My younger daughter is eight and half months pregnant. When we chat, I am drawn down Memory Lane of my own pregnancies at that stage. I thought I was glowing and happy. My husband remember it very differently. After a few of his tales, I realize I was not glowing nor happy. I was pretty miserable. I was so huge he had to push, then pull me out of bed. Even my nose got fat!
Pregnancy should last eight months, not a day longer. Ask any woman who is carrying a watermelon size baby in her belly. They can barely walk. They constantly hold up their stomach to keep the baby from perching on their lower regions. The emotional typhoon that rages is exhausting. They walk like they have a load in their pants. Their hips have begun to spread to make way for the glorious day the baby decides to evacuate. Their breasts have grown to cantaloupe proportion and for the most part, mom is are ready to push this baby out.
I have a few words of caution to those of you who are in the presence of these lovely women. Try to remember when you were going through the last month of pregnancy. I know most of us have blocked it out. Be kind. Do not judge. Do not pontificate your opinions. They don’t care about your pregnancy stories from fifteen years ago. They have a kid doing martial arts kicks in their belly at 3 a.m. In a single night, that mom will make approximately fifteen trips to the bathroom to tinkle four drops. Just as she finally dozes off, her husband may begin to snore. Many women have thought of smothering men at this stage. If they could maneuver their body to get out of bed once again, it could happen. Based on their exhaustion level, it’s unlikely.
Never tell a pregnant woman that she is being dramatic…EVER!! You are not walking, with swollen feet, in her shoes. Things make sense to you. When the pregnancy hormones fluctuate, nothing makes sense. If you want to be safe, just go decorate the nursery. And you better do it right! I think the best advice is to feed the bear chocolate, I mean the Mama of course. Wait not the Mama bear…Just the Mama. Never say Mama Bear out loud because she will cry about that toilet tissue commercial where the baby bear learns to use higher quality toilet paper.
The books on motherhood make nesting sound like such a beautiful time. I am here to tell you that it is hell for those who live, actually barely survive, this nesting stage. If this is not a first baby, there will be toys, bikes, stuffed animals, talking creatures, and a million little tiny pieces of toys that will get imbedded in the mom’s feet as she paddles to the bathroom fifteen times a night. At some point, she will wail on the toilet because she can’t reach her feet to pull out the damn mini creature from between her toes. This is a result of failed nesting. Ideally, all toys would be in their color coded baskets, with lids on, or in the toy box….just like on TV.
It is critical at this point that Mama have some quiet time. It’s not going to be easy because she is still in that damn nesting stage. She will attempt to make the entire house perfect in four hours. She will sweat, pant, groan and push herself to pure exhaustion. It’s a very odd stage because the baby has no idea the house might not be perfect. I think it’s an unnecessary stress we put on ourselves. Then again, I noticed the cardinals in my back yard doing this. The male cardinal is at the base of the nest singing, while the female bird carries twigs to the nest. Her wings are flapping so fast, she looks like a hummingbird! If she could speak, I know she’d be groaning, “I have to do everything myself if I want it done right.” The male has learned to stay away and not put the wrong twig in the wrong place. Mother Nature is brilliant!
Be prepared for Mama to break into tears at any waking moment. Some whimper in their sleep if they have a sentimental dream. I have experienced that myself. I suggest blocking TV channels that show puppies and kittens that need homes. She will end up at a shelter, signing adoption papers if you don’t.
When Mama cries that she doesn’t feel beautiful anymore, never say, “You’ll get back to your old size soon.” If she hits you, that’s your own fault. There are some words that should never be spoken to an eight month pregnant woman.
- Are you having twins?
- Can I rub your belly?
- You should use cream on your nipples
- Sitz baths are wonderful Want to borrow mine?
- You should get an epidural……I did
- Are you going to breast feed?
- Get Tux pads for hemorrhoids by the case
- Babies need to cry
- You look a little puffy
- How many stretch marks do you have?
- Wow! You are going to burst. Your belly is huge!
If you have an inclination of asking any of the above questions, lock yourself in your house. It is not safe for you to be around a Mama at this stage.
The good news is once labor begins, you’ll forget everything. If you had trouble with nesting, you may to get some prescription anxiety meds before labor begins. Trust me on this. Some women labor quietly. Others do not. They wail like ocean liners coming into dock. Some say “I love you so much,” others scream, “I will never have sex again!!!” Do not take this personally, Dads. Only two women in 2016 spoke love talk. The other forty seven thousand and three, asked to have their thighs sewn shut.
Motherhood is quite a challenge, even before the little bumpkins arrive. Once you hold that baby, you will forget everything else. Some mothers even do it all again. I did it five times. I must have had temporary amnesia!