Well they probably do tell you, but unless you're going through it, one doesn't fully appreciate the bizarreness of pregnancy to it's full capacity. Over the last few years when my pregnant friends have complained about various pregnancy related problems, I probably just nodded and gave a dutiful 'Oh dear', whilst in the back of my mind either thinking it can't be that bad or more bitterly that at least you are pregnant. Cue that bittersweet digestion I mentioned a while back. Flash forward to today and here I am, finally pregnant and reflecting, (I'm not complaining) about all those little things that have surprised me about pregnancy.
A few of which I've already touched on during my 20 week and 30 week bump date posts so I won't bore you with those grizzles again, but I will take this opportunity to highlight some of the not-so-glamorous aspects of pregnancy. Don't worry, I'm fully aware that with six weeks to go and a labour on the horizon, this list is sure to be extended in ways that I can't fully imagine right now, or more likely blocking out to avoid any unnecessary panic attacks. Be sure to expect a 'What They Don't Tell You About Labour' in the not too distant future. Ugh.
I'm yet to discover a part of my body that hasn't been affected or changed throughout the course of this pregnancy. But swollen feet, tiredness and hormones aside, here are just a few things that have stood out as particularly crazy aspects of this wonderful experience...
Things They Don't Tell you About Pregnancy...
No matter how many urine samples you give over the course of 40 weeks...you'll always still pee on your hands. I might be alone in this one, but surely I can't be the only one who still struggles to aim, fire and seal the lid without dripping pee everywhere? There's a knack to it I'm sure, but as your bump gets bigger, sadly your arms don't get longer so you end up balancing over the loo, guesstimating as to where your target area is and just...wing it.
You'll pee anywhere. Literally. Long gone are the days when you'd turn your nose up to a public toilet. When you gotta go, you gotta go and even though you struggle to pee in a pot like a lady, you soon master the art of scanning, cleaning, preparing, peeing and swiftly exiting a public toilet like a pro. I'm yet to pee on the side of the road, but preggars can't be choosers.
Speed bumps and pot holes are pure evil. You quickly learn to hate them with a passion and avoid them at all costs, particularly when you’re in need of a wee, which is all the sodding time. Never before have I known discomfort like it than when needing a wee and driving along a bumpy-pot-hole-infested road. It’s excruciating. It’s like having a belly full of water balloons and any unexpected sudden movement will cause those balloons to pop! Or in most cases, pee...
Your skin will all of a sudden repel the sunshine. If it’s not bad enough that the heat alone has reduced you to a whimpering and swollen wreck, you then turn into Dracula over night where even putting the washing out leaves your skin scorching and singeing. Oh and if you’re really lucky you’ll even be donning some pretty new patches on your face in the form of Mal-whatsit? (Melasma Gravidarum is the medical term)
You'll experience Hair Growth like nothing ever seen before...other than in Planet of the Apes. This one knocked me for six at one point during my second trimester. It was like someone was slipping me testosterone induce hairy hormone pills in every meal because I couldn't keep up with all the hair growth, sprouting uncontrollably. Never mind hairy legs- what the heck is up with the fuzzy belly? This scary hairy issue even landed me in one very sticky situation in a beauty salon a few weeks ago where I learnt very quickly that there is a certain level of skill required when being on all fours for a considerable amount of time, whilst pregnant and basically trying not to fart. I deserved a bloody medal. Damn you hair.
Heat waves and pregnancy go together like foil in a microwave. You start off thinking, OK it's not too bad, then slowly as the day goes on you start to crumble and before you know it, you're sweating in places even you're embarrassed to wipe. You drink more water, but then of course you need to pee even more than the usual every fifteen minutes. You get so hot you don't know whether to sit in a pool of your own sweat or stand and feel the pressure of the heat sizzling down your legs and arms making your hands and feet swell like an inflatable clown.
By the time the evening comes around you explode into a great ball of fire. Sobbing uncontrollably, dripping snot everywhere and mumbling about swollen tree trunks for feet, about how hot you are and that you don't know what to do with yourself. It literally takes a fireman to calm you down with a glass of ice cold water, a foot massage, an ice pack, a fan and a makeshift crane to hoist up those tree trunks to ease the swelling. I was a beautiful sight as you can imagine. You gotta love the Hubster.
You'll cry at the most ridiculous things. The milk running out. Your knickers being too tight. When there's a heatwave. When you're
hungry starving. Any baby you see, more often when it's crying it's bloody eyes out, you'll then sob silent tears as you realise that you'll soon be the one responsible when your very own tiny human won't tell you what the heck is wrong with it. Or when the Hubster comes home half an hour late back from work, leaving you pacing the floor ready to call 999 in case he's had an accident, in ridiculous floods of tears. Yep. I've done that more than once.
Putting your knickers on becomes a dodgy game of hook-a-duck...without getting a prize for all the effort you put in. Mind you, the prize usually is if you can manage to get them on at all and they still fit. Bonus.
Which brings me on nicely to my next point...
If something falls on the floor, one of three things will happen...
1. You'll either ask the next person you see to pick it up for you.
2. If alone, you think sod it, it can stay there forever.
3. Or more often than not, you'll mutter some sort of swear word before spreading your legs as wide as they'll go without causing early labour and lean over as un-lady like as humanly possible, whilst holding your breath and hoping you don't pee as you scoop up the said item, swearing as you return to some sort of normal standing.
If you fail on number 3, you revert to number 2 only this time you use slightly more explicit language than 'sod it' or cue tears. Of course.
The moral of the story here is just hope to high bleedin' heaven that you don't drop anything.
You're Not Your Old Self Anymore. It’s like you’ve been taken over by an alien. Physically and mentally. You're not the same person anymore (which I've touched on here) and you worry that you might not see that person again even once the baby arrives. Life is about to change in ways even the most perfect of nurseries can't prepare you for. But this new you sure as heck appreciates this gift you've been given. You know you'll cherish this experience and all these crazy changes that come with it as long as you live.
Until next time...
With Love & Pregnancy Reflections,