For most of our lives, summertime is a great thing! It means patios and potato salad, beach days and hammocks, and sipping cocktails in sundresses long into the well-lit night.
Except when you’re pregnant.
When you’re pregnant, you have to query as to how long the potato salad has been sitting out, you must avoid the sun because your skin hates you just as much as the rest of your parts do, you can only drink “mocktails” with cutesy names like “The Virgin Mule” (which you KNOW is just ginger ale with a sad little lime wedge. No one is fooled by the hipster glassware. Also, that seems like a lot of personal information about the mule), and a sun that won’t set just means you have an even harder time falling asleep at night.
When you’re pregnant, summertime has already been tampered with, but when the heat index rises, it becomes your worst nightmare.
This is what it feels like to be pregnant in the summertime:
You’re in a sandstorm, wearing a full-body wool poncho, with only an opening the size of a cocktail straw through which you can breathe, kind of.
You know those microwavable veggie packets that steam while they cook? You’re the broccoli.
Or, since you probably have a severe broccoli aversion right now, you know how at convenience stores there are those plump red hot dogs just sitting in that cooker, spinning and sweating all day? You’re the hot dog.
You’re sharing a sleeping bag with someone in 90-degree heat but you can’t unzip it and get out, because you’re the sleeping bag.
You’re sweating in the heat, and you know you should stay hydrated, so you drink a lot of water, but then you have to hoist yourself up to empty your bladder every 42 seconds, which takes a ton of work, so then you’re sweating. On and on like this, May through September.
Everyone looks so cute in their sundresses! You remember sundresses! You try to buy a maternity sundress, but it’s just not the same, since it looks like it could fit around the actual sun.
Your cute summer sandals might technically fit your swollen feet, but it’s kind of a Cinderella’s step-sister situation and the straps are begging for mercy. Your chubby, swollen toes sticking out the top remind you of the convenience store hotdogs. Great. Now you’re hungry again.
You’re hungry but can only fit in a few bites at a time because the baby is squished right up against your stomach. That seems impossible because he/she is also squished right up against your bladder. You start to wonder if there are actually 9 or 10 babies up in there and you look suspiciously at your doctor or midwife at your next appointment. Perhaps they are hiding the fact that you’re actually having a litter of human children…perhaps they just didn’t want to alarm you…perha- you have to pee again. By the time you waddle back to your exam room you forgot what you were talking about.
You find yourself forgetful and unfocused. You’re sure you came into the kitchen for something, but now can’t for the life of you figure out what it was. Oh, well. You’re here. You may as well fan yourself with the open refrigerator door for the next 90 minutes.
All you want is to completely submerge yourself in a cold pool for the rest of your pregnancy/life. You’d be so pruney and happy just floating around there, weightless and cool. Somehow your job and family have not agreed to these terms and keep insisting that you do terrible things like “stand up,” “put pants on,” and “function like a grown up.” They just don’t understand.
Believe it or not, you will survive both the summer and the pregnancy, even at the same time. Just be careful and wise about the heat, see your provider with any concerns, and eat your broccoli.