If I’ve learned anything throughout this pregnancy, it’s not to listen to other women’s horror stories or read too much into pregnancy books. Sure, both can be a source of useful information, but they are more often a source of unnecessary stress and worry.
So to break it down, at least from my experience here is what I should have expected as opposed to what I was told to expect or expecting to expect.
What I expected but didn’t happen:
- Constipation: Some books made it sound like my colon would forget how to function for nine months. Maybe it’s all of the fruit and fiber-filled cereal I eat, but this hasn’t been an issue for me. Even with prenatal vitamins chock full of bowel-binding iron supplements.
- Bloody gums and teeth problems: Again, maybe it’s because I drink a half gallon of milk every day and from the amount of Tums I eat they could be considered one of my daily meals, I am pretty sure my calcium intake is at it’s max. But I would like to flashy my pearly whites at the dentist that told me that pregnancy can make: A) your teeth fall out B) your gums will bleed like a faucet and that C) having a baby will pretty much destroy your teeth. Milk and Colgate on my side this didn’t ever effect me.
- Mood Swings: I half way expected to turn into Linda Blair at the drop of a dime once I saw those two pink lines. Based on every thing I had ever read, watched or heard about pregnancy I pictured every second of pregnancy to be a hormone free for all . Luckily for me (and Kevin) pregnancy has put me in a perma bubble of pregnant bliss.
What I expected and won’t miss:
- Maternity clothes: At the beginning, they seemed so awesome in all of their comfy elastic goodness. Then the elastic started digging into my flesh and as I grew bigger so did the struggle to get in and out of these elastic death traps. It is pretty much like a cirque de soleil act getting into maternity wear and as much fun as changing out of a wet bathing suite getting out of them.
- Prenatal vitamins: Burping up that herbal garbage is enough to make me want to vomit my entire stomach. Not just its contents. My entire stomach.
- Heartburn: I rarely indulged in the chalky goodness that is Tums before pregnancy. Now I need one after ingesting something as inoffensive as a banana. Add the newest pregnancy symptom, while sleeping, actual acidic liquid travels into my throat and then down the wrong pipe. Not even an entire container of Tums could tackle that bullshit.
- Shortness of breath: Walking up a flight of stairs shouldn’t feel like the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.
- Worrying: Worry is my middle name – add to that pregnancy already comes with a boat load of worry it is a wonder I can sleep at night. Not knowing what my body is doing at any one moment is enough to keep me up at night. Not to mention whether Noah is developing properly. And I’ll be more than happy to put fears about labor and delivery behind
- Urine, blood samples and invasive lady appointments: Ugh, I still haven’t completely mastered peeing in a cup. And my veins do NOT cooperate. I’d make a horrible drug addict. And who wants to have the already dreaded “once a year lady check up” once a week – not this lady.
- Feeling huge: Some days I just want to be able to bend over without grunting.
- Swelling: This one caught me off guard. Apparently working 9 hour days on your feet causes your feet to grow 9 sizes and become nearly unrecognizable. I was pretty much mortified when I touched my foot and the finger indent stayed there for 15 minutes. Thank god it is just my feet, cankles might pop my pleasant pregnant bubble.
What I expect to miss most of all:
- Kicks, punches, hiccups and flip flops: Feeling Noah move is by far my favorite part of pregnancy. I am so in love with every stretch and kick that I can’t help but break into a smile when he moves. I feel so connected to him. And sharing that experience with Kevin or friends and family never gets old.
- Feeling beautiful: Sometimes, when I look at my profile in a mirror, I know this is the most gorgeous I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Even more than on my wedding day.
- Voluminous hair, flawless skin, perfect nails: Apparently having a crapload of estrogen in my system agrees with me.
- Indulging in a craving: Finally getting that particular random food that you have been pining for is such an intensely satisfying feeling, especially knowing once this guy is out those days of indulging in cravings that end in me consuming over half an economy sized bag of peanut butter m&m’s for lunch will be over.
- Ultrasounds: There is nothing more amazing than seeing Noah in utero. It always takes my breath away.
- Strangers’ reactions: Some people just smile. Some ask whether it’s a boy or girl. Some just wonder when I’m due. Either way, people I don’t even know show me they care and want to share in my excitement.
- Wondering, wishing, waiting: It is like the feeling of being a kid on Christmas Eve times a million – that and you never know when “Christmas” is actually coming! A new baby is the ultimate gift to look forward to.