If it isn’t enough that Mother Nature cursed most of us the need to empty our stomachs of all nutrition the first trimester, she blessed us with a few extra treats. Like bone-deep, night-of-the-living-dead exhaustion.
I once read a theory that said that women were sick and tired in the beginning of pregnancy because it made them take better care of themselves as though they truly were sick. I think I would prefer a coma instead. I don’t know one mother who is able to baby herself when pregnant. Maybe someone rich with a nanny, cook, and maid, but that’s not us.
I don’t remember being this tired with my other two pregnancies. But I could have been. With Tornado E, I was doing my time as an opening cashier at Home Depot. (Ah the job opportunities for those blessed with a creative writing degree.) Every morning I was up around 5 am to make it to work. I’m not a morning person, and it was hard on me. When I was pregnant with Tornado S, Tornado E was waking up in the middle of the night to cry, plead, and beg until he was in bed with us. I gave in every night to find myself kicked, punched and shoved towards the end of my bed. See, my pregnancy exhaustion could easily be cloaked by my every day exhaustion.
I do remember Tornado E watching more television in those early pregnancy weeks than any other time. It’s happening today. I feel like a horrible mother as I lay on the couch, trying to keep down breakfast, trying to get the energy to dress the boys as they slowly become television zombies. My one shred of hope is that this is just a drop in the bucket in the large scheme of things, and I actually do pretty well with lack of sleep and a newborn. (Knock on wood.) It doesn’t ease the guilt though, so I usually drive them to my parents house so that my brother, the favorite Uncle M, can run them out in games of tag, wrestling, hide-n-go-seek, swimming, soccer, and every thing else a favorite uncle can do when Mommy is just too weak.
And if that isn’t enough to feel like you just drank a bottle of Nyquil and that your breakfast would like to make an encore appearance, I have this horrible taste in my mouth. It’s like something foul crawled in mouth and died in the back of my throat. It makes me sick just to think about it.
I remember walking behind an MA at an appointment when I was pregnant with Tornado E. She asked how I was doing. “The usual. Sick. Tired. Hey, I have this horrible taste in my mouth that I can’t get rid of . . . ?” “Oh. Lots of patients complain about that.” Thanks that was so very helpful.
I found that cheap breathe mints, wintergreen flavor, was the only thing that kept the taste at bay. I chewed on them constantly for a month or two in the other pregnancies. This pregnancy, between the vomiting and dry heaving, my stomach is so tender it hates the thought of breathe mints. I’m chewing on ice instead.
My prayers now end with “And Dear God, if it is in Your infinite wisdom, please get me the HELL out of the first trimester tomorrow. Even if it isn’t in Your infinite wisdom, release me, I beg of you. Make me horribly fat in the first week of the second trimester. Give me swollen feet. I’ll deal with stretching ligaments, pimples, even a few extra stretch marks. JUST GET ME WELL. For the boys, of course, so they have a better mother. Amen.”
Well, it’s only a few more weeks. Right?
But then my mother says I’m “dwelling” on it which makes it worse. Right.