Every single woman who finds herself pregnant will – at some point or another – curse every book and article on pregnancy out there. Why? Well, they tend to talk about miracles and magic and glow. They talk about the dewy eyes and the emotional bond to the bump, the kicks, and the wonders of shopping for booties. What they don’t tend to talk about is the nitty-gritty of pregnancy. They don’t talk about how hard it can be to carry a baby and grow a human being, and that’s the problem.
Women need to know about the gross stuff. They have to read about the icky bits to know what to expect when they’re expecting – and without all the fluff and glitter. You want to read about pregnancy and not feel duped, which is what most women feel by the end of it. For example, no one wants to tell a pregnant woman that if she sneezes, she could lose control of her bladder. The thing is, if women heard the truth about pregnancy, the human race would die out. Of course, what we have to go through to bring children into the world is 100% worth it when you’re holding that little baby in your arms. It doesn’t mean that you cannot be prepared for the most difficult – and most beautiful – time in life.
You may know that you’ll encounter insomnia, but you won’t really appreciate that until you’re googling melatonin for pregnant women to make it easier to sleep. We all know to expect things like exhaustion and morning sickness, but when no one tells you that you could puke your breakfast at work and wet yourself at the same time, you’re going to feel betrayed. (Sorry girls, it’s the truth.)
So, my fellow mothers and mothers-to-be, let’s get real for a few moments. Let’s talk about the things that you wish you knew before you peed on the stick and watched it turn positive. Brace yourselves – it’s not pretty!
Razors? You’ll Need A Few
It’s true that when you’re pregnant, your hair stops falling out and becomes thick and lustrous. Your hair looks healthy and shiny and really, it’s the best it’s ever been. The thing is, it’s also that beautiful leg hair and armpit hair that grows with a vengeance, threatening to clog your shower drains every time you shave. Sasquatch ain’t got nothing on you and what’s worse is that you’ll find hair growing outside of the normal realms. Your stomach is about to get a little furry – but don’t touch the hair there! If you wouldn’t shave it usually, don’t during pregnancy. It’ll fall out later!
Kicks – They Count More Than You Know!
Everything you read will talk about counting ten kicks or movements in an hour. This advice is outdated. As your baby grows, you’ll feel movements becoming more and more regular. Not every baby falls into the “ten movements an hour” pattern, so you must become familiar with what’s normal for your baby and roll with it. If the little sucker isn’t wigging as usual, speak to your healthcare nurse or midwife. You are never, ever a burden, and if you’re worried you must always ask for help!
Sleep Is For The Weak
It’s a horrible thing to be told but it’s true: the third trimester is a b-word for sleep. You will need more sleep now than ever, but your body has other ideas. The restless limbs, the need to pee increasing, and the general feeling of being awake is enough to keep you up at night. Melatonin can help, but it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking anything stronger than chamomile tea.
All. The. Fluid
Everywhere, all the time. You’ll possibly puke and you’ll definitely pee – you just won’t always be able to control it. Your breasts will leak when milk is being produced. Pregnancy thrush is a thing and you’ll have more discharge than you know what to do with. You will leak, and it’s not pretty.
Hello, Toilet – Your New Friend
They say you’re going to have a bouncing baby, but they don’t tell you that your baby will bounce directly on your bladder. You’ll have just pulled your maternity leggings back up and boom – you need to go again. Yep, stand, wait, sit, go. Over and over.
The Body War
You know you’re growing a person and that’s a miracle and you can accept that. However, it’s far harder to accept the changes in your body. Your hips will spread, your weight goes up and your feet get longer. Your nose widens and you feel like a walking incubator. The war in your mind versus your body is hard to keep up with – and yet here you are, growing a person. It’s okay not to be okay with all the changes, but you do need to get some help and advice.
The Pain: Oh, The Pain!
The restless legs (which bananas and orgasms help, but not together), sciatica, the pelvic girdle pain, the cramps, the stretched skin… it all leads to pain. And you’re in it until the baby pops out. It all works out in the end for most of us, but the pain in pregnancy is very real and you shouldn’t dismiss yourself if you are in pain. Get advice, get hot water bottles, and get advice to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible!
It Hurts To Breathe
Did you know that your organs smush up to your lungs when you are carrying a baby? The baby needs room to grow, and that means that your lungs get a little less air time. As they feel crushed, you’re going to know about it, which is why you should take deep breaths and move slowly at all times. This is going to help you to avoid passing out!
You’re Going To Get Sad
As your body is overtaken by the new little human you will raise and grow, you’re going to feel sad. Sometimes, this is okay – it’s natural to feel sad that life is changing. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need to slow down and speak to the professionals. You deserve happiness – make sure you find it!