I suppose this is the post where I tell you about the beautiful changes my body underwent in preparation for my baby.
Close, but not quite.
This IS a post about the changes my body underwent during my pregnancy, but beautiful isn’t quite the word I would use to describe them. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to come across as “that ungrateful pregnant woman who complained about everything pregnancy had to offer” but at the end of it all, I’m a realist. I can count on my fingers the number of physical changes to my body which I actually embraced. My new “boobs”.
Shallow, I know.
It was no real secret that I had always been one to consider breast augmentation sometime in the future. Not Pamela Anderson, Dolly Parton type augmentation, just a fill and lift to get that perfect roundness I wanted. A small natural enhancement, so to speak. Of course, John was one hundred percent against the idea, because according to him my breasts were perfect. According to me, all boyfriends tell their girlfriends that. The enlargement and rounding out of my breasts was one of the earliest and, for what seemed like a while, the only real physical change to my body. However, there’s no rainbow without rain. My nipples also increased in size and so did my areolas. My sweet, neat areolas were now twice the size and darker in pigment. Not to mention the things hurt like a bitch. I was both excited and mortified by the change but the constant reminder that my new jugs would be feeding my hungry baby made it worthwhile.
As I mentioned previously, many of my physical changes did not appear until later on into my pregnancy and many of them were not so happily embraced.
Before I continue, any readers who have experienced pregnancy personally should be familiar with the level of scorn the word “nose” will be associated with in this post. Of everything I had ever hoped for more in my pregnancy, any change to my nose was on the top of the list of things I didn’t want to happen. Having watched Jade change throughout her pregnancy, and worked in a baby store as a baby registry specialist meeting various pregnant women on a daily basis, I thought I had the differentiation of symptoms between having a boy or a girl sussed. Basically, being pregnant with a girl seemed to be a nightmare. Firstly, there were two sets of hormones to contend with- yours and hers- so bring on the fatigue, extreme nausea, unpredictable mood swings and crazy food cravings which would lead to excessive weight gain. Not to mention, the high burgeoning bump and the cholasma (pregnancy mask).
And that nose. UGH. The nose would spread across the face like it was trying to become one with their cheeks.
As for pregnancy with a boy, this was a smoother ride from what I could see. The fatigue, the nausea and weight gain were not as drastic. The bump was a little neater and the mask, if present, was limited to certain parts of the body and not as obvious. According to some, pregnancy with a boy was all bump.
And that nose. Thankfully, this change did not seem to plague those pregnant with boys.
Unfortunately, the ultrasound to determine the sex of my baby was ruled inconclusive as the baby refused to keep still long enough for the technician to identify any sex organs. Disappointed as I was, I relied on my symptoms to determine I was having a boy. Risky, in any event, to assume but I was actually convinced I knew what I was having. I felt like I had seen enough symptoms to know. Then, it happened. I first noticed it on a webcam call with Jade, and as much as I tried to ignore it, it was definitely there. My neat, “button nose” was no longer. Every spread of my mouth into a smile was accompanied by the unwanted spread of my nose. Even to the touch, it was definitely more bulbous at the tip. I couldn’t believe it, didn’t want to accept it. I was having a boy! These things didn’t happen when you were having a boy, right? Right?
The nose would not be the only change to creep up on me. Nearing the end of my sixth month of pregnancy, I noticed my makeup didn’t quite blend in with my neck as flawlessly as I was accustomed to. I was always one to be somewhat anal in preventing blemishes or discoloration of my brown skin complexion. But pregnancy was like, screw that. My neck was beginning to darken, and soon, my armpits, inner thighs and back of my thighs would follow. I was getting a pregnancy mask. Another change I had associated only with pregnancy with girls. By this time, I was well confused. The mask presented itself as a bearable slight darkening of the skin at first but gradually became darker and now exists as two to three shades darker than my actual complexion.
I’m a woman and a fashionable one at that so it should be of no surprise to you that I love shoes. There is really no limit for me on how many bags and shoes one woman should have. The more, the better. I had them all; flat sandals, ballet flats, stilettos, wedges, sneakers, enclosed, open-toed; my shoe collection is a little overwhelming. Such a convenience to have such a wide variety of shoes, no? Well, when they fit, of course. Yep, pretty much all of my shoes either stopped fitting or were no longer comfortable. Visually, unless they were swollen, which happened few and far between, my feet didn’t really look that different. As much as I complained to John about how uncomfortable my shoes were becoming, I don’t think he understood to what extent.
That was until I asked him to help me pick a pair of shoes for our friends birthday dinner. I was adamant I would be wearing heels because I was feeling particularly fat by this time, and I wanted to give my short frame a little more height; it was just a matter of which ones. Once we settled on my nude strappy heels it was a matter of getting them on. By this time, I could not bend down comfortably enough to buckle my own shoe so John had to help. Getting my toes and top half of my foot to fit into the single, narrow strap of this shoe was almost impossible. My feet weren’t even swollen at this point, which lead John to realise exactly how much the size of my foot had increased during pregnancy. “Wow,” he said, while I struggled to keep the shoe still long enough to position my heel onto the tiny support at the back. Once buckled, I looked down at my sausage roll of a foot with frustration and a hint of revulsion. Standing up wasn’t the most pleasant feeling either as the strap bored into all the pressure points of my foot. But, adamant as I was, I made them work long enough to greet people and eat dinner before teeter-tottering to the car to change into my comfortable flip flops. Flip flops. About the only shoe I can describe as comfortable at this point.
Ok, so this isn’t really a physical change to my body as it is a change in characteristic. And, not much of a change, I might add. My name is Ashley Morgan and I am a klutz. Clumsy really should be my middle name. If it’s there, I will drop it, walk into it, break it, ruin it, spill it; the list goes on. With pregnancy, my clumsiness magnified by tenfold and was probably one of the most frustrating “changes” of all. I was feeling less like a gazelle and more like a bull in a China shop.
Emphasis on bull.
Although I knew it was somewhat a “symptom” of pregnancy, my BabyCentre updates confirmed that clumsiness in pregnant women is actually quite prevalent. With the growth of the bump, joint loosening hormones and exhaustion, a pregnant womans equilibrium was bound to be all sorts of messed up. Not to mention forgetfulness; baby brain they call it. However, I could not come to grips with how clumsy I had become. I was growling and grunting in anger and sheer frustration too many times a day to count. I dropped everything! Food that would miss me and land on the surface below me, now ended up on my bump which was usually covered by clothes. While I was out in public. *cue grunt*. Every time I tried to grab something or pick something up my hand would miss it completely and it would usually end up on the floor. If I was lucky enough to get it in one swipe, it’d still end up on the floor because my loose hand joints made sure I would drop it anyway. I often wondered if Mother Nature could be any crueler. She creates a circumstance in pregnant women where a growing bump makes it next to impossible to bend down without feeling like you’re splitting in half, yet dropping everything is also included in this package from Hell.
Not amused. *cue grunt*.
My list of physical changes is literally a mile long; the good, the bad, the ugly. However, I’d be nick-picking if I continue to dwell. For some of the others, I’d be running the risk of getting flagged on Facebook for indecency. Despite all the changes my body underwent, I remained positive that many of these changes were only temporary and the thought of what my body was preparing for prevailed as the the silver lining in the cloud.