If you are male, I advise you to run like the wind away from this post. Trust me. There are some mental images that cannot be mentally unseen. You do not want a part of this. Leave now. Come back next week when it’s safe.
(In my best Lorax impersonation) You have been warned!
When you’re pregnant, the one person a girl should be able to turn to for advice and answers is her mother. But that’s a problem when your mom never had children.
It’s not really. See, my mom is actually my step-mom. She married my dad when she was in her thirties and inherited my brother and me. She never had children of her own. So while she is completely fantastic, and I love her dearly, she is totally useless when it comes to pregnancy concerns.
Being on my third pregnancy, you would think I’d be self-sufficient in the baby-growing department anyway. But I am learning that pregnancy is not one of those once-you’ve-done-it-you’ve-got-it-down kind of experiences. Each one of my pregnancies has been slightly different, with its own small issues and complications.
With no maternal guidance, I have been forced to rely on a combination of the many pregnancy guidebooks, Google, and friends who’ve already “been there, done that”. While those have been reliable sources of information, the sad fact remains that there are some topics that are not covered in the books, would produce questionable results on Google, and are downright too embarrassing to discuss with friends.
So what’s a girl to do? Trial and error. Mostly error. That being said, if I ever get my hands on Mr. Peabody’s Way-Back Machine, I will definitely go back and warn me about some things.
Number one thing on my list—SHAVING.
Girls, don’t lie. You know that we all hate shaving, and we put it off when we can, like in the winter when you know your legs will be in hibernation for a couple of months. We may not go the full time without shaving, but we certainly aren’t killing ourselves for smooth, perfect legs every single day. What would be the point when we’re going to be covering those babies up with wool leggings and boots?
Pregnancy is sort of like a 9-month long winter.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts about the impossibility of bending to do a decent leg shave after a certain point. But legs aren’t the only thing hibernating about half-way through the second trimester. Use your imagination. You’ll get there. (No, it’s not arm pits. Those must be maintained. We aren’t Europeans, ladies.)
As with winter legs, there comes a point when maintaining the perfect shave when there’s no one to condemn you for not just seems like wasted effort. However, pointless as it seems, I wish I could have warned myself to “KEEP THE SHAVE CURRENT!” The weeks of freedom aren’t worth the price you have to pay when that ninth month comes rolling in, delivery/surgery is right around the corner, and it’s time to get things back under control.
Which leads to my next issue—RAZOR BURN.
Now, in all fairness, the prego books do mention that skin (especially the bikini area…) can be more sensitive during pregnancy and you can, therefore, be more susceptible to razor burn or razor rash. But truly, that section should really be a little more detailed and a LOT more graphic. I’m talking full-color pictures and lots of exclamation points. Because I have experienced both razor burn and rash in my non-pregnant days, and THIS was not the same as THAT. However, my father is a plant worker, so I’ve seen what a diamine burn looks like. My skin looked much more akin to that—a bright red, shiny, chemical-looking burn. So even though I was reading the correct section of the book, it didn’t help. At all.
And, let me reiterate, there was no one to ask. (“Hey, BFF! Remember when you were preggers? Did you happen to shave your unmentionable area and end up with some crazy red burn? No? Well, can I shoot you a picture of mine and you tell me what you think?” Absolutely NOT an option.)
For nearly a week, I debated whether or not I should go see my doctor. On the one hand, I was in agony and fairly certain my lower half was doomed for amputation. On the other, I kept reading that razor burn, even extreme razor burn, was completely normal due to all the raging hormones, (of course, there were no pictures, even on Google images, to see if my condition resembled that of others), and I didn’t relish the idea of an examination just to be told that I would be fine in a few more days.
While I waited in Shaving Purgatory, I decided to make some changes to improve my condition and, hopefully, speed my recovery. I traded my loofah and Bath & Body Works for sensitive skin baby wash when I showered, and I loaded up on sensitive skin baby powder when I got out. Sensitive skin, my toe. That stuff stung like the dickens. But since I could come up with no better alternative, and I figured that avoiding showering would probably make matters worse, I endured. Underwear also had to be traded in for seamless biker shorts. And I reverted back to my childhood sitting positions. You know—the kind that made your parents blush and call you out to “sit like a lady!”.
I was a vision.
Finally, it got to the point where I could no longer walk. As I lay on my couch stark, raving naked, seeking relief from the burn via the ceiling fan, and crying over my ruined body, I caved and called the doctor. To add insult to injury, Finnick spent that entire phone conversation poking his finger into my belly button and laughing.
If I had been able to advise myself, I would have told me “DON’T WAIT TO GO TO THE DOCTOR, YOU IDIOT!” After all, by the time you’ve had two babies and you’ve made it this far with a third, your dignity and modesty is pretty much shot anyway. What’s one more naked exam? (I would also tell me to “Put Finnick in the other room before your emotional breakdown.”)
So to the doctor I went!
I don’t know if any of you are fans of FRIENDS, but there’s an episode where Ross has to go to the doctor to have some sort of growth removed from his hip/buttocks, and by the end of the medical consultation, his room is filled with nurses, interns, and other doctors all crowded around his naked backside, clamoring for a chance to see his strange condition.
Okay, so my experience wasn’t as bad as that. But it felt like it. I had to be examined by the nurse, and the mid-wife, and the nurse practitioner. And clearly, I was not at my best. Nonetheless, it was worth it. Not only did I get the satisfaction of hearing all three examiners gasp and exclaim over this “poor mama”, but I also got drugs! And, while I wasn’t completely back to normal, I was at least functional (and clothed) 24-hours later.
Hallelujah for modern medicine!
My last piece of advice would probably be, “If something is too embarrassing to discuss with your closest friends and family members, it probably shouldn’t be shared on a public blog.”
But then again, maybe there are other preggers out there who are desperate for some of the more embarrassing things to be put out there because they don’t have anyone to go to for answers either.