Here I am in my 18th week of pregnancy, and I've come to discover there are things that no one tells you about pregnancy--things that freak you out, but are actually quite normal, things that are inconvenient but you wouldn't have thought about, and things that took me by surprise.
There are some women that LOVE being pregnant. I don't hate it, but I don't understand what's so lovey dovey about the pregnancy experience (other than his little wiggles inside me!). I'm hormonal, sometimes sick, often anxious, tired, and weirded out by being in a life stage that my stomach is allowed to stick out instead of using every trick of the trade to make it look flat. It's an overall very strange experience in my opinion, filled with many unexpected things that no one seems to mention. But hey, we're friends right? I'll tell you the real deal about pregnancy that no one thought to mention to you before.
1. Spotting is normal and common and doesn't necessarily mean you're having a miscarriage.
2. Yes, you're becoming a bit bigger in some areas, which you'd think was sexy; it's not. They don't usually feel comfortable, and there are veins now. Ew.
3. Nursing bras are bland and boring. Since apparently new moms need to feel more frumpy. Ugh.
4. When you hit second trimester, baby's growth starts to cause regular cramping in your stomach. It's uncomfortable. And it happens often. And it doesn't mean something is wrong.
5. Squatty Potties will change your pregnant life. Get one.
6. Breathing with your diaphragm is increasingly more difficult, which will cause you to feel lightheaded quite often when you sing. Please have a chair on stand-by.
7. Drinking a protein shake before bed helps alleviate morning sickness. Also, everyone wants to know if you've been sick. #3 question after 'when are you due' and 'is it a boy or girl?'
8. Your sensitivity to smells isn't a constant. It only happens sometimes. But when it does, be prepared to keep the doors and windows of the house open (even if it's freezing outside) to keep the airflow happening. Having essential oil diffusers on hand is highly recommended. Also beware that cooking dinner is a lot more difficult with the smell situation, and your dogs who love to be near you can quickly become your worst enemies.
9. Skin tags in weird places will appear, and it is normal due to hormones. They'll eventually go away.
10. I haven't had panic attacks in years, but they returned when I was pregnant. (And surprisingly the things I'm anxious about have nothing to do with having a baby.) There are many things you can do. Things that have helped me: listening to Bethel Music, my husband praying over me, getting more sleep, not being alone, essential oils, being at home, eating regularly throughout the day, staying warm, and The Tapping Solution (link in picture).
11. You wouldn't think you'd need to pee all the time until baby was bigger and pushing on your bladder, but no. That starts first trimester.
12. Activities that weren't hard before suddenly leave you out of breath and wiped out. (Such as doing your usual 3 loads of laundry at the laundromat, washing a sinkful of dishes, walking up 1 flight of stairs, carrying in your stuff from the car, and your normal 2 mile dog walk.)
13. Gross sounds that other people make, can cause you to be queasy. I can't stand Gipper biting himself because it's hard for him to breath so I not only have to listen to him chewing, I have to listen to him snorting to try and get more air. Also movements are harder to stomach--riding in the car over bumps and someone wiggling their foot in the seat that's attached to yours at the movie theater, yeah not fun.
14. You don't need all the baby furniture. Did you know they make Pack N Plays that have newborn bassinets and changing pads built in? Who needs a crib or changing table?!
15. It's somehow acceptable to go to a side room and nap during a New Year's Eve party. Lol. My friends are very understanding. ;)
I'm sure there will be more as the time goes by, but they're the few that I've newly experienced in recent weeks that I've had to figure out on my own. All I know is that I'm extremely grateful to have an amazing husband who puts up with all this crazy, and to have a birth team that is super helpful and positive about all these changes. Even though I may not LOVE pregnancy, I'm crazy about this little dude growing inside and am super excited to meet him and be his mom. <3