On Being Pregnant

Disclaimer: in the post below I write about how I don’t particularly enjoy being pregnant. I know there are many women out there that are struggling to get pregnant or grieving a lost pregnancy and would love nothing more than to find themselves in my situation. The last thing I want to do is be insensitive to that. Though I have had a less than pleasant pregnancy, I hope it goes without saying that I am very grateful to be pregnant, and I truly hope that everyone that wants a child gets to have one. 

——-

Throughout my life, I’ve read a lot of pregnancy and mommy blogs. I would follow along the parenthood journey vicariously, occasionally skipping over a post that was not particularly interesting. For the most part, these mommy blogs made pregnancy sound awesome. Sure, you have to make a few sacrifices, but YOU ARE GROWING A HUMAN BEING AND OMG IT IS AMAZING!

Because of these people, I went into pregnancy thinking that outside of having to give up my beloved wine, it wouldn’t be so bad. Of course, I had a couple friends who told me that wasn’t really the case and that pregnancy was actually pretty shitty for lots of people. Yet for some reason, I chalked up these opinions as exceptions to the rule.

I mentioned the other day that I do not enjoy being pregnant. I feel like this is something I am not supposed to say, because it makes me sound ungrateful for this gift that has been bestowed upon me. But while I am very grateful for the ease of my fertility and incredibly excited to be having a child with the person I love most in this world, I truly and passionately do not enjoy being pregnant. Quite frankly, so far, for me, being pregnant sucks.

I know that there are some women out there who love being pregnant and have easy pregnancies with no symptoms. I am not one of those women. I do not relate to those women at all, whatsoever. In fact, I find myself getting very ragey when I come across them and hear them talk about how easy and awesome pregnancy is and how amazing and healthy and peaceful they feel. I have not felt that way. For those curious, here’s my take on it thus far:

The first trimester is really truly horrible. I was not prepared for just how horrible it would be. Prior to experiencing it myself, I thought that pregnant women just exaggerated their symptoms and that it really couldn’t be all that bad.

Well, karma is a bitch.

I have had crippling all-day nausea and vomiting that didn’t ease up until well into the second trimester. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so miserable so consistently without it being the direct result of having some horrible disease. Even now, at 19 weeks, I still don’t feel all that great. Do I feel better than I did a month ago? Definitely! Do I feel as good as I felt when I wasn’t pregnant? BWAHAHAHAHA. No.

My mom has said to me multiple times “enjoy this, it’s the best time of your life!”

I can assure you that this is, 100%, not the best time of my life. I can think of many other times that have been far better than this, and I sincerely hope that the best times of my life are not already behind me.

I no longer like food. Just typing that sentence is baffling to me as food has long been one of the greatest pleasures in my life. I used to spend a significant amount of my income going out to eat in search of delicious things, and I often plan entire trips around what I am going to eat. So to have this taken away from me has been really depressing. Nothing tastes that good to me and eating has become more of a chore. I keep waiting to get my appetite back but I’m starting to lose hope that it is ever going to happen.

I have no social life. While not being able to drink certainly contributes, it’s not the main reason. No matter how “good” I feel during the day (and I put that in quotes because feeling good has become relative to how bad I felt in the beginning), I almost always feel bad at night. When you combine feeling like shit with having no appetite and not being able to drink, the last thing I want to do is socialize with people and watch them devour food and wine while I sit there hoping I don’t throw up. So outside of the occasional weekend brunch, my social life is nonexistent. And this makes me feel very sad.

Then there are the raging hormones that turn you into an irrational bitch, acne, random hair growth, living in a state of paranoia, anxiety over every single twinge, digestion problems, insomnia… basically, it’s a long long list of unpleasantness. Some women don’t get any of it. Some women get it all. I am unfortunately in the latter. And according to this, there’s a whole slew of other upcoming symptoms to look forward to! Swelling genitals? Lucky me!

