You’ve heard them before. You’ve probably even said some of the super cliché phrases about pregnancy yourself:
"It's such a blessing!"
"What a miracle!"
These are common statements told to pregnant women. These people are talking about your baby—NOT your pregnancy. Because no person of sound mind and body can truthfully tell you that pregnancy is just a pleasurable experience. Babies are blessings… the pregnancy itself… not so much.
“Enjoy this time before the baby comes,” they’ll say. Since when did ear burning, eye watering acid in my throat qualify as “enjoyable?” People will give advice... sometimes unwarranted and sometimes much needed advice. Veteran moms will fill you in on everything you need to know to get you through the days to come. At least, that's what you think. You think you’ll be prepared, but you’ll never be completely prepared. All pregnancies and all women are different. And there are a few things you won't be told about. These are the secret adventures of pregnancy that'll leave you questioning whether you're the only one experiencing them or not.
Well, don't fret, because I'm here to spill the beans!
- You'll be told about all the potty breaks and how annoying it is to urinate 339,738,393,000,000 times a day! What you won't be told is that you may experience "perfuma-pee" which is a temporary condition of smelling like pee perfume while pregnant. You can wipe all you want, but every sneeze, tickle, laugh, or cough is a gamble! And most of the time, you're going to smell like a diaper. You can just tell people you accidentally spilled your husband’s hunting scent on you—you know… the deer urine.
- They'll tell you about the stretch marks--your battle scars. What they won't tell you about is the itch. No, not that itch. You'll have to call your OBGYN if you experience that. I'm talking about the skin itch. No amount of coconut oil, Palmer's butter, or Benadryl can counteract the torturous skin stretching itch you get in late pregnancy. Chop your nails off, wash your hands well, and go ahead and succumb to the scratch because there's no other resolution in sight. Claw away, ladies. No judgment here!
- They'll tell you about how amazing it is when you can finally feel your baby moving around and kicking. I must admit, it is pretty cool. That is, at first, when the baby is still tiny. But the baby grows and the kicking and moving feels like Karate Kid: The Sequel is being filmed inside your stomach. And sometimes, you may feel like you need to look in a mirror to make sure the baby didn't actually kick his leg out of your hoo-ha.
- Speaking of hoo-has, despite it being a very important part of your pregnancy, it will go into hiding! No, I’m serious. You won’t be able to find it! It’ll be tucked under a basketball-sized belly. Hello? Where are you?!
- Hemorrhoids. You've heard about the constipation associated with pregnancy, I’m sure, but did they tell you about the hemorrhoids? It's my opinion that men should also have to deal with these during pregnancy, right alongside us. Just to make thing a little more equal and uncomfortable for everyone.
- Have you ever been told that your hair and nails grow so well while you’re pregnant? This is true! What no one mentions is that your hair grows... well... everywhere. It's not always pretty, y'all. Toes, bellies… you name it! Welcome to No Shave November year-round while pregnant, because it’s not going to matter if you shave any way. The hair will be back the next day—just as dark and just as long. Just get used to being Wolverine Woman until those hormones settle down.
- You’ll be told all about your pregnancy cravings but not about pica. Pica is a condition caused by an iron deficiency that makes you crave substances with no nutritional value. You’re probably thinking like… candy, right? Nope. You’ll be sitting in your best friend’s tub on a weekend get-away, and her Irish Spring soap will smell so good that you want to take a bite out of it. And you might actually take a bite (or so I've heard--obviously I have not firsthand experience...)! Or maybe you really want to drink the Purell you’re using or that sweet smelling Tide you use. Luckily, you know better than to ingest hand sanitizer or detergent. You’ll be so embarrassed about these cravings that you don’t even want to tell your doctor, but you do, because let's be honest, he knows everything about you anyway. And thank goodness that you do tell him because guess what? Your iron is low. It's extremely low, and pica is actually an underlying symptom of the iron deficiency. Put the bar of soap and the dirt and chalk down and go to the doctor if you're experiencing pica, but know that it is a possibility that this could be your reality if you're pregnant, and you're not crazy!
And don’t get me started on the things the veteran moms don’t tell you about once the baby is born! That’ll be a post for another day! So ladies, let’s help out our new mommies (without scaring them into never wanting to conceive!)