What They Dont Tell You About Pregnancy: The First 20 Weeks
'Get pregnant' they said...'it's the best feeling in the world' they said...Ha! Yes it's a beautiful thing. But is anyone really honest about the pregnancy woes? This is a very honest and open article coming from a first time Mom who has gotten past her first 20 weeks with many ups but certainly just as many downs. Not everything is all bad! But brace yourself for a world of changes!
As it is normal for women to get morning sickness in the first trimester, many don't! So don't think you're doomed to be hugging the bowl every 10 minutes morning, noon, and night. Depending on how your body reacts to the pregnancy you could be extremely sick all the time causing you to lose weight during the first trimester or you could be in between with occasional nausea, or you could be perfectly fine. I was one of those where I would be nauseous on an empty stomach with the occasional dry heaving. Since I felt my best with food in my stomach I was always eating and gained a TON of weight my first trimester. Up to 85% of women experience morning sickness in the first trimester. Maybe you'll be that lucky 15% who don't!
Super Human Senses
Welcome to the world of "I'm pregnant and everything is smelly!"
Ok, so...I was sitting at my desk at work one day. I was about 10 weeks at this point when I smelled a very strong scent of fish. I outwardly expressed my disgust. "What the hell is that smell? I smell tuna!" No one else smelled it and I was unable to justify my sense of smell. I may have sounded crazy for a minute since no one knew I was pregnant yet. My co-worker sitting on the other side of the room hesitated and then stated, "Um...I have a tuna sandwich wrapped in a ziplock...in my insulated lunch box..." and he lifted his lunch bag to show me. Ok...BORDERLINE SUPER HUMAN! How is that even possible? It is! And here is why...
You see, we are predeceased by our ancestors who were supposedly primates/wild animals. During this time, pregnant females had to be on their toes at all time. We had to be able to sniff out our predators from miles away to keep our unborn and living young safe. Makes sense right? Well today we very likely still carry those primitive instincts, just don't utilize them the same way.
So Tired You Want to Die
Yes...EXTREME fatigue. I could not even function properly for the first 14 weeks. To be honest I was probably on auto pilot the whole first trimester due to my severe exhaustion. All I wanted to do was sleep. No exaggeration what so ever. I would fall asleep at 7pm then wake up in the middle of the night for 4 hours wide awake. Then be tired for the rest of the day the next day and do it all over again. It does get better though. You will eventually not be so tired all the time. But the important fact and realization you must come to face with is: from the time you get pregnant and long after your child is born and until the day you die, you will never have a normal wink of sleep ever gain. Food for thought...
Are you the lucky 15%?
Did you experience any kind of nausea or vomiting (morning sickness) during your pregnancy?
I'm Going to Kill My Husband!
Just Kidding! I LOVE HIM!
These are called mood swings! You will have many. From the beginning all the way up until after the baby is born. Your hormones are currently out of control! So out of control you can't even handle it. I've cried over not having a large enough cup of ice. Yes, little things like that will make you feel so un-loved!
My significant other and baby daddy to be got me a 16oz cup of ice from Wawa. I wanted a 40oz cup of ice. I cried. He asked why I am crying. I said that I didn't know and that I just thought he should know me better than that.
YIKES! Maybe a tad bit over dramatic!? Love those hormones! Hang in there girl. If he loves you he'll try to understand the best he can.
Yup! Frequently. And these farts are not like any other you will experience. I don't care who you are. There is not one pregnant woman out there who can tell me that she doesn't fart or doesn't have gas because she's full of it! Literally!
Our bodies go through many changes including a slower digestive system. This causes bloating, constipation, and gas! From your bowels being in your digestive system much longer than usual the gas tends to stink a bit more too! Sometimes it can get pretty foul.
If your significant other complains, remind him that you are growing a human being, his offspring, inside of your body. That usually gets them to shut up.
Skin, Hair, and Nail Changes
Skin changes everywhere! I had been wearing the same ring for a couple years before I got pregnant. Never had an issue with it. I stated getting a ring rash around my finger from the ring. I guess my skin got sensitive to the stainless steel it made me itchy, dry, and red.
Greasy hair and/or skin! My dry hair turned into a grease bucket and my normal skin turned drier than the Sahara. Some are different, however. You may experience greasier skin. But girl those nails! My nails used to break alll the time. I could never grow them out. That is until I got pregnant! My nails are long and practically unbreakable. My hair may have been greasier, but it became lusciously long and thick. Maybe a combination of the hormones and extra blood flow on top of the prenatal vitamins. But hey, I'm not complaining!