Almost everyone told me that most of these symptoms would end after the first trimester. They haven’t. I am now almost halfway through this pregnancy and while I am feeling significantly better, I am not confident that I’m ever going to cross over into that “I feel great” stage. I have accepted that, and though I am jealous of the ladies that feel awesome all of the time, it is what it is.

And yet, despite all of this misery, I am still very excited and happy to be having a child! I don’t enjoy the process that gets me there, but I am confident that when all is said and done, it will be worth it.

chelseaNovember 5, 2014 - 7:21 am

I just had a baby in July. I hated being pregnant until about 25 weeks, and then I loved it. I threw up on and off throughout the day and night through 20 weeks. I was on Zofran until 20 weeks so I would stop losing weight. I couldn’t eat meat from week 5-26 or even see it at the store without gagging. I too LOVE food. Like with all my heart love food. It came back sort of near the end and this disappeared again at the very end when I ran out of stomach space. But it’s back in full force now that she’s here. I seriously hated pregnancy for the majority of it (but was also super thankful to be pregnant and to have gotten pregnant easily), but then when I started to feel better I really loved it and would definitely do it again. I really avoided all the other crappy symptoms after the sickness for the most part, so I hope you can dodge most of them too! And I hope your pregnancy gets better!

AngieNovember 5, 2014 - 7:36 am

Sorry to hear all of the lousy first trimester stuff hasn’t subsided yet. Try to take it one day at a time. There is some really cool stuff coming – feeling the baby kick (and then weeks later seeing your husband’s expression when he finally feels it) and seeing him/her (and all of the bones and organs) at that 20 week ultrasound is exciting.

RachelNovember 5, 2014 - 9:00 am

First off, congratulations! But more relevant: I’m so sorry you’re having a tough time so far! I know I was one of those pregnant ladies that make you (and many others) stabby! All I can say is that it most definitely WILL BE WORTH IT! And if it’s any consolation whatsoever, I spent my otherwise happy pregnancy being secretly jealous of those who lost their appetite and wouldn’t be gaining an additional 20lbs of “maternal stores” ;) … Maybe not completely equal but there is your silver lining. Back to my lunges…!

AngieNovember 5, 2014 - 10:17 am

I truly hope you start feeling better soon and these symptoms subside! <3

Lisa @ Two MartinisNovember 5, 2014 - 12:35 pm

I hope you start feeling better and better as time goes on! As a sidenote, I kind of hate how it’s pretty much impossible to complain about pregnancy or anything child-related without adding in a footnote of sorts to say ‘of course I’m so grateful, but…’ – sometimes I just want to complain and not feel guilty about it!
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KaitlynNovember 6, 2014 - 6:36 am

OK… I am regretting clicking on that SkepChick link. I SERIOUSLY hope your pregnancy becomes magically awesome sometime soon. I am at a waaaay pre-baby stage in my life and that article was ALARMING. All the best to you!! *shudders*
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Ready or Not…

Well hello friends! How have you all been for the past 6 months? I’ve been great, thanks for asking.

Instead of drawing this out, I’m just going to come out and say it. I am pregnant.

I’m fairly confident that 99% of the readers I have left are friends and family that actually know me in real life, so this is probably not news to you. But to the other 1%, it’s true! There is a tiny human currently occupying space inside this thing we refer to as my womb. And yes, it’s really effing weird.

To those of you thinking “What the?! It seems like just yesterday you were not even close to wanting kids!” you are correct. Basically, this is what happened:

Up until about six months ago I still had very little desire to get pregnant anytime soon. In fact, Kevin and I were still trying very hard not to get me pregnant. But then one month I just felt off, and I convinced myself I was knocked up. Well, I wasn’t, but in that blink-of-an-eye period in which I thought I might have been, I was actually, surprisingly, pretty excited about it. This then led to the realization that I kinda sorta wouldn’t mind being pregnant. So we decided and to pull the goalie see what happened.

And, well, this happened:

baby

Mini-McClain at 12 weeks. 

