A friend of mine texted me the other day asking how the baby and I were doing. I said well although I had a case of carpal tunnel pop up. “Carpal tunnel?!?,” she replied.
I haven’t really talked much about pregnancy related symptoms I’ve been having. I guess part of it is the whole, “infertiles don’t complain once they get pregnant” and another part of it is simply that I was always taught it was wrong or rude to complain. You know, suck it up and walk it off. Why make other people feel uncomfortable just because you are? Not that I’m saying this is the right way to handle things, but that’s what I was drilled into my head.
I mentioned it to my friend as more of a funny thing. Look at this crazy symptom I would get from pregnancy.
Although the first trimester wasn’t super fun, I think I didn’t have it too bad. I was nauseous and exhausted all the time, but I never did throw up and I survived.
The second trimester has more shifted from how I feel symptoms to how I look. My belly finally popped at about week 18, and since I was already fat (not like oh, I’m 10 pounds overweight fat. Like for real fat) I now feel like a land whale. On my weekly walks with one of my friends I mentioned that I now feel like the belly leads, I just follow.
When I was a teenager I maybe had one pimple a month. People used to call me “the china doll” and “porcelain skin”. Long gone are these days my friend as my chin area now looks like a war zone. It’s never ending. As soon as one batch looks like it’s ready to exit, I feel the next ready to burst underneath the skin.
How does all this make me feel? For maybe a second I sigh to myself and think, “sucks”, but then I just remind myself about how I feel about stretchmarks.
When I hear a lot of women talk about stretchmarks they are mortified to think of what their life would be like with them. I don’t really remember my life without them. I told you I was fat. I’ve always been fat. I’ve yo yoed from the 190s when I was a high school senior, to the 160s through college, and then ballooned up to 240 right before I met my husband. I’ve always had stretchmarks. On my arms, breasts, stomach, and thighs.
Here’s what I’ve learned about stretchmarks: No one cares. I’ve never experienced one person saying anything about my stretchmarks. No boy that ever chased after me, dated, or may or may not have had a one night stand with has ever said anything about my stretchmarks. It just seems like the only people who care about their stretchmarks are the women trying to avoid them. Has maybe some person said something about my stretchmarks behind my back? Sure, but what do I care about that person?
So if I never let stretchmarks negatively affect how I feel about myself, why should I let a pregnant belly or some acne? They are symptoms of a wonderful thing that is happening inside my body. When I think of that, I feel beautiful. My husband thinks I’m beautiful. I can’t imagine being happier right now.
I explained to my text friend that during pregnancy your blood flow doubles, causing swelling in the body. For me, it’s in the wrists causing the nerves to be pinched and creating carpal tunnel. It’s only bothersome when I first wake up as I’ve been sleeping on or cupping my wrists all night. “Hot mess,” she replied to me. I told her “I suffer happily”.
Maybe not every woman does, and I think infertile or not we’re all allowed to admit things aren’t all unicorns farting rainbows. I just think we also owe it to ourselves to not let it get us down and enjoy the amazing things our bodies are doing, FINALLY! So if you want to slather yourself in lotion to avoid stretchmarks, go right ahead. If you do get some though, don’t let it get you down, sister. You’re still beautiful.