Hmm, let me think about how many questions I had the first time I was pregnant...yep, about six million. Pregnancy is different for every woman. It can be wonderful or awful, easy or difficult, glowing or puffy-eyed, horny or sexless. But there is one thing that we'd venture to say is true for every pregnant lady. There will be times when you will experience something uncomfortable, scary or just plain bizarre and wonder, "What the hell -- is this normal?"
Every preggo we've known, ourselves included, has spent countless hours on sites like Baby Center, What To Expect, The Bump and WebMD, scouring articles and message boards to answer pressing questions about their symptoms and get tips on how to prepare for baby's arrival. We may be looking for information, comfort or just an outlet to vent. We may also want to find out if it is normal to scratch yourself like a flea-ridden dog when that belly skin starts to stretch (It is).
But sometimes you want a little more than an impersonal pregnancy article or the unfiltered feedback of baby website message boards. Sometimes you want the straight scoop without spending hours sifting through dozens of articles and comment threads. Sometimes, you wish you could just text your gyno!
Here's a list of inappropriate texts we would send our OBGYN -- if we had her number.
15 When Will I Stop Gagging Every Time I Open the Refrigerator?!?
Soon after that tiny embryo attaches itself to your uterine wall, you may begin to experience the most common pregnancy symptom, "morning sickness," which, by the way, is an amazingly innacurate term to describe round-the-clock, all consuming nausea.
The rapid rise of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in early pregnancy is the reason the crippling urge to upchuck may be following you around like a stalker during those early weeks. You may dry heave when you brush your teeth, cough, smell your husband’s feet or come within a 20 foot radius of a piece of chicken.
Some researchers believe that higher levels of estrogen may cause certain smells to instantly trigger the gag reflex. We must have had a bunch, because every time the fridge door swung open, we wanted to hurl. The good news is that about half of moms-to-be experience complete relief from nausea by week 14. For most others, it may take another month. In the meantime, there's always pizza, Cheerios and a gas mask.
14 I Feel Like I Got Roofied...
Of course, this is a joke. You are going nowhere fun like a bar during your first trimester. But it's true that you may be so fatigued those first few weeks/months that you feel like you have been drugged.
The first few months of pregnancy can be absolutely brutal on your energy level. That's because your body is busy building the placenta, which provides nutrients to your baby, and using a Herculean amount of energy to do it. Blood sugar and blood pressure levels are also lower. Add to this the fact that you're tres hormonal. Having 62 different roller coaster emotions in one day is exhausting.
Even after you’ve had a good night’s sleep you may still wake up feeling like you have swine flu. Chin up, you usually get a burst of energy in the second trimester! Enjoy it before the third, when you can barely move because you’re hauling around the extra weight of a window air conditioning unit.
13 My Boobs Feel Like Punching Bags
When you've got a bun in the oven, your tatas feel like they’ve been working overtime at Gleason’s Gym. Blame it on increased blood flow to your breast tissue. Which may also be causing a gorgeous green highway of veins to surface there. Who’s the lucky girl? Your boobs should not be fondled, grazed or looked at during this time. Seriously. Even the looks. They hurt.
So find bras with no seams, no lace, no wires, and no shape, really. Just buy a formless cotton blob of fabric that will make your boobs look like hell but *feel* like they just got outta jail. Oh and even though they’re super tender, remember to put some lotion or stretch mark cream on those melons! It's the smart thing to do.
12 Is It Normal To Fart More Than My Hubs?
You might be pregnant if...you've got more gas than the 200 pound male you live with. Sure, a little light crop dusting is normal, even when not with child. But when you break wind widely and egregiously, often and without cause, while standing up, sitting down, bending over and right after you have just farted -- when you toot so much you wonder whether you should go ahead and get a sex change operation because you’re basically a dude -- well that can only be attributed to pregnancy.
Blame the hormone progesterone which relaxes muscle tissue so you an house a human being in your stomach for almost a year. Unfortunately, this relaxation also slows down digestion which leads to a buttload of gas. And we're not talking about dainty little Queen Mother squeaks either. We're talking about volcanic truck driver eruptions that your husband is gonna call you on from three rooms away. Even if he doesn't hear it, boy, will he smell it.
Your OBGYN would say it's normal. But if you don't want to rip huge man farts all day long, try to steer clear of the usual culprits (cabbage, broccoli, beans) and also fast food and sweets.
11 Help! My Nipples Are Growing A Mustache!
Who knew growing a tiny human could make you hairier than a chinchilla? As your pregnancy progresses, you may notice that you’re sprouting hair in the most inconvenient of places. Due to sex hormones called androgens, face and body hair is growing fast and out of control these days, giving you that wolverine chic look. One positive is shinier, "thicker" hair on your head. (It's not actually thicker, but hormones are causing you to lose less of it…thanks estrogen, for once!)