(Yes I am aware that I just committed the ultimate cliche – I posted an ultrasound picture. Who am I?)

It happened much sooner than Kevin and I had ever expected it to, and the whole thing still seems very surreal to both of us. I vacillate between being overwhelmed with joy to feeling completely terrified that perhaps we have just ruined our lives by embarking on this life-altering journey a bit too soon. But more than anything I am excited, and though I do not enjoy being pregnant (more on that to come) I am very grateful that this happened so easily.

There’s so much more to say about this crazy thing called pregnancy, but for now, I’ll leave you with this video. It’s something I still believe wholeheartedly, and if I ever start acting even remotely close to this, you have permission to punch me in the face (well, not really, but do let me know).

What’s new with you?

P.S. Happy Halloween!

TempesstOctober 31, 2014 - 6:43 am

Congratulations serena!!!! I recently booked a ticket to Southeast Asia where I will spend 3-4 months backpacking next year. I also go between feeling overwhelmingly excited and scared!

Kari HughesOctober 31, 2014 - 6:47 am

You still have some readers out here. Congratulations!

SamOctober 31, 2014 - 7:21 am

Congratulations Serena! I’m a non friend or family reader and just the other day I wondered whether you were still blogging! It’s very exciting news :-)
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AngieOctober 31, 2014 - 8:07 am

Give it some time the cool stuff is coming – I don’t think anyone enjoys being pregnant in the beginning! Take care of yourself and let me know if you need anything or have questions.

KariOctober 31, 2014 - 8:11 am

Congratulations!! That is AWESOME!!
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Rich KrawczykOctober 31, 2014 - 9:12 am

Hahaha! Thanks for reminding me that once again it’s great to be a guy! I’m never pulling the goalie. :)

Congratulations on your pregnancy! It’s great news to your extended family.

Love the humor! Even though you are a beautiful woman, it’s your politics, attitude and sense of humor that I’ve always liked best!

MargaretOctober 31, 2014 - 9:13 am

YAY!! Welcome back and CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’ve just recently crossed the line to feeling ok (and not totally freaked out) with the thought of having a baby!
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KaitlynOctober 31, 2014 - 10:35 am

I’m still part of the 1%! Happy to hear from you and congratulations on your pregnancy.
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KevinOctober 31, 2014 - 10:46 am

I think your 1% estimate should be much higher :)

Jessica NOctober 31, 2014 - 11:06 am

Best news ever! Congrats you guys! It’s crazy how fast feelings can change from not wanting kids and then wanting them. Totally been there. And yes it can happen so fast. You think it would take a lot longer, but it really doesn’t sometimes!
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DJOctober 31, 2014 - 5:01 pm

heyyyy congrats! That video is hilarious. I think people are starting to expect me to be like that but I can’t even PRETEND to be one of those people.

AngieNovember 1, 2014 - 9:24 am

Congrats!!!

Kelly VillersNovember 1, 2014 - 10:34 am

Congratulations!! It’s so funny to be in sync with someone you don’t know!! I’ve shared your views on babies/pregnancies before…but have lately, myself, been feeling that urge!! I think it’s the age ;) I’m sure it will be a wild adventure!! Enjoy it as much as you can!! :)

Lisa @ Two MartinisNovember 1, 2014 - 2:15 pm

YAY!!! Congrats :-) I can’t wait to hear more about your pregnancy and how life is going!
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DaniellaNovember 3, 2014 - 12:56 pm

Congrats!! You def have some readers out there who are beyond the family/friends group! I hope you keep writing about this next adventure!

