Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Hold On A Second While I Sneeze; I Need Both Hands To Grab My Crotch

I think I'm 15 weeks pregnant? Or I just finished up 14 and am entering my 15th week? Which means I'm 14 weeks and one day pregnant? Is that how they do it? I don't know. At this point counting weeks is like counting mile marker posts in Wyoming on a cross-country road trip from L.A. to New York. Ixnay the ountingcay, get comfortable and slide in another book on CD, Tiger, because you got a ways to go.

Second trimester. That's the important part. Apologies that I haven't inundated you with images of my growing belly including how many weeks along I am emblazoned in cutesy font across the photo. I'm in survival mode over here, people! Survival mode is ass on couch watching another episode of Dateline and not posing for photos that I can photoshop all to hell for posterity and shit. And seriously, even photoshop can't help what's going on right now. Unless there is a program that can remove two Breathe Right strips from your nose and actually add make-up?

What? You want to read inspiring posts about pregnancy? Love letters to my unborn child, that kind of thing? Sentimentality might be difficult to summon in between all the sneezing and simultaneously grabbing my crotch to keep from wetting myself. Yeah. Sneezing. A hundred times a day. Just when I ditched the morning sickness the rhinitis of pregnancy has invaded my life. I cannot breathe out of my nose. At all. I attempt sleep propped up on three pillows so that I'm sitting as erect as the unlucky passenger on the back row of seats just before the bathrooms on a Southwest flight. Seriously, is there a pregnancy side-effect I don't get? I don't think so. I'm pretty much checking them off the It Sucks To Be Pregnant list. I'm sure a roving pack of hemorrhoid bandits are riding roughshod Sons of Anarchy-style somewheres on my backside and are about to evict the rhinitis so they can take over.

Pregnancy is amazing, truly, it is. All that growing in there: eyelids, eyelashes, fingernails. I can't even fathom it. My sweet little baby is getting shit done. That part is unbelievable. It's the part where I puke and can't breathe and my boobs start flopping around on my stomach like two sacks of dead kittens that I don't find all that amazing.

Do you enjoy pregnancy? Do you tap dance through your first trimester, glow ethereally in your second and play music to your fetus in your third? Or, like me, do you just brace yourself like the flight attendant just informed you the plane you are on is experiencing engine trouble and wait for it to all be over?

And now for the gratuitous mommyblogger first day of pre-school photo!

This was no Toddlers & Tiaras, mom-directed back-to-school pose, she insisted on posing like this:

Every time I tried to snap a photo she struck the pose, even when she was distracted by passing traffic.

Eventually I just gave up and walked her into class because after taking ten photos in my effort to get a "normal" one I was starting to look like that parent.

Okay then. Official Pre-K Back-To-School Photo 2013:

Reader Comments (19)

pregnancy sucked!!! I was EXHAUSTED and felt like I was carrying a bowling ball in my underwear (I carried very low the whole time). I got every little cold or stomach virus going (and I was working at home, so that took some doing!), and i got weird skin tag growths i had to have lasered off. The after he was born i got shingles. good times .

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

What is up with the pregnancy skin tags?!

September 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterMonica

Second time around brought the pukes for six months. I had to choose between holding the crotch or catching the vomit! Pregnancy is almost as bad as having teenagers.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTania

With you 100%. I am NOT an 'earth mother, this is all magical' type of person. I have not enjoyed being pregnant. The only thing I might miss about it is feeling her move around in there, otherwise it's been one giant pile of SUCK. But yeah, it's amazing! Seriously. I just want her here. On the outside. I need more than half a glass of wine every once in a while, and frankly, even though I quit smoking quite some time before I got pregnant, I want a damn cigarette. (yes, I'm a horrible person) Four weeks to go (as long as she cooperates and shows up on time), and I can't wait.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Skin tags you say? Wow finally something this childless old bag can relate to! I have had my share of nausea and vomiting but that's more of a stress related thing. So anyway. that's okay. I enjoy anything you write whether I can relate or not. I could never figure out the skin tag thing. I guess I'm no help there. I would avoid twisting them. Another skin anomaly are the facial blotches and various spots that appear on the arms and legs. Sun spots they call them. Age spots is what they are. Enjoy your youth, Monica. You are SO blessed in so many ways. I LOVE your writings.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

i am so glad to know someone else got skintags. i had millions of them (still have most of them). also couldn't breathe. sneezed. peed inadvertently. had an allergic reaction to fish. then got gestational diabetes. and still have a hernia from the whole experience that i haven't had fixed. no wonder i only have 1.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodie

Love that Wylet, bet she didn't fall far from the tree !

