Sometimes I feel strange when I reflect on being pregnant. At this point it’s hard to remember what I thought it would be like. Well, it’s hard to remember a lot of things, but that’s another conversation… Anyway, I think I had this image that pregnancy would be all sweetness and cute clothes and the tenderness of growing a baby inside me and the glow that comes from the joy of all those things. The reality, however, has been far different.
Now don’t get me wrong… I’m thrilled to be pregnant. I know so many women who have longed for this very thing and I’m not taking it for granted. But it’s just not that happy and glowy and sweet all the time.
I spend a large part of my mornings getting frustrated with fourteen year olds who complain because they spent their last 6 minute class change talking with friends and didn’t get time to use the restroom. I spent those 6 minutes sitting down to rest my back and aching feet and it’s not until the late bell rings that I recognize that dull ache is coming from my bladder’s desperate cries for help. So when they complain about needing to pee… well, I’m not proud of this… but I laugh. It’s really the only way I can keep from going crazy as I begin crossing my legs in a desperate hope that the 45 minutes won’t drag out too long and I’ll get some rest at the next break.
And why was I resting my back? Because this thing called “sciatica” that so many women have referred to… well it finally reared its’ ugly head. HOLY CRAP. The lower right part of my back aches from 8:25 till 4:00. I find myself perching on empty desks, leaning on the marker rail on my white board, and occasionally coming up with activities that allow me to teach the students from a seated position at the computer in the front of my room – all for a second of rest from the throbbing pain.
And the glow I was expecting? The best I’ve gotten was this comment two weeks ago after I huffed and puffed up 4 flights of stairs to my classroom: “Mrs Rodgers, you have that pregnancy glow!” Um, no. That’s sweat. And I’d clarify if I could catch my breath and correct you. No glow here.
Oh, but at least pregnancy clothes are cute, right? Let me just put it this way… Bronce was with me when I did some maternity shopping a few weeks ago and he remarked “Why do all those outfits look like they were made for a 45-year-old?” He’s so right! Where are these strange homely middle-age pregnant ladies? Aren’t most pregnant women in my exact (or even younger!) demographic? Why is it so hard to find affordable, cute pregnancy clothes? It’s baffling.
The upside is that I know there’s a little person growing and changing in me. I can feel the kicks more constantly now and I’m getting a sense of her (his?) sleep cycle and awake cycle (she’s punching my internal organs as I type this!). One of the pregnancy trackers mentioned that the baby would get into more of a 12-14-hour sleep cycle and I think one of the big “awake” times is mid-afternoon. It’s precious to be sitting in my classroom and feeling that life moving around. I wonder if the last jab was a hand? Or maybe a foot stretching out? Or is he turning around to get more comfy? Last time we got an ultrasound (at 21 weeks) she was in a breech position and I wonder if that’s still true. It’s a pretty incredible thing.
Sciatica or no, I’m grateful for the blessing. But there are moments I wish I could waddle my big butt back to my comfy teacher desk chair and put my feet up for the duration of class! Or take a nap. Oh… naps…