What else to expect when you’re expecting (the itch)

June dawned with the blinding flashes of love. Pausing midday during a mildly annoyed minute, it suddenly would punt you in the back of the head. A love for somebody you don’t even know yet. I envisioned having to fight kids in the McDonald’s play area if they tripped up my kid, or lurking outside the elementary school gymnasium, waiting for a bully with a sockful of toonies. How do people do this? How will I keep my heart from exploding and poisoning every internal organ when I see this kid? I’m sure the first time they talk back to me or make fun of something I’ve said, I’ll have no problem sending them outside to play with rabid dogs in poison ivy, but that’ll be a couple of years away still. How, until then, was I going to keep my shit together?

June also brought stomach aches I had to lay down for and pray for the light to take me away, some 2-a-day poops (can I get a angelic chorus of Hallelujah?), the deep sighing sight of my boobs now resting on my stomach if I sat down, like two sad scoops of melting ice cream perched on top of Mt. Everest, and getting my eyes tested to find out, for the first time since I was four, my prescription had changed for the better.

It also brought the kicks and punches I could finally feel. The only way I can describe them is to take a drugged frog into your mouth and have it half-heartedly try to get out. They’re little muted thuds inside of you that immediately made you talk to the kid. Every time. This was a typical conversation around our place.

Me to stomach: “Bubs, what are you up to in there?”

Nuv (from the other room): “What?”

Me: (Pause) “Nothing, I was…. talking to the kid.”

I know I had the fine talent of being able to talk most hours of the day before this, but now I had a friend to talk to, with me ALL THE TIME. And it didn’t make fun of me, challenge my theories, or talk about things I didn’t care about. Pretty much the perfect road trip companion to finish off our journey together. Shitty downside – the kid liked to freeze whenever I got Nuv’s attention to come feel the moves. Great – the kid was already being belligerent.

Mid-June brought home hard what stress can do to you. After putting an offer in to buy a townhouse and not getting it, I was super disappointed, but I didn’t cry myself to sleep. I woke up with a couple of new bug bites which buzzed and itched and sucked, but went to work and everything was fine until just before lunch when I noticed a smattering of red dots along my arms, in my cleavage, and marking where my underwear hit my skin.

Within an hour the dots had connected and become itchy, ugly, terrible blots. A clinic doctor thought I was having an allergic reaction and prescribed me a topical steroid. I said NAY to that, and finished the day at work trying not to cry at what my skin was morphing into – a total body suit of red rash. That night, unwilling to take any medication because I didn’t want to miss out on being crowned Pregnant Martyr of the Year, I took a cold oatmeal bath – probably one of the most uncomfortable dunks ever– slathered on aloe, moaned, and walked with all limbs sticking out away from my body to avoid unnecessarily touching myself.

There was more red on me than white, the itch was well up and into my bum crack, and Nuv commented that I had never looked sadder. The next morning it had spread to my face and hands. I was a throbbing swollen mess. Then a really bad stomachache hit, and I ended up calling my girlfriend, crying, asking her to take me to the MD. The MD looked at me and did a 'go take some Benadryl you silly girl' sigh. So I took drugs, and the hives all but vanished. Being that my food intake, laundry detergent and body lotion hadn’t varied, I realized it had to have been stress that made my skin fever and burn. This was not in any baby book I'd read. So I chalked it up to just one more experience I lived through so that you don't have to. You're welcome.