What I Wish I Knew About Pregnancy
There are quite a few things I wish I knew about pregnancy before I became pregnant. I had this basic idea that it wouldn’t be so bad back when we found out we were expecting our first child. Of course I heard of the morning sickness, the fatigue, and the cravings. What else could there be? There is so much more than I could have imagined!
1. Sleep On Your Stomach While You Can
No joking here. Seriously, if you are a stomach sleeper, enjoy it until you can’t anymore. When you get near your second trimester, it will become difficult. By the third trimester, it will be impossible. I slept on my stomach for a few years before this and the transition from sleeping on my stomach to my left side left me tossing and turning for a quite a few nights.
2. Morning Sickness Isn’t Always In The Morning
Despite the title of “morning” sickness, it can happen at anytime. Some women struggle with morning sickness more than others. I started to feel the morning sickness, but more often in the late afternoons and evenings. There were days when I felt sick all day every day for weeks on end. Definitely unpleasant, but it did eventually pass going into my second trimester.
3. Morning Sickness Isn’t Always a First Sign of Pregnancy
I knew I was pregnant before I encountered the morning sickness halfway through my first trimester. I thought I avoided the morning sickness, but that wasn’t the case. The first sign for me was my unusual nighttime bathroom trips.
4. You May Cry When Your Shoes Don’t Fit
Seriously. I remember wearing my every day, comfortable tennis shoes up until my third trimester. They started to feel a bit tight and I ended up wearing more slip on shoes at this point. My husband tried so hard, bless his soul, to take me into a shoe store and find me shoes that would fit. I felt so much frustration about my feet being swollen that I didn’t know where to start with sizes. Instead, I walked out of the store, and ended up with some cheap flip flops that did the job.
5. You May Not Be Able To Tie Your Shoes
I could tie my shoes up until my third trimester. Another reason why I needed to switch to some slip on shoes. Otherwise, I needed someone to put my shoes on for me and tie them. It can be frustrating not being able to do every day simple tasks yourself. This was one that bothered me more than not.
6. Leg Cramps Are Killer
I remember waking up in the middle of sleeping with awful leg cramps that felt like someone stabbed me in the leg. I would be crying and screaming in pain. Thankfully, due to some helpful online research, I started doing leg stretches multiple times a day and definitely before bed. Stretches helped keep the severe leg cramps away.
7. You May Feel Less Intelligent Than Usual
“Momnesia” or “Pregnancy Brain” is a term that’s thrown around that most pregnant women are familiar with. While your body is busy preparing for baby and switching your hormones about, it can create brain fog and make it easy to become forgetful. You may accidentally place cold groceries in cabinets, lock your keys in your car, forget the important things from your last prenatal appointment, or have the television on mute and wonder why the picture works but the sound doesn’t. You will be surprised at the simple things you can forget.
8. Sleep? What Sleep?
It is extremely important for a mother-to-be to get adequate sleep and perhaps even plus some. This is stressed so often and sometimes it feels completely unrealistic to achieve. When I reached the third trimester, I rarely felt rested. It was hard to fall asleep because of my big, heavy belly. I tossed and turned many times with pillows supporting my belly before falling asleep. I would need to wake up 2-5 times a night to use the bathroom. If leg cramps didn’t wake me up then heartburn or my own snoring did. If you already have kids then have fun trying to get a nap in or sleep through the night unless your kids are champs at that by now.
9. Your Pillows May Send Your Partner to the Couch
Yup, it’s true. Pillows in pregnancy are awesome, especially for supporting your belly, back, head, neck, shoulders, between your legs, and wherever else you can think of. Your side of the bed will be a pillow hoard. In turn, your husband may decide instead of being bombarded with pillows that it is easier to take a snooze on the couch.
10. The Cravings Are Real
While I never had the strange cravings for pickles and ice cream, I did have cravings for certain foods. Grapes were often a favorite and oh, how I craved them! Chicken nuggets were also another strong craving I had. They may take over you by surprise in the middle of the night when the store you want your husband to run to is closed.
11. The Heat Rashes Aren’t Fun
If I was in the car, headed home, I would get a nasty heat rash on the arm that was closest to the window. It would be red, splotchy, and it would get itchy. There were times they happened after a warm shower as well. The only way they went away is if I sat a moment in a cool area. They weren’t fun in the summer.
12. Baby Keeps You Warm
My husband, who nearly always runs warmer than I do and loves the cold was begging me to turn off the air conditioner in the winter. I would feel like I was sweating to death and he was cocooned in two or three comforters. In the winter, there were times I felt hot in a t-shirt shirt while everyone else was freezing to death. Babies definitely keep mama warm.
13. Your Underwear May Hate You
With more blood flow and swelling that can occur in those regions, the seam that is in your underwear may start to irritate. Some women flip their underwear inside out to avoid the seams. I bought boxers to wear around the house and flipped underwear inside out when I needed undergarments that were comfortable under pants. This was definitely annoying!