Being Pregnant Sucks | SpillerenaNovember 5, 2014 - 6:22 am

[…] mentioned the other day that I do not enjoy being pregnant. I feel like this is something I am not supposed to say, because it makes me sound ungrateful for […]

nancy @ adore to adornNovember 5, 2014 - 2:08 pm

well, hello there! And congratulations on being pregnant. While your side effects from pregnancy most definitely suck (sorry to hear!) it’s pretty amazing you’re growing a human!
I must admit, I had to stop and re-read the sentence where you said you are pregnant! I just recall reading a post where you described not yet wanting kid(s). How wonderful to hear that this is a genuine process and that it happened organically (in terms of your desire).
This is pretty amazing. Pretty soon you’ll have another being to love!
xo,
nancy
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Megan C. StroupNovember 16, 2014 - 2:41 pm

That video was disturbingly creepy yet hilarious haha. But really – congrats!! Exciting news for you and your husband. :)
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brittanyNovember 18, 2014 - 5:04 pm

I am so happy to see a post from you! I was just thinking about you last week and el camino! Congrats on your baby :) I hope you post some more soon

Guest Post over on Trippy

Hi friends! A few weeks ago I went to Seattle, and today I’m over on Trippy sharing my culinary favorites of this lovely rainy city. You can check it out over on their blog here, or on medium here. And if you want to make me really really happy, you can leave a comment, share it on facebook or twitter, or recommend it on medium! It will make my day.

Also, if you’re not already a member of Trippy, you should be! It’s like quora for travel, and it has become my go-to resource when I’m planning a trip. Check it out and sign up here!

Happy Friday!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SteffiJuly 11, 2014 - 5:27 pm

So lovely meeting one of my favorite bloggers at Don Pisto’s! You should definitely write something soon! In the meantime, I’ll consider investing in a $150 template. ;) Hope to see you around the hood! (I say in the least stalkery way possible.)

30 Days. No Booze.

Last Thursday I had my first alcoholic beverage in 31 days. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you are probably very perplexed by this. As you know, I love my wine. And my beer. And my baileys. And my fancy cocktails. So let me back up.

In mid-March I went “glamping” along the Santa Cruz coast, which is basically fancy camping. You stay in a tent bungalow and inside it you have a real bed and electricity. It’s very basic and you’re still on a campground and cooking your meals via fire, etc., but it’s much easier than real camping. It was a blast. Unfortunately, while there I got bit by a deer tick (it seems disgusting bugs are very attracted to me). Because all signs pointed to the possibility of lyme disease, I was put on 28 days of heavy antibiotics. For 4 weeks, I couldn’t drink anything alcoholic. I’m pretty sure that this is the longest amount of time I’ve ever gone without drinking since I started drinking, and this forced sobriety proved to be a very interesting experiment for me.  Now that it’s over and regular life has resumed, I thought I’d share my insights.

Pros:

  • No hangovers! This is, hands down, the best benefit. Waking up feeling good every. single. morning. was really nice. Hangovers suck and the older I get the worse they seem to become.
  • Increased productivity! Shockingly, you are far more productive when you don’t spend half of your day nursing a hangover.
  • Weight loss! Though it wasn’t a significant amount, I did lose a couple of pounds without changing my diet at all — if anything, I was actually eating more sweets. I think this has more to do with the alcohol-related food decisions I would make vs. the lack of alcoholic calories. I no longer had pizza at 1 AM or had to carboload the next morning in an effort to soak up my hangover. When I’m drinking, I often eat really unhealthy food well past midnight, and I wake up being like CARBS CARBS I NEED CARBS!
  • Great sleep! I thought I would sleep less, but I actually slept more. My body loved the continuous nights of sober sleep, and I felt like I could have easily slept for 12 hours a day if I let myself.

Cons:

  • Boredom. I was very antisocial for most of this month. San Francisco is a big drinking city, and hanging out with drunk people when you are not drunk is very annoying.
  • People think you are pregnant. When you go out and order water, people assume you’re pregnant. Even when you explain that you’re not, you get the side eye because they think you are telling the “antibiotic lie,” and they continue to sneak glances at your stomach.
  • Lack of things to drink. Most bars have very few, if any, options for good non-alcoholic beverages.
  • My hangovers are now even worse. On Thursday I had less than 3 glasses of wine, but I woke up on Friday feeling like I’d had a crazy night out on the town. WTF? Apparently my body no longer knows how to process alcohol anymore. Not cool.
  • I’m now addicted to sugar. I craved sugar like a son of a bitch, and I ate an insane amount of desserts and sweets.

