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By Jordana Bales

I once dated a guy who told me, in all earnestness, “Your body is not a science experiment.” I can’t recall exactly what I did to merit this remark. Perhaps it was the winter that I decided to stop shaving my armpits to see how long the hair would grow, or the follow up experiment – shaving only half my body (after all, any good scientist will tell you that you need a control!). I have always viewed my body as sort of a petri dish. I’ve tested the toxicity of a wild fruit by ingesting tiny samples of the juice. Or long ago, I would mix up a variety of alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs just to test my reaction to the varied concoctions. This scientist found a hangover was often the delayed result of the experiment.

Given my scientific leanings, I always thought I would love being pregnant. My very own body, the one that I’ve known and experimented on for decades would now have a whole new set of variables. I thought I would be one of those earth mothers I had only read about, rejoicing with each new and exciting aspect of my changing corporal being.

So I was quite surprised to realize that I don’t like being pregnant – at all. Now I’ve never been cursed with morning sickness and at least for my first pregnancy, I did not develop varicose veins or stretch marks. Hemorrhoids have eluded me. So what is this mama complaining about? It’s my inner scientist that is so dissatisfied. I keep waiting to enjoy the magnificent transformations of my body. Unfortunately I find these changes at best uninteresting and at worse terribly, terribly annoying. I’m now 5 months pregnant with Number Two, and so far this second science experiment is showing the same results.

After finally escaping the interminably long first trimester when the only change I experienced was to look like I was putting on a little weight, I have only transitioned into feeling uncomfortable and itchy. There is no relief for my abnormally dry skin. I am also always poking, prodding and moving myself in order to get into a more comfortable position. But not too quickly – because any abrupt change of movement can bring random pains. Maybe I’ll just go for a walk to relax – whoops, I forgot that constant shortness of breathe and cramps emitting from my uterus/ovary area. Okay, how about a nap? No, I can’t fall asleep which is really a shame since I haven’t had a good night rest in weeks.

I know, I know, I should be grateful that my first pregnancy brought me my sweet Ava and Embri (working title for this one) will be the result of this one. And of course I am. I certainly know that the displeasure I feel during these months is far out-weighed by the joy in bringing these (hopefully) two children into the world. It’s just that the scientist in me expected a whole new experiment. And here I am – feeling tired, itchy, dry and fat.

2 Responses to my pregnant body is not a wonderland

  • Aunt Marcia says:

    You can always hire a surrogate to carry the fetus to term. It's still your recipe; you're just using someone else's oven. Of course you can't control the oven's 'intake' of food/water/air….but you can hope for the best for 9 months..I'm looking forward to #2. See you in May/June…Love, A.M.

  • Daphne says:

    I have a new love….Canola oil! I rub it here, I rub it there, on the kids, on the mama. Not only are the itchies gone, but we smell a bit like an Italian feast waiting to happen!

kelcey kintner