14. Annoying Moist Spots Under Your Shirt
At first, I didn’t realize what was going on, but I would suddenly feel a wet spot under my shirt. Other times it was a tingling sensation that ran down my side or belly. I could not figure out for days where these mysterious water drips were coming from. I felt pretty dumb when I discovered that it was my breasts leaking, which is totally normal. Although, this makes me laugh to think about how paranoid I got about it.
15. Those Little Baby Feet Can Hurt
It’s such an awesome moment when your partner can also feel the baby kicking. In the beginning, those soft, gentle flutters are so nice to feel. When you get into the late second or third trimester, it feels like someone launching a cannon in there. I remember my belly or sides being awfully sore from where baby would continuously kick. When your baby kicks upwards towards your rib cage, it does hurt. I remember sitting in the movies with my husband during my late second trimester and he placed his arm on the armrest, which was next to my belly. He felt a kick a super strong kick and moved his arm away. He thought that was uncomfortable? Ha! The baby is inside me.
16. Road Trips May Be Out of the Question
There would be times where we would drive somewhere only about an hour away, but I felt like I had to use the bathroom every 20 minutes. Even if I emptied my bladder completely before we hit the road it didn’t matter because I would still need to go anyway. There were times we could not stop and I felt like if I moved I would pee myself.
17. Weird Dreams Galore
I had so many off the wall crazy dreams. Some were plain weird like giving birth to animals or breastfeeding the cat. I mean, weird…so weird. You may remember your dreams more vividly, but it isn’t always a bad thing.
18. You Need Help To Get Up
Like laying down on that comfy couch? Enjoy sitting on the floor? You may not so much in the third trimester. I found that if I sat on the floor, I wouldn’t be able to get up without feeling like I had climbed a mountain to stand on my feet. Sometimes it felt like the couch simply tried to eat me because I needed help to get up.
19. Braxton Hick’s Contractions Are Annoying
At any time, more commonly in mid to late pregnancy you may feel these false labor contractions. They are often infrequent and irregular, and can be uncomfortable or painful. When I felt a contraction and recognized that it was a contraction, I freaked I was going into labor. Most times this wasn’t the case. When I was in labor, I knew. Labor contractions are more consistent, painful, grew stronger, and closer together.
20. The Bathroom Becomes Your Best Friend
Whether it is morning sickness or pee breaks, you will be seeing a lot of the good old porcelain throne.
21. Others Think They Can Give You Personal Advice
I don’t know what it is about being pregnant, but many think this is the time for their personal opinions on your pregnancy. Some will gladly try to guess the gender while others may tell you that you are too small or too big. If you look halfway between pregnant and not pregnant, some people will wonder if you are “just fat”. There are those touchy feely people who think it is completely okay to come up and touch or rub your belly without your permission. This is a big pet peeve of mine because my belly was sore and I didn’t like it being touched. I am glad that there were people that were kind enough to ask permission. I find husbands are great deterrents for this.
22. People Feel They Have the Right to Question You
You will get a lot of questions. “Formula or breastfed?”, “Boy or Girl?”, “Should you be putting ranch dressing on your salad?”, “Should you really be ordering your steak medium-well?”, “Was your pregnancy planned?”, “Are You Going to Have More Children After This?”, “You haven’t had the baby yet?”, “Where will you be giving birth?”, “How Are You Feeling?” While you are not required to answer any of them, you will have questions constantly headed your way.
23. Beware Holding Off On Gender Reveal
My husband and I like to wait to find out the gender. We enjoy the thrill of being surprised with a boy or a girl. The only annoying thing is that people would say, “We can’t buy you a gift if we don’t know if you’re having a boy or a girl!” as if they’ve never heard of “gender neutral” clothes/items. They get clever into trying to coax you to reveal the gender, even if you don’t know! Others may be upset with you because it drives them crazy, but if it makes you happy to wait then make it a fun surprise! If anyone asks, say, “We’re having a baby,” or better, “We’re having an alien.”
24. Your Lazy Bone Will Kick In
When you are in the third trimester and everything hurts, you’re tired, you’re fatigued, and you want to sleep 24/7 it is easy to chill and watch Netflix. Many every day things will feel like chores. If you have other children, this becomes even more difficult to deal with as laziness is something you may not be able to afford. You will be tired, but it won’t be long until your new little one will be in your arms!
25. The Most Annoying Question…
Is, “How do you feel?” I don’t know why, but this question struck a nerve. I didn’t like when people asked it. Perhaps it was obvious, “Well, I feel…pregnant.” I mean, what did they want me to say? I felt like I needed a nap and I felt fat with my swollen feet. How else do you expect me to feel?
As a note, even though I did post a lot of “annoyances” or things that came as a surprise to me during my first pregnancy, I do not consider pregnancy itself annoying. Pregnancy is a wonderful blessing from God! It is a miracle process that should never be purposefully ended or destroyed. There is no greater feeling than God has entrusted you with a small human being to care for, love, and raise in His ways.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
[Image Credit: freestocks.org on unsplash.com; Video Credit: 180movie.com by Living Waters]