There are many things to love about being pregnant – namely the excitement of the little one to come! There are also many things that kind of make you want to tear your hair out. I’m not talking about the things you’d expect like getting bigger (oy!), that first trimester nausea (here’s my tip for 1st trimester nausea relief), and all those other things we just won’t mention here. No, these are the things that nobody really tells you about and that we just need to bond about…
Hopefully you can read my sarcasm through each of these. Some of them seem incredibly serious, but a lot of it, you just have to roll your eyes, smile, and move on about. If you’ve been or are pregnant, you’ll totally understand these. If you haven’t been pregnant yet but plan to, just bookmark this one and come back when the time is right for a little giggle…
There’s a Lot of Crap Out There
So I made the decision early on that I wasn’t going to read any baby books or download any apps. It actually started one night when we were looking up something for my husband and the only two options were pregnancy or ovarian cancer – neither of which were possible for him for obvious reasons. The internet is a marvelous, fabulous place full of lots of information (I found out how to make quince paste from scratch this weekend!). It’s also a great place to freak yourself out for no apparent reason.
Hilariously enough, with all my Google searching for nausea relief, eating more protein NEVER came up. That was only something I learned from friends and family (15 weeks into the whole pregnancy thing). The best thing you can do is to research online with a grain of salt. But better yet to to ask friends/family who’ve been pregnant or, and I hate to say this one (see below) ask your doctor.
Most Women Don’t Love Being Pregnant
I don’t know if I just hung out with funny people or I just wasn’t paying attention, but I lived in this silly place where I thought that after the nausea, women felt great being pregnant. Some women do feel great when they’re pregnant and that’s awesome for them. I, however, am not one of those women. This is actually no reflection on the difficulty of your pregnancy either. Aside from that nausea which largely went away by my second trimester and headaches from my prenatal pill (which I eventually changed), I haven’t had any great difficulties. But oh my gosh am I ready to not be pregnant…
I’m tired of feeling bigger and growing every day. Tired of not being able to tie my shoes comfortably. I’m tired of having to psychoanalyze how much fish I eat per week and how much coffee I’m drinking. I’m tired of spilling on myself when I eat since I have to recline a bit to make room for my belly. My energy levels aren’t as high as normal. My endurance is lower. And the list goes on and on. While I’m still SUPER ecstatic to be pregnant so we can meet our little guy, I’m also happily counting down the days(ish) until he’s out here in the real world.
The Three Most Annoying Words EVER!
If there is one thing that makes me want to scream, it’s reading and hearing these three words: “consult our doctor.” It seems like you can’t really ever get a straight answer about anything. Answers that start out seeming definitive always end with “consult your doctor.” It amazes me that with how long women have been getting pregnant, we aren’t pretty sure about what’s ok and not ok for us to do.
When I did actually consult my doctor on something (skincare products), his response was, “well there isn’t enough research, so stay away from essential oils.” You try finding a shampoo that chemical free, essential oil free, and actually cleans your hair. You’ll want to tear that hair out too! And, no, the apple cider vinegar method just isn’t going to work for me.
Alas, many things I’ve done a little research (yes, online) and ultimately went with a gut feeling about what was right or what wasn’t. Additionally, I have a new doctor now, so who knows how she feels about essential oils. I feel as though besides not drinking alcohol, smoking, or doing drugs, not all doctors are going to agree what’s ok and what’s not. So trust your instincts most of the time! But of course, you should consult your doctor about those too! Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
everybody is different
On a somewhat related topic – just as everybody’s doctor is different, every woman and every pregnancy is different. While there are many similarities there are also many differences. Some people have little to no nausea, some have it all nine months. Some people have insane food cravings (apparently), I haven’t had any. Many people lose weight in the first or second trimester. I haven’t had a day of losing weight since it began…
I mentioned above that I had headaches. In my first trimester, I struggled with nausea (and was only prescribed vitamin B supplements) and migraines. So basically my waist up was unhappy after noon. I did research a number of times about the headaches and the suggested causes never made sense. It wasn’t until a friend was talking to me about vitamins that I looked at the back of the bottle only to discover soy in the casing. I’ve struggled with minor migraines for the last few years from soy. Taking that multivitamin everyday was locking in that afternoon headache. It took a week after switching brands to finally be rid of them. And yet nobody else seems to have had that problem.
