The other day my girlfriend, who has two boys and no plans to ever get pregnant again, told me that my hair was going to fall out.
Really? Seriously? As if I needed anything else weird to happen to me!
I just hit my fifth-month mark and, while we’re elated that this pregnancy has lasted so long, I’ve been weirded out about the strange things happening to my body — and beyond.
Why didn’t anyone tell me that morning sickness could be all-day sickness? Or that I would have strange dreams so vivid, I wake up at 3 a.m. — and after peeing for the third time that night — can’t go back to sleep?
Being pregnant is a strange thing. Your body is changing, your moods are all over the place, you’re craving foods you’ve never liked before.
No one told me that you could be so sick with nausea and vomiting that you could actually lose weight in the first trimester (a condition I now know as hyperemesis gravidarum) and have to get fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line every week.
Or that you would have to take a cocktail of medication to keep the nausea at bay for at least an hour so you could get work done.
Or that the medication may not even work and you’d be sick, anyway.
Or that you could feel the equivalent of motion sickness throughout the day, the worst being at night while you’re lying in bed. Like you’re on a small 18-foot Whaler in the middle of a very angry ocean and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Or that you can’t take any kind of motion sickness medication — or Advil and Pepto-Bismol, for that matter.
Or that you’d want to brush your teeth 17 times a day just to get the taste of whatever you could actually eat out of your mouth because it starts to make you sick. (I did have a stellar dental check-up, though, thanks to all that teeth-brushing. Bonus!)
Or that you’d cringe at eating some of your favorite foods, including pizza, fried chicken and plain white rice. How random.
Or that that only foods you can keep down are breads, crackers, bananas, cereal, milkshakes and Slurpees.
Or that even prenatal vitamins can make you queasy. Even the gummy ones. And you didn’t even know there were such things.
Or that your body gets so hot and sweaty, even on the rainiest, coldest nights, all you want to do is lie in front of a fan, on full blast, totally naked.
Or that, despite eating just carbs all day long, you still can’t fit that pair of jeans you keep around for your bloated days.
Or that feeling bloated is now a way of life.
Or that you forget the names of your pets, your dentist, your cousins, the person you just met.
Or that you pee ALL.THE.TIME.
Or that your husband would suddenly start purging everything in your house, including your bookshelves (with books), clothing, camping gear and your entire dining room table set.
Or that walking up the stairs to your front door would feel like hiking to the top of Kuli‘ou‘ou.
Or that people will want to rub your uterus — and you actually don’t mind it.
Or that you start dreaming about your child wanting to get a tattoo (this happened last night) and you start explaining that he should wait until he’s 30 because if you had gotten a tattoo when you had wanted one, you would still have Fido Dido on your ass with the phrase, “Nobody On Board,” next to it.
Or that you could close your eyes for a second during a commercial break and wake up the next morning. Naked in front of a fan.
Or that people can’t quite tell you’re pregnant yet and assume you’ve just gained a ton of weight.
Or that you find out your friends have kept all of their baby stuff — and their kids are in grade school already — cleaned and in tact, almost as if they were just waiting for you to get pregnant.
Or that cribs and strollers and car seats are expensive and that websites only make you more confused about them.
Or that your boobs are so big, you actually wish they were smaller.
Or that you’ll never sleep on your stomach again.
Or that being pregnant makes other people happy, like they’ve been rooting for you this whole time.
Or that a twinge of pain in your abdomen could actually make your smile.
Or that you realize how awesome your husband is because he suddenly wants to rub your back or fetch you another Slurpee and then he starts talking to your belly and you just die.
Or that your priorities start to suddenly change and things that mattered before don’t matter that much anymore.
Or that life will be different and interesting and better.
I’m just not looking forward to my hair falling out.