The pros are clearly awesome, but are they so amazing that I am going to give up alcohol for good? To that, I say: HAHAHA! I still love my wine. I love meeting my friends for happy hour and exploring cute new bars, and I love having boozy date nights with Kevin.

Overall I think taking this forced break was really great for me, and I definitely learned some good lessons from my booze free month. I developed some really good habits that I plan on continuing, and it also gave me a peek into what being pregnant is going to be like. Which apparently means that for me, being pregnant equals being very very bored for nine months and eating my weight in chocolate. Awesome!

For all of you alcohol connoisseurs out there like myself, what’s the longest you’ve ever gone without some boozy libations? Did it help change your drinking habits?

 

sunscreen-tanning-beach-bar-drinking-seasonal-ecards-someecards

 

P.S. I realize I’ve been absent from these parts for a long long time, but instead of writing some long diatribe about what I’ve been up to and why I’ve been gone and what my future blogging intentions are, I thought I’d just jump back into it, and pretend that we are the kind of friends that can go months without talking and it doesn’t matter, because when you finally do, it feels like no time has passed at all. 

nancy @ adore to adornApril 21, 2014 - 9:53 am

lol. I have to say I agree with your list. I’m by no means a drinker because I’m a light weight and I don’t like feeling the effects. But, I do drink one drink if I’m out and keep it mellow. When I have enough food in me, I go in for more drinks. I also have the lovely Asian glow in me even when I’m not drunk in the slightest and that makes it really “fun” when you’re with people who aren’t used to how you are and they just assume you are drunk.

But, I love that first con point. If you’re not drunk, the drunks around you are definitely (to sum up in one word) annoying. hahah

xo,
nancy
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Kate AnnApril 22, 2014 - 1:18 pm

So happy to see you back! You were missed.

AngieApril 24, 2014 - 8:05 am

I went without alcohol all through the month of March, when I did a 30 day yoga challenge and found similar pros to your list. I was actually happier too, being hungover/unproductive actually makes me quite grouchy.
My drinking habits have definitely decreased since I now get a hangover from a second glass of wine.

KellyApril 27, 2014 - 1:37 pm

I do alcohol free January every year and feel much the same way!

And So The Rain Falls

sfrain

The picture above was taken a few days ago, but I’m currently sitting in the exact same spot looking out at the exact same view, watching the rain fall. The only difference is that it’s even rainier today.

When I was 13 I started my first ever blog, on the long defunct website geocities. This was before blogs were even called blogs. This was my online diary! The internet had just started to become popular, and AOL was the coolest thing in the whole world. My blog was called “And So The Rain Falls” and my pseudonym was Victoria Valentine.

I thought I was very sophisticated at the time.

Tween drama at its finest.

Growing up in the dry arid valley of Palm Desert, rain was a rarity, so when it happened I loved it. I think that has stuck with me as an adult, because even now, when my twitter and facebook feeds are full of people complaining about the rainy SF weather, I’m loving it. To me it means cozy days inside with good movies and baileys in my coffee. It means cuddling with the people I love and warm fireplaces. It might mean doom and gloom for some, but to me it makes me feel cheerful and content.

I’ve been thinking about this blog lately and the direction it’s going. I’m not sure what I want to do with it, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering my posts have become more and more sparse as of late. I don’t want to let it go completely, as I really do love being part of the blogging community. I’ve met so many great people and made some amazing friends through this blog, and that’s not something I want to give up.

Anyway, I just thought I’d pop in and say hello on this rainy day. Let you all know that I’m still here! I’m still alive! And I’m still grateful for those of you out there that follow along.

