Six things I didn’t know about pregnancy
Honestly, I’m surprised that I’ve managed to narrow it down to six. I feel like pregnancy has been one massive learning curve, although I know that the learning curve is only going to get steeper once our little one arrives into the world.
There are so many things that I had no idea about…here are just a few:
Morning sickness doesn’t mean morning sickness.
In fact, morning was pretty much the only time I didn’t feel nauseous. Worst for me was mid-morning, mid-afternoon and bedtime. It doesn’t always stop after the first trimester either. I googled ‘Does pregnancy nausea ever end?’ When, at 17 weeks (5 weeks into the second trimester!) it showed no sign of getting any better.
For some people, the toughest part of the pregnancy is the first trimester, which is the time where you can’t really tell people that you’re pregnant. Obviously, when you tell people and who you tell is a completely personal decision, but the risk of losing the pregnancy becomes much lower after 12/13 weeks so many people wait to share until then, so they don’t have the risk of having to then share a pregnancy loss with everyone.
For us, considering the various health problems I have had that have a direct impact on me being able to carry a baby safely to term, we chose not to tell anyone until after the 12-week scan and even then, only close family and friends. I cried with relief during the entire scan, because I had been so scared that something would be wrong that seeing a perfectly-formed little baby felt magical. After the 20-week scan we decided to tell our wider circle of friends and acquaintances.
You might not actually look pregnant until you’re quite far along
On the other hand, you might look pregnant straightaway due to the impact it can have on your digestion, causing bloating. Every body and every belly is different and what matters is that both you and baby are happy and healthy. To me, my bump was obvious from very early on, but it only started to actually look like a bump at 22 weeks, more than halfway through the pregnancy! Those people who knew I was pregnant knew what to look for, but most people didn’t actually notice me being pregnant (unless I told them) until I was 28 weeks (7 months) or more!
You will lose your grip on things.
And I mean that literally, not metaphorically or emotionally, although that can happen too. One of my least favourite symptoms of pregnancy developed around 18/19 weeks in when I suddenly began waking up in the middle of the night unable to feel my hands and feet. I then found myself dropping things all the time, which made doing the dishes a dangerous occupation!
Apparently, this is quite common as hormones cause your ligaments to relax and stretch more easily than usual, allowing your bump to grow and preparing your body for childbirth. Unfortunately it also means that you become more clumsy and accident-prone as ligaments relaxing in your joints makes them less stable so you are more likely to stumble, turn an ankle or lose your grip on things.
As for the other sort of losing your grip, in an emotional sense? That can happen too! I generally found that joy mood swings weren’t too terrible early in the pregnancy, although I had a few angry outbursts when sheer exhaustion combined with me dropping yet another thing. I did find myself going a bit gooier than usual at pictures of cute puppies and crying more easily at sad stories.
Nobody tells you how exhausted you will be, once again especially during the first trimester when you probably haven’t shared your pregnancy and can’t expect extra sympathy. Between being up in the night to go to the toilet every five minutes and feeling sick, as well as all the energy your body is expending growing the placenta and the baby, you can feel really wrung out. I barely made it to 8pm on many nights!
Your belly button will hurt!
If you have always had an ‘outie’ you may not notice it as much, but I have always had an ‘innie’ belly button…until about 21/22 weeks when the top half of my belly button suddenly became an ‘outie’. Then, at 23 weeks, it flattened out almost entirely. It was a weird experience seeing my belly button change shape! What I hadn’t expected, however, is that the skin is very soft and sensitive as it has never really been exposed to any friction before. Hence, my belly button actually beginning to hurt as it rubbed against my clothes and when I randomly caught it on things because both my belly and my belly button were sticking out further than I was accustomed to so I kept on bumping into things when turning around. Weird, right?!
Pretty much any weird problem you have can be put down to you being pregnant
Vision blurry? Thank pregnancy.
Dizzy spells? Thank pregnancy.
Your rib cage expands…and never goes back! Your feet can change size. Your hair can become thicker. You can get skin discoloration on your face and your stomach. You name it, but be ready for some weird changes once you get pregnant, as well as every time you ask the doctor (or Dr Google) them coming back with a sage nod and ‘Yup, that’s normal during pregnancy.” even though it would be majorly weird any other time of your life!
Your bump will be endlessly fascinating
Wondering when your bump is going to show, wondering if it is too big or too small, seeing the impact of tiny fists of feet making the bump bulge in odd ways…I don’t think that I have ever paid so much attention to my abdomen in my life!
Did you know any of these?
Are any of them new to you?
How has your experience of pregnancy been or that of people around you?
Thanks for reading!