I never thought I’d say this, but….. I miss being pregnant. (GASP!) I know. I know! Those are the words I was pretty positive would never leave my lips, not in a million years. Now, I’m not saying that I long for the days of constant puking and horrible back pains – not a chance! But let’s just say that I didn't acknowledge the perks of pregnancy and give them their due at the time. But as I sit here in my grass-is-always-greener state of mind, I feel a tinge of nostalgia for the days of swollen feet and profuse sweating.
This week, three evils have resurfaced in my life – evils that pregnancy had gloriously masked. And now, in the full light of post-natal day, I’m feeling rather deflated (and not just in my abdomen).
1) Welcome Back, Nail Biting. Ugh! The habit is so disturbing I can’t even handle it. I don’t enjoy biting, I don’t like the way my nails look, and I can’t even handle thinking of the trillions of germs I’m ingesting each time I put a fingernail to my lips. And after 16 months of gorgeous, hard-as-rock nails, I’m back to square one. Me and my stubs are disappointed in my defeat. Pregnancy hormones did for my nails what nothing ever has – I had perfect color, shape, and thickness growing at rapid rates from my fingertips with nary a break, crack, or peal. But even though I’m still nursing my little man, the hormones had to eventually come to an end, bringing with it dull, flimsy, pealy nails. And what’s an ex-nail biter to do? Leave them there, all scratchy and sharp? My OCD wouldn't allow this. And so, with bitterness in my tone, I say Welcome Back, Nail Biting.
2) Welcome Back, Period. In the past year-and-a-half, I’d forgotten just how horrible it is to bleed profusely and for no freaking reason at all. If this were a nosebleed, I’d already be at the hospital getting cauterized. Isn’t it bad enough that I’m still not able to fit into half of my old clothes? Isn’t it enough that I’m utterly exhausted and that I change more diapers in a day than I get hours of sleep? Nope. Apparently it wasn't enough. Because now I get to wear nipple pads AND crotch pads, along with my granny panties and my super huge nursing bra. I make Victoria’s Secret models weep. So, with sarcasm and utter hatred, I say Hello, Cramps. Hello, Tampons. Hello, Back Aches. Welcome Back, Period, you disgusting piece of crap.
3) Welcome Back, Mood Swings. Perhaps this one goes along well with number 2, but it’s also a sign that my hormones have continued their decline from pregnancy and freshly-labored Mama to just a regular old crabby, menstruating machine. And unfortunately, these mood swings are running rampant! No one cries over a generic Christmas card. No one. Oh, wait…. I do! I cry over generic Christmas cards, staring at a pile of laundry, and each time I step on the scale. On the flip side of all this sobbing is the real problem. The rage. I never realized it before, but when I watch crime shows on television, I’ve now noticed that I’m one pick axe, roll of duct tape, and a trash bag away from finding myself on America’s Most Wanted. It’s crazy how quickly it creeps up! One minute I’m making dinner while quizzing spelling words, and the next minute I’m screaming my head off because my kids bought themselves gifts at Santa’s Workshop when they were told only to buy for their family. (The hundreds of dollars spent on presents currently sitting under the Christmas tree was obviously not enough for them.) I threw things, screamed things, grounded things, and threatened things. I was seconds away from bellowing to the entire world that there really is no Santa Claus! (Spoiler Alert?) And you know what followed this almighty tantrum? You guessed it. More tears. And alas, with bi-polar tendencies I holler a hearty Welcome Back, Mood Swings!
I can see now why women have more children. For a long time I didn't see it. I couldn't look past the terrible pregnancy symptoms and terrifying labor and delivery events long enough to realize that these women of multiple children are not crazy. No. They’re just putting off the Welcome Wagon a little bit longer. And to these women I tip my hat.