Casualties of Pregnancy:

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I keep finding myself writing about pregnancy, but the deal is, I’m pregnant. It’s pretty much on my mind all the time thanks to the growing belly and other accoutrements. But this weekend, I noticed there are impacts of pregnancy which cause certain things to simply go by the wayside. They are the casualties of pregnancy, the innocent bystanders who never saw it coming.

 

Hairless, silky skin.

There comes a point in pregnancy when it is entirely more effort than it’s worth to shave….anything, really. With hormones and prenatal vitamins cheering on the growth, your belly obscuring anything below your waste, and the unprecedented effort it takes to reach past your thighs, the odds are not in your favor. It’s really okay. The doctor has undoubtedly seen worse.

Self-manicured toes.

Unless you want to pony up the dough for a good pedicure, past about 7 months, your toes will suffer the same plight as your body hair. They will be left unattended, free to grow and chip and scuff for as long as it takes for you to see them again. Again, it’s okay.

Favorite shoes.

Unless you have the good fortune of being physically able to wear your shoes throughout your pregnancy, just go ahead and set your favorites aside. If your feet swell, as most women’s do in pregnancy, not only will they become incredibly uncomfortable, but also you run the risk of stretching them out, never to wear them properly again.  Invest in those cute, comfy flats you’ve been eying and call it good.

Inner thermostat.

If you are like most pregnant women, you will have three body temps: warm, hot, and Satan’s mistress.  I can’t tell you how annoying this will be. Everyone around you may be shivering while you are perspiring ever so slightly. Or a lot. It’s unfair, but it goes away when the baby comes. Usually.

Chores.

These may not be long gone, but they will be greatly slowed and the quality diminishes as corresponds to the level of exertion required to complete them. The number of breaks required during a cleaning day will increase exponentially, and at some point it will be cheaper in terms of time and quality of life for those around you to hire a cleaning service for the duration of your pregnancy. Own it.

Ankles.

I’ve met only a handful of women who kept definition between calves and feet for the entirety of their pregnancy. Just wave goodbye around 8 months and thank your stars for things like maxi dresses and palazzo pants. If you are pregnant during winter, you are all the more fortunate, as surely you can find some boots that might disguise those cankles.

Your emotional equilibrium.

This one should go without saying, but know that the “normal” in pregnancy is anything on a spectrum from flat-out batty to zen-like. The fun part is that it can change in a moment without provocation. Welcome, hormones, you have my attention. Now, settle down already!

Your pride.

Pregnancy isn’t a game of survival, per se, but you will find yourself doing things to, well, survive. You will do things to be comfortable, like wear support hose and granny panties. The unmentionable will suddenly become mentionable. And you may find yourself barely grasping propriety as it slips further away and your due date nears. Enjoy the freedom!

Your loved ones.

On a somewhat serious note, your loved ones will endure your pregnancy right alongside you, and it may be just as tough, confusing, and difficult as it is for you. My sweet husband has endured more than any man ever should. It never occurred to me, in my state of being overwhelmingly pregnant, just how much he bears while I cry at random times, crave and therefore cook the same meals for weeks on end, and snap at the slightest irritation. Our two little loves make things better with their cheerfulness, but explaining the tears to them or apologizing for the outbursts gets rote and redundant to the point where I’m not sure who is more tired of it. It’s good to make a mental note, as often as your hormone-addled brain will allow, that you aren’t the only one going through this pregnancy; there are others around you going through it too, just in different ways. Take every opportunity to be honest, to apologize, and to express your gratitude for their patience.

There are a myriad of other casualties, not all deaths, for which pregnancy can reliably be held responsible, and no pregnancy is equal. Pregnancy is an adventure – one that is different for everyone. It’s funny, it’s hard, it’s beautiful, it’s terrible; it’s all the things and more. Choose to laugh, and hang on tight for the ride – it’s going to be a wild one.

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A generalist of much and a master of little, Louellen gets her thrills learning new things. Born and raised in Nacogdoches, TX, Louellen, her husband Tim, and their precious little girls, Isabelle and Rena, now reside in Tyler. They keep it interesting with 2 dogs and 4 city chickens! Louellen left a full time career for part time work to spend more time as “Mom,” and less time as “Hey You,” a move she says she has not once regretted. With the extra time and energy, she takes more trips to the parks and pools, spends more time reading books to her littles, intervenes in more sibling squabbles, and stays a little less behind on laundry and dishes. What precious moments she has to herself, she enjoys reading, exercising, and watching West Wing episodes on repeat. She believes deeply in the freedom found in Christ that permeates every part of who we are and what we do, and desires to see women live in that same freedom.