Now you’ve told your significant other, your parents, friends, and relatives the happy news, celebrated, read every magazine and book ever published, and now eagerly await the first signs to help you feel actually really pregnant, so everyone is happy, right? Alas no, your body is not happy, in fact, it has just become the enemy and a sneaky one at that. For it is about to go out of its way to embarrass you when you very least expect it.
Maybe it’s preemptive revenge for the ridiculous combinations of food you will make it ingest, or for the indignity of being enclosed in those pregnancy pants with the big jersey pocket for your expanding bump, who knows? All we do know is that the once-friendly holder of your innards is hell bent on destruction ... Constant vigilance is the only way.
First trimester—the battle begins.
To begin with, your body will start small, with minor inconveniences. Your once placid and friendly chest will suddenly become a magnet for all household items that would usually be avoided. Contact with said object will cause pain and provoke the “grab the thing that hurts” response from you, which can be a little unsettling while shopping or paying the milkman. Unfortunately, grabbing the things that hurt will only cause them to hurt more. Defensive strategies include ultra-padded bras and, if all else fails, go for the Xena warrior princess style chest plate.*
* Warning: This option can also provoke an entirely different grab response from your significant other, so should be used with caution.
The books will tell you that your ligaments and such are relaxing and stretching ready for the task of carrying your unborn child. In fact, this is just a cover for the next stage of the attack. I’m talking stress incontinence people, this baby will strike and it will strike hard, sneeze, laugh, talk above a whisper, and there it will be.
Defenses against this attack vary from oh-so flattering yet effective pads, to avoiding all contact with any form of comedy; in fact you should carry a story about a sad puppy with you at all times just to be safe.
The attack on your senses should be kicking in about now, everything you have ever enjoyed, coffee, pizza, your partner, may now cause you to vomit spectacularly into the nearest receptacle, be it the cat’s basket or your friends hat. No defense against this one I’m afraid, but don’t worry, if you’re lucky this one will be over soon.
Which brings us neatly onto the second trimester.
A funny time indeed, your body appears to be behaving, baby is letting you know it’s around, you feel less inclined to vomit, and start to look forward to this “glow” people tell you about. Enjoy it while it lasts; your body is making plans for the next wave. Here it comes ...
Now most pregnant women, although perfectly well-balanced beforehand, will fall into two categories (unless you are one of those annoying ladies who has somehow managed to bribe or threaten your body into submission) and these are: the Emotional Wreck and the Ticking Time Bomb.
The Emotional Wreck can be recognized by these symptoms:
- A sudden and crippling attachment to your partner or friends
- The urge to cry when faced with anything cute
- High-voiced gibberish expressing delight at the aforementioned cuteness
- The urge to cry because you cant find your keys.
- The urge to cry because only one sock came out of the wash
- The urge to cry because its Wednesday
- The urge to cry
- Crying will of course cause Stress incontinence to bring out a new attack, which will make you cry
The Ticking Timebomb may show these symptoms:
- A sudden and crippling fury at your partner or friends
- The urge to dropkick when faced with anything cute
- Low, growling muttering at, well, everything
- Apoplectic fury at the lack of keys
- Ripping of the odd sock into teeny tiny pieces and burning the remains
- Shaking with ill contained anger at the fact it is Wednesday
- Expressing rage will also bring back stress incontinence; remove children and small animals to a safe distance
As we enter the third trimester, excitement will make these minor ailments fade from your concern, they’ll be there, but be less annoying, as such your body will react accordingly.
Little junior is really getting big now, exercising those muscles building up strength. It is now time for the big guns, time for your body to enlist him into his army.
As well as making your stomach move in an alarming way reminiscent of the film Tremors, little one has a few tricks of his own up his sleeve, apparently the inside of your womb is much like the cockpit of a vast and complicated machine, yet with no training Baby will without fail manage to find just the right place to kick at exactly the right (or wrong) time, its impressive. For instance:
You will feel good, want to socialize, visit friends. But the second there is a lull in conversation Junior will kick, causing you to break wind with a fullness of sound only before enjoyed by cowboys after a meal of beans and spit-roasted snake. Stress incontinence will be back, let’s be honest he never really left, but now he is aided by the bladder stampings of young Junior. Yes, your body has quite an arsenal at its disposal, but it still has a trick left, remember the boobs we encased in metal earlier? Oh, they are back and back for vengeance! You have unwittingly been entered into your own wet t-shirt contest … and you are winning.
And by far the most inconvenient and intriguing talent, the Vulcan leg nerve pinch. It really is quite disheartening to be walking down the street and find that the leg that was a second ago, fully functioning and about to bear your weight, is now as strong as al dente pasta.
But don’t lose hope! Take heart in the fact that there are many women fighting the same good fight, your body will come to forgive you in time. (But Stress Incontinence really knows how to hold a grudge.) And one day you will look back and laugh, probably while fiercely clenching your pelvic floor muscles. But for now be brave, take evasive measures, and, above all, look forward to meeting the new life that has made every change of underwear and dropkicked kitten worth it.
GOOD LUCK SOLDIER!