I keep trying not to write about this. Because I know it’s not the sort of thing you’re supposed to say out loud. But people, I say everything out loud. And trying not to write about it makes it the only thing I think about which makes it impossible for me to write about anything else and I end up spending all day photoshop-ing photos of Paula Deen licking things. So rather than building the website pauladeenlickingthings.com, I’m going to go ahead and just write this shit out.
If you want to read something fluffy instead, you can catch up on the latest Australian science over at Sprocket Ink.
You’ve been warned.
So. Here’s the thing. I hate being pregnant.
*cue gasps of horror and the sound of hundreds of clicking mice closing browser windows*
Look people, if I said I was deeply and passionately committed to losing twenty pounds, but that I hated dieting and exercise, no one would bat an eyelash. But heaven forbid I say I hate being pregnant. You should see the faces I get from people when I say it out loud. Which is further proof I shouldn’t talk about this.
But I do. It’s true. I hate it. I’m miserable and frightened most of the time.
See, I can’t stop thinking about the last time I had something growing in me. That wasn’t very pleasant.
That growth made me tired and sick, too. That growth made it hard for me to breathe, too. That growth made my body ache and my skin itch, too. And that growth still seems as unreal to me as this new one does now.
So I’m having a hard time settling into this and enjoying the “miracle of life.”
That growth seemed to double in size overnight, too. That growth inspired friends and family to check on me constantly, too. That growth involved a parade of doctor’s appointments, blood work and urine samples, too. That growth made my stomach hurt, my heart ache, and my knees knock, too.
Now they want to put me on blood thinners. Daily injections. Then blood work once a week to make sure I’m clotting ok.
I hate blood thinners. Been there. Done that.
And I have a pee hat again. To collect all my urine so I can pour it into a bright orange, mini gas can looking thing that I’m supposed to keep in my refrigerator. IN MY REFRIGERATOR. Instead of a box of wine, I have a box of pee. At least with cancer, the pee collecting only happened in the hospital.
Did I mention the obstetrics department, where they do all my testing, is right next to the oncology ward? That doesn’t give me flashbacks at all. Nope. Not a bit.
*sigh* I can’t even take an advil to make this stress headache go away, dammit.
So as far as I can tell, pregnancy is just like cancer…but with a shit ton more hair. That’s equally weird but in a very different way. My eyebrows should have their own zip code at this point. I’ve taken to tweezing my ‘stache on a daily basis. This morning, when I lifted my arms in the shower, it looked like someone had glued used brillo pads in my arm pits.
And I’m not exactly losing weight, either. I guess that’s another difference. So I cling to those things to try and remind myself that it’s not the same thing. That I’m not living through cancer again. That this is supposed to be beautiful and happy and whatever fairy tale bullshit I’m supposed to be spouting.
But I keep thinking about how both types of growths have to get out of a body one way or another…eventually…and there’s no real pleasant way to do it.
And I have two friends right now that are struggling with the disease. One of them, a gal, was just diagnosed with my exact same cancer. And it’s not her first cancer. And it scares the shit out of me. And makes me cry. Which I keep pretending is just the hormones but I’m pretty sure is a big wad of PTSD exacerbated by hormones.
So no, I don’t like being pregnant. No matter how much I want a child. (A healthy one as Garfunkel and Oates would say.)
…but I feel much better having said that out loud.