To my non-pregnant future self,
Hey girl. So if you’re reading this then it’s likely two or three years into the future and your last baby has either weaned completely or she’s about to. And you’re probably looking back on her baby days with nostalgia and tears in your eyes because you will never ever have another baby in your arms nursing at your breast.
Yeah, I know how much you love the baby snuggles on your chest; the milk drunk sleep that follows a nursing session. I know you’re probably remembering when she was fluttering inside your belly, and how magical that time was. You’re probably remembering that moment of elation when you finally gave birth, and how the oxytocin was flowing to the point that you were overwhelmed with love for that tiny baby, same as with her brother.
You’re probably looking at all the cool things that happen in birth with fascination, wishing you could do it over again and try for some of them. Well, I’m here in the past/present at 39 and a half weeks pregnant with said daughter, and I’m telling you lady to CUT THAT SHIT OUT RIGHT NOW! Seriously, STOP IT! WE ARE DONE! NO MORE!
See, I knew that you wouldn’t remember this shit, because you sure as hell didn’t remember it with your son. You forgot the pain in the ass that was having to pee every five minutes. You forgot the pain in your ribs as he hung out there for the last month and a half. You forgot the prodromal labor. You forgot the excruciating back spasms you got at 25 weeks. You forgot how goddamn itchy your belly got. The exhaustion. The roller coaster of emotions. And that’s just for your son. He was the EASY pregnancy!
With your daughter, the baby who is growing up before your eyes, it was worse. OH it was SO much worse. I’m pretty sure that had you known ahead of time what you would go through with her, you would have stopped at your son. Nature is a tricky son of a bitch for making us forget. Well, I’m going to remind you right now, while I’m still IN this hell that is pregnancy. Because girl, you seriously need a wake up call if you think that going through this AGAIN is worth it!
You planned this one; I know. I remember how you got your first period in 33 months after your son was born. How awful it was; how furious you were. How you vowed to get pregnant right the fuck now, so that you could skip it for another 33 months or longer. Look, I totally get why you did that, but your son was barely two years old when you made it your monthly goal to get yourself pregnant. And yeah, you and the husband had a hell of a month and it totally worked, but here’s the thing about that “working”.
You were sick from conception to 16 weeks! We’re not talking “throwing up in the toilet” but the queasiness did NOT go away. You ate, you felt like shit. You didn’t eat, you felt like shit. You constantly felt like you were going to throw up. You dry heaved and gagged, and SOMETIMES you had a bit of relief, but most of the time, this was your existence. It sucked. Oh? You think that Vitamin B might help? It won’t. Magnesium won’t touch this sickness. Diclectin just makes you drift in and out of consciousness for 16 hours of the day. You might escape this hell, or it might be worse. What if you have another girl instead of the son you’re envisioning right now?
No? I haven’t talked you out of it just yet? Okay, well say you avoid the sickness this time…you have other issues, lady!
You can’t escape the extreme fatigue. The kind that has you lying on the couch unable to wake your ass up, and meanwhile the toddler is wreaking havoc all around you. Remember the cocoa powder your son spilled all over the floor. Remember how you couldn’t even get up some days to do laundry. That tired feeling sticks with you right into the fifth month, then comes back at the start of your third trimester. And know what ELSE comes up in your second trimester????
Remember the back spasms! I KNOW you thought it was a fluke with your son; that you just pulled something. But it is SO easy to aggravate that muscle and nerve; you know, the one that causes pain worse than labor, that causes you to throw up uncontrollably while at the same time aggravating your bladder or worse? The pain that sends you to the hospital to get a shot of morphine just so you can sleep, even though the second you wake up again you’re going to throw up. The pain that causes you to not be able to eat anything, or stay hydrated, or MOVE at all, THAT pain is a guarantee, my friend! It’s something to do with your uterus moving out of your pelvis; that shit just messes you up for a few weeks and no matter HOW careful you are, that spasm WILL happen. You think you can avoid it? You have two kids now. You’re more likely to injure yourself TWICE! And while I’m on the subject of back pain…
Yes, you have a damn good chiropractor. You probably COULD budget for that again. But you need to remember that SPD gets worse with every pregnancy, and there was NOTHING she could do except keep things somewhat “comfortable” for you a few days out of the week. Your hips and groin still ached and some days the sciatica was so bad you couldn’t walk without it feeling like a knife was stabbing your thigh. You sometimes has it so bad you couldn’t sleep. The bigger you got, the worse it became. By your 8th month it felt like your leg was being torn from your hip as you tried to walk. The hell that is SPD was SO debilitating that you couldn’t do much of anything. Shopping trips had to be cut short. You couldn’t go for walks outside. You couldn’t lift your son. Laundry and dishes piled up; toys were all over the floor because you couldn’t get down there to pick them up. Woman, I will seriously CUT you if you even THINK about putting us through that again!
Oh, and if all that hasn’t convinced you, how about this? Prodromal Labor. Remember what a BITCH that was the second time around? Well guess what? It’s worse with every pregnancy you have. So “early labor” contractions from 37 weeks and ramping up to “active labor” contractions as you got close to 38 weeks, and then stopping, and then starting up again, and then stopping, and feeling like you have to puke during some of these sessions, and the hot flashes, the night sweats, the pain in your ribs from the strength of the contractions in addition to tiny feet always finding their way in there…yeah, it might be WORSE if you are stupid enough to do this again!
What I’m trying to get through to you is that labor and birth are the EASY part! Hell, we can deal with that no problem; especially when we’re having a home birth. But that other stuff lasts for ten months! It’s ten hellish months of pain and misery and sheer exhaustion, and that last month is the one that sucks the most because of all the prodromal labor and the SPD!
Look, I’m sitting down at the table typing this out in our comfy chair, and my left thigh is throbbing because our daughter is lying on the sciatic nerve. You know, because our babies drop early and yet don’t seem to get into a nice position that doesn’t cause us pain! My belly feels like it’s stretched to the limit and I’m so uncomfortable and just want real labor to start. I’m not even 40 weeks yet, and I’m DONE! Seriously DONE! And I know that in 3 years, when I’m YOU, I’m going to be looking back on this time and forget all this discomfort and this DONE feeling I have right now, and I’m going to be considering something incredibly stupid!
Well, this is me, your past/present self demanding that you stop this right now! You don’t want to be ME in this moment. You really, really don’t. If your husband has not had that vasectomy yet, I urge you to go grab his welding tools and do it yourself. Cauterize those fuckers and spare nothing! Or just make that appointment with a urologist for him and tell him he’s fucking going, because we are DONE! Our reproductive system is screwed up enough as it is; we are not getting surgery and risking it being even MORE screwed up! And for the love of god, woman, remember to keep taking that pill! Because I shouldn’t have to remind you what ELSE comes back when you’re fertile again.
Yeah, didn’t think so!