My doula thinks I'm crazy. I thought I might be dying.
A few nights ago, I was sleeping soundly (a rare thing these days), when I was awoken by the sour taste of vomit in my mouth. It was fairly surprising, as A) I typically don't vomit in my sleep, and B) David Duchovny and I were just having an interesting conversation about how much it cost to make each episode of The X-Files. (A mere $3,000, according to this dream.)
Convinced I'd developed one of the diseases described in those worst-case-scenario-guaranteed-to-give-you-a-nightmare baby books, I texted my doula and described my mysterious symptoms. Her reply was simple: "Have you ever had acid reflux?"
No, I'd never had acid reflux, but I wasn't asking about that. I was asking about the rare sleep-vomiting disease I'd contracted, probably from that sticky grocery basket at Fairway. Surely, my baby was in danger and we would have to have an emergency c-section.
Turns out it wasn't anything dramatic after all. It was just boring old acid reflux. And every friend who's ever been pregnant has welcomed me to the club. It's a club that pops little purple pills and sleeps sitting up. It's a club whose members eschew nachos in favor of oatmeal and baked potatoes. I do not want to be in this club.
As luck would have it, acid reflux isn't my only new, uninvited guest. Pregnancy is the gift that keeps on giving, and the gifts get increasingly disgusting as we near the end of our 40 weeks together. It's like pregnancy is a house guest who stays too long and rearranges your apartment when you're not looking.
Pregnancy has also taught me that Preparation H isn't just for under-eye puffiness, as models would like us to believe. It's actually used to treat something so horrible, so embarrassing, I dare not describe it in detail here. But l will share this: I used to think I was having contractions, until I REALLY had a contraction. Let's just say I used to think I might be getting a hemorrhoid. Now I understand those old commercials with the flames and I secretly wonder how it would feel to sit on a donut.
If those two developments weren't enough, pregnancy has dealt me one more blow, this one visibly humiliating: My feet are unrecognizable. They have fold lines at the base of my toes and where my ankles used to be. They have swollen so hideously beyond their former shapes that the only shoes I am able to wear now are Croc flip flops, which I purposefully went into a store and purchased with actual American dollars, in an attempt to walk in some sort of comfort. (This, after two years of passing the Croc store on Columbus Avenue and making disparaging comments about their clientele and the smell of toxic plastics.) Yes, it has come to Crocs, and unlike my other two ailments, this one is out there for all the world to see.
Yes, pregnancy just keeps giving, but it's really more like pregnancy is just re-gifting that crappy tchotchke that no one in the family really wants but we smile and accept it because it's the holiday season.
But pregnancy and I both know that in about 10 days, she'll come back with my REAL gift, and all will be forgiven.
But I'll still hang on to the Preparation H. You know, for my eyes.
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