Are you prepared for the big day? With my first pregnancy, the only reason I felt prepared at all was because of this book:
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
I read the whole damn thing front to back.
That, combined with my years of experience as an older sister and babysitting as a teen, gave me all the ammo I needed to feel mommy-capable. Don’t get me wrong – all moms have moments where they fell like they don’t know wtf they’re doing. Lucky for me, my first little girl was an angel baby. But my second? Lordy lordy was she tough to handle!
If you are at all concerned about what’s to come or just plain curious about what’s ahead of you throughout your pregnancy, I hiiiiighly recommend reading that book. It also covers quite a lot about birth and taking care of a newborn. For more information about taking care of a baby after her or she is born:
What to Expect the First Year was my favorite.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! But until you do, here are a few gems to get you started.
40 Things You Need to Know, Including Pregnancy Symptoms No One Tells You About
Yep. That saliva is gonna be crazy. (You may have an excess of bodily fluid elsewhere, as well…)
Depending on how dry the climate is where you live, nose bleeds are actually pretty common.
Worst heartburn you’ve ever had.
You thought those chili dogs and fried pickles were bad? HA! Just wait.
Your first sonogram is NOT what you expect.
They aren’t going to rub gel on your belly and move that thing around like you see in the movies. Not for the first time anyway. It’s going to be a big ol’ dildo-esque wand with a condom around it until baby gets big enough for the regular transabdominal ultrasound.
Restless leg syndrome.
This is where your leg will randomly shake you awake at night. Right as you were about to fall asleep. F*ck you, leg.
“Charlie horse” cramps.
Have you ever gotten a cramp in your foot where it feels like your muscles bent it in two and you can’t straighten it out? Yeah, that.
Your doctor MATTERS.
Not all doctors are created equal. Some are super old fashioned and want to cut you open down the middle of your belly even though you already have a horizontal scar and no symptoms or reasons for needing to do it otherwise. (Oh, wait, was that just me?)
Sometimes stress and other health factors can actually cause pre-term labor or other scary problems, leading your doctor to put you on bedrest. While boring, it is pretty serious. You should stay in bed.
Babies do not fix relationships.
I hate to break it to ya babe, but having his baby does not a quality husband or partner make. I reeeeally hope you considered this before having his baby.
Snoring like an old man.
It doesn’t really matter if you do or don’t normally snore. I totally kept James up some nights because of how loud I was.
Acne like a teenager.
This doesn’t happen for the lucky ones, but it does happen. Unfortunately, I was one of the unlucky ones. I broke out SO BAD when I was pregnant with K2. Eventually I found this pretty amazing skin care line that helped – Belli products.
Terrifying pregnancy nightmares.
They can get really nasty if you eat spicy or super flavorful foods really close to bedtime. Don’t do it. They can be pretty brutal.
Random rashes like eczema can happen, too. Make sure you let your doctor know so she can help you get rid of it.
No more cuddling.
It’s way too hot for cuddling when you get really big. Plus, the bigger you get, the more pillows you tend to need in order to get comfortable at night. And your significant other cuddling you will get in the way of those much needed pillows.
Yep, your feet grow. Water retention, weight gain… your feet are going to swell and you’ll need a larger size shoe.
Peeing when you laugh.
Everyone knows you pee a lot when you’re pregnant. But do you know you’re more likely to leak when you cough or laugh?
Your gums are going to be so sensitive now, Mama. Brushing at all can make your gums bleed.
Itchy, itchy skin.
Remember that rash business? Yeah this isn’t about rashes. Your skin is going to be so itchy from stretching and growing.
Weird smells leading to cravings.
Every pregnancy is different, of course, but many mamas-to-be say they crave the weirdest things when expecting. When I was expecting K, I liked macaroni and ketchup. With K2, I just love the smell of sausage and bacon (even though I was vegan and never ate any).
Morning sickness isn’t “morning only” sickness – and varies on the woman and pregnancy.
That stuff can last all day everyday for an entire pregnancy, yo! I remember feeling sick my entire first 5 months with K2. It was terrible, exhausting. And stress only makes it worse.
Most medicine is off limits.
A lot of medicine hasn’t been tested on pregnant women, and there are even more meds that are unsafe for expectant mothers to take. Talk to your doctor before you take anything.
Gas can kill people.