Did I Pee My Pants? Or Is That Discharge?
Sorry to be the informant of bad news, but it does and will happen. Maybe not until the last bit of your 1st trimester into the beginning/middle of your 2nd, but don't think you'll be able to "hold it". I advise you wear a panty lining at all times. There will be those days where you will not be sure if you are just leaking discharge or if you actually pee'd a little. When you feel the urge to use the restroom, girl you better go.
Exhibit A: I was at my cousins baby shower. My aunt and I were laughing at something. Suddenly, I had to go. After begging and pleading her to stop making me laugh I was finally able to make it to the bathroom. Low and behold...I did pee myself a little. Thank god for panty liners.
Not only will you have a leaky bladder and an obnoxious amount of discharge, but you will be leaking liquid from orifices of your body you didn't think was possible. Watery eyes, running/congested nose. As a matter of fact you will have boogers...all kinds of boogers. Hard boogers, wet boogers, runny boogers.
With that being said, stock up on your pantie liners and tissues!
Sorest Boob's Ever!
In the beginning of my pregnancy my boob's hurt all the time! I could barely take a shower without whining in pain. Nothing seemed to he the pain subside. Tight bra, loose bra, no bra. Didn't matter. The hurt! Some women don't get as sore and some not at all. Maybe some women just tolerate pain differently. Who knows! But after a while and more into the second trimester things quiet down a bit in the boob department....until you start leaking...
Yes, I said it...leaking. I was one of the few women who started "leaking" colostrum around 26 weeks. This normally doesn't happen until after the baby has arrived. Most women report being able to squeeze it out if they squeeze hard enough. I was literally leaking. Time to pull out the nipple pads a bit early! As you reach your third trimester your boob's start getting sore again, but it's a different kind of sore. Your nipples literally feel like they are on fire and the pain is somewhat unbearable. Then you'll get these sharp shooting pains from around your boob into your nipple. I ended up taking my nipple piercings out which helped ease the pain but not completely.
Not only do they get sore, but they get bigger (I grew an entire cup size) and your nipples get darker! Even if you find it grotesque to look at, I assure you that your significant other loves it.
Try a sports bra or start getting into the maternity/nursing bra's! I live in mine!
Your Vagina May Fall Off
Not really...but it will feel like it. There will be days, especially towards the end of the second trimester and all through the third trimester, where you feel so much pressure that you think a hand or foot is about to fall out of you. That's not the case, but that's how it feels. Whether you are having pressure pains in your vagina or rectum, it hurts!
I have had this on going pain which my doctor says is the cartilage/ligaments between my pubic bones stretching. You see, a man's pubis is fused together. A woman's is not. It is separated with a piece of softer tissue between so it can stretch before and during birth so baby can come out. It is painful! I can only describe it as feeling like you are going to break in half down there. Turning over in bed, sitting down, standing up, WALKING! Some days are more painful than other, but regardless...it hurts!
Try a pregnancy pillow while sleeping and pregnancy belly support band while up and moving around. They really do help!
That Pregnancy Glow...Is Really Sweat
I can't count how many times a friend or relative has commented on my appearance stating that I am GLOWING! My response?
"Yeah, no, I'm just sweating..."
It doesn't help that I am currently 34 weeks pregnant in the peak of summer. I've never been one to experience hot flashes during my period. So I never really knew what they actually felt like. Let me tell you...to be the only one that is hot and sweaty in an air conditioned room, it's obvious whether or not it's really hot in here. I've gotten to the point where I sweat in my sleep. I wake up drenched and running to the thermostat to crank up the AC. Meanwhile my significant other lays shivering under the blankets. I've even noticed the dogs cuddling closer to each other for body heat. Yeah...I'm probably the only one that's hot...
What am I a Hobbit now?
It's inevitable. Your feet will grow at least a half a size bigger. They will swell and they will be sore. All of those lovely shoes you used to wear and feel oh so sexy in. Yeah...find a good home for those...
Pregnancy is a Blessing!
Aside from all of the horrible symptoms and being uncomfortable, emotional, and larger than normal...pregnancy is by far the most amazing experience you could ever have in your entire life. It is not always going to be butterflies and bunny rabbits, after all, you are growing a human being inside you. It wasn't meant to be easy. If you can get through and deal with all the pregnancy woes there is something at the end of this that is so rewarding!