Things They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy (or they do, and you just ignore them) 1. You feel like shit, all the time.
- No joke. It starts in the beginning with morning sickness (which is NOT just in the morning, it’s all day, every day), and it continues to the end with all-day sickness. Not only do you feel like constantly barfing, but you also feel like you’re either a) going to shit your brains out or b) you are so backed up it feels like a twenty pound weight (on top of all the extra baby weight). If you can keep something inside, then it feels like havoc is wreaking inside of you and your stomach is almost always making some sort of strange noise.
2. You are tired, ALWAYS.
- And I mean ALWAYS. There is no escaping it. It starts about the beginning of the second trimester, and continues all the way to the end (and by the end, I mean about 18 years after the baby is born and finally moves out and is on their own). You think you knew the meaning of tired before? HAHAHA. You have no idea. You can lay down and go to sleep at 8 pm (which you often will want to do) and wake up at 7 am, and feel completely, utterly exhausted. You can lay down at 9 pm, and wake up at 11 am, and feel completely, utterly exhausted. You can take one nap, or two naps, or no nap, and still feel completely drained. There is no escaping it. Just pray your partner is completely okay with you being asleep more than you’re awake.
3. People STARE.
- Have you ever gotten a funny look from someone when you’re wearing blavy or your hair just isn’t laying quite right? Well, I hope you love attention because the entire world is about to stare at you. It starts when you start showing, for me it was about 20 weeks, and it’s the look that people give you and you know they’re thinking “Is she pregnant, or fat?” This continues all the way until the end, including post-baby weight. As if a HUGE basketball shaped belly wasn’t the giveaway, people often stare until you pretend to talk on the phone about your pregnancy (loud enough so said starer can hear you), or your ballsy friend that is with you goes up to this person and says, “Yes, she is pregnant. There’s a baby in there.” But if you’re not brave enough for either of these, the person will continue staring. Oh, they will also look at your ring finger, just checking to make sure you have a ring because pre-marital pregnancy is not at all accepted in today’s culture, right? If, on the off chance they figure out by themselves that you are indeed pregnant, they sometimes will look around you to see if the child’s father is nearby, or if you are a struggling, single mom just begging for attention with your huge belly (because, in case you didn’t know, mothers and fathers are attached at the hip during pregnancy and are always together). Oh also, if you, like me, love to swim, people stare at the pool. In the 10 seconds from taking your towel off, to getting in the water to swim laps, there’s a spotlight on you. The people in the pool all turn and look at you, wondering how you got into that Nike one piece, or how you are going to get out of the pool after. Then they stare while you’re in the pool. They watch you do laps to make sure you aren’t dying (or they’re staring in awe at the fact that someone that big can actually swim sort of fast).
4. Nothing fits you.
- Say goodbye to all your old clothes. Cute leggings, cute shirts, cute/sexy bras, cute shoes. NOTHING fits you. Your stomach will grow (obviously) but you never thought you would be out of your size smalls and into a size large. You thought you could always wear your leggings/yoga pants because your legs won’t grow and the waistband is beneath your belly! Well, you’re wrong. Your stomach causes pants to slide down, the waistband won’t stay up, which also causes said pants to end up being too long. Oh wait, you can always wear your favorite pair of sneakers to make them be the right length, right? WRONG. Your feet swell. Also, your chest grows (obviously) to prepare for feeding your baby, but you never thought they would grow this big. Don’t even think about wearing those 34 B’s anymore, you’re a mom now. You have to get big girl bras. And by big girl bras, I mean 36 DD’s. Also, you need new underwear. Your small bikini styles are probably going to feel like an anaconda has wrapped itself around you and your legs may or may not go numb from it. Get used to loving the boy-short, and/or just regular underwear.
5. You always have to pee.
- I know, I know. They told you this from the get go. But when I say always, I mean ALWAYS. Say goodbye to holding it in during the night, your ass is crawling out of bed at 2 am trying to make it to the bathroom. Even if you time your water drinking, it doesn’t matter. The wonderful little baby inside you has the power to kick it out of you, especially when you first lay down, or when you sneeze. Don’t even think about sitting down to watch a movie; you won’t even make it through half of it. If you’re in class, or a business meeting, no matter how rude it is, you will get up and power walk to the door, frantically trying to find the nearest bathroom.
