Everyone tells you how sick you’ll most likely be when you get pregnant. Long before I was of reproductive age, I knew what morning sickness was and understood its general unpleasantness. And even though I didn’t feel PREPARED when it finally hit, I did feel educated.
What I WAS shocked about were the 1,000 other things that come with being pregnant that no one ever bothers to mention. Maybe it’s because they forget. They do say that your body erases memories of pregnancy and labor so that you actually want to procreate again. But before I forget all of the gritty details, I want to share the top things I wish someone had warned me about when it comes to pregnancy.
Involved being more physically exhausted than I had EVER been in my life.
This is absolutely the biggest thing on the list. Remember when you woke up at 6 a.m. to study for finals, took all of those finals and then stayed out celebrating until the NEXT morning at 6 a.m.? Yeah… pregnancy is more exhausting. But I’d never seen a woman in a movie have to pull over and take a nap on her commute to work. When I had to take a nap after showering the first few weeks, it honestly felt like I would be going toward the light at any moment.
But no. It’s completely normal to feel 100% drained when you’re pregnant. To nap after getting a drink or writing a letter. And yet, no one ever warned me. I couldn’t let the same thing happen to you.
Is not always exciting… especially that first appointment.
I brought my husband along because I assumed that we would be learning some new, exciting, new parent tips during our very first appointment. Maybe we would see our baby on an ultrasound or hear a heartbeat.
Disappointingly, but very fortunately, we didn’t get any of that. When you have very few red flags (older mom, diabetes, pre-existing conditions), they like to avoid interfering with your pregnancy unless they need to. So, we got paperwork, I got a pap, and we left with no additional reassurance that I was pregnant other than ANOTHER home pregnancy test. In fact, the office used the same 88 cent test in the office as I used at home, though I’m sure that’s not what insurance billed me for it.
While the appointments DO get better, my personal experience was that I could have done that first appointment without dragging my husband there. That being said…
Is different for everyone.
As soon as I got pregnant, I started grilling my friends.
“When did you hear the heartbeat?”
“How much weight did you gain?”
“When will I get to see an ultrasound?”
I didn’t get a lot of straightforward answers. One friend got an ultrasound at 20 weeks, another at 8. Some heard the heartbeat at their first appointment, some at 12 weeks. I had my first appointment at 7 weeks, but my best friend’s was 12.
I knew every woman was different, but I didn’t think every pregnancy was that drastically different. There are so many factors involved – particularly that each doctor has their own way of doing things – that it’s impossible to get an understanding of what your timeline will be by doing a survey of your nearest and dearest.
Involved more emotions than I ever thought possible.
I read somewhere that I now forget, that you have a limited number of emotions, and when you find out you’re pregnant, a tremendous amount of emotions are unlocked. Kind of like the good songs on Rock Band.
When I found out I was pregnant, I felt like I was toeing the line between being THRILLED and feeling nothing at all. I didn’t feel or look pregnant. I couldn’t really tell anyone.
Later, I felt tremendous sadness and guilt as I Googled, “Is it ok to hate pregnancy?” The answer was yes, it’s kind of a miserable experience until you’ve got the baby in your hands.
And then there is the first time I read a quote about babies on Pinterest and SOBBED until I felt dehydrated, because my heart was so freaking full of love for something I couldn’t even see.
I won’t even bring up the fact that I once cried as I told my husband that I felt I needed hot chocolate so badly that hot chocolate itself was an emotion.
Things get weird.
Is expensive, particularly the clothes.
Yes, I knew medical care was expensive. If a doctor puts a band-aid on you it’s $300 minimum. But no one warned me about how expensive pregnancy clothing was.
I don’t keep track of how much things cost unless they are something I need. I used to know exactly how much drinks were at my favorite bar. When I was little, I knew what every Barbie I wanted would cost me. Well, my parents.
I’ve never NEEDED to buy maternity clothing, though they would have come in handy after most Thanksgiving dinners, so when I strolled into the maternity section at Target, I was PLUM SURPRISED at the cost of everything.
It’s kind of like there was a factory that made jeans, and they decided these jeans would be $30. And then someone said, “Hey, we should make some of these maternity jeans,” and had a machine sew an 8-inch band of spandex around the waistline. And then they decided that they should add $40 onto the price. Just for fun. Because babies aren’t expensive enough.
Standard yoga pants are more comfortable anyway, ladies.
You should read the baby books, listen to unsolicited advice with a smile, but always make your own decisions and try not to compare yourselves to others. A lot of things are going to pop up that you didn’t expect… like stretchmarks in the shape of your favorite Pokemon.