Not in the brochure

Jul 17, 2012

Tossing and turning at night is par for the course at this point. A successful night’s sleep is about 6 hours at a stretch without getting up to pee.

I’m at 34 weeks now, and I’ve reached another milestone: the “totally, completely sick of being pregnant” stage.

You don’t hear too much about this stage, probably because when a woman hits it, she has trouble garnering much sympathy. My husband is one of those who doesn’t dole out much sympathy. His response, when I am whimpering before bed, dreading yet another sleepless night full of multiple pee-breaks and a max of two hours sleep at a stretch, is “You wanted this!” (Followed by a gleefully mocking happy dance.)

Yes, it’s true, I did want it. But I’m also a little irritated at the rest of my gender for not fully warning me.  These crappy parts are definitely not in the brochure. If they were, it’d be the worst brochure in the history of marketing:

PREGNANCY – It’s All Good! Well, Sort Of!

Weeks 1-6:  You have no idea you’re pregnant. Enjoy this lovely time!

Weeks 7-15:  Rut-ro. Constant nausea, hunger, and coma-inducing exhaustion. 

Weeks 16-22:  Small respite here, but get ready for some really unpleasant crap soon! 

Weeks 23-30:  Random ailments abound; back pain, heartburn, uncontrollable flatulence and burping, constipation, unwanted nipple changes, and freakish emotional responses to pretty much everything.

Weeks 31-40:  All hell breaks loose. Maternity clothes stop fitting, and the bras you bought at week 22 don’t fit anymore either. In fact, pretty much all clothing will be uncomfortable at this point so you better hope you can be naked a lot. Back pain escalates to extreme agony. Late night pee breaks increase to 2-3 per night, and sleeping positions severely limited. Sleeping in general, if you can accomplish it, will be unsatisfying and in small, ineffective spurts. Heartburn becomes near-constant. Things you can’t do anymore, or you can’t do very well:  Paint toenails. Tie your own shoes. Hold in a fart. Put on socks. Get out of a chair easily. Squat. Eat a reasonable serving size of any food. Scoot all the way up to your desk at work. Enter or exit bathroom stalls without hitting self with the door.  Take stairs two at a time.

And one word: CANKLES.

A coworker told me a theory that I think is brilliant:  the last 8 weeks of pregnancy are intentionally awful, she says, so that you actually look forward to labor. Yup, it’s an evolutionary tool that makes you want to push something the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon (and let’s not forget this lemon is many times more important to you than the average citrus fruit). The only way you’re going to want to experience that kind of pain and possibly permanent effect on your ability to laugh without peeing is if it’s a reprieve from something totally awful. Like your last 6 weeks of pregnancy. 😀  Good theory, right?

I know I’ll forget all this unpleasantness after the baby arrives. And I’m sure someone who really, really wants to be pregnant thinks I’m an ungrateful snot (to those people: if that makes you feel better, go ahead and call me a snot; when you are in your last six weeks [in the summer, during an F-ing heat wave no less], come talk to me, and let’s see if you’ve changed your tune).

Yes, I know I’ll just have to deal, because I signed up for this. I’ve heard women talk about how they were sick of being pregnant, but they usually kept the sordid details to themselves. Now that I’m experiencing it firsthand, I finally get it. This part is the opposite of fun, for sure.

That said, I’m fairly lucky. On the whole, I haven’t had a bad 3rd trimester. Aside from the weird back pain I keep experiencing, most of my maladies are pretty textbook. Regardless, I am ready to have full control of my body back. I’ve donated it to my little tenant for the last 34 weeks, and will continue to do so for another 5-1/2 weeks (maybe more). But I’d like to reclaim it now.

And for the love of God, I would like a beer.

About Me

Hiya! I'm Lydia. I live in Iowa with my husband and two children, both the result of iVF. I started this blog in 2011, so everything here's a wee bit... old. I don't do a ton of writing anymore... but I'm leaving the blog up, in case it's helpful for those who stumble across it.

Skip to the iVF

If you're going through infertility and want to see our journey, start in June 2011 (first two cycles) or January 2014 (third cycle). Hopefully reading about our rollercoaster with assisted reproduction brings you a little hope, and more than a few giggles. (Keep in mind that this information is over a decade old in most cases; please don't take anything you read here as medical advice. Consult your doctor for facts.)

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  1. The back pain, it could possibly be your sciatic nerve. Both my babies caused problem with that nerve and unfortunately 8 years later, I still have pain every now and then. Like can’t move from the position it started from stuck in that position pain. Could be a sign you’ll have “back labor” baby daddy will be using those hand muscles all through labor, ha can make a fist and press and twist at the source of pain (usually the center at the lower base of your back, right above the tail bone) Good luck, try to enjoy it. A few years down the road, imagine YOU will MISS being pregnant. Good Luck, can’t wait for daddy to start showing of bebe pictures!

    • My back pain is weird — it’s not in the lower back, so it’s not sciatica. It’s nerve-related, and I went to see a physical therapist, chiropractor, and finally a spine specialist. When I got down to having only 6 weeks to go, I gave up. Nothing’s curing this pain except delivery. Oh well — not much more to go now!

  2. Awwww, I’m sorry you’re so miserable at this stage, but soon you will miss feeling baby inside. Weird how nature works that way. 🙂 Try to see the positives of not having a preemie in the hospital. My daughter was born early unexpectedly and I never got to the pregnancy stage you’re at. The guilt feelings I had for a very long time especially considering my daughter’s breathing issues. It took a couple years and surgery for mini-me to catch up. She’s almost 8 years old now and perfectly fine, but I still have a lot of what if’s. Hang in there these last few, miserable weeks :-). P.S.: I don’t think I would have had a baby if I’d known the truth about pregnancy, giving birth, or breastfeeding lol.

  3. LOL, I feel more prepared since I read Jenny McCarthy’s book. The isht discussed in there is awesome, hilarious, and far too true. That woman did not have a good time!!

  4. This sounds about right. We didn’t warn you because you specifically told us you didn’t want to hear any “Just wait until…” stories. I was pregnant last year at this time and the heat is killer. Hang in there!

    • Good point. I stand corrected. 🙂

  5. You and your husband really, really, really need to write a book for those of us who hope and pray to someday be able to have a baby and a bundle of joy of our own. I can only imagine the laughs, the tears and the honesty that would come out of a book that the 2 of you would write! I know there are lots of pregnancy books already out there, but because I grew up with you and your whole family, your book would be the funniest and I would absolutely believe every word you said as the God’s honest truth!. Write it I say, write it!!!! 🙂

    Ashlee <3

    • I’d love to write a book someday. Just wait til we have actual baby stories to irritate everyone with! 🙂 Thanks for the vote of confidence my dear! <3

  6. I have just read your journey from beginning to now and as a person going through ivf for the first time after having failed iui’s etc for the last two years I must say you just made me laugh and feel much better about the whole situation! Even though we go through all the pain of the shots and the emotional drain of failed attempts I know when you finally do get pregnant you are just like everyone else! Pregnancy takes a toll on the body and even though you are ecstatic that you are pregnant you have every right to complain about the aches and pains and cankles and nauseousness! I mean we carry another growing human being for 9 months! Give us girls a break! Thank you for making me see the light at the end of the tunnel! You have given me hope and make me feel like I’m not alone! Thank You!

    • Nicole, you’re awesome!! 🙂 Thanks so much for chiming in, and I’m glad I was able to provide a little light at the end of your tunnel. 🙂 Do keep me posted how your IVF goes. Good things will come. <3


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