So, yeah, we’re all different – no shocker there, just a friendly reminder!
nap time is a thingy
I had no idea naps would be my new favorite thing. I’ve actually had a few spells of needing naps everyday. The first was during the first half or so of my second trimester. If I didn’t take a 10-20 minute nap everyday, I felt sick after 5. Then my need for naps largely disappeared. And now it’s back with a vengeance. I don’t nap every single day but fairly often. Sometimes it’s 10-20 minutes; other days it’s 30-40.
Our little guy is basically just growing as much as he can now, which means I need to supply his room, his energy, and his nutrients, etc. So I have to sleep for both of us. I’ve wondered if this is all practice for getting me good at napping while he’s napping at least for those first few months!
everybody knows everything about being pregnant
A very close second on the list of things that make you want to scream, after being told to consult my doctor, is this. I have had women who’ve been pregnant as well as women who’ve not tell me about pregnancy (and my pregnancy at that). I’ve even had some men spout out information about the dos and don’t of pregnancy. I think the only group safe to talk to on this front is anyone under the age of 20. They think it’s weird and therefore don’t have all the answers.
I know I said talking to your friends when you have questions is a good idea, but pick those friends wisely. Some women assume all pregnancies are like theirs and as I just mentioned – they are not. Others have read about it or heard it on a podcast. Lord help us!
One younger friend mentioned a product collection that included “all you needed for wearing your regular clothes through a pregnancy.” I have that belly band thing, by the way, that lets you wear your jeans unbuttoned. It was great in my early second trimester and I assume it’ll be great in my fourth trimester. But guess what! My thighs have grown a bit to support the weight we’re packing on here, so unless that belly band is going to cover me from my knees to my chest, NO this isn’t going to work! Whew! Just had to get that one off my chest!
If you’re struggling with nausea or whatever, don’t talk to people who didn’t
So. One of the other mind-boggling things happened during my first trimester. For some reason when you tell people you’re pregnant, after asking the due date, they ask if you’ve been feeling nauseous. Great conversation, right? I would tell people that I suffered a bit and I swear everybody I told looked at me pityingly and proceeded to tell me they never felt anything! THANK YOU, EVERYBODY! THAT IS SO MUCH HELP! Obviously that wasn’t the case, but the women who are lucky enough not to have nausea need to practice more empathy. I can’t magically will the nausea away. And if one more person suggested ginger to me, I might have exploded.
lots of people have babies and they need to recount it for you
This one is hilarious to me – I mean until I’m stuck listening to stories about how great your childbirths were; how intelligent your children are; or about your daughters/grandaughter’s experience with being pregnant.
This might be a personal thing. You know it probably is, but hey this is a bonding activity, isn’t it? I’m ok with comparing notes with others about pregnancy or if they have one to two helpful tips about pregnancy, newborns, etc., I’m all ears. But to the woman at my physical therapist’s office who spent ten minutes recounting how intelligent her children were as infants (they’re now in their 20s by the way), I don’t care! I figure we’ve all had those conversations where we’re stuck listening to others recount their children, so we might as well commiserate!
Sometimes you do super embarrassing things
I’m hesitant to even list this one because I will now have to recount some of the things that happen. But you know, your body is doing this crazy, magical thing and it’s doing it very quickly. Because of all that, you do things you might not normally do. Without getting into any embarrassing details, let’s just take a moment about bond about surprise gas, shockingly urgent restroom runs after relatively recent runs, and other slightly unexpected escapes of things! I know you know…
people respond very differently
This is one of the most surprising things to me, but really I shouldn’t have been so surprised. People respond VERY differently to your news about being pregnant. Some people only want to talk babies, other people don’t. The extra surprising thing is that you don’t always know what sort of response you’re going to get from each person. I’ve had mothers not want to talk much about it and I’ve had young friends who want to talk about every detail. I’ve had new fathers who are so easy to talk to about it (I never expected how easily all parents can really bond). So if you’re embarking on this new adventure, make your bets on the responses you’ll get because I’m sure you’ll be surprised!
OK. So hopefully, you all saw the humor in these pregnancy realities. None of them is terrible. Really, most of them are mildly to incredibly hilarious as I share them here. I figure being pregnant is this super unique experience and one which includes a lot of things we just don’t bond about. We’re all trying to make the best decisions for our babies while trying to stay sane without a glass of wine or a good workout! This struggle can be real, so we might as well share it and laugh about it together!!