Before I ever got pregnant, I’d hear those crazy stories about women who didn’t know they were pregnant and I’d think, “How in the world do you not know there’s a life growing inside of you?” And you’d think with all the pregnancy symptoms women experience that there’d be no way in H-E-double L that a woman could make it through pregnancy without knowing.
Well let me just tell you: If I didn’t know I was pregnant, if my pregnancy hadn’t been confirmed by the doctor, three home pregnancy tests, and the subsequent four ultrasounds I’ve had, I’d likely not know that I’m expecting. Twins, nonetheless.
And let me tell you why…
Sure, I’m only at 11 weeks, so the most obvious sign of pregnancy isn’t quite here yet: the ginormous belly (though my pants definitely no longer button). But so many women have told me about their wretched first-trimester symptoms that I’ve almost been feeling guilty that I have had it so easy thus far.
Here are the few symptoms I have and have not had, and how – if I didn’t know I was pregnant – I could easily write them off.
- Mild food aversions: taste buds change, right? So what if I don’t like chicken anymore?
- Few food cravings: aren’t I always craving something salty (or sweet) randomly?
- Practically no nausea and zero actual morning sickness: a few waves of nausea I could have easily blamed on something I ate
- Peeing more: I’ve always been a big water drinker; what’s a few more glasses?
- Slight and daily headaches: my day job gets busier and more stressful during the election season
- Emotional waves: I’m a woman; we cry, right?
- Expanding waste line: isn’t this the time of year that our midsections grow a bit?
- Increased food intake: isn’t this the time of year that we begin to eat more?
- More tired: (this has actually been my worst symptom so far) again I’d blame this time of year with its shorter days and colder weather, as well as my day job being busier and more stressful
But what about missed periods and tender breasts, you ask? It’s true that my period has been like clockwork since I began menstruating at age 13, but many women – like my wife – have totally irregular periods (she, for example, is a competitive athlete and can blame that for her odd cycle). And some women simply don’t keep track of their cycles at all. So I understand how some women could miss this very obvious sign of pregnancy.
I’ve certainly experienced breast tenderness and swelling, though not all women do. For me, I’ve been barely an A-cup since the year in junior high school that I both started and stopped growing boobs, and I’ve long dreamed of a bustier chest and – gasp! – CLEAVAGE. I wouldn’t put it past myself to think that God had finally answered my prayers for a bigger bustline and completely disregarded any other (logical) reasons for their growth.
So, yeah, I get it. I get that women might not physically realize they’re pregnant – at least not at first. But truth be told, I have no idea how they explain away the baby bump that eventually leads to a full-on pregnant belly. That one, I’ll never understand…
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make A Right
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