Oh, I seem to have written that title incorrectly - it should read, “Pregnancy, it’s all about the gas!”
Seriously, why are you always hearing about the swollen ankles? I mean, I’m sure I’ll complain about the ankles if and when they arrive, but for now I’d like to be able to go about my day without embarrassing gaseous emissions.
Yes, I *am* responsible for global warming. Methane, you see. Cows have nothing on me.
It’s been said (yes, by THEM the ever-present THEM that lurks on the internet and spreads conventional wisdom) “you get over being modest once you are pregnant.” As if modesty were something like the flu, which one needs to “get over” in order to become better.
You don’t “get over” modesty. You lose it, like virginity. Hopefully it happens with someone you love, in private, because it often leaves you both slightly uncomfortable and kinda embarrassed.
And there ain’t no way back.
It all began when I announced one day to my husband that he was simply going to have to hear about my poop and that this sucked but I was not going to suffer in silence. At first he was cool, after all, it was me who insisted on quality alone time in the toilet with the door closed and locked. It was also me who would flee the bathroom at the first hint that somethime more serious than urine was about to be evacuated from him.
But within a week I think he realized that this was something slightly different. I wasn’t letting him into the bathroom during these delicate private moments, but I was explaining to him in excruciating detail why I was making such horrible noises while in there.
In a word: constipation.
Why do they not tell girls about this in sex ed? Why do they not give us all little pills that stop us up for a week so we can enjoy the true miracle of bringing another life into the world? This should go for men too, who get off far to easy in the reproductive game. And this is not the only poop-related surprise that pregnancy brings - do not make me talk about labor right now! We’ll cover that exciting poop-related bit of information once we are closer to D-Day.
Why is it that you hear about glowing skin, thick luscious hair, swollen ankles and food cravings? Seriously? Food cravings? I’ve had to stuff myself with fruit and fiber instead of all the delicious things that I could see dancing before my eyes BECAUSE IT HURTS DAMMIT!
That’s when you start praying for more gas.
And you already have A LOT of gas. Half the time that you are rushing to pee it is really the fear that the gas cloud will escape while you are surrounded by friends or classmates or colleagues or completely innocent bystanders that makes you scurry. And the slightest movement could knock it loose! Bend over to pick up the mail *bam,* reach for the dictionary *bam,* hit “send” on your email *bam!*
You fear the embarrassment, but you also fear losing that precious pressure because you NEED it. You need it for that long awaited bowel movement. With enough gaseous build up, it’s possible to expel part of last week’s bran muffin. Without it… well, there are tears and recriminations, but often not a lot of relief.
But after a while your body starts to even out. It discovers that you aren’t about to undergo a major famine and that not every last ounce of liquid and nourishment needs to be wrung from lunch before you can pass (heh heh) onto dinner. The constipation eases (by which you go from hemorrhoid inducing to simply painful) and you no longer break into sweats of terror when looking at a toilet.
But you are still left with the gas.
And if you are as lucky as I am, then you not only have the embarrassing “we are not going to acknowledge what just happened here and you aren’t going to get angry as we all find somewhere else to be for the next 10 minutes while the air clears,” you also have the “wow, can you say the alphabet too?” burps.
Since my husband thinks that burping is a greater social faux pas than gas, this is the one that drives him up the wall. Thankfully, I’ve always been a champion burper and have demonstrated this great gift while tossing back beer. I say “thankfully” because we’ve gone from “Oh my god woman, you did NOT just do that at the table - I DON’T CARE IF YOU SAID EXCUSE ME - that was just disgusting!” to “Feel better?” The difference is that I now get the burps like some people get the hiccups. Hours of non-stop burping. For no particular reason. I burp when I’m hungry. I burp while I eat. I burp for hours after I’ve eaten. Sometimes I can’t sleep because the pain in my gut grows and grows until I consciously and with great effort, burp. Which of course causes the Danish Boy to awake from his beauty slumber and with a deep sigh, shuffle off to another room to get some sleep undisturbed by loud intermittent belches.
My explanation, although completely unfounded on facts or even by THEM, is that it’s the baby jumping up into my stomach. If the baby kicking my bladder like a soccer ball causes me to pee (as THEY say), then obviously burping is caused by the baby playing volleyball with my stomach.
Strange and twisted logic - another great gift of pregnancy.