5 Unpleasant Surprises the Pregnancy Books Really Gloss Over

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Pregnancy is a journey filled with many surprises. Much of them are joyous, some unexpected, and others slightly disturbing.

Sure, we know the basics going in to this whole thing. We witnessed our friend’s pregnancy, we’ve read some books, or just heard the many stories and old wives’ tales. But one cannot fully appreciate tales of pregnancy until one is in the throes of it – losing your mind while elevating your cankles.

Here are five “interesting” surprises you may come across during your pregnancy:

1. You’re going to cry over something really stupid.

Pregnancy-induced tear jags often surprise the pregnant woman as much as it surprises the people around her. The outburst is unexpected, extreme, and completely out of context compared to what is actually happening in real life.

Here’s an example: While moving into a new baby-friendly place, I asked my mom and dad if they would help me arrange the furniture while my husband was at work. I was in the middle of box hell and wanted some semblance of normalcy. Initially my mom agreed and they stopped by to visit. After a couple minutes of chatting, she asked to take a rain check for the morning as they both had a long day.

There I stood before her, quivery lipped and holding a cheesy burrito — yes, a cheesy burrito — and I burst into a fit of tears more compatible with a horrible tragedy than my mom suggesting she help move my couch later.

“Bu, bu, bu, buuuuut you said that you were gonna help meeeee and I waited allllll daa-daaaa-daaay!”

It was so over the top, my dad finally shouted, “Oh god, Christine! I’ll help her! What’s wrong with you?!” My mom just turned her head so I couldn’t see her laughing. Her shoulders were bobbing — I knew the truth.

And that’s what pregnancy crying does to those around you. It has them fleeing for the exit or laughing in your face.

2. You’ll stop picking things up off the floor.

At some point during the pregnancy, without even realizing it, you’ll just stop picking stuff off the floor. If it’s not easily picked up with your toes, you’ll just mumble “Eff it” to yourself and then go about your business.

It’s not worth bending over and it never will be. If it’s a necklace you’re trying to put on, screw it. You’ll just wear another one. If it’s a butter knife you dropped trying to make a PB&J, screw it. You can just dip the bread in the jelly jar. If it’s a toothbrush, screw it. Just eat a Thin Mint.

The other day my husband caught me breaking down our moving boxes with a kitchen knife.

“I have a box cutter, babe. It would be much easier to use.” 

“Yeah, I know. I dropped it earlier so I grabbed this knife.” 

“It’s on the ground? That could hurt somebody!” 

“If someone gets near it, I’ll just yell, ‘Watch out for the box cutter!’ What’s the big whoop?” 

“What? I’ll pick it up, then. You’re crazy.” 

Crazy? No. Pregnant? Yes.

3. You are constantly aware of your nipples. A little too aware.

If I can be totally honest with you, I never paid too much attention to my nipples before pregnancy. Sure, they made their occasional appearance in my marriage or awkwardly in an overly chilled business office, but they were never quite so “top of mind” as they are now, these future chew toys for my baby.

At first, they hurt so bad no one will be allowed to even look in their general direction. Gradually, they’ll grow in size, and possibly darken in color, like a toddler got a hold of them with a Sharpie. Then one day, you’ll be changing in front of a mirror when they catch your eye. What you thought were attractive breasts have now been overtaken by two iHop pancakes.

Why is this not on the first page of What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Sure, this information can be discovered with some digging, but it should be one of the first things they tell us along with the positive pregnancy test.

  • Don’t drink alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Your nipples will turn into large, dark, frightening pancake nipples.
  • Don’t eat fish.

And so on.

4. Pregnancy hormones will make you question whether you really are capable of murder.

Pregnancy hormone rage is the stuff legends are made of. Just like pregnancy crying, pregnancy rage is an unexpected and extremely disproportional reaction to whatever is going on in real life. Often times, it’s an out-of-body experience where you hover over yourself as you slip into unadulterated lunacy.

One specific incident in which my husband feared for his life was when I opened the dishwasher, only to find a bowl in it. Upon further reflection I discovered that said bowl was still filled with uneaten pasta that had then been dumped on the lower rack.

Non-pregnant me would have been real irritated. I mean, is he kidding me right now? But pregnant me … pregnant me concocted a revenge fantasy too intense for Stephen King.

I’ve had women tell me they busted an ironing board in half when it wouldn’t collapse properly, threw empty yogurt cups at spouses when they ate their favorite flavor, or broke their car radio with a swift punch when their cell phone kept dropping calls.

It’s can be um … you know … a little scary.

When it hits you, there isn’t much you can do other than ride it out. If you’re the praying type, pray. If possible, try to warn those around you that the rage is coming.

When all else fails, apologize later and make sure no one recorded the evidence on their iPhones.

5. Your vomiting will resemble a scene from The Exorcist.

Morning Sickness (MS), otherwise known as Feel Like Ass All Day Sickness (FLAADS) doesn’t hit all pregnant women, and if it does, it’s usually at varying levels of severity.

If you happen to be one of those “lucky” ladies who spend a large majority of their pregnancy in a nauseous fog of hell, then you know what it feels like to reenact scenes from The Exorcist.

I count my blessings that I didn’t suffer too badly with morning sickness, but I did have my moments. During one episode in particular, I started to feel a touch off. Shortly after, I lost all the color in my face. I just pretended it wasn’t happening as if denial was a cure for vomiting.

My husband brought me a ginger pill, a natural remedy to calm a rocky stomach. At first I slapped it out of his hands like he was holding a pistol to my face. The thought of putting anything in my mouth gave me the sensation of erupting like Mount St. Helens. Finally, after some cajoling, I took the pill. I sat calmly and started a positive thinking mantra that all would be fine.

And it was. Until I projectile vomited, of course. It was so violent, my husband started throwing tap water on me screaming, “The power of Christ compels you!”

He had real fear in his eyes, friends. Neither of us have been the same since, to be totally honest.

But that’s pregnancy for you. It’s life-changing, beautiful and yes, deeply disturbing.

Good thing it’s so worth it.


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