7 Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy

The pregnancy continues to go well and overall I’m feeling fine.

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No belly pics this week. Just Munchkin and me baking some cookies!

So instead of boring you with another ‘update’ post about the same old thing, I thought I’d switch gears a bit.

There are many things about pregnancy that are expected like putting on weight, buying different clothes, peeing a lot, glowing skin, morning sickness, etc. There are also a lot of things people don’t really tell you because it’s a) not glamorous and in some cases embarrassing, b) seem silly and minor, or c) they’re afraid they’re the only one. You can read about most of these in books but most likely they won’t come up in every day conversation (“Hi Sally! How are you? Me? I’m fine but boy does my hoo-ha ache today!”).

So allow me to provide you with this PSA on the things no one tells you about pregnancy (or that you forgot from the first time around). You’re welcome.

1. Growing pains

Sure, we all know that when you get pregnant, you get bigger. It’s easy to see. But what you may not anticipate is how that growth feels. It’s not like your uterus, skin, and hips can get bigger without causing some discomfort. They are s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g after all. It’s fairly random too. For me, I will be totally fine and then all of a sudden get a sore spot on my side or an ache below my belly. If you’ve never been pregnant before it can really freak you out. And as someone with a history of miscarriage, it can REALLY freak you out.

With my Isabella pregnancy I was panicked with each new twinge. This time I’m just annoyed by it. Although some of the aches have shown up in places I do not remember having them before. Which leads us nicely in to #2.

2. Wherein I talk about things “down there”

The other night I literally was watching TV with a bag of frozen peas directly on my crotch. I’m sure it was very attractive. But come on! The pubic bones are moving too and boy can I feel it. The pain occurs when I walk, change sitting positions or generally do anything involving my legs.

Awesome.

I do NOT recall my vajayjay aching with the first pregnancy. Maybe I just blocked it out or maybe it’s because I’m older – you know, of Advanced Maternal Age.

Either way, I think I owe that bag of pees some flowers or something.

 <Digimax S800 / Kenox S800>

3. Itchy Scratchy

Remember how in #1 we talked about stretching and growing? Well when your skin does that, it itches. Maternity pants don’t help either. Some of them come up over your belly and make the itch that much worse. Usually you get an itch at the most inopportune times too. I mean, I feel like a dirty old man sitting there scratching my belly all day.

Case in point – the extended family was out to dinner for my nephew’s birthday. Suddenly, the side of my right boob started itching like crazy. I tried to subtly slide my right arm up and down to get it but that did nothing. So I casually reached with my left hand across, as if folding my arms, and adjusted my bra cup while simultaneously itching the affected area. Only, my bra was being stubborn and I had to pull hard, causing my fingernail to bend backwards, which made me jump and yelp thereby drawing all the attention my way. The very attention I was trying to avoid.

Sigh.

I guess I should just embrace it, scratch away and then look incredulously at people who give me dirty looks. Dude, I’m pregnant. I have the right to do pretty much anything right now and you’re not allowed to comment or criticize.

4. Aching for Advil

Naturally, there are limitations to what you can ingest while pregnant. No alcohol. Limit the caffeine. No raw food (sorry cookie dough but I just can’t quit you). So it naturally follows that you would have to limit medications too. For the most part, I am totally ok with that. Generally, I don’t take a lot of medications anyway. I rarely use cold medicine and never take sleeping pills. I don’t have a chronic condition requiring daily medication so I’m not too put out by this.

However, there is one medication that I’m having a hard time living without – Ibuprofen. This has been a lifesaver for me on more than one occasion but particularly when it comes to my knees and neck. Both of these areas are ones which cause me fairly regular pains. And Tylenol just does not cut it.

For the past week I’ve had the worst neck kink I’ve ever had. My chiropractor even said he hasn’t seen my joints that badly swollen. Yet, there was nothing I could do for pain management. I basically had to suffer through, which tends to be the mantra when pregnant and ill – just suffer through.

Then I got a bad head cold and was beyond stuffed up. Again, Ibuprofen would have helped to relieve the swelling in my sinuses, but alas, it was not to be.

And decongestants? Fuggettaboutit.

Blergh.

5. Shaving

I went to a Catholic all girls high school. With no boys present, you can imagine that our hygiene and general concern about daily appearance pretty much went out the window. Like I’m going to put on make-up for a bunch of girls in uniform. Shaving also went by the wayside. I remember girls who would go for months, nay, even the whole year without shaving their legs.

hairy legs

(source)

I’m thinking of going back to that practice.

It’s hard enough trying to shave your legs when you’re standing up in a slippery shower. Add in a large and ever growing belly to work around and it becomes a logistical nightmare.

Did I mention that your hair grows faster during pregnancy because of the increased hormones? Good times.

With my first pregnancy, it got to the point where I had to have CJ help me shave and bless his heart he did it without complaint. It was either that or sleep with a werewolf. I haven’t gotten to that point yet this time around but I have a feeling it’s not far away.

6. Leakage

CJ and I took a Pregnancy and Birthing Class when I was pregnant with Isabella. In one of the first sessions, the teacher told us that one common misconception is that when your water breaks, it comes out as a big gush, like in the movies. In reality, sometimes it slowly leaks out.

She should never have told me that.

Because guess what, in pregnancy you leak anyway. You leak pee when you sneeze or overexert. You leak other mystery fluids randomly. So as you can imagine, as a nervous first time pregnant woman, with every leak I thought my water had broken, particularly as we got toward the end. In fact, that’s how we ended up in the hospital a whole day early for labor.

We were scheduled to be induced on the morning of the 30th so the night of the 29th CJ and I went out to dinner and generally tried to enjoy our last night without a baby. When we got home, I felt some leakage. I was just sure that it was more than normal and therefore MUST mean my water broke. I called my doc and she said to come on in. Yeah, false alarm. But it was 9 p.m. and since I was supposed to be right back there at 5 a.m. the next morning, they just kept me overnight.

Had I not been such a nervous, uneducated Nelly, I could have saved us hundred of dollars in an extra hospital stay. I should have sent the bill to that dang class instructor.

7. PP target practice

By the end of pregnancy, I will know my doctor and her nurses really well. After all, I see them every 4 weeks right now and soon every 2 and then every week. Despite the fact that my doctor is a Ravens fan, I love her and appreciate this time.

What I didn’t anticipate was how many times I would get to pee in a cup. You pretty much have to do that at every visit. I have become a friggin’ pro at it. Not a drop spilled on most occasions.

I’ve also learned that one’s bladder is never really empty. On one visit, I was having a bad case of pregnancy brain and went to the bathroom, cup in hand, and totally forgot to capture any pee in the cup. I realized this when I walked back into the exam room with empty cup still in hand. Oops. Still, I went back to the restroom and was able to eek out a few more drops – enough to get them what they need – and all was well.

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So, while being pregnant has it’s ups and downs, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. The experience is unlike anything ever and to have the privilege of creating and bringing life in to the world is beyond amazing. I will happily forgo a few pills here and there and the ability to laugh real hard without worrying about wetting my pants for the chance to hold another precious little baby in my arms.

Besides, we have to have something to hold over their head when they get older.

Previous weeks, in case you missed it:

Ultrasound! | Halfway mark | 19 weeks

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