When I found out I was pregnant with Autumn in early 2016, I was naturally a combination of excited and worried. After all, it is a life-changing event! It didn’t take me long to realise that there’s an awful lot that people don’t tell you about pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect to just sit around being waited on with a radiant glow. I knew that I’d have nausea and my body would grow bigger. Pregnancy is a wonderful and magical thing, but at the same time it can also be very tough!
1. All the questions
Ever wanted strangers to ask you about your sex life and what contraception you use, if any? Well, pregnancy is seemingly an invitation for everyone and their dogs to ask “Were you trying?”
2. All the opinions
Everyone will have an opinion! People will constantly say whether they think it’s a girl or a boy depending on various factors and old wive’s tales including the shape of your bump. People will also tell you WHY you should find out the gender of your baby. I felt like some were practically trying to force me and treating me like I was stupid for not wanting to find out. As usual, I stayed true to myself, stuck to my guns and kept Autumn’s gender a surprise until she was born. It’s such a personal choice and one I’m glad we didn’t allow ourselves to become swayed from.
Pregnancy hormones can do some weird things. One thing I noticed during my pregnancy was that I developed several new moles! A quick google search revealed that I wasn’t the only one.
4. Morning Sickness
‘Morning’ sickness? Hahaha! No, more like all day long sickness. Until I went into the world of work and heard colleagues discussing their pregnancies, I actually believed that it only struck in the mornings. For most women, the worst of it usually sticks around for the first trimester. However, some poor women have it throughout their whole pregnancies and labour too!
5. Toilet habits
It isn’t at all uncommon for women to become constipated for days in pregnancy, or have lots of wind. This can be very uncomfortable! Other times you might find that you poop for England.
Meanwhile, it is common knowledge that pregnant women wee a LOT. What I didn’t expect was that I would wake up to wee at least once an hour each night for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It woke my husband up and he was annoyed by it, but at least he was the one that got to comfortably stay in bed! Trust me, I felt much more annoyed.
Yay – just when you thought the above sounded fun, you can also get haemorrhoids! This can be down to the constipation but you can also get them when pushing the baby out. Fortunately, they are often a temporary thing that go away shortly after pregnancy.
You could probably guess that carrying a baby around won’t be that comfortable towards the later stages. However, I am very petite and the pain and discomfort started very early on. I was astonished to find that I got such bad bum ache sitting on a chair in the office and I think it was where there was more weight pushing down from my core. Fortunately a more padded chair fixed things! However, it didn’t fix my inability to find a comfortable position in which to sit down during the third trimester. There was also no comfortable way I could lay in bed. I was just permanently uncomfortable and in pain. I also couldn’t walk or stand for more than a couple of minutes before getting severe pain in my legs and under my bump.
I was aware before I fell pregnant that in the later stages of pregnancy women are often very tired. However, exhaustion was one of my early symptoms. For the first 8 weeks or so of my pregnancy I just couldn’t get enough sleep. I’d wake up, get ready and somehow get through 9 hours at work (including travel). Then I’d go straight to sleep, wake briefly to eat dinner and then go back to sleep until the morning!
9. Sense of smell
I had no idea that your sense of smell can get better during pregnancy before I became pregnant. However, I found that my nose became much more sensitive! Unfortunately, I didn’t find this to be a great thing when I was suffering with nausea!
10. Shoe size
The ligaments in your body relax in pregnancy to prepare for birth. This means that your feet can actually become bigger, resulting in you having to buy more shoes or living in flip-flops! Fortunately, my feet stayed the same size. However, I do know women who have stayed a bigger shoe size after having a baby.
Some women are lucky and breeze through pregnancy. Unfortunately, for many of us it is tougher than we ever imagined it would be for a variety of reasons! However, after the birth of my daughter, I felt it was all absolutely worth it.