Parenting

Things They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy

Things They Don't Tell You About
The list of things “they” don’t tell you about pregnancy, childhood and motherhood is possibly the longest list in history. I’m fairly sure that if a lot of those things were taught in schools, we wouldn’t have a teenage pregnancy epidemic because teenage girls would be too grossed out at the thought of such delights as piles, accidental peeing and being covered head to toe in milky vomit.

naked pregnant woman holding bump

 

This started off as a bit of a jokey post, but as I wrote it, and asked friends for their input, it became clear that actually there are a good few things it would be really handy to know about. In fact, the list of “things” got so long, it’s too big for one post so I’ve broken it down into a few.
Today’s post therefore is a list of things that might be handy to know about pregnancy:
  • Relaxin: it’s a hormone that does what it says on the tin: it sets about making your bones and joints more flexible, so as to allow your pelvis to widen for the baby to come out. Sometimes it does this a little too enthusiastically, and your pelvis goes a bit wobbly. For me, this meant wearing a large, white, elasticated belt around my hips whenever I was walking any distance. For others, it means quite a lot more pain and discomfort, possibly even crutches or a wheelchair. Ever seen anyone on a soap dealing with this? No, of course not. It’s not glamorous enough, just bloody annoying.
  • As well as causing all the hip problems, relaxin also causes all your other joints to relax. This can cause the bones and muscles in your feet to spread out, and your feet to grow. It can also mean your oesophagus relaxes, and you get acid reflux. A lot.
  • Shhh… don’t tell anyone, but the pregnancy glow is a big, fat, ugly myth. I spent the first 6 months of my pregnancy waiting for it to kick in, before realising it probably wasn’t coming.
  • Bleeding and leaking fluid: sometimes, this just happens. When it does, it freaks you out and causes massive panic. Then you speak to the people in the know and they invariably say “oh yeah, don’t worry about that!” (NB. if you are pregnant and have this, still speak to the people in the know. Don’t take my word for anything; I’m far from an expert in these things)
  • You can no longer trust your own mind. I don’t know about anyone else, but my hormones were largely all over the shop from one day to the next, and I found in the end that I just didn’t really trust myself to make any proper decisions.
  • That said, any time you are even vaguely emotional, people will pull a “knowing” face and blame it on your hormones – even if you are angry or upset for a valid reason.
  • Say goodbye to a decent night’s sleep. I’ve not slept more than about 4 hours at a time since the middle of my pregnancy. The good news is, you just get used to it after a while. And then when you’ve had the baby and you don’t need to pee every five minutes, you get up with the baby instead. And then sometimes, the baby is asleep but you just wake up because you’re used to it.
  • Your immune system is lower while you are pregnant, which means you are more prone to coughs and colds. And there is hardly any medication you can take for them. It’s basically just paracetamol. If in doubt, assume you can’t take it. Buy lots of tissues.
  • When you are pregnant, people think it’s ok to just come up and touch your belly. Even people you don’t know terribly well. It’s also open season on commenting on your size.
  • If you go overdue, the world and his wife will have only one greeting each time they see you: “not had it yet then?” Which is exactly what you don’t need to hear, when it’s the first thing you think every time you wake up, and you’d really rather have had it by now yourself.
  • A lot of women really don’t enjoy pregnancy, for whatever reason. It doesn’t make them bad people. Society dictates that we should all be perfectly calm and happy and glowing throughout, and people get confused when that’s not the case. Quite often their confusion manifests itself in assumptions about your suitability as a mother. Ignore them, they are idiots.
  • One thing a friend said to me fairly early on: if it can go wrong in your body, now’s the time it will go wrong. Prepare for everything to cease usual functioning.
  • A lot of pregnant women have bleeding gums. And not just “oh what’s that on my toothbrush there” but proper massacre in the sink, as one lady put it.
  • You will become very forgetful. Baby Brain is real. And it only gets worse. My daughter is now 6 months old and I regularly miss something on a dvd I’m watching because I forgot to pay attention; I rewind it to watch again, only to find I’ve forgotten to pay attention again. Eventually I just give up!
  • Babies get hiccups before they are born. It feels weird.
  • For me, pregnancy improved my body image to no end. Having spent my entire adult life worrying about wearing clothes that might be too tight and show my gut, I now relished the fact I was supposed to have a big belly, and wore lots of figure-hugging tops.
  • Your belly will most probably get pretty hairy. It’s normal.
  • Personally, I had some very strange dreams while I was pregnant. The one that really springs to mind was one night when I dreamed the baby was kicking, and managed to split my stomach and kick its way right out of me. Very disturbing.
  • Early on in pregnancy, my GP told me that she was sure pregnancy hormones just kick in and make you go all chilled out and happy at a certain point. I thought she was mental, but suddenly, when I got to 23 weeks, I found that I could not find a shit to give about a lot of things. Even facing the horrible stresses I faced, I was still relatively calm. If I hadn’t been under such ridiculous stress, I could quite probably have been comatose.
I’ve probably missed a fair few points here; feel free to leave comments below with your own experiences.

This post is part of a group of Things They Don’t Tell You About… posts. The others are:

Things They Don’t Tell You About Breastfeeding
Things They Don’t Tell You About Motherhood
Things They Don’t Tell You About Babies

 

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

2 Comments
  • Laura Huggins

      REPLY

    Its lists like this that make me fear getting pregnant again! Brilliant post though. x x x

  • ghostwritermummy

      REPLY

    Yep yep and yep. There is SO much they don't tell you, and so much I suspect we forget too! Thanks so much for sharing and for linking to #MaternityMatters x x ghostwritermummy recently posted...Bella’s #BalloonTime birthdayMy Profile

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