The NFP Catholic’s Guide to Pregnancy

The NFP Catholic’s Guide to Pregnancy November 16, 2015

pregnant-935977_1920For arcane and inscrutable reasons, I keep going on-line to try to find useful advice on how to manage the various discomforts and irritations associated with being pregnant for the ninth time in 15 years. Naturally, all articles on pregnancy assume that you are a first time mom with lots of capital to spend on preggy pillows and trips to the spa.

For example, 32 weeks is apparently a great time for you and your sweetheart to plan a romantic sea-side getaway together so that you have time to reconnect and rejuvenate your relationship in preparation for the Big Changes that are going to happen once baby is born.

Hahaha ha ha ha… <murder>

None of these articles ever answer questions like “Where will my other six kids evaporate to while I am taking six baths a day and having my husband rub my swollen feet with tea-tree oil?” So I figure it’s time for me to write my own.

1st Month: You’re exhausted. Of course. And hormonal. Frankly, your emotions are a wreck. And you can’t eat…food. I know that all you really want right now is to curl up in bed with a nice, sharp dagger and a copy of your NFP chart. But now’s the time to be thinking ahead. Enroll your eldest child in massage classes (if you’re on a budget, which of course you are, substitute “classes” with “reading WikiHow articles and practising on hapless guinea pigs.” Aunts make excellent guinea pigs.) A small investment in your child’s education right now can make the difference between having a competent in-home masseuse to rub your back and feet in the third trimester, and having to put up with the “super effective” techniques that your spouse picked up while watching Spetsnaz training videos.

2nd Month: You’re still exhausted. And hormonal. And nauseous all the freakin’ time. Just remember, nowhere in the Catechism does it suggest that kicking inanimate objects is a serious sin. Nor am I aware of any theological treatise demonstrating that a sleeping husband doesn’t count as an inanimate object.

3rd Month: Exhausted. Hormonal. Nauseous. This is getting repetitive. And old. But fear not! 2nd trimester is almost here and everyone knows you get a Big Boost in 2nd trimester. Since your time and energy resources are so limited right now, it’s a great time to write a long, controversial blog series about NFP. You will find being interrogated about your personal life in com-boxes endlessly rewarding – especially since this is such an emotionally stable time for you. Don’t forget to stop by my on-line store and pick up an exclusive Christopher West dart board, now with 50% more rainbows and unicorns.

4th Month: Second trimester is here! The hormonal roller coaster has finally come to an end! You no longer feel like you are perpetually lost in the fogs of Mordor. Getting out of bed in the morning is only moderately challenging. This is the perfect time to start a major construction project. Remember, the binge-and-crash method of working is your friend. I mean, if you don’t complete at least one major renovation this month, how are you going to compensate for how guilty you feel about getting nothing done last trimester?

5th Month: Round about now, you will probably want to start thinking about how you are going to pay for the new baby, and whether you will be able afford to take maternity leave. By “think about,” I mean panic. Panicking is important, because you will be able to offer up the anxiety attacks for the cause of your other children, who will probably have gone feral by now. Be sure to occasionally check the woods around your house for dead pig’s heads on stakes.

6th Month: You’ve done this before. You know perfectly well that this is your last chance to accomplish anything for at least 3 months. Realistically, probably until the new baby is old enough to go upstairs alone without getting a concussion. So you’d better get on it. Start at least five different projects this month. Calculate how much time these projects will take using the most optimistic possible estimates. Make sure that you plan your output on each project as if the other four do not exist.

7th Month: Yes, Braxton-Hicks contractions do start this early in pregnancy. Also, you may have forgotten, but this is around about the time that your uterus will decide that it’s had just about enough of your lungs hogging all that space inside your body. Where do they get off anyway? Just because they provide oxygen. Pff. As long as there’s enough for the placenta, you’ll be fine. Honest. This is not a good time for complicated operations like walking or forming coherent sentences.

8th Month: Antacids are your friend. The packaging will make the hilarious claim that pregnant women should limit themselves to 3 ultra-strength tablets a day. This is because the manufacturers are sadists. Also, they are not aware that there are acid-spewing Cthonians living in your esophagus. You will find that it is extremely uncomfortable to stand for periods of more than 2 minutes as this causes contractions. Also extremely uncomfortable to lie down as this causes acid reflux. Fortunately, a cheap alternative to an expensive reclinable bed is to put your mattress and your box-spring on the floor, then pull your mattress half-way off of your box-spring to create an inclined plane. Naturally, this will cause neck and back pain. Fortunately, your teenager is now an experienced massage therapist. Or, if not, you can solve the problem with a small vat of Tiger Balm.

9th Month: If you are able to get out of bed and go to the bathroom on your own strength, you are a hero. Yes, I know about that little voice in your head that says “You’re useless. Don’t you remember how super you were when you were pregnant with your first child?” That voice is a liar. Silence it by accomplishing lots of really important things. Like, for example, I bet that up until now you have been seriously neglecting your toddler’s need to jump up and down in front of a screen while his mommy beats Final Fantasy VII. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to pull out the knitting project that you started during your last month of your last pregnancy and stare at it in bewilderment, trying to remember what it was supposed to be. Nevermind. Just add stitches at random, confident that by the end of your reproductive life it will have metamorphosed into something.

Towards the end of the month, you will become completely brain-dead and everything will ache. At this point you will desperately want to bring on labour. I recommend lots of red raspberry leaf tea. It doesn’t really do anything, but drinking endless cups of tea is an excellent, and effortless, way to induce ill-founded feelings of empowerment. Fortunately, by this point you will be sufficiently out of it that you won’t recall that this didn’t work last time either.

Next time: 7 Great Ways to Make Labour Fun

Image courtesy of pixabay.

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