When it comes to pregnancy, we are lucky enough in our society to have access to a wealth of information. With all this info available to me and every Mama I know telling me about their own experience, there were still some things about pregnancy that caught me by surprise.
- Baby Brain
- I’d heard of Baby brain before becoming pregnant but once I was expecting I found out how real it is. Adding small amounts of money in my head suddenly seemed like attempting to solve an algebraic equation. I would forget simple things like appointment times and what I went to the shops for, multiple people referred to conversations I’d had with them that I had no recollection of. As someone who can usually recite the phone number of the boy my brother was best friends with in fifth grade, this took some getting used to! By the time our baby was born I was writing absolutely everything down and accessing my phone’s calculator and calendar on almost a daily basis.
- PGP and other pain
- I knew that pregnant ladies would often have backache from carrying their bellies around but I had never heard of Pelvic Girdle Pain. I didn’t realise that pregnancy hormones can cause as much chaos as weight when it comes to gestational aches and pains. PGP rendered me almost immobile for the bulk of my pregnancy, which left me feeling weak and bored at times but did force me to rest, something that is somewhat of a luxury once baby arrives!
- Okay, so everyone knows of the emotional pregnant lady stereotype but I feel like I was under prepared. I spent entire days of my pregnancy crying over absolutely everything, and I mean literally everything- for example, buying the wrong peanut butter…Some days I was super irritable and some days were an extreme rollercoaster of all sorts of intense emotions. Strangely though, it didn’t seem that bad for me. I know others struggle with severe mood swings during pregnancy so I think I got off pretty lightly.
- How much I might love it or hate it.
- I’ve heard some truly sad stories of miserable mamas-to-be who just can’t wait for their baby to enter the world so they don’t have to suffer through one more day of pregnancy. I’m not sure that many people who are thinking of having a baby would consider that might happen to them. I was extremely lucky to thoroughly enjoy my pregnancy and I was definitely not prepared for that either. I started dreaming of my next pregnancy before my first was even over!
- The hair factor…
- Every woman is different, but many will grow thicker, healthier hair during pregnancy thanks to an abundance of growth hormones in their body. For some, the opposite thing happens to their body hair. Conveniently, as my belly expanded and bending over became more difficult, my body decided that growing leg hair was waste of energy while it was making a baby!
- Before becoming pregnant, I could have imagined that a pregnant belly would itch. After all, the skin in that area is stretching at a pretty impressive rate. What I didn’t realise is that pregnancy can cause skin on completely unrelated areas to itch. For me this meant that some days my arms, legs, back, and face would be uncontrollably itchy. The good news is that staying hydrated by drinking loads and loads of water and moisturising often really helps.
- I have always been a champion sleeper. It doesn’t matter where I am or what time it is, whether I’ve just slept for ten hours or drunk a large cup of coffee. I can fall asleep and stay asleep until someone wakes me, which could take some doing! Around the end of my first trimester, all that changed. I would wake in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back to sleep. I’d try to take a nap and lie there for an hour with my eyes wide open. It seems so unfair that during the last time I was able to sleep for as long as I wanted, my mind wouldn’t allow it!
The most interesting thing to me is what I was told about that I didn’t experience- morning sickness, food cravings, swollen feet. It just goes to show that every woman is different and our bodies are truly fascinating, amazing creations.