Spring Cleaning & Debunking: 16 Weeks Pregnant

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April 9, 2014

Sh*t’s getting real around here, guys.

Something snapped in me this morning, I woke up with this deep, simmering urge to CLEAN THIS HOUSE UNTIL IT SHINES.

We have a lovely lady who comes to our house every other Friday and does an amazing job cleaning it for us, but today it had to be ME who did it, to get down on all fours and lick the place clean till it was fit for the Queen.


My plan was to start with the kitchen and work my way through the house, back to front.  We don’t have a very big place, so I figured it wouldn’t take that long….


I’m not even sure of how many minutes or hours, because after I started my first task – the kitchen sink – time stood still and I got all woozy and these invisible blinders grew out of the side of my head and I swear I didn’t stop until I had scoured, polished, swept, dusted, waxed, scrubbed, every single inch of this place with my blood, sweat and (lots of) tears.

Except the ceiling fan in the dining room.  That’s my husband’s job.

I just kept cleaning and cleaning… it’s like I was possessed.  I couldn’t stop, even if I wanted to!  Every time I felt myself get tired and slow down I would look up, see a spot I’d missed, and suddenly I was speaking in tongues and my hair would frizz up and I’d snap on the rubber gloves and off I’d go!

Madeleine, look away…… and I didn’t even care about the potentially toxic fumes I was inhaling while scrubbing the tub and the sinks and the floors….!!  I relished in them, in fact!   RELISHED!!!   EVERYTHING SMELLED SO CLEEEEEEAN!!!

But guys, I’m telling you, there really is no greater feeling than collapsing on your vacuumed couch after a satisfying day of spring cleaning.  Am I right?!  Who’s with me??

The collapsing and relaxing afterwards was especially appreciated since today was the day the Braxton Hicks decided to start.  BLARG.

keep-calm-it-s-only-braxton-hicks-2Not my baby in that ultrasound picture, JSYK.

As a current and former sufferer of the Braxton Hicks, I’d like to take this opportunity to debunk this gentle description I found on a popular baby information site.  Here are the bullet points they list:

  • Some time towards the middle of your pregnancy, or maybe even earlier, you may notice the muscles of your uterus (womb) tightening.
    • Tightening.  Huh.  I guess you could call it that, although I prefer to say it feels like a giant rubber band has been quietly and secretly wrapped around your belly while you weren’t looking, then pulled violently tight by invisible and probably laughing gnomes or trolls and squeezed until you want to pee your pants, occasionally knocking the wind out you in the process…. and sometimes actually making you pee your pants.

  • If you place your hands on your bare bump when this is happening, you can feel how hard your uterus becomes.
    • If you can take a hand off of the wall you fell against when the contraction first knocked the wind out of you, yes, you can definitely feel how hard your belly has become.  The weirdest part is sometimes it’s only one side of the belly, so you’ll look down and the left side will be bulging out like a rock and the right will be round and smooth and smooshy and like, “what?  Is something happening here?” 
  • Each tightening usually lasts for about half a minute, and probably won’t cause you any discomfort.
    • That sounds about right, thirty seconds.  I have had them last longer, though.  As for saying they “probably” won’t cause discomfort, I don’t know about that.  I only know my own experiences with them, and I can honestly say that pretty much every single one I can recall, caused me discomfort.  Once when I was pregnant with Bee, they came on so fast and so hard that I had to lean against a lamp post, schlumped over, hands on my knees, and had to just breathe it out until it passed.  I felt like I was going to pass out – luckily I was with my husband.  If I did faint I would have had him to carry me home.  Poor guy.

  • You may have this sensation once or twice an hour, a few times a day. Not all of us feel these contractions.
    • When I first started getting them with Bee, they would happen very infrequently, maybe once or twice a week.  It was in the third trimester when they really ramped up, I was getting them pretty much all day, every day – I felt like a walking contraction.  In fact, I remember thinking at one point that I couldn’t remember what it was like to NOT have them happening constantly.  I’ve heard that many women don’t ever feel them at all.  These mythical women, like those who don’t experience morning sickness, elude and amaze me.  Are you out there, Women?  Can you hear me??  Can you read this?!   Who are you?!  I need to know your secrets!!


I’m not really being fair, I’m making Braxton Hicks sound terrifying and unbearable, and probably scaring the bejeebuz out of you Early Pregnant Mamas.  But as I’m sure you’ve heard, every woman and every pregnancy is different, and it’s 100% probable that you will have an entirely different experience with the ‘Hicks than I do.

Besides, they’re not totally bad and as awful and debilitating as I’ve described.  I mean, they’re not great!  It’s definitely not FUN to get them!  Just in mind, that if/when they do start afflicting you, it’s your body doing it’s job.  It means it’s all working!

There are some really ugly sides to pregnancy, but if you stop think about it, it’s all for the greater good:  the nausea happens because the baby is growing and developing; you get stretch marks and achy ribs because your belly is expanding to make room for how big he/she is getting; your boobs get huge and hurt like a mofo because they’re starting to make the milk that will nourish you wee one; and Braxton Hicks contractions is your uterus practicing for when it’s time for the real thing.

And then, you have your baby.  And that makes it all – ALL – worth it.

Now I just gotta keep reminding myself that for the next 24 weeks……


2 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning & Debunking: 16 Weeks Pregnant

    Sara said:
    May 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I didn’t feel any BHs with my first pregnancy. Not one bit. But with this one… oh man. I guess I’m making up for last time. A couple days ago they were so bad I thought I had maybe gone into preterm labor! 11 weeks to go. Hopefully bb will show up early because THIS IS NO JOKE!

      mamabethbarnes said:
      May 15, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Ugh, Sara I was like that with Bee towards the end. It’s no party that’s for sure!! But the end is in sight for you! Just clench those teeth, bear down and ride it out! You’ll have forgotten all about it in no time 🙂

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