did change how I felt about sharing our names. The way we see it, if someone doesn’t like the name after the baby is already here, he/she is less likely to voice his/her opinion about it.

3) Our decision to use (or try to use) cloth diapers: We have made the decision to cloth diaper (or at least we are going to try our hardest to make this happen!) We obviously have no experience in cloth diapering, but we’d like to at least try it. I have to admit that David did take some convincing, but now he’s all for it. When I mention this to people, some have quite the reaction. One person even said “Well, good luck with THAT. Let’s see how long that lasts.” I know 100% for a fact that this person did not even attempt to cloth diaper.

4) The amount of time I’m taking off work: Believe me, if I could take an entire semester off to stay at home with the baby, I would; however, it’s just not financially possible for us. I plan to take 10-11 weeks off before returning to work (depending on when the baby actually decides to make his/her appearance.) A woman at work asked me how long I was going to take off and when I told her, she began to chastise me. By the end of our conversation I felt like a terrible mother before I have even become a mother. I’m sorry if I’m not taking enough time off in your opinion, but I’m doing the best I can do.

I could keep going, but by now I’ve probably made my point: pregnancy–and many things that go along with pregnancy–requires a couple to make personal choices about a number of issues.   We–like most couples–make our decisions with our family’s best interests in mind. While we are bound to make some mistakes and have some regrets, we’re doing what we feel is best for us right now. If you don’t agree, you have every right to feel that way; but please, think twice before voicing your critical and judgmental opinions.

Once words are spoken, they cannot be unspoken.