Pregnancy is an amazing, scary, beautiful, anxiety-inducing, heartburn raging, nine-month rollercoaster ride – for both moms-to-be, dads-to-be, and the family as a whole. After multiple pregnancies, I’ve managed to come up with the top 12 things I wish I knew about pregnancy and being pregnant.
12. Poop…Where Did You Go?
Hello, constipation! Due to the beautiful hormone progesterone, the primary culprit that throws your body in a state of confusion during pregnancy, pooping becomes a thing of the past.
During the wee months of pregnancy, that nasty little hormone slows down your intestines – resulting in pooping becoming quite the labor-intensive chore. Hey, you may get lucky and not experience any constipation during the first few months of your pregnancy. Hell, you may not even experience constipation at all, and if you’re that lucky one, know I hate you. But for the rest of us that do and are currently suffering, stool softeners kinda-sorta help, but they just make pooping easier, because your poop isn’t as hard. However, the sad fact is, you still have to attempt to poop.
11. Every Single Pregnancy is Different
I’m on pregnancy number 3, and this pregnancy has been completely different from the other two. So different, that I question if I’m actually pregnant.
My first pregnancy was full of ovarian torsion and surgery and fetal distress. My second, well her big self just sat on a sciatic nerve for the last 4 months of my pregnancy. I couldn’t walk without being in pain, I couldn’t sleep – in any position pain-free, I couldn’t sit pain-free, I couldn’t pee pain-free, I was for all intensive purposes, disabled. My husband did, however, get quite a kick out of pushing me in a wheelchair at every doctor’s appointment.
This pregnancy has been simple. No pain, well maybe a little and it’s due to round ligament pain and all the crazy stretching that happens in pregnancy.
10. Not All OBGYNs Are Equal & Not All Hospitals Are Good.
My first pregnancy was, outside of complications of course, really well done. All my doctors were amazing and caring. Any concern I had was answered lovingly and all options were immediately offered to me. I was seen at both a top-rated teaching hospital and civilian hospital while I was active duty.
My daughter, well that experience was different and pretty horrible honestly. Due to a military training facility (MTF) being within 50 miles, I had to be seen there. I wish it didn’t exist and I wish I wasn’t forced to be seen there. You could tell the doctor I had was overworked and underpaid because they couldn’t give a rats ass about my pain, or any concern I had for that matter. It was so blatant that in my medical record, they didn’t put anything else except, “has anger issues.”
When I questioned the doctor about the pertinence of that being in my medical record, and I wasn’t rude, even by my husband’s standards I was nowhere near rude, she responded with, “I think it’s in both our interests if you’re seen by another physician.” I remember cocking my head so hard my husband nudged my foot with his boot to stop me from stepping all over my hypothetical man parts. My delivery and recovery were smooth, that was the only redeeming quality of that pregnancy experience there.
This one, absolutely amazing. We drive 40 minutes to the hospital but my doctor is amazing. She said, “hey you’re fat, let’s take some extra measures to ensure a healthy baby and delivery.” And I wasn’t even offended because she was so straight forward about what I already knew. Outside of the horrendous wait times for ultrasounds and visits, it’s pretty awesome honestly.
So if you’re like me and are stuck having to see one specific doctor, make sure you advocate and advocate for the best possible care during your pregnancy. If you get to choose your doctor, do a lot of research and read ALL of the reviews. I say read ALL because bad reviews always have some commonality, so pay attention to that.
9. …Heartburn Doesn’t Go Away
Had heartburn the pregnancy before? Have it again? Enjoy, because it doesn’t go away. There’s an old wives tale that says, you’ll get heartburn if your baby has a full head of hair. Well, I didn’t have heartburn with my first but he was bald with few strands of hair on his head when he was born. My daughter, it was violent. I’d be asleep and wake up vomiting my head off. This daughter, not as violent, but I’m eating antacid chewables like candy.
My recommendation, eat what you enjoy, which may be slim pickings during your pregnancy, and just keep those beautiful chewable antacids in quick hands reach.
8. Sleeping on Your Back Becomes a Missed Activity
Remember those times when you could just roll over super quickly and get comfortable right away? Oh, you don’t? Well neither do I.
