Last weekend I was at a gathering where several of the guests were pregnant. Of course everyone, including myself, asked these women, “How are you feeling?” They all responded with a smile and polite response. But any woman who has experienced pregnancy knows that it’s not a walk in the park. How many pregnant women are actually “glowing”? I sure as heck wasn’t! Everyone knows about the food cravings and mood swings, BUT no one really talks about the absolutely gross things that your body goes through while creating new life. Now that my younger sister is pregnant with her first child I have lots of personal advice/warnings to offer based upon my two pregnancies (the second being twins!). I sometimes wish that I had someone who could have been brutally honest with me. So here it goes…
1. Drool: You will drool; and not just when you are asleep. The massive amounts of saliva will want to escape from your mouth. Drink lots of water and chew some sugar free gum….it helps a little bit. And, when you are asleep the drool is uncontrollable. I’m not talking about a little drool that can be wiped away, I’m talking about puddles that soak through your pillow case. My drooling got so bad, I remember waking up with it dripping down my neck – gross!
2. Pimples: Two days before I found out I was pregnant with my first child I woke up with a monster zit between my eyes. It was so big it was like a third eye. Luckily I hadn’t had a pimple since college, but once this bad boy went away another one sprouted. Thankfully these breakouts only lasted through my first trimester!
3. Day and Night Sickness: Why do we even call it “Morning Sickness,” when it happens All. Day. Long! And I’m sorry, keeping Saltines by my nightstand did not do the trick. It was a constant feeling of nauseousness, and for me it seemed to get worse in the middle of the day. I always made sure to keep a trash can nearby…just in case.
4. Gas: All that rumbling and tumbling isn’t just the baby! Thank goodness I was able to blame it on the dog when it got really bad.
5. Everything Gets Bigger: It’s not just your belly that grows in size! All the way from your boobs to your feet, your body will expand. And, being pregnant with twins, I was enormous. Although I was able to lose almost all of the baby-weight my body is now a completely different shape.
6. Forgetfulness: You forget everything, and I mean everything. Where are my keys? Is this load of laundry clean or dirty? What did you just say? And when the baby comes, it gets even worse. I think I read somewhere that your brain actually shrinks while pregnant, but I can’t remember….who knows?
7. Leg Cramps: Towards the end, your whole body will ache. I would wake up in the middle of the night and my entire leg would feel like pins and needles. Stretching was the only thing that helped, but in the moment it made it feel even worse. It all would depend on how the baby (or babies) were positioned.
8. Food Aversions: Your favorite foods will make you gag. Everyone talks about all the food cravings, but I never experienced that…okay maybe those pickle-flavored potato chips count. There were so many more foods that I could not stand to be near; especially ground beef and coffee.
9. Skin Tags: I was horrified when I started to notice these small brown spots that seemed to be growing off of my neck. Don’t worry they went away!
10. Bladder Control: At some point you will pee your pants. Beware of even the tiniest sneeze; you will lose all control of your bladder. You might also find yourself waking up multiple times throughout the night to use the bathroom. I like to think of this as your body’s way of easing you into the complete lack of sleep you’ll experience once your little one arrives.
As hard as it is, pregnancy really is the most amazing thing. When you stop to think about it, your body is growing another human being with ten little fingers and ten little toes. Once that baby is born and cuddled up in your arms you will quickly forget everything about your pregnancy. And somehow, you might decide to do it all over again!
What gross things happened to you while pregnant. We’d love to know!