At a stage in my pregnancies, I was actually referred to as an old woman, especially by the grandmother in front of my house. Immediately, she saw me, she would hail, “Iya Arugbo ti de o, awon beji nko? ( Old woman has come o, how are the twins doing?) And even a few friends called me an old woman, especially when I was unable to do those things I would ordinarily have done.
And she was right. At that time, between the two of us, if we were asked to race, she would definitely be coming tops. I looked like an old woman, walked like one, was not into any heavy lifting, and groaned like one.
I was in my third trimester when, every time, I lay down on the bed, it visibly dipped, and the title “Heavy duty” became my husband’s favourite nickname for me. I did not find it funny, after all he contributed in making me that way.
Let’s do a chronicle of the various ways that pregnancy turns you into an “old” woman.
Your Wardrobe and Beauty Choices
We all often have very good intentions about being fashionable, and dressing the bump in the most fashionable way there is, but we all agree that, over time, and on some days, it can become a struggle to even get out of your dressing gown. As for finding something to fit, that often becomes a game of chance, and hoping against hope that something will fit.
My fashion choices while pregnant were very limited. In fact, I could count the number of clothes I wore, as I did not think it wise to go maternity shopping, when in a few months, the clothes would become oversize for me, as I would have returned to my pre-pregnancy size.
Whilst we are still talking fashion, have you noticed that pregnant women tend to use more make up? For me, no matter the perfect application of the make up, it always seemed off, as though the face was protesting. When pregnant, my face always becomes rounder than normal, with my nose dominating the whole face. I had no idea about contouring…perhaps it would have worked. The only time I ever got a thinner face was whenever I had this skull cap hairstyle, which often frames my face, hiding most of my forehead. You can bet that was my go-to hairstyles for months. I had it on, back to back. The best part of being “old” was that I got respite from my acne and breakout bouts.
And that was so like the elderly women I know…especially the one in front of my house. Her favourite hairstyle was the side part bob. It could be with wavy hair, or straight, and it was her go-to hairstyle. When I asked her why that same style, she said her hairdresser had said the style fit her face, and for years, it had become her comfort zone.
And shoes! This is when it becomes all about comfort. I actually envy preggy moms, who are able to walk smartly in their three inch heels. Thumbs up to you! For me, the lower the better. How would I have managed it, with my swollen ankles and feet? Feet that I had to elevate with pillows most of the night, so that I would be able to walk in the morning? No, heels and I were not friends back then.
On a lighter note, how do you do the pregnancy waddle, when you’re wearing heels? If you know, please teach me o, for future purposes.😉
When pregnant, the amount of ‘sorry’ you will hear can be alarming. When you are sitting, “sorry”, you are standing, “sorry o, ndo” You want to pick something, “Iya beji, take am easy”. Some people will just look at you and go, “Eeeyah, sorry oh” At this stage, it does not matter what your doctor had said to you about how you couldn’t be in better health, or that your baby is doing great. In fact, you might have even seen it for your self, several times, via ultrasound scan, the kind of football and other gymnastics, your baby is doing.
You just don’t feel normal, but then, what you are going through is extraordinary. You are growing a human being inside you…just beneath your heart, and that affects your health, and your sense of good health.
For several weeks before I had my younger twins, I had been feeling out of breath, and I had put it down to one of the symptoms of a third trimester pregnancy, until I gave birth, and felt so sore on the left side of the my body. I was in pain on that side, and was even breathing through my mouth. My doctor then surmised that one of the twins had most likely been lying on one of my lungs, and it was going to take a while to get the lung back to its normal size, so I lay on my right side for hours, or on my back. My left was a no go area.
That’s aside the pain and twinges that are a part of the nine-month journey, for which they is no medication. At least, the old woman can have drugs and such to alleviate her pain! That is not the case with the pregnant woman. She is meant to suck it up, take her vitamins, and rest as much as she can.
In this aspect, the pregnant mom is the one person with whom no one wants to share shocking news, unless they don’t mind having a pregnant woman going into labour from shock, on their hands.
Some women are a basket case, when it comes to tears. That was my friend, Katie. During her second pregnancy, she would be laughing at a joke one minute, and the next moment, we are handing her tissue to wipe her tears. You give her small gist, and she’s starts bawling like a baby.
At a stage, we, her friends, did not know what we were supposed to say, or not, around her, as she was always crying. I did not understand that her hormones were in overdrive, and turned her into a cry-baby. If you remind her of those time now, she just pats her hair and mouths, “blame the pregnancy hormones”. Indeed, I suspect, she used those hormone to get some ridiculous compromise from her DH, but then, what’s my own?! Use what you have to get what you want.
I got the tears but I don’t think I was that bad (my DH and Katie might disagree). I think my tears were mostly from frustration over being unable to do certain things for myself, and no one could do it like I wanted. When I cry, someone is arm twisted to get it done, according to MY instructions. Like my friend, it wasn’t me, it was the pregnancy hormones.
It is the pregnancy hormones that make an 80 year old out of a 29 year old lady. When, you see a pregnant mom struggle to get up from her seat, know that she is an old woman, but not that kind of old. She will regain her youth, once she brings forth her baby. Help her, the same way you would help an elderly citizen.
Stay strong, moms! Pregnancy doesn’t last, but you will.
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