- Women's Health
What I wasn't warned about pregnancy...
It is not the same feeling for all
I didn't expect I would feel like I felt-or not feel the way that others claimed to feel
None of the 20 parenting books I read during pregnancy really explained all the things that could happen and that unfortunately did happen during not one but two of my pregnancies. They mention things like morning sickness, and preeclampsia, they went over the Triple Screen Test that every woman has the option of taking. The things that most women endure like increased of appetite, mood swings, fatigue. Each book I read during pregnancy explained things so matter of fact-and so vaguely that when I read them, to calm myself; I actually increased my blood pressure and aggravated myself more. Here are just a few things that I endured during pregnancy; that you may have not heard from your mother, your doctor or any of those expecting titles you have memorized.
1. Morning sickness. If you have been told that Morning Sickness disappears during the 2nd trimester-for your sake I hope it is true. For me, my pregnancy with my now two year’s old son lasted from before I knew I was pregnant all the way through to childbirth. That’s right-I was in labor, and was still being taken over by that rush that comes over you seconds before you vomit. I felt absolutely paralyzed by it. Morning-Noon and Night… I woke up, and was sick-I ate and was sick, I coughed and was sick…I was sleeping and would be woken up by the feeling. I, of course spoke to my OB-GYN about the paralyzing effect that it was having on me and we tried everything; pills, motion sickness bracelets that are designed to apply pressure to your pressure points and relieve nausea, crackers, bland diet… Nothing helped me what's so ever… And I am not going to lie and say that it got easier as time inched by, because it didn’t.
2. When you are pregnant it is expected for you to gain weight, to swell… How about your feet? I bet you have been told your feet will swell as you have more water weight and your pregnancy progresses. Your feet can grow as well. I use to wear a 5 ½ comfortably. Now I wear a 6. I can still get my feet into those 5 ½ but some fit a little too snug for comfort.
3. Have you been warned you may pee your pants. It makes sense, all that pressure on your bladder from your expanding uterus. But I never imagined how easily it could happen. I would laugh, sneeze, cough…and oops, I got to go-cause I think I just sprung a leak. Embarrassing to say the least, and until that baby is delivered, you can’t do a single thing about it.
4. As easily as you pee your pants-you can also do the unthinkable other type of accident, with no warning at all. Keep in mind-that baby is invading your body and there isn’t much wiggle room, especially around months 8 and 9. As annoying as it may be- wear the long panty liners. It is much easier to dispose of an accident if it’s on a liner than if it is on your panties.
5. Ah…that healthy glow of motherhood. In some cases, that’s no glow-that is acne. Never having acne or any skin problems before, I wasn’t too thrilled about having it during pregnancy. I’m not just talking about-a zit here or there. I’m talking about those pimples that you can feel coming two to three days before they show their ugly faces. The ones that you can’t pop-because the mere thought of releasing that pressure hurts. If you haven’t gotten one and you do-you will swear that they have roots planted within your pores. They’re ugly, they’re nasty and they have invaded your face. Lucky for me it only lasted about the first 4 months of my pregnancies, but since having children-I still get breakouts around my menstrual cycle…
6. Have you ever heard of something called ‘Sun Kisses’-or- ‘The Mask of Pregnancy’? I hadn’t heard of it. Until during my 2nd trimester. After my completion was beginning to clear up, I noticed that I was changing color, or at least the skin above my upper lip was. It looked like I had gotten lunch on my face and forgot to get it off. The more pregnant I became the darker shade of brown it became. The only good news I have about that is- it’s preventable to a certain extent. The Mask of Pregnancy is caused by sun exposure-so if you are outside a lot-bump up the amount of SPF in your sunscreen-and if at all possible stay inside during the time when the sun is beaming right down upon you. Although these spots are not permanent-they are there for an extended stay, and can take years to totally disappear.