Your gas is killer these days. Like, big smelly man who hasn’t showered in a week bad.
If you’re tired now, just wait…
Exhaustion overwhelms you these days as you’re growing a human. Sleep as much as possible! It gets worse when the baby’s born.
It will last foreverrrrrr.
For most of us, being pregnant becomes more of a burden as time goes on. You know baby has to stay in there to grow, but at the same time you’re wondering “when is this going to be overrrrrrr!”
Questions will forever revolve around baby.
Any time someone comes up to have a conversation with you, most questions will now revolve around baby.
Constipation vs. Diarrhea
No longer will your digestion flow smoothly. Constipation or diarrhea tend to be your only options now, unless you’re lucky.
Skin splotches and dark lines.
Get ready for your skin to start changing color. Nipples, dark spots, splotches, and a dark line running down your belly.
You’re going to have so much fun getting the home ready for baby! And as it gets closer, your mind goes into “nesting” mode where all you can think about is decorating and preparing baby’s nursery.
Mommy brain is REAL.
Mommy. Brain. Is. For. REAL. I forgot so much stuff when I was pregnant. To be fair, I forget a lot now unless it’s written down… but that’s because I’m so busy these days. When you’re pregnant and so preoccupied with everything “baby,” it’s hard to focus on anything else.
Braxton Hicks can hurt.
Braxton Hicks contractions are the fake contractions a lot of moms-to-be get as their bodies “practice” going into labor. Nothing is progressing, and it’s not preterm labor, but they can actually hurt. Well, you think they hurt as they’re happening – definitely not pleasant. But real contractions? They hurt way worse.
Blood can happen…for no reason.
This is one of the scariest things that can happen during pregnancy. Sometimes bleeding while pregnant can mean something serious happened like the placenta tearing away (always, always, always check with your doctor if you’re bleeding while pregnant!), but occasionally it can be completely unexplained. Isn’t that the lamest reason? This happened to me. It was stressful and frightening, and I never got a real answer for why it happened.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, and definitely after the birth, your vajayjay is going to swell up. (Your baby’s genitals swell up too after they’re born.) Hormones combined with water retention and weight gain can leave you looking down at yourself lying in your hospital bed, in shock.
Another thing that swells? Your legs. I’m not talking the normal swelling women experience in their third trimester, oh no. After my first C-section, I looked down at tree trunks attached to my body.
Cervix checks hurt.
At the end of your third trimester and any time a doctor suspects you to be in labor or preterm labor… they’re going to check your cervix. And it is not pleasant.
NO PREGNANCY IS THE SAME.
Every pregnant woman is different, and every single pregnancy is different. My two pregnancies couldn’t have been more opposite. While many mamas may be affected by all of the symptoms I’ve listed, some of you may not experience any.
Going into labor is scary.
You think you’re ready, but when those real contractions start… well, the truth comes out. I had a planned C-section, so I never bothered to prepare myself for labor. Unfortunately for me, I went into preterm labor. And couldn’t stop crying.
Pooping while pushing the baby out.
Since I never birthed naturally, I didn’t get to experience this one myself. But many moms have attested to this truth – if you don’t poo before the birth, it’s probably going to end up on the table when you push.
Placentas are ugly.
Have you ever seen a placenta before??? Did you know people eat that sh*t???
First poo after birth is like having another baby.
After you have a baby, it’s like your insides are all out of whack. And that first poo? You’re going to have to take a lot of stool softeners to get that out.
Post-birth hospital underwear are worse than granny panties.
It’s laughable how unattractive the post-birth granny panties look. But hey, they get the job done.
Hospital pads are enormous – and you’re gonna need them.
Your body is officially on a mega-period now that you just had a baby. Those gigantic maxi pads are going to be your best friend for quite some time.
Carrying Growing a child inside you is one of the most amazing (and quite often, most miserable) things you’ll ever experience as a human being. And while some women are lucky enough to get the glow, no nausea, and have things flow right along… For many of us, pregnancy can actually be one of the most terrifying, uncomfortable times of our lives. But even after all of these terrible “surprises” and nine long months of pain and discomfort – it’ll all be worth it.
Just keep thinking of your son or daughter – the light at the end of the tunnel.
Good luck, Mama!
PS: Have you decided on a name yet? Try these 1000+ Baby Names on for size.