As I slowly waddle my ever-changing pregnant body towards the finishing line of my due date, it’s becoming increasingly clear there are a lot of things they just don’t tell you about pregnancy.
Sure, we all know we can potentially expect morning sickness, an increase in weight and a baby at the end. And I knew I would feel such love and awe for my little bundle of joy even before I met him – I’m already a fiercely protective and devoted mum-to-be. But what about the things people seem to forget to mention?
My fellow mums-to-be in our Due In Group (DIG) and I now share 10 of things we’ve unexpectedly come across as we inch our way to motherhood.
1. Curse of the Sasquatch
In the last month I’ve noticed that I have hair on my stomach, and I can’t keep the razor close enough to deal with my underarms. However, oddly enough, the rate of hair growth has slowed down on my legs … if only there was a happy medium.
2. Every movement matters
Since feeling our little man kick for the first time at week 19, merely a flutter in my stomach so small I had to feel it again to be sure I hadn’t imagined it, I have become obsessed with movements. Whether it’s a kick to the ribs or that amazing hiccupping feeling, it’s an instant relief to feel something. Some days he’s a little too relaxed for me, which has me in a panic something is wrong – and that feeling of anxiousness is something that can’t be underestimated.
3. Sex (or lack thereof)
To be perfectly frank, sex has become cumbersome and awkward. When I’m not worried about squishing my poor husband with my ever-blooming stomach, I struggle to find a position that doesn’t leave me curled up in a fetal position with cramps. It just ain’t happening.
4. Leaking ... from everywhere
Whether it’s from the nipples, downstairs or our eyes, as pregnant women we have a constant source of fluid exiting our body. I’m also told that in the last 10 weeks of pregnancy the vagina ramps up in its production of all things liquid, and this is the time that thrush could rear its ugly head if you’re not careful, so that’s something else to look forward to. Some women will also see colostrum being produced by the body – a rather unnerving aspect if you’re not already aware that you may soon become a one-woman baby-feeding machine.
5. The loo trips
While I knew our bouncing baby boy was going to be playing havoc on my bladder, there’s knowing something and then actually realising the reality. Apart from the frequency of the toilet trips, it’s the feeling of never actually feeling empty that gets me – it’s not uncommon for me to relieve myself in the middle of the night, only to feel the urge to go again once I get back to the bed. (Oh, there’s also the ever present threat of a UTI, too – the joys!)
6. The gestational diabetes test
Possibly the worst I have felt the entire pregnancy was during this test, and it should be forever known as a most cruel and unusual punishment. As if it wasn’t bad enough to need to have two blood tests in an hour, you’re forced to drink a foul-tasting concoction to check your glucose tolerance. Innocuous at the start, it’s the next mouthful, and the one after, that that has you grimacing with the sickly sugary taste.
7. Sleep deprivation
The baby hasn’t even arrived yet and I find myself lying awake at night as my husband not-so-softly snores beside me. Whether it’s the frequent trips to the toilet or worrying about if I have enough onesies, it seems my body is preparing for the mental tasks of being on beck and call to my son.
8. The walking wounded
Muscle cramps, sciatica pain and a waddle has left me feeling rather useless – no one ever mentioned how debilitating having a baby growing inside you can really be! For the last six weeks I’ve experienced the feeling of the muscles in my left leg straining to do the basic task of walking, leaving me feeling somewhat like a pirate with a bung leg. And let’s not mention the whole ‘feels like you’re walking with a bowling ball between your legs’ that comes later …
9. Breathing is a challenge
As your bundle of joy grows ever larger, breathing becomes a challenge, with all your vital organs getting squished up into your lungs. I thought I was doing okay with this until a workmate pointed out that I sounded like I’d run a marathon during our conversation. Rest easy, fellow pregnant ladies: this feeling will go away when your little man or princess begins to engage … then you have this delightful feeling of being head-butted in your nether reasons.
10. Time moves slowly
I can’t emphasise this point enough. The books make it sound like pregnancy is a whirlwind of action – and to some extent, it is. But for the rest of the time, it’s one week after the next of coping with a whole lot of symptoms as you approach that magic line we call a due date.
Have you got something to add to the list or did something catch you particular unaware? Share in the comments.