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I have been mothering children since I was a child; babysitting a cousin’s or neighbor’s child since I was 10 years old.  I was responsible, loving and able to tend to even a newborn’s needs and when I had any problems, my mother was usually home to go to or I called my grandmother.  I loved kids and planned mine even before I really knew anything about boys, sex, pregnancy.

I don’t know that I would have ever changed my mind about children if someone had sat me down and explained what pregnancy was really like.  And how could anyone ever know how any of my pregnancies would be?  I had complications with each one but, everyone is different.

Photo taken by The Girl-in-the-Middle 2007 All Rights Reserved

With the pregnancy of my first son, I quickly realized that although I loved kids and wanted a large family, this whole pregnancy thing was for the birds.  One of the worst things was having to get up in the middle of the night, sometimes 2 or 3 times to pee. I know that it is a normal part of the experience and understand why but  I hated it.  I am sure my husband hated it, or me, because every time I had to go pee in the middle of the night, I would wake him and say, “we have to go to the bathroom.”  I wished he could just go for me but, since he couldn’t, he had to go with me. (Terrible, right.)

I had complications with each of my pregnancies but, the worst was the uncontrollable and unexplainable itching that took over my entire body.  With my first, the itching set in around the 7th month.  By the time we had the home completely fumigated, thinking it was fleas the cat may have brought in, and changed all soaps and cleaning products, the boy was here and the itching was gone.  With the girl, the itching set in early and we tried everything to figure it out until I could not take it anymore and after an evening bath my husband stood over me as I was naked, sitting on my bed, the baby scratching my legs, me scratching my arms and belly.

Him: (Paralyzed at the door to the bedroom) What do you want me to do?

Me: (Crying in agony) Scratch my back.

He steps forward ready to join in.

Me: (I have scratched myself until I am slightly bleeding and he is scared. I am scared) No. Call the doctor!!

When he gets the doctor on the phone,

Him: to the doctor – She is itching.  To me – He says, where?

Me: EVERYWHERE! My arms, legs, stomach, back, tongue, eyelids…(I’m crying in exasperation.)

Him:  He says to come in.  He will meet us at the emergency room.

The doctor met us, saw how red I turned and the welt produced by just the gentle swipe of his pen over my arm and gave me a shot of some miracle juice that would allow me to sleep without feeling that itching sensation on the bottom of my feet that woke me every night.  He instructed the nurses to let me sleep.  I loved Dr. Babb, a good ole country doctor.  He could not prescribe what gave me relief at the hospital, it would be too strong to take on a regular basis, but he prescribed other things and by trial and error we figured out that nothing helped and stopped trying.  I would have to suffer it through until delivery which would instantly relieve me of my misery.  I hated pregnancy for the itching more than anything else at that time.

Between the 2nd and 3rd child there was enough time for me to have had to have my gall bladder removed.  I don’t remember why but, according to the nurse practitioner, with no gall-bladder there would most likely be no itching.  I was so relieved when she proved to be right, the itching was a thing of the past but, that peeing thing was still an issue.

My third child was so big, I was so big, that when I would get up to go to the bathroom, my hip would give out and I would fall into the wall or back down on the bed.  I tried to hold it, praying that the baby would shift, maybe, and the sensation would go away and I could just go on sleeping.  You would think that I would learn to just get up and go.  Every night, by the time the urge to pee pushed me out of the bed, my body ached from having held it so long.  I am surprised I never got a bladder infection.

The bathroom and I have not gotten along since the birth of my third, I don’t say last because maybe there will be another.  For some reason, my body must believe I am pregnant because it keeps waking me to have to go in the middle of the night.  It is as if it is punishing me for pushing it to the limit and I am forever doomed to midnight pees.  Crazy thing is that I still haven’t learned.  I hold it and hold it and hold it until my kidneys hurt, I can’t sleep, my stomach hurts and I am about to burst.  And each time I get up, I remember how much I hate pregnancy.

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