Submitted by BOM Kathryn Trattner
When I had my first child I was clueless. Yes, there are books to read with pages and diagrams and mathematical equations. I bought those books. And then my husband hid them from me when I read ahead and freaked myself out.
My friends and I had somehow managed to all get pregnant about the same time so we were all going through the expansive journey together. But I didn’t really have someone who’d gone before (recently) and could tell me what to expect.
Something I did hear a bunch was: every pregnancy is different.
The piece below is something I wrote towards the end of my last pregnancy. And I think the advice at the end holds up post baby.
There are a lot of things I learned while pregnant with my first child.
- The delight that is morning sickness all day that lasts for nine months.
- The insomnia.
- The constipation.
- The constant heart burn.
- The tiny bladder syndrome.
All of these things I experienced with the first.
The second has been completely different. I haven’t had the constant sickness. That’s a plus. I have, however, gained more weight because Cherry Pepsi and Butterfingers are a gift from the gods that should never be ignored. Or walked by in the store. I know for a fact that if I don’t grab them, I’ll wake up at 2AM and not be able to go back to sleep because I ignored their tiny cries of friendship.
Yes, my darling yellow-wrapped packages of diabetic comas and sugary death drink, I WILL be your friend!
Another thing I’ve had the joy to discover is hemorrhoids.
I’ll be thirty this year and for my birthday I received hemorrhoids. I should have asked for a flat tummy after the birth or for the weird mole on my back to disappear. I guess if you don’t speak up, you just get what you get.
So, recently learning the joy of said affliction, I made a mistake—a mistake that haunts me.
Between my one year old, my husband, and myself, there’s more laundry in my house than there should be. I’m sure that it reproduces in the night, like bunnies or amoebas. I don’t know how it’s happening, I just know that it does. So I woke up on a Saturday morning and there were no clean cotton panties. No plain Jane, nothing to see here, never seen a bit of lace or frill underwear. So I dug in the back of my underwear drawer and pulled out a thong.
I’d decided to get a manicure and pedicure with my friend Lauren that day. I’m seven months pregnant, not the most graceful thing walking around on two legs, or four for that matter. Not that it pertains to the story really, just thought I’d throw it out there. So, I’m at a nail salon, my legs are getting massaged by an older Asian man and I’m comfortable. This gentleman was incredibly nice. He even carried my purse for me each time I had to move. That’s pretty darn sweet if you ask me.
Anyway, as I moved from station to station the thong started to get personal. I shifted from one cheek to the other, easing the pressure as best I could. By the time the day was over, the thong had become part of my butt. It was a permanent fixture, immovable, not changing, certainly not going anywhere. This sucker wasn’t going to come off unless surgery was involved.
I confessed to Lauren. She’s on her second pregnancy as well and non-judgmental. After a nod of understanding she said the magic words: Preparation H.
We went to the drug store to buy some.
“Always get the extra strength” she said, so I did.
When it came time to pay for my tube of extra strength hemorrhoid cream, the checker was a young gentleman who looked about sixteen; a very stylish, long haired, kind of sixteen that might have been laughing hysterically inside. To his credit, his expression didn’t change a bit. He remained polite and professional through the exchange.
I appreciate that kind of tact when I pay for butt cream.
Then I got home, peeled the thong off, and applied the cream. Extra strength, that’s the way to go. Never have I had a better piece of advice.
Cue the choir of angels. Bring in the trumpets. Now lower the beams of heavenly light.
Preparation H, how I love thee.
I’m not saying that hemorrhoids are the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. It’s nowhere near childbirth but don’t kid yourselves. It’s the kind of thing that creeps up on you. Like those slow burn salsas that you keep eating until you realize the roof of your mouth has been burned away by the fiery heat of a thousand suns. That kind of pain.
But the Preparation H changed all that. I was given a new outlook on life, on the way I sit, on the things I wear.
Well, except for thongs. I threw those away. Never again. Not even once. Tell your friends, hemorrhoids and thongs don’t mix.
Blogger of the Month Kathryn Trattner is a reader, writer, and busy mom. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City supported by three cats, two kids, and one husband. Find her at kathryntrattner.com but she won’t be there, you know, in person. She’s probably hiding under the covers with a flashlight and a book.