It’s widely-known that pregnancy messes with your head. The combination of severe body discomfort and fluctuating hormones makes you do some truly nutty things, like naming your firstborn son after Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriend in Sex and the City. Or running away from home and setting up a makeshift camp at the local park with a bottle of Mt Franklin and a box of Pizza Shapes BECAUSE UPSET. Or weeping snotty tears in public when We Built This City by Starship comes onto your iPod shuffle*.
(* all real examples, lamentably)
Brain aside, there are four other body parts that pregnancy fucks up forever:
1. Your boobs
I have a little pep talk that I like to deliver to newly-pregnant women of the primigravida variety (that’s first-time preggos, for the peanut gallery).
“ZOMG WOW! Congratulations!!”
“Go and take a photo of your tits.”
“Go and take a photo of your tits. RIGHT NOW. They will never be this magnificent again”.
No one ever believes me, the same way that I scoffed at the inconsiderate buffoon (aka my husband) who taunted me with grim warnings about droopy hooters and the pencil test in my first pregnancy.
MY magnificent boobs were not going to fall prey to this. It was impossible.
“Dude, I’m a B cup. These perky little bitches will be slave to no man’s gravity”.
The pencil test entails sticking a 2B under your boobs to see how saggy they are (I feel like I need to insert one of those super-obvious warnings here, like DO NOT SLAM FACE INTO CERAMIC HOTPLATE WHILST IN OPERATION, but you guys are smart, yes? Anyway, just in case: DO NOT STAB YOURSELF IN THE TIT).
If your breasts can hold the horizontal pencil in place while your husband points and laughs and struts around the room looking as pleased with himself as a masturbating bonobo ape, that’s peer-reviewed proof of droopage right there.
So, I was naïve and arrogant and very WRONG to think that my once-magnificent boobs were any more special than anyone else’s. People often think that breastfeeding ruins your breasts, but that’s a widely-held misconception – it’s those fucking pregnancy hormones that do the first damage.
Welcome to Sagsville. Population: 2
2. Your feet
You’ve spent your entire adult life not growing, because that’s kind of what being an adult entails: arrested development. That gets flipped on its head when you become pregnant, because everything starts growing again. Your belly. Your hair. Your booty. Your pelvic cavity. Your credit card debt. Your fear of the future. Your feet.
Your. fucking. FEET.
When your days of being a foetal incubator are just a distant memory, your feet will still remain a half or whole size bigger than they used to be. The pregnancy hormone relaxin is the culprit here, because it loosens all the joints and ligaments in your feet, making them longer, wider and flatter.
The development of hobbit feet is one of the more random body changes that takes place during pregnancy, and seems to have no biological function other than to totally fuck with you, because your entire wardrobe of expensive designer footwear no longer fits any more.
And the best news? It’s permanent!
You can toss those sexy Jimmy Choo slingbacks down the charity-bin chute – time to upgrade to size 10 Homy Ped sandals with built-in arch support.
3. Your pelvic floor
Depressing truth-bomb: all those light bladder-leakage commercials featuring middle-aged women in lycra bike shorts are actually true. Things may not get quite as dire as the bike shorts suggest, but you are literally going to piss yourself with wearying regularity once pregnancy is done with you, so you might as well be rocking a lycra camel-toe because your humiliation is already 100% complete.
Think of your pelvic floor as a mortar. And the 40 week-old foetus as a pestle. Then replace “pestle” with “jackhammer” and try to imagine how fucked up that mortar is going to be when you go to town on it with an industrial-grade power tool. It’s not gonna hold shit. And it’s certainly not going to hold your piss.
Keep doing those kegels, but I guarantee that your enjoyment of the following activities will be vastly less-satisfying after giving birth:
- Jumping on the trampoline
- Aerobics classes
- Running and skipping
- Star jumps and burpees
- Laughing too vigorously
- Sneezing too loudly
- Coughing, vomiting and blowing your nose
There is no greater indignity than pissing yourself while you vomit – particularly if you are completely sober at the time. Keep squeezing, ladies.
4. Your belly
Saddest of all is the mess that pregnancy makes of your belly. When I realised that I could actually tuck my post-pregnancy tummy flap into low-rise jeans, I knew it was time to go shopping. I kid you not, the young sales assistant took one look at me and squealed “Oooh, you should try our tummy-tucking jeans”, before man-handling me over to the section with all the stretchy denim and armpit-high waistbands. Burn.
Saggy skin, bloated love handles, abdominal separation – my once proud belly has more in common with a sticky mound of uncooked baker’s dough than I would ever care to admit (throw in the stretch marks and I could easily be mistaken for a life-sized loaf of tiger bread).
Aaaand this is the part where I’m meant to throw in the obligatory BUT IT’S ALL TOTALLY WORTH IT! Yeah. Alright. I guess so. They’re loveable little buggers I s’pose, so it’s a fair trade. I do miss those boobs though.