During your first trimester, any activity on your back isn’t that big of a deal. After your first and as the baby and uterus grow, that becomes a not so ideal situation. That’s because when you lay on your back, flat, all that weight sits on your intestines, back and can interfere with the vena cava. That large vein brings blood from your heart to the lower portion of your body. Outside of the scientific explanation, you just plain feel like you can’t breathe and you’re dying.
So you have to sleep on your left side because apparently your right side is Satan. Meaning, that your right side for some reason puts your stomach higher than your esophagus and thus you start vomiting, plus the biggest issue, you don’t want all that weight on your liver – one of the larger organs in your body. So your left side with knees bent is your husband, best friend, lover, and sole provider for the next 5 months or so of your pregnancy.
7. Restless Legs, Restless Nights
Your legs running away from you at night? Don’t worry, I know and understand your pain. However, there is something that aids the crazy leg and it works within 5 minutes of application.
Mo ‘Maggie Magnesium lotion. Sure it’s expensive, especially to be used for such a short period of time, but I recommend it. I use it ALL the time.
Of course, make sure you check with your doctor before purchasing it to make sure you have the go-ahead to use it, but when I feel my legs go crazy, I ask my husband to apply the lotion and rub it in and within a matter of minutes I can relax. The best part, it’s organic and works really fast. However, don’t be like me, make sure you haven’t freshly shaven your legs or have any cuts where you apply it. If you don’t swear, you will if you forget to check that one little part before applying. Once you give birth, your RLS should subside within a few weeks.
6. You Become a SuperHero
Due to your changing hormones, specifically estrogen, your senses heighten. Couldn’t smell your neighbor before, you definitely will be able to during your pregnancy. Partner has a massive amount of fillings and they like talking inside your nostrils? You’ll smell that too.
Due to this, you become a lot more sensitive to everything around you. Food can taste odd, the food you used to love, can and will at times taste weird. You’ll be able to smell the fart of a mosquito from 50 miles away. You may even get touchy about being touched.
5. Having to Pee Every 5 minutes Always Happens
As your baby and uterus grow, more pressure is applied to your bladder. It’s already bad enough that women by physical ability alone, are unable to empty their bladder fully, but you add an extra few pounds and your bladder becomes a fire hydrant.
You add the extra blood in your body, the need to constant hydrate, and a baby, and you ma’am have yourself a case of, do I buy adult diapers or no. Within a few weeks after delivery your body goes back to normal, so don’t fret. If it makes you feel any better about waddle running to the bathroom, I’ve peed myself all three pregnancies and I’ve accepted my fate.
4. Getting Comfortable is for the Birds
Because your body is growing another human, getting comfortable is a thing of the past. Not only are you limited in your sleeping positions, but daily life tasks become increasingly difficult. Driving becomes uncomfortable, not just because of the extra weight on your butt and hips, but as your stomach grows, so does your closeness to the steering wheel and tightening of seatbelts.
Oh, you wanted to clean house today? Get ready for mini whale breathing, picking up blocks becomes a world weight lifting competition, and waddling up and downstairs makes you question the meaning of life. If you happen to have another little one running around, that in and of itself is a task that is a full-body workout. So much so, you may want to just nap afterward.
3. Your Feet Actually Grow…I Thought It Was a Joke
Nope, true story. Due to the hormone relaxin, that hormone that relaxes your ligaments for childbirth, it actually manages to relax the ligaments in your feet and they do get bigger during pregnancy.
I started as a size 8w, I have fat feet, it’s okay. Now I’m working towards a size 9. I discovered yesterday that my cold boots are awfully tight and those are size 8.5. So pray for my feet and I’ll pray for yours as well.
2. Dreams are Absolutely Insane
As your hormones are all over the place during pregnancy, to include your emotions, your dreams can at times and usually do, become some crazy psychedelic, at times horrific, wake you up in the middle of the night, not due to pee crazy.
It gets better I hear after childbirth, but I only remember the crazy during.
And finally, we’ve made it to the end. The number 1 thing I wish I knew:
You’re Beautiful Regardless
Sure, your pants may not fit you anymore. You may have put on a lot of weight growing your beautiful little human. Hell, you may look like an animal attacked you. But always remember, you’re amazing! You grew a little human inside of you for 9 months. You’re doing it, you did it, and you’re even more beautiful because of it.
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