When I saw two pink lines on that pregnancy test, I got the idea in my head that I knew what I was in for. Ladies (and maybe gentleman? Extra kudos to you if you’re here), I did not know. To an extent I understood the process – a baby will grow for a while and then the baby will leave my body and I will be a mother. That part makes sense. But there are many other aspects of pregnancy itself that do not make sense. I had to find out the hard way that there are no rules to pregnancy; Anything goes.
I have decided to compile a list of overshares so that if you or your partner experience similar weirdness, you’ll know you’re not alone.
We’ll start with conception! Just kidding – You all know where babies come from and if you don’t, you probably shouldn’t be on the internet. Go ask your mama.
This post is part 1 and will focus on those 40ish glorious (are they though?) weeks leading up to giving birth.
- “Feeling Pregnant” is totally a thing. I knew I was pregnant the next day. Something just felt different. It’s a hard feeling to explain, but beyond any shadow of a doubt, I knew. The first pregnancy test I took was negative. I took one the next day to make sure, and sure enough, it was positive. There is no explanation for it except…
- The Hair. Okay – You’ve probably heard that during pregnancy your hair becomes really nice. I can confirm that your hair does stop falling out, leading to excellent volume. Something about the hormones and prenatal vitamins give your hair a soft touch and a bright shine. That is not the hair I am talking about. The second thing I didn’t know about pregnancy is that it does not discriminate. Pregnancy doesn’t know that your head hair growing at rapid speed is fine and dandy, but your leg hair is another story. No one told me that I’d become a straight up Wookiee before my child arrived. If you notice a pregnant woman’s hair growing longer and thicker, just know that allllllll the hair on her body is following suit. It may even spring up in patches where hair did not previously grow. It most likely will sprout in areas where hair is not welcome. If there was a way to keep up with it, I did not crack the code. Every few days (weeks) I would finally get to the point where I thought ‘My husband may stop loving me if my legs get hairier than his.’ I’d twist and turn and grunt and moan my way through an almost full body shave just to have an all over five o’clock shadow the next morning! Husbands, boyfriends, significant others – brace yourselves. Sasquatch is coming.
- The “Glow.” It’s just sweat. Next!
- You will never feel empty. It’s a common joke to make that pregnant women always need to go to the bathroom. This is a fact. This was actually the very first symptom I noticed 3 weeks in (See #1 if you’re confused why I knew at 3 weeks that I was pregnant). What I was unaware of is that at a certain point in your pregnancy, you will never NOT have to pee, except while you’re actually peeing. The moment you stand up and pull your pants back up, the urge returns. When you’re pregnant it is physically impossible to ignore having to pee. It comes on sudden and strong and sometimes you halfway don’t make it. One time, John made me laugh particularly hard in the cereal aisle of the grocery store. We had to leave immediately after. I’ll let your imagination fill in the rest.
- You will never feel full. Now wait a minute, I just told you that you’d never feel empty, how can you never feel full either? Welcome to the wonderful world of building a baby! Pregnancy hunger is a fickle feeling, friends. It’s constant and insatiable. It makes you angry. John used to pack snacks any time we’d leave the house in case I started to get hangry when he was trapped inside a moving vehicle with me. The poor guy lived in fear. The worst part about the hunger is that it never quite goes away. The baby gets so big that all of your other vital organs are (literally) kicked aside, and your stomach is no exception. Your appetite is the size of a house because you’re growing an entire human, but your stomach is crumpled up and tossed to the side. You eat to satisfy your beastly hunger and are left feeling like you’re going to throw up. The truly amazing thing is that even when you’re completely stuffed and nauseated like no other, you’re. Still. Hungry.
- Baby kicks are fun until they’re not. Second trimester flutters are adorable. Third trimester kicks feel like your baby can and will punch a hole through you at any given moment. I was still in my classroom teaching up until 5 days before Evelyn was born. She used to kick me so hard, I’d yell and start to tip over in front of 27 concerned 6th graders. Homegirl used to STAND UP in my womb. She’d roll around. She’d stick her butt out. Cram herself all to one side. I’d see elbows and knees sticking out from my stomach. She’d convulse which had me Googling “Can babies have seizures in the womb” at 2 am. You may feel like your baby is pounding on the exit door and expect to look down and see a tiny hand sticking out. Bottom line is babies are ninjas in utero and you feel every second of it.
- People will say whatever they want to you. And it won’t always be nice. They will comment on how much weight you’ve gained, or haven’t gained. They will tell you stories about their own pregnancies. They might even tell you you’re “busting out” of your shorts and point you in the direction of the maternity section (true story). People will also ask a lot of questions. Most of the time, those questions cross the line. One of my former coworkers asked me, “Were you trying to get pregnant?” I don’t know, lady, are you trying to be a nosy a-hole? Sometimes the comments won’t bother and other times they’ll sting. My best advice is to make up ridiculous and outrageous answers that will make those around you as uncomfortable as they’ve made you.
Well ladies and (probably not) gents, that about wraps us up for Part 1 of Having A Baby: Things I Didn’t Know.
Stop by next week to check out Part 2 – Things I Didn’t Know about labor.