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.