Happy Friday! May your weekend be wonderful!

xox

 

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MichelleFebruary 28, 2014 - 12:23 pm

I feel ya. Sometimes I’m like…. uggghhh blogging. So then I just don’t. But then I find myself thinking about it again and feeling like writing, and that’s when I really enjoy it. Not when it’s forced, but just when there’s something actually on my mind and writing comes easily. When there becomes pressure, it’s just too much and not worth it. But I do sometimes wonder just how long this whole blogging thing will continue on for. I personally love having it as a way for me to remember. I often find myself looking back at posts and laughing or feeling happy about something that happened that I probably would have never remembered. So that in itself is motivation enough for me to keep writing and documenting. And yes, “the community” is nice as well, but I mean, that in time will fade I think…

I’m rambling.

I love you.

I love your blog.

Do with it what you will, but as long as it makes YOU happy :)

xoxoxo

LoraMarch 2, 2014 - 1:03 pm

I grew up with the EXACT OPPOSITE experience. The town I spent my childhood years in gets an annual rainfall of approximately 85-90 inches. Seattle gets about half that much, which is where I “escaped” to after graduating high school. Rain makes me sad and tired and cold and depressed and trapped. So I say bring back the drought, baby!

KariMarch 2, 2014 - 1:33 pm

I’ve been in a bit of a slump with blogging lately. I have felt more pressure to keep up with good posts and DIYs, but I find myself having to push myself to write a post on a Sunday. I don’t know if it’s just the winter weather here or something else. I think it also gets hard, because I feel I have to keep up with everyone else. Then that makes me tired, and I just want to watch TV:) I’m still enjoying the creative outlet, though, so not sure what the future holds. I think you can make it whatever you want it to be. If it’s something you just want to drop by every so often, then you can do that since it’s your blog. I think I’ve fallen into this trap that I have to blog a certain number of times a week, post to Instagram, etc. I have a full time job, so that’s hard to keep up. I hope you keep posting, though, because I really enjoy following along:)
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Accidental LondonerMarch 3, 2014 - 8:26 am

Such a pretty photo, and I know what you mean about cosy afternoons inside while the rain pours down outside. But after a while it always gets old for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it for a day or two…but it’s been almost 10 weeks of this in the UK right now and I am SO over it.

Rain doesn’t make me want to head out and explore the city either, so my posts have slowed of late, over on my own blog too. I think you can’t force it with blogs (and if you do, readers can always tell). Just take it at your own pace and do what feels right for you, I reckon.

Kate AnnMarch 4, 2014 - 11:06 am

I hope you keep blogging. Even if it’s sporadic. You’re my favorite blog. :)

Ms. SageMarch 7, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Just popping in to say “hi!” I was actually a fan and follower of Victoria Valentine’s blog back in the 1990s. It’s cool to see that you’re still out there. I haven’t read anything in this blog (just got here) but I’m interested to see what “grown-up me” thinks of “grown-up you”(r) blog. LOL! :)

A big part of my job involves blogging, and yes, sometimes it can be realllllllllly hard to get motivated! My favorite way to do it is kind of ho-hum… but I make appointments with myself to just sit down and WRITE. I try not to beat myself up if the stuff I produce isn’t the world’s best; I just do what’s motivating me at the time, and if it isn’t up to my standards, I go back and tweak it later or I just deal with the flaws. If I’m still not motivated, I’ll resort to making lists or even an entry with copious pictures, but I still keep trying. Another good idea is to use a “notepad” type app on your cell phone, and keep lists of things which you want to write about so that you have something to discuss in your scheduled writing time.

MeganMarch 12, 2014 - 1:41 pm

I feel y’all! But you’re so good at it! I wanted to comment in regards to your rainy SF season… I’m headed there for work for my very first time and just wondered if I should prepare for rain? You’ve sent me some great tips on where to go when I was in Hawaii and wondered if you’d already written a post about your favorite foods, bars, destinations in your dreamy city? I value your suggestions!!!
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