As realistic as this book was about how likely it is to fall in love with a S&M tycoon, I’m lifting the lid on a similar fantasy novel about pregnancy.
This post of for all the ladies and fellas out there who are first timers or trying to conceive this blog is especially for you. Now, I thought I was fairly astute being the youngest in my family and last one to get pregnant out of my group of friends and siblings, I knew about the poop on the table and we’ve all scene the mood swings and screaming of childbirth on tv/movies etc but at 25 weeks it just goes to show how little I knew or was possibly paying attention.
The purpose of this blog is not to put you off but to really highlight what you think you know and will read in some glossy magazines with a pregnant top model on the front, to what you really might expect during this journey. This will hopeful help you prepare and become a little less anxious the first time you wet yourself in public.
Before I go and give credit to these findings myself, some will be from personal experience and a lot are from a fanastic bunch of women who are part of my group on babycentre.co.uk. You don’t realise until you join one of these groups how supportive and helpful they can be throughout this very exciting and nerve wreaking journey! It’s free to join one of these clubs and to be honest the amount of satisfaction and friendship you build on these online forum I would have no qualms to pay to subscribe but don’t tell them I said that!! So this blog is on behalf of all those amazing women who have helped me write this post.
And now so it begins…
There are so many things they don’t tell you, so it’s difficult to know where to start? It’s not some secret society but more likely because they’re shattered or the pain of childbirth is so horrific that everything else is a blur and then once bubba has arrived you’ve got other things on your mind.
In no particular order let me start telling you about a few things you can expect (you may be very lucky and not experience any of those things so don’t be worried if you don’t be worried either!)
- Morning Sickness – The most common myth so lets start there. Despite the name it doesn’t just happen just in the morning and can happen anytime… and I mean anytime. You may not even experience it at all if that’s you, go out now and buy the winning lottery ticket!! Some people get it worse than others. If you’re really unlucky you may not be able to keep anything down even water, this is Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Thankfully whilst not usual it’s not common for all pregnant women but you do need to seek medical help as there is a danger of dehydration.
Now this is a little gross so move to the next bullet point if you don’t want the detail. In my experience I used to get it when I was in a confined space like my train journey into London everyday. There would be someone sat next to me with food or coffee that would trigger my super smelling senses and I would vomit. Now I wasn’t prepared, even though I knew what triggered me. I used to throw up in my mouth and tried to swallow it as I was so embarrassed to throw up on the floor or on someone’s feet, this then would carry on and on as being sick made me feel even more sick. I also had it in the car and used to puke out of the window (I wasn’t driving!) as it would come on suddenly and it was too late to slow down sometimes where we were, luckily I never got any innocent by standers but peeps, here’s a tip, you need to clean it off the car before it impacts the paint job 🙂
- You turn into a sniffer dog! No I’m just kidding, you do develop a Strong Sense of Smell. So if you are looking for a change in career this is a good one but sadly short lived as it does go eventually. Then there are those who are professional smellers or those who need their smells that work in pharmaceutical industry pregnancy can have the opposite effect and desensitise temporarily.
- Baby Brain! Now if you google this, there is a mixed bag of opinions out there whether this exists or not. There apparently is no scientific evidence that it exists. If you speak to most pregnant women they will tell you it does! Let’s put this down to examples of the world was flat at one point and the atom was the smallest matter in the universe, it’s bollocks! I was known to be very sharp in terms of memory and wit and I found words were dropping out of my head, I couldn’t remember what was just discussed in my last meeting or at times what I was in the middle of doing. Write things down! In fact write down that I’ve just told you to … where was I??
- Glow – Dream on! They say pregnancy women glow. And there is a very small population that do, but the top models or celebrities you see are not only airbrushed but have hired help guide then what to eat/prepare their foods, exercise and in some cases it comes down to good genes! What you’re more likely to experience is you’ve turned into a snake who is about to shed their skin or look like someone has hit you with a grease ball. In my case I started with the oily skin, spotty and now have really dry skin on my face despite exfoliating and moisturising. You may find you react differently to your trusty make up, there are off the shelf cosmetics you can buy too, if you can be bothered. I found towards the end of my 1st trimester I stopped wearing makeup as I was either going to wipe it off with the crying, vomiting or plainly just too tired to put anything on my face.
- Stretch Marks – Celebrities get them too, it’s hard to avoid as you are growing another person inside of you! Some people may not get this badly and some do. It’s perfectly all natural and normal. I’ve still got 3 months to go and mine appear on my bum, boobs and thighs at the moment. If I could reach my iPad around to take a shot of my wobbly tushy to show you I would but sadly I can’t reach there. There are creams you can buy to help you moisture your more sensitive areas and help fade them too, any chemist and now supermarket sells them. Embrace the change as there is nothing really you can do to stop it. Some women do have a hard time as their bodies are changing shape, talk it through with someone. Your body is amazing and will do what it needs to do but mentally you need to prepare yourself as this is a very personal journey of physical and mental change. You’re not alone! Thousands of women are going through this too with their own demons to bare.
- Hair Growth – don’t be freaked out but yes it is possible to turn into a bloke! Kidding!!! All though I’ve kind of convinced myself that I am turning into Thomas Beatie. I’ve got hair growing on my belly, neck (if I was a bloke it would be just above where my adams apple would be), big toes (!!), armpits and lady garden area. Now I have never been hairy there before. I always had thick black hair on my head, very little in my lady garden and legs but none under my armpits!! I mean none! So now I’m like what the …. It’s all thanks to our changing hormones.
