I don’t like peeing my pants in public and there’s nothing you can say to change my mind.
I also don’t like peeing at home on my couch after a good sneeze or during a game of Scrabble, like my sister when she had to excuse herself after I made her laugh too hard. Like a lot of women these days, I chose to wait to have kids after I thoroughly had a chance to wrangle up the degrees I wanted and chase a few dreams. You would think the scariest aspect of this choice would be accidentally stumbling upon a chart online that demonstrated at 30 most of my elderly eggs have died and the few I have left just used their medicaid for a new Hoveround motorized wheelchair.
But you would be wrong. The scariest aspect of waiting until my 30s to have kids is watching most of my friends and family experience the glorious miracle of childbirth, including, but not limited to: the spontaneous and violent growth of sideburns, stretch marks, cankles, as well as constant nausea and peeing with or without a toilet. Thanks to witnessing these freak acts of nature first hand, I’m afraid. Very afraid.
Of course pregnancy is beautiful. In fact, it’s a crazy miracle that I still struggle to fully wrap my brain around. That’s why most of us have strong urges to rub pregnant strangers all over in checkout lines (although I wouldn’t recommend acting on those urges).
Even still, I’d be lying if I haven’t experienced the fear of the unknown. All women are different and so are their pregnancies. Some look like Kate Moss trying to smuggle a turkey under her shirt at the local grocer, while others start orbiting their family members. When lamenting on my fear of “what will happen to me(?!?!?!?!)” my friends usually recommend I use my sister’s pregnancies as a clue into what my pregnancy will be like. Are they trying to terrify on me purpose? Using my sister as a guide, allow me to share my biggest fears.
Peeing my pants. Regularly.
Sneeze? Pee. Laugh? Pee. Fall down pregnant in front of the mall because she’s wearing ridiculous platform flip flops? Pee. Pass out from the sight of a drop of her own blood? Pee. If I had a dollar every time my sister had to change her pajama bottoms because I made her laugh making fun of all the other times she has peed her pants, I’d be writing this in Maui.
I remember it vividly. My sister, resting her elbow on her pregnant belly to prop her head up, started complaining about her “swollen feet.” Which is like complaining that your pants may be a little snug then ripping the crotch out like the Hulk. To my dismay, she plopped her tree trunk stumps on to the coffee table. I gasped like she just dropped the severed head of a horse on the table. I clutched my chest and slowly started slithering away. Her skin was holding on to dear life when she said, “Buddy? Please rub some lotion on my legs. They’re dry and itchy ... please. Help.”
I looked around panicked, hoping to God I wasn’t the only person in the room she happened to call “Buddy.” It’s then I realized, she was talking to me.
Did I rub her feet? Yes. Did it feel like rubbing down a balloon filled with jelly? Yes. Was I afraid? You know the answer to that question.
Nausea and Spitting
Not all women suffer with morning sickness, but my sister sure does. She has so much extra saliva she spits like truck drivers and nervous football coaches. You’ll find her violently shoving women and children out of her way so she can spit in a sink or trashcan or something to avoid throwing up in it. One time she felt so sick she tried to cancel Christmas. For everyone. Because it would be unfair to have Christmas without her. She ended up coming, of course, but was a little glossy eyed and looked like she was in a life vest gripping onto a rocking boat.
The rest of us had a great time.
Ferocious Cravings & Weight Gain
I know many women gain a healthy amount of weight to support their pregnancies and while they may “treat” themselves from time to time with a special indulgence, they rarely overindulge. Others have cravings so ferocious, you’ll have to pry the Ben and Jerry’s from their swollen, dead fingers.
I remember my sister, pregnant with her third, was driving me and her kids around to run some errands. Suddenly, as if we were being pulled into a black hole, she ripped into a Burger King drive thru on two wheels. Her kids and I looked at each other and our eyes said, “Do you know what she’s doing? I don’t know what she’s doing. Think she’ll let us order something fun?”
“I’ll take the Extreme Octaburger with extra sauce and fries. Lots and LOTS of fries,” she yelled out, frenzied. Frankly, I felt like I could eat a little something myself so I raised my finger to place my order while she peeled out to the payment window before I could get a word in edgewise.
“Mommy, I want fwies too!” said a precious voice from the backseat. “You just ate breakfast, baby. Mommy doesn’t have a choice, but to demolish this food. I’m sorry, honey.” She threw a wad of cash at the BK employee, snatched the bag and then punched the accelerator until we screeched into a parking stall. Then, in front of all of us - with absolutely no shame - my sister tore into her burger with a ferocity that had me shielding her children’s eyes.
“Buddy? Think you could share some of those frie ...”
“Don’t. Touch. My. Fries,” she growled back at me. I couldn’t tell if her voice was demonic or if she had beef lodged in the back of her throat, but either way - it scared me. It scared all of us.
So what am I going to do after witnessing the crazy roller coaster called pregnancy? Well, if I’m fortunate enough to conceive and enjoy a healthy pregnancy, I’ll be getting on the ride anyway. I know it will be scary and there will be lots of nervous anticipation. There will be pitfalls that will make me sick to my stomach and climbs that will make me feel on top of the world. Not every woman wants to be a mom, but I do. If it’s God’s plan for me to carry one on my own, I will. If I need to adopt, I will. Either way this baby thing is soooo happening, regardless of the horrors I’ve seen. Besides, I’m still holding out that maybe, just maybe - none of that crazy crap will happen to me.
Nope, I’m pretty sure it’s happening.
Originally posted on January 3rd, 2013