6. You become anti-social.
- It may be due to the fact that you feel like shit, that you’re dead tired, that you’re sick of people staring, or the fact that you don’t feel beautiful because none of your clothes fit you and you haven’t invested in maternity clothes yet, but it happens. You lose the desire to go out. Going out to dinner is actually a chore now because no matter what you get, you always wish you had gotten something else. You can smell the other patrons’ dinners and you wish had gotten this or that. You also drink A LOT of water, but all the while wish for a steaming hot cup of coffee. Going to the movies is a waste of money because of the fact that you will probably have to get up and pee at least two times during it. Don’t get me wrong, you still have those awesome friends who text you and want to hang out, but you’re just so exhausted or feeling like crap that day, or you have a lot to do because you always take naps and never do what you’re supposed to do, but keeping plans is a lot harder than it used to be.
7. You are always hot.
- When I say hot, I mean HOT. You get hot flashes. Like you’re going through menopause (although I haven’t been through it yet, from what I’ve heard, it’s just as miserable as pregnancy). Sometimes the heat will cause you to get sweaty and black out. Whether it’s a drop in blood pressure, or simply just overheating, you will probably feel like you’re dying at least once, even if your pregnancy is in the dead of winter. You also will sleep with a fan on you. Your partner will freeze to death, but you will still feel like you’re standing in the Sahara Desert, trying not to die from exhaustion and sun poisoning.
8. Caffeine makes you feel like you’re dying.
- No matter how strong you are, sometimes we all break. We can avoid caffeine for as long as we can, but sometimes we slip up. Getting a cup of coffee won’t kill you (or the baby), but it will make you feel like you just did cocaine. After the feeling of cocaine goes away, your body immediately rejects it. Running to the bathroom is only one part of it; you also start to overheat. You start to sweat and you swear everyone can see you dying on the inside. Imagine being in the Sahara Desert drinking a huge thermos of steaming hot coffee. Yea. That’s what a small coffee feels like (even in January) during pregnancy.
9. You get stretch marks.
- It’s inevitable. And if it’s not, then God has blessed you with a perfect elastic body and I am extremely jealous. It all starts with just one. You see one tiny, little white stretch mark appear on your side, or on your boob, or on your lower back, and you think, ‘Wow! Only one! I won’t get any more. Thank God.’ Three days later, you have a whole row of dark purple stretch marks from your lower back to the front of your stomach. If you’re lucky enough to not get them until the end, you start to think, ‘Oh wow! I’m so lucky! I don’t have any stretch marks and I’m already 35 weeks!’ Surprise. By the 40th week, your stomach is going to look like someone whipped you with a belt that also stained you dark purple. Not only are they ugly, they also make you feel disgusting. When your best girl-friend points them out, it’s completely okay. Especially if they already had children. But when your partner points them out, THE WORLD ENDS. You start to realize how hideous you are and all he sees are these gross marks that you get from carrying his child and he will never want to touch you again and you want to cry, but that will show weakness so you don’t speak to him for about four days, leaving him to think about what he did wrong (except you’re not hideous, and that’s not all he sees, and you are still beautiful and he will always want to touch you. However, he will not realize what he did wrong because men are idiots and he will not even remember pointing them out and you’ll think he’s playing dumb but he honestly has no idea). Another thing is that people often tell you, “Oh, they’ll go away if you go tanning.” SPOILER ALERT. You can’t tan while pregnant. So you have to wait until after the baby, until you have money for a tanning package, and you have to have the commitment to tan daily.
10. You are the only one who is pregnant.
- While this is obvious, you don’t think about it before hand. You realize you can’t go out to the bar with your friends for a girl’s night out. You realize that you can’t drink a glass of champagne to toast to your best friend on her wedding day. You realize you can’t play in the indoor soccer league. While this is obvious in the beginning, it starts to become more and more old. Your partner, who you used to go out with, who is the love of your life, starts to go out without you. He can drink a beer after a long day. He can play as many sports as he wants. He can get completely hammered at your best friend’s wedding. He also doesn’t have to feel what you feel. He just gets to feel the kicks that your little one is doing. He gets to see your belly grow, but not have to experience that terrible feeling of wondering if your body is ever going to be back to normal again. He can sleep through the night, or sit through a movie. He can lose weight and start lifting weights, in order to prepare himself for being a “Hot Dad.” You get to watch the people around you move on with their normal lives, while you sit their looking and feeling like a beached whale.
