“Pregnancy will ruin your body.” These five words were something I’d never thought much about until well after I’d had Baby 1.0, but after witnessing someone saying them to a pregnant woman, it got me thinking: Does pregnancy ruin your body? My first instinct was to shoot fire out of my eyes at the person who had said it. But then I remembered that my eyes are really dry, and have been since birthing Baby 1.0, so maybe I should hold up on the fire-eye-shooting. The more I thought about it, the more I started to think maybe he was right, but not at all in the sense he was suggesting. Of course things change when one spawns a human life from their body, and depending on your outlook, you could even call some things ruined. But for me, the things that changed aren’t necessarily worthy of throwing in the towel and declaring this body a total loss. So what changed? Let me tell you.
1. My hair– About 3 months after having Baby 1.0, I started losing hair. A lot of hair. Hair fell out in clumps, literally, and I would often end my shower by having a tiny panic attack after noticing how much of myself I was leaving behind. The doctorate I received from Google University provided me with confidence this was normal, and the hair loss would eventually end. Sure enough it did, and for a few months I didn’t think much about it. Until my hair started growing back in. Curly. At this point in time, about a year since those first few strands made their appearance, I look like a blonde version of Kate Winslet in “Titanic,” if she had received a haircut from Edward Scissor Hands. So did pregnancy “ruin” my once stick-straight locks? Kind of. Or at least temporarily. It’s ruined-ish.
2. My moles– I’ve already discussed how Baby 1.0 likes to pick at moles when she nurses, and this drives me absolutely bananas. Ba-freakin-nanas. Worse than nails on a chalk board, worse than someone snapping their gum, I can’t handle it. The problem is pregnancy basically turned many of my previously flat, and dare I say cute, little moles into dangly pseudo-nipples. It’s so gross. So again, “ruined?” I would say yes.
3. My butt, and/or every single pair of pants and underpants I own– Okay, this one is a little weird because I actually don’t know what the cause of the problem is, but I’m guessing it’s my butt. Basically I can’t keep my pants on, and with my new slouchy pants, my underwear have decided they too, need not stick around. All day, every day, I find myself hiking up all of my pants, both outer and under, and wondering what in the jibbty jab is going on. Are my pants suddenly too big? Are my underwear too small? Did the part of my body that separates ones butt from their legs completely disappear, thereby allowing my butt to melt into my thighs? This is all yet to be determined, but in the mean time, I think I need to get a belt. Or maybe consider mom jeans. So again, ruined? No. But mysterious? Very yes.
4. My stomach (the inside)– The outside of my stomach has changed, without a doubt. When squeezed — just right — by Baby 1.0, it takes on the appearance of a handful of raw pizza dough, which I love because who doesn’t love pizza? But the inside is where I have an issue. Pretty much since becoming pregnant, I have had an insatiable appetite. Food. All kinds of delicious food. It’s all I think about. This weekend, I told my husband I wanted sushi, Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, Carbonara, burritos, birthday cake, and fish and chips. In one day. And I was serious. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still nursing Baby 1.0, or if my missing butt is making plans to refurbish itself, but I just really love food, and I can’t stop thinking about it, and it’s kind of driving me crazy. So did pregnancy ruin my stomach, or just give me eating super powers? I’m going with super powers.
5. My hormones– This one isn’t funny at all, and if anything is something I feel should be discussed with anyone who is pregnant, or has recently had a baby. After having Baby 1.0, my body decided it was all set on producing normal amounts of progesterone. With everything being so difficult with Baby 1.0 in the beginning (read about her colic here), I wasn’t sure if my new crappy feelings were because I was exhausted and stressed, or if there was something else feeding it. For over a year I struggled, blaming my headaches, nausea, exhaustion, depression, dizziness, severe mood swings and general malaise on being sleep deprived. Then, after moving, I sat down with my new doctor and for the first time answered the question “how are you?” honestly. A little blood work showed I had extremely low levels of progesterone, and after day 1 of treatment, I started to feel like myself again. If I were queen of the world, I would recommend basic blood work to every postpartum mom, since for the time being, pregnancy did ruin my hormones (or at least one of them).
So what about you, fellow moms, and even moms to be? Anything you’d like to add to the list?