There are many minor yet extremely irritating complaints that accompany pregnancy. You won’t hear about them until you are already too far along to turn back, of course. And every weird, painful, nasty, embarrassing little thing is “normal” even though you’ve never heard of it before. (I think there is either a serious conspiracy among mothers, or else a major post-pregnancy amnesia issue here. Will let you know if I figure this out.)

So back in the second trimester, I got hit with severe migraines out of the blue. I suddenly needed to lie down in blackness and hold my head still against a cold pillow. Of course you can only take Tylenol for these head-in-a-vise pain episodes, and Doc said that it was all just a normal (again with the “normal!”) part of the ride; apparently as your blood volume increases exponentially during weeks 16 – 18 the migraines are simply a little-known and highly debilitating side effect. On the bright side, the migranes went away after a few weeks.

I wish I could say that about the stuffy factor. Since nearly the moment I got pregnant, I’ve had major congestion. As in, during more than half of my waking hours I honestly just can’t breath out of my nose. At all. At night? Fugetaboutit. And like everything else, you can’t just reach for the cold medicine (bad for baby!) so you have to suffer through it. My constant sniffles surely must annoy strangers who don’t understand. I have stashed little travel packs of Kleenex in every car door, purse, desk cubby, and corner of my home to accommodate my overproductive sinuses. Doc says this is another little-discussed but perfectly normal side effect of this baby making business. Hmmph. What’s that thing they say about pregnant women being beautiful? I’m not glowing, I’m blowing. This is gross.

Now that I’ve had this stuffy nose for months, and I snort and sniffle away like a lifetime cocaine addict, I hardly notice when I do it in public anymore. Surely my dinner companions notice me talking like Dumbo the elephant and snorking back snot constantly, but why should I care? The one thing I do still manage to enjoy is eating. And I can honk my nose if I want to. Pregnant women are beautiful. I’ll just keep telling myself that. (Sniff. Snort. Honk!)