11. You really appreciate your partner more.
- Yes, they make you want to rip your hair out. Yes, they make you want to cry when they point out silly things about your body that has changed during pregnancy. Yes, they drive you up a wall by not going out and buying those spicy wings you are craving. Yes, it’s frustrating that they can do things that you can’t. But they also are there for you. They deal with the pregnancy hormones rushing through your body. They are there for you when you complain about your heartburn or your nausea or how exhausted you are. They accept that you aren’t going to be the social butterfly you used to be. They love you to the core. They love this little baby as much as you do, and they know that you are growing him or her and when the baby comes out, you’re the one that did it. They know that they are really just a “sperm donor” if you will, and yet, they don’t act like one. They are a father the moment you become pregnant. They hold your hand during sonogram appointments, they let you cry into their arms when you tell them how worried you are about your body never returning. You see the love they have for you in their eyes when it’s late at night and the little baby is kicking Daddy’s hand on your belly. You know they could just walk out and leave you alone with the baby and just pay court ordered child support, but they love you and the baby too much. You are a part of them, just as they are a part of you. And you will forever remember that.
12. You really appreciate your mother more.
- Throughout all your life, your mother has said that she loves you with her whole heart and will never stop loving you. She remembers the time you were delivered, the weight you were, how much you cried when you came home, and the first step you took. You never actually heard these words until you heard your own baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. The moment your pregnancy becomes “real” to you, is the moment that you realize your mother’s love for you, and your love for your mother. The first time you saw your sweet little baby on the sonogram and realized that he or she was actually a human being, you realized that you love this little human being more than you ever realized was possible. You realize that you would give your life to protect him or her and you want your child to have a better life than you ever could have. You want your baby to lead a better life, to make better decisions, to have everything he or she could ever want. You realize that your mother felt and feels this way about you. Whether you are an only child, or have seven siblings, you realize that the person to ever love you like you could love your baby is God and your mother. When you tell your mother about your pregnancy, she compares it to hers when she was pregnant with you. You start to realize that your mother is truly your best friend during your pregnancy, whether you have a perfect relationship with her, or a rocky one. You love your mom, just as she loves you, just as you love your baby.
13. It’s worth every single second.
- The thing that you will realize about your pregnancy is that it’s all worth it. Your little one is the reason you eat and breathe and drink. You COULD be out drinking, you COULD be out doing what you’re not supposed to do, but you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t do anything to harm him or her. You’ve loved your little one from the start. It may take a while to realize, but all the people who stare, they’re staring at your baby. Your clothes that don’t fit, they don’t fit because your body is growing and changing in order to grow a HUMAN BEING. You are so exhausted because your body is using its energy to create someone. You constantly have to pee because your baby is kicking your bladder, reminding you, ‘Mom! I’m still here. Just saying hey.’ Your stretch marks are just little reminders of the wonderful blessing that God gave you. They remind you of the life you created with your best friend and lover. They are worth it. You realize that every single hot, sweaty, exhausted, feeling like crap, hating yourself for not being able to go to your best friend’s wedding because you keep throwing up, tiring, emotional moment is worth it. You can’t wait to hold your baby in your arms. Because YOUR body GREW someone. Your body had the power to create a special life that you are one with. You would protect your baby through life or death, to the point of growling at people who talk about how they are going to take him out for his 21st birthday (because the thought of this little baby ever drinking, even when it’s legal, makes you want to cry). While it may seem selfish to feel any of these things, you feel it. But the feeling you always remember is the feeling of your little one kicking you and reminding yourself that it is not what you gave up for your children, but what your children have given you. No one could love them like you could, and they will always be grateful, even when they’re going through puberty and act like you are the worst person on the Earth. Pregnancy is a beautiful, wonderful thing. While we wish we could feel as beautiful as people say we are, we remember that it is worth it. And being one of seven, I see that. If pregnancy was not worth it, there would be no large families and everyone would be an only child. Your baby is your miracle, and you will always remember that.