Pregnancy is amazing for sure… I was thankful I didn’t have any complications or issues, it was relatively drama free, but I was just not one of those people who ‘loved being pregnant’. I really didn’t appreciate the ‘temporary’ part of it and recognize it as part of a journey until after, but I did have fun thinking back to some of the things that surprised me now that I’m looking back.
You Love your Body.
…. For like 3 days. OK maybe not that bad but there was a point in my pregnancy where I felt like, dam girl, you look great pregnant. Rocking a cute little bump with a well defined waist I felt awesome. Then sometime in the third trimester that waist disappears and you go back to Facebook photos from 2009 thinking dam, I was so tiny. Thankfully I had my husband here to say “Smash, you’re pregnant”. Oh yeah, thats right, there is a whole other human on me.
The First Trimester Sucks
You hear about morning sickness. You mentally prepare for some nausea when you wake up, so you stock up on crackers and think, I got this. Oh no, if you are one of the lucky ones to get nausea it can be an all day ordeal. I was lucky enough to not be yacking 5 times just on my commute to work and for that I am thankful, but my nausea was all day long and I had aversions to not only my best friend, coffee, but chocolate too! Everything from cooking, to brushing my teeth, to cold air made me gag. Luckily it was pretty much gone by 18-20 weeks along and I could curb it slightly by eating every 2 hours.
In addition to the morning sickness, I couldn’t believe how tired I was. I mean, seriously, the baby is the size of a piece of salt and I was out cold every day when I got home from work and then in bed by 9pm. I am still dumbfounded about how women handle this when they have another child pulling for their attention, it blows my mind. I kept thinking, am I going to be this tired forever?
Every pregnancy really is different.
I really thought that the reason there were so many pregnancy books was because pregnancy was something you could actually write a guide about. Between talking to friends, family members, moms, and google, I was constantly trying to find someone who experienced things that I did and it was truly as unique as a snowflake. Fortunately or not, this again applies to babies so if you can get over it early, you’ll be better off, so just roll with it as it comes.
You don’t get as many ultrasounds as you think.
I honestly thought ultrasounds were something you’d get at every doctors appointment because, well how else would you check on the baby? We got one at 8 weeks (to confirm the pregnancy), 16 and the 20 week anatomy scan. Luckily we got one additional because of some things they needed to check on later on, but I know many who had their last at 20 weeks! This must be the main motivator for paying for the extra 3D scan, you end up missing seeing that little nugget the last 20 weeks! And it still blows my mind that a measuring tape on your belly is an actual ‘medical’ indicator of pregnancy over a sonogram.
There are a lot of rules…. Many aren’t proven … and they differ around the world.
This one can be frustrating and very regional. This big ones in the US are no deli meat, coffee, alcohol, cat litter or sushi. Other parts of the world eat sushi, but avoid lettuce. Of course pregnant women are not going to sign up to study how much of something with effect an unborn baby so many things may never be put to rest. I should mention that I did read the book Expecting Better which did put my mind at ease on many things, and even has evidence and rather significant statistics on subjects as serious as alcohol, which, didn’t make me drink during pregnancy but did at least make me feel like I had facts to make decisions on my own.
Strangers have the best reactions
People just love a pregnant woman, especially those who have been pregnant before or my favorite, dads. Dads had the best reaction to a big preggo belly because they don’t just walk up and touch you (thank you for that) but they try to steal a look without you noticing and then you see the look on their face of them going back in time in their minds to when their wife, partner, whoever it may be, was pregnant and they get this cute and simple little smile….They then come back to the present and quickly glance to see if you’ve noticed which, yes, I did.
My second favorite to this was in the 2/3rd trimester when your belly was not at a 100% pregnant belly shape and could be mistaken (food belly perhaps?) so you could see people trying to reason whether they should smile at you or try to hide that they looked at your belly. Quite entertaining.
You feel like you can beat all odds
‘I won’t gain that much weight’.
‘I won’t be overdue even though its my first’.
‘I won’t wear yoga maternity pants everywhere’.
As if thinking makes you immune, you can sometimes get in competition with the facts which, can make time go by, but can also stress you out. I wore yoga pants a lot, gained 30 lbs, and went a week overdue despite thinking I wouldn’t. The best times were when I ignored the timelines, expectations and negatives and just tried to enjoy it and recognize its temporary-ness.
I think there could be a list turned book series of unexpected parts of pregnancy, and if and when I find myself in that situation again I’m sure it will be completely different again because its just not something you’re meant to be prepared for !