After I had my two boys I vowed that I wouldn’t fall prey to pregnancy amnesia. That’s where all you remember from pregnancy are lollipops and moonbeams when in reality it was bedrest, swollen ankles, and a touchy bladder. It was nothing like I had envisioned. Nothing.
Of course, I’m thrilled by the outcome and I love my children more than anything, but carrying them was not fun. This is partly because even though I read all of the books I could get my hands on, I hadn’t seen any of it manifested in real life. Most everyone I knew personally had a delightful pregnancy. My sister for example didn’t have morning sickness and was relatively pleasant to be around. She gained weight, but not an unhealthy amount. She glowed with happiness. Soon after that several of my friends had babies and shared similar experiences sprinkled with a touch of morning sickness.
I had 5 fibroid tumors growing in my belly along with my baby – the largest one the size of a grapefruit – which put me on strict bed rest at 28 weeks. I had a host of bizarre pregnancy complications including carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, and permanent hearing loss in one ear.
Now, I’m not saying that any of this will happen to you, but here are a few things I wish I had known going in.
Not everyone glows
You could tell the minute I got pregnant and not because I was effervescent. I was puffy and my face transformed to look like a peeled potato but with less color. I’ve seen those women who glow and it looks magical.
Your body not your brain will dictate what you eat
My husband I used to have a box of organic vegetables delivered to our house. The second I got pregnant green leafy vegetables tasted like sand and I couldn’t swallow them. Or think about them. Or look at them. Unless it was starchy and covered in cheese I would have none of it. Which leads me to…
You may think you’ll look like Kate Middleton but really….
I was in good shape when I got pregnant and I envisioned myself being one of those women who could go running up until their 9th month. I pictured wearing adorable sundresses with a cute baby bump. Instead people stopped me on the street and asked me if I was having twins (I wasn’t) and if I was due tomorrow (this started in the 5th month).
Sometimes you pee
At some point early on I needed to have bathroom very close by. Spontaneous laughter was very, very bad as was moving quickly or near the end, getting up.
You may hate people
Sometimes the people you like the most may infuriate you for the very reason you liked them in the first place. During my second pregnancy I was in a playgroup for my then 1-year-old son. We had one dad in the group and before I got pregnant I thought he was the hilarious. Then I got pregnant and couldn’t stand the sound of his voice. Pregnancy puts you in a mood. And it’s not always a good one.
You may be so sad you can’t stop crying
Most women know about postpartum depression, but you can also have pregnancy depression and anxiety. I had many complications and went into labor at 28 weeks. Thankfully it was stopped and I was able to carry to term after a long bed rest., but during pregnancy I was scared and had way too much time alone in a bed to think about every worst case scenario. But even without the drama, many women have a hard time during pregnancy. (If it happens to you, make sure and mention it to your doctor.)
Being pregnant resulted in the two greatest joys of my life. It was just a tough road to get there.
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