Pregnancy is definitely a journey. Everyone’s is assuredly different and everyone faces different challenges and victories. While I am currently in my final week of pregnancy (Kensington is set to arrive this Friday) I wanted to share some of the weird, challenging, crazy (at least to me) things that I’ve experienced that I wish someone had warned me could happen.
Let me start by saying that I was TERRIFIED of being pregnant, but I knew I wanted to have a baby with my incredible husband. The entire process has not been as bad/uncomfortable as I expected it to be but I definitely experienced things I wish I had been warned of before they happened. Could’ve saved me a lot of panic and my husband a lot of heartburn.
- You will be tested to see If you are RH-. If you have a doctor like mine, they will leave you a terrifying voicemail while you are on a plane from Rome and freak you out. Basically all this means is that your blood doesn’t make the same anti-bodies as everyone else. There is a shot for it and it is VERY unlikely to cause any problems with your baby. Don’t panic.
- The areolas around your nipples will get dark (and if you’re anything like me) take over your boob like Genghis Kahn conquering the East. For me mine became probably twice the size that they were before. But it’s not that bad. Just takes some getting used to.
- Once you are what I consider to be “Uber-Pregnant” (34 weeks +) you will lose the ability to see your hoo-hah. Sorry ladies it’s true. No amount of contorting in the shower will make shaving/maintaining there easier either. I finally gave up and got a Brazilian Wax right before delivery (Since let’s be honest you’re about to have 10s of people checking it out). You may think I’m kidding but when it happens you’ll be glad you had a heads up.
- Every woman has heard that your feet can swell during pregnancy. We all know it’s coming. But the truth is – it’s not feet specific. My calves and hands swelled up way more than my feet and at first I thought I was having circulation problems and might have called my doctor very worried. The answer is stay hydrated, elevate, and stay active! Working out is so important.
- Stretch Marks – I used belly butter from like week 8 through my whole pregnancy. *Mistake that I made: I only put it on my stomach at first. What else is getting huge along with your stomach? Your boobs! So lather that stuff on and protect ALL of you. My stomach is stretch mark free but one of my breasts has some small marks on top. You can prevent this.
- You need a belly band. For under your clothes, for working out, for when your stomach is so heavy you want to evict your child from your body. I love mine.
- Broad ligament pains/Braxton hicks – this is the one thing I got super early on in my pregnancy that really freaked me out, led to an emergency room visit, and made my whole pregnancy more difficult. Basically if you are carrying your baby lower in your abdomen and your placenta is in the back you could experience broad ligament pains (Basically feel like really terrible cramps pulling in your southern region) or Braxton hicks contractions (which are like a fake prepper for delivery). If these persist you should see your doctor/emergency room anyways just to be safe but I had 27 HOURS of contractions and pains when I was about 26 weeks pregnant. It super freaked me out and then continued sporadically through the rest of my pregnancy. The best way to avoid them is to stay hydrated and workout (YOGA). The only thing that relieved the pain for me was floating in a lukewarm bath. I did this OFTEN.
- Lactation – it can happen way before you’re ready. I started lactating at around week 28 out of one of my breasts. It was way earlier than I expected, kind of made me panic, but it’s perfectly normal. I bought disposable pads, and made sure to wear dark colors and a bra every day. It’s weird but not bad (And just think how much easier it will be when you have the baby).
- Your husband will never understand. My husband is a wonderful, incredible, caring man. He was incredibly supportive and loving through my entire pregnancy. HOWEVER, he could not “remember” not to lay his head on my stomach (cause that’s what I need – more weight/pressure there), he couldn’t understand why it was a bad idea to pull me down onto the couch or to cuddle with him (even though my core was pretty weak and it was VERY uncomfortable), and he thought it was “cool” when he could see our child pressing in 4 directions through my stomach. No. Not cool. It’s not his fault, he was trying desperately to do what I needed (dishes/laundry/assembling baby stuff), but he can’t understand what it’s like to suddenly have a basketball attached to the front side of you.
- Kicks – Maybe this is just me but I’ve never felt a “baby kick”. My child is a squirmy, twisty, stretching machine. She pushed in every direction, rolled over, stood on her head, whatever, but there were no sudden “kicks” with her. This mean that I couldn’t “count” her movements but I definitely felt better knowing she was moving around and alive/safe in there. Her movements weren’t as invasive as I feared they would be but there were sometimes she would move in a certain way and I was not a fan.
Hopefully this helps some of you out there prepare for your own pregnancies and avoids the terrified google-ing panic I went through with some of this stuff.