- Leg Cramps – probably like most of us you won’t be prepared for this one, it will come one night whilst your relaxed or asleep and BAAM! What the hell is that! You will be up like a shot trying to rub your calf muscle. From then on you will be so paranoid once you feel this weird kind of sensation in your legs, it almost your sixth sense that you know this son of a bitch is coming to get you. You’ll do your best to eat bananas until you turn into Eric Wimp, aka Bananaman! Warm baths sometimes help too. When you think you’re about to get them try to lie on your back or sit with your legs up pointing your toes towards you and heels to the ground.
- Back Ache – Ignore any idiot who tells you this is for people who are heavily pregnant! It’s utter rubbish! Even before you get your BFP your body will have started to increase production of various hormones that will prepare you for childbirth. Things will get bigger, widen, loosen and all sorts of other wonderful things that you personally won’t like. I had previously suffered with a bad back and had seen an Osteopath and was fine but since about 5 weeks I was starting to feel the pain and aches back. I sat down a lot, commuting and then in a computer chair all day. Don’t worry not everyone experiences this but you are more prone if you have experienced back issues previously.
- Boobies and Nipples – Now some people think they will get huge boobies and for some this is a clear benefit but not all women are fortunate enough to see a growth in this area. It is very common your jugs will increase I know a few people who it didn’t happen to and they were gutted. What most people will experience is sore and tenderness in your booby area, again this is thanks to those beautiful hormones that make everything that extra sensitive. Oh and err… your nipples will grow too and potentially darken in colour! Also veins and leakage! Pretty…
- Colds vs Manflu – No don’t worry you won’t get man flu but your body is doing amazing things and the reality is your immune system is lower than normal, this is so your body doesn’t go fighting bubba as it’s a foreign body however the downside is now you’re more prone to viruses, bacteria and other annoying things. Sadly in most cases the best you can do is take paracetamol, steam and honey & lemon. Wash thoroughly after touching pets, food, public places. You don’t need to be OCD about it. There are many articles out there about what you need to be extra careful about so please do take time to read them. Things like food, dirt, even cat poo carry certain risks and dangers for you and your unborn baby.
Three new bodily functions that will change
- Bladder Control – Not really a surprise that you need to go the toilet more frequently whilst pregnant but the biggest change is peeing your pants/knickers when you laugh, cough or sneeze. It’s funny after the event but at the time you feel so embarrassed, ladies pantyliners are now part of your every day life, another hormone related body change as your muscles have loosen so you need to exercise those pelvis muscles ladies.
- Bowel Movement – get ready for the changes between constipation and diarrhoea, also the regularity! I never really pooped this much but now I’m like 3-4 times a day, stock up on toilet rolls!
- The Windy City! – Chicago has nothing on you (Calamity Jane reference for you young pups!), as your muscles have relaxed you will find that your digestive system has slowed down too which increases your wind output. Now I’m not just talking about bottom burping but good old fashioned man burping, nope it’s not very lady like but with the amount of pressure that builds up above and in your bellies, not forgetting the dreaded new heartburn you won’t care, I promise you! You will be loving the release. Ahhh!
- Sleep & Energy – Say goodbye it’s a thing of the past, and it doesn’t just stop once bubba is here it starts now. This could be for a number of reasons, backache, pee breaks, extra sensitive hearing, pains in your groin (SPD), colds, coughing, all sorts! This then has a knock on effect and like most of us you will need to nap during the day. When I was at work I would need to nap around 2pm, I was shattered, now officially work is meant to be able to provide you with places to rest but this isn’t always the case practically, you will need to look into this. The best advise and you may not listen to this as I didn’t the first time. Sleep when you can, there will be a point when you wish you could but just can’t.
- Sexy Time – My favourite subject. Now as we are all individuals there are 2 sides of the fence you can sit on with your new gift. You could be repulsed by the idea of anyone touching you or turn into a complete nymphomaniac. Yes that’s right the extra blood flow down there can increase your libido levels, but get this… your other half may not want to do the deed, the nasty, the oh-la-la and in other cases you may really want to have your wicked way either, despite the lust for one another. It comes down to fear, hurting bubba, miscarriage, body shape… it’s perfectly natural and which ever side of the fence your on your not alone! Sex is perfectly safe as long as your midwife has said so although there are about 8 key reasons not to have sex which hopefully she will explain. Then whether you feel like it or not is an entirely different matter! Two of the most common reasons men say no is that they worry about hurting bubba or they are freaked out bubba will be able to see or touch his penis. Bless them for thinking they have a chance of this happening in the first place but the other reason is you have a mucus plug in your cervix that prevents infections or harm to little one.
After all these things, you will wonder if it’s worth it. Why on earth would you put yourself through any of this. To be honest, if you’re not sure why then maybe you’re not ready. This is a huge gift and it’s not to be taken likely.
I can tell you as a women who didn’t want kids at one point as I enjoyed my freedom and then I went to trying for a baby for a while to sadly 2 failed pregnancies that this stuff doesn’t matter in the end. However don’t say that to me in the heat of the moment as you will see my She-Hulk side but it is relatively a small price to pay for your flesh and blood. It’s even more special to you when you’ve gone through such a roller coaster ride to get to this point.
Congratulations if you’re a mummy or daddy to be and if you’re trying to conceive I wish you the best of luck. From one person to another the journey ahead is a long one filled with mixed emotions and changes, do try enjoy as much as you can, there are so many scares and bumps in the road but your not alone!
- Treating Pregnancy Eczema (everydayhealth.com)
- The miracle and indescribable first trimester during pregnancy (tirisulayoga.wordpress.com)
- Pregnant Women Need Help When Morning Sickness Lasts All Day (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Celebrating Pregnancy! (birthboobsbabes.wordpress.com)
- New Findings on Morning Sickness Treatment Presented at Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Annual Pregnancy Meeting (sys-con.com)
- The “joys” of being pregnant (totalrandomthoughts.wordpress.com)