7. For some women, sex is no longer pleasurable during pregnancy. The only way I can describe the uncomfortable feeling is to say- it felt as if my vagina was coated with gritty sandpaper. No matter how much lube, you can possibly use-or how gentle your spouse could attempt to be- that was a “DO NOT ENTER-DO NOT DISTURB” area throughout each of my pregnancies. If you have this uncomfortable feeling-talk to your doctor-it could be a yeast infection or a STD, and if it is you need to have it treated. But for some-I am sorry to say, it’s just your bodies reaction to carrying a child, and it won’t feel better until you have delivered.
8. I was under emotional stress during my first pregnancy, and I didn’t realize I was carrying until I was already 5 months along. Although emotional stress was apparent- Physically, the pregnancy was a breeze. I cannot say the same for #2 or #3 pregnancies. In a nut shell- I WAS MISERABLE! I hated the fact that everyone around me was always telling me to enjoy it-or sharing with me how much they loved being pregnant. I’m not going to lie- I hated being pregnant. I would much rather have the pains of childbirth- than the emotional-mental-physical strain of pregnancy. I have always been able to admit to my shortcomings and being pregnant is not my thing. So anyone that makes you feel guilty because you don’t enjoy the changes of pregnancy- ignore them. Just as normal as it is to feel as if you are on cloud 9-it is just as normal to feel like you are in hell. Now after saying this-I must also say this. If you are depressed-tell your doctor-depression is different than the unmotivated/miserable/can't wait until this whole thing is over feeling. Depression can be helped, but only if you talk to your doctor.
9. Pregnancy can be very lonely. You may be married-but you are the pregnant one. So when, what use to be your date night, is now your husband’s night out; you can be left feeling like you are missing out on all of his fun. Or when you would normally be invited to your best friend’s birthday night out with the gals- you are not invited to- you are feeling extremely left out. I explained this feeling to my husband by saying this, “I use to be fun, I use to be included in the fun, but as my life is suddenly transforming-everyone is having fun without me. I all of a sudden plan my nights around the Television-and for someone who couldn’t tell you the difference between prime time and night time shows-I now know what show at what time on what channel I will be watching-every day of the week; and I know that I will be watching it alone.” My husband would want to go shopping-but would avoid taking me along; when I finally asked him about it he would explain- it isn’t that I don’t want you there babe, it’s that you get tired so fast and I just want to get it done and over with, without having to stop for a drink, stop for you to rest or stop for a 2nd or 3rd bathroom break. His words hurt as much as being left behind hurt. I understood but I was still lonely and hurt. Only advice I can give for that is- Cry and Talk to whomever you have that will listen to you. I assure you that the feeling is normal-it is not right, but it is normal…You will survive-and you will be fun again…
10. Finally-what I wasn’t expecting from pregnancy was HELLP Syndrome. HELPP Syndrome is a form of toxemia just as Preeclampsia is which is Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (Protein in the urine and High Blood Pressure during pregnancy). With HELLP Syndrome-the blood pressure does not rise as it does with Preeclampsia. It is categorized as severe abdominal pain, nausea, elevation of liver enzymes and a low platelet count. With HELLP Syndrome or Severe Preeclampsia which is elevated blood pressure, elevated proteins in the Urine, abnormal kidney and liver function, all over itchiness, convulsions, blurred vision and headaches; your condition will be closely monitored. If you are close to delivery-or if the doctors think that the baby’s lungs have developed enough to survive outside of the womb-you will be induced or have an emergency c-section. If the babies lungs are not developed-you may be given steroid shots to help your little one along-and the doctors will then induce labor or deliver your baby c-section. As much as everyone wants to see a healthy baby and mother come from a pregnancy-your OBGYN’s first concern is you; and making sure you survive the pregnancy. You will more than likely not be sent home if you suffer from Severe Preeclampsia or HELLP-you will be admitted-monitored and delivered-as soon as possible.
I felt as though I was going crazy during pregnancy. If only someone would have told me that the way I was feeling was normal, I would have been a little more open to speak about it. No matter what your pregnancy brings you-more than likely you are neither the first nor the last to think feel or endure these things.
Boys-I know that you are probably lost so here you go---