I thought I knew a lot about being pregnant! Well, until I actually fell pregnant. I had heard about morning sickness, moodiness, extreme emotions, cravings, you know… the usual things everyone tells you about. It didn’t take long to see there was a whole lot I didn’t know and I really wish someone had told me… just to help me a little along the way.
I am not going to go through everything that happens to you when you are pregnant. Our bodies are all different and there are plenty of books that cover the month by month changes that you go through. My go-to book was “What to expect when you are expecting” along with daily updates from various online sites showing my baby’s daily growth. These were extremely helpful and fun! I just loved seeing my little sesame seed grow into a little alien tadpole and then finally into something that resembled a little person. Yip, my little person!
But here are the few things I wish I had known, but didn’t…
Falling pregnant can be painful – I don’t know if it is for everyone, but for me just after I found out I was pregnant I had the worst cramps ever! They were like seriously bad period cramps, you know, the kind you just have to lie down to get through. Ugh! Knowing I was pregnant I chose not to take anything for the pain. They lasted for about 2-3 days when the cramps would come and go throughout the day. Not how I imagined those first few days to be.
Sleep? Ha ha, what sleep? – I honestly thought that I would still have 9 months to sleep as much as I liked. Not so! In the first few weeks I felt pretty nauseous. My mind was also racing, thinking about everything that was to come. Then the hip pain started (oh what a bore). Basically your body has to stretch for your baby to come out so you produce a hormone called relaxin. This causes everything (read your hips) to relax and stretch causing constant pain in your hips which yes, makes it very difficult to sleep. So… Hope you have a handy hubby, because one of the only things that helped me was massage and I needed lots of them (thank you Carl)! Needing to go to the bathroom every few minutes to pee also didn’t help, not to mention the heartburn! Once Kai eventually came into the world I was so relieved that I could finally get 4 hours sleep in a row. It felt amazing (well, for a little while)!
Heartburn, oh heartburn – This relaxin hormone really does mess with your system. As much as you want the ligaments in your pelvis and cervix to relax, does it have to relax everything else? So, you are used to your food staying in your stomach, right? All of a sudden when you are pregnant, your food slowly travels back up, especially if you are lying down. It is relentless (did I mention the lack of sleep?) so… best to eat a little earlier to allow your food to digest a bit before going to sleep (or shall I say rest eye?).
You need to pee all the time throughout your pregnancy – I had always thought that it was only toward the end of pregnancy that you need to go to the bathroom. You know, because the baby starts to get heavy. Not so! You will be running for the bathroom right from the beginning. As far as I am aware it is due to the increased blood flow to the kidneys (don’t hold me to any medical information – I have mommy brain after all ) so be ready and stock up on toilet paper! If you haven’t got one already, build an ensuite bathroom next to your side of the bed.
Visit a dentist – Your gums become pretty sensitive in around the second trimester of pregnancy so visit the dentist before you fall pregnant if possible for a full clean. You will be very happy you did.
Your eyes can change shape – they also get quite a bit more dry, so if you wear contacts it is a good idea to have a check up with the optician so they can adjust your prescription if necessary.
Your feet can grow – Mine did!! A whole shoe size! So, don’t buy any new shoes until after your bundle of happiness is born. After my pregnancy I had only 2 pairs of shoes that still fit. Not something I was expecting to happen.
Crazy dreams – I started having the craziest dreams when I was pregnant. Some of them were so hectic and intense that I did not even want to talk to my husband about them (just in case he thought I was going a little mad). Others were the things that books are made of. So, keep a dream journal. You never know one of your dreams could be turned into the next blockbuster! (feel free to send royalties my way ;))
While most of these things you cant change, you can certainly spend some time sleeping as late a possible while you are in the “trying to fall pregnant stage”. Sleep, sleep sleep! You wont regret it. and then sleep some more!
What are the things you wish you had known before falling pregnant or about pregnancy? Let us know it’s always great to add to the list!