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterUtah L

I commend you for doing the pregnancy thing three times! Once was good enough for me. I puked from week 4 all the way through to the end. I hated it and never want to do it again. Have fun growing eyelashes!! Congrats to pre-school!!

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterREK981

I'm 35 weeks, waddling around trying to keep up with my much more agile toddler and trying to stay awake long enough to finish my doctoral dissertation. I cannot even muster the energy to adequately affirm how much I share your pregnancy sentiments. Amen, sister

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeora

I have had a friend who has been on complete (as in, a bucket by the side of the bed for when she needs to pee—she's pretty much drawn the line at shitting in a bucket, however) bed rest since the beginning of her second trimester. I'm not pregnant, nor do I want children, but I cannot wait for her to have that kid, if only because I'd like to see what my friend looks like when she's upright again. Of course, once she has said baby, she probably won't be able to raise it proper at first because her muscles will all have atrophied in the six months she's spent in bed. I'm not saying this to shame you because your pregnancy side effects are not quite so severe. I'm saying this to counterbalance all of the "I've never felt so alive and happy and glowing and beautiful and perfect as I did when I was nurturing life inside my body" stories that seem to be the norm for most people who talk about pregnancy. It's hard to craft an entire body inside your own. When my mom was pregnant with me and my dad would ask her to do something for him, she says she would often respond with, "I can't. I'm busy nurturing life." She's a good woman.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterR

Im fourteen weeks in third pregnancy.Still nauseous,sometimes followed by.vomiting.Can't breathe and headache that doesn't leave.Yeah I'm great at this pregnancy thing.And people want belly shots..seriously,pretty sure I look like something from the walking dead.I do good getting a shower,and getting other two to school.Is it March yet?

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentererica

I'm at 20 weeks and I got the rhinitus around week 14 as well - it's recently cleared up and now i've entered the world of random face rash and brand new carpal tunnel. Between working and raising my toddler I barely have time to think about being pregnant, except for the fact I don't feel in my right body or mind. Honestly, when you posted that lovely post about buying your new baby his/her blanket I felt like such a crappy mom - I haven't bought my child ONE item yet, not one - first there was no time, then my husband had some health issues and now? Well, tomorrow i find out the sex so I just decided to wait.
The people who find pregnancy so terribly wonderful are lucky - and we are lucky to have them. Without their stories of pregnancy glow and never feeling better in their lives the human race would probably die out. Or at least, those of us living in the western world...

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Violet is practicing her Rock n Roll Look for future stage performances!!!

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I got the sweetest little baby after feeling like complete shit for 9 months, he sleeps through the night and just hangs out happily most of the time. Feels like I won a little prize.

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartha

I fully appreciate your honesty with the process, as I am right there with you. My firstborn is now 8 weeks old, and no matter how stressful and painful the last 8 weeks have been, it has nothing on pregnancy. The first time I took a walk down the street post-pregnancy, I basically skipped with glee and kept turning to my husband saying things like "Can you believe how FAST I can walk now? Isn't it amazing!" Pregnancy is the most unnaturally natural phenomenon. Between the puking, the bloating, the peeing, and eventually the crapping on the table, it really is a slow and painful loss of all dignity. Congrats on baby #3 and hang in there. Only 6 months to go!

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth

I am 28 weeks and feel your pain, sister. Two words: Kegel exercises! They will most def. help with the crotch wetting problem. And you can do them on the couch while you watch Dateline.

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

NOSE SPRAY, my friend :)

Although, I will warn you that I'm still addicted 22 some odd years later...

Pregnancy was like being taken over by an alien, I didn't do it well. I thought I'd be cute and perky and breeze right through and I sucked at it - puked and looked green the whole time, developed a heart murmur, that didn't really have an adverse affect, but was annoying!! Every heart beat made my teeth click together and could be felt in my hands and feet.

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNelson's Mama

I LOVE Violet's pictures. That's the way to take on PreK! Raaaawwrrr! I've given birth to three children. My bladder is now, as Louis CK says, "a plastic bag of leaves someone forgot to tie up." It just hangs there pitifully, waving in the wind. A couple of things I've learned: Wearing a pad when you go anywhere is wise. That way, if you do sneeze or laugh, you don't mess up your clothes. Also, those handy hospital pads with the absorbency on one side and thin plastic on the other? Those are the same things as puppy pads, available at Wal Mart. Having one on the bed at night is another way not to have to change sheets if you go into a coughing or sneezing fit while sleeping. This is obviously TMI but sisters have to stick together and share handy tips. Being a woman is harder than being a farmer.

September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

I'll never forget that you were the one who taught me the value of BreatheRight Strips during pregnancy!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjess

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