In addition to your five o'clock shadow, we know you can’t SEE under your belly button anymore, but trust us, the hairs down there are at least an inch long. And…is that a moustache on your nipple?
Excess hair should fall out within six months of giving birth. In the meantime avoid harsh light, carry tiny scissors and allow extra time for emergency tweezing sessions when you suddenly find chin whiskers that have been there who knows how long.
10 Poo Is Stuck! My POO IS STUCK.
Oh, constipation. Just one of many lovely side effects of being knocked up. While gestating your babe, it is not uncommon to be all kinds of backed up down there and as a result, bloated and super cranky.
Is it any wonder when all you’ve been eating is fettucine alfredo and haven’t had a vegetable in two months?? We kid. It’s not your fault. It’s progesterone, slowing down digestion so your fetus can absorb “nutrients” from all the potato chips and pickles you’ve been scarfing.
That, and the fact that your baby house is basically crushing your bowel and it simply cannot function. It's a good idea to eat your fiber, drink plenty of water and load up on fruits and veggies. Stay close to the loo after meal times. In case you feel a party brewing at your back door. You don’t want to miss that.
You can also try Metamucil or flaxseed, but go easy! We wouldn’t want any accidents while you’re going over those TPS reports with Phil and Bob.
9 I Can't Remember Jack And Keep Bumping Into Walls
Do you feel like a circus-worthy klutz and have a wicked case of why the hell did I come in this room, again? It's okay. There are scientific reasons for your bovine movements and momnesia.
First, that front porch you’re hauling around is throwing off your balance. Hormones are loosening your ligaments turning your hands into bear mitts. You have half a functioning ab muscle and can’t see your damn feet. As for “pregnancy brain” – oh it’s real. Brain activity on the emotional side is way UP and on the whats the store where you can buy the things that hold other things? That side is flat-lining.
You may want to carry a list of your favorite vocabulary words so you can look at it when you're trying to form sentences around other people. And invest in some fugly shoes with low, rubber soles. We know you’ve been resisting but, it’s time.
8 Will I Ever Be Able To Bend Again??
If you are, or ever have been really really pregnant, you know that horrible moment when something slips from your grasp and you watch helplessly as it tumbles to the ground, five feet below. And you realize you have to (GASP!) bend at the waist to pick it up.
Not easy when you’re sporting a tuba for a midsection. You may stand dejected, looking at the fallen object, trying to rationalize leaving it there. It’s just a razor. I wasn’t gonna use it today, I was just taking it to the shower, to be used who knows when…could be weeks!…I mean, how often do people come in the bathroom anyway? And then you remember you have a toddler and a dog and you really need to pick that shiz up.
So, with the grace of a hippopotamus, and the speed of the elderly woman in front of you at the drugstore, paying in exact change, you lower yourself, shins first, until one of your kneecaps crashes on the floor, allowing you to gingerly retrieve the fallen object.
If you can do this without tipping over and needing someone twice your size to help you up, congratulations. You’re winning.
7 I Thought I Was Supposed To Be Horny
Many women experience sky-high sex drives during pregnancy, due to raging hormones and increased blood flow to their sexual organs.
You may read or hear about preggos who say they “can’t get enough” or “are horny all the time” and think, "Huh. That’s weird. I just want to watch Property Brothers while mainlining mac and cheese until I go unconscious at 9pm.”
All that talk about increased libido may have you wondering, “Should I want to do it more? Is there something wrong with me?” We are here to tell you Hell to the No. Whatever your body wants to do – whether take a trip to pound town or lie around like Chris Christie after an all you can eat buffet, is perfectly normal. Not everyone wants to ride the baloney pony during pregnancy. Some women just want to diddle their own skittle. And that’s okay.
6 So How Dangerous Is Drinking, Again?
Of course, we are not condoning drinking while pregnant. We are just keeping it real and saying, man, you're gonna want to. When you clear the first trimester and no longer want to yak all day, you may really feel like tying one on.
Especially when you realize it's been five months since you got knocked up, and another five until you deliver – yeah, no one told us either, it’s actually ten months! It doesn't help that everywhere you turn, people are drinking. Just smiling and holding those crisp seasonal beers and glasses of deep purple Cabernet, feeling that full-bodied fruit flavor on their tongue and spicy warmth envelop them with each sip.
And you’ve got your water. Again. Don’t be afraid to stick your nose in other people’s glasses and inhale deeply. As many times as you need. It may ease your craving, but if not, you can always go home and stuff your face with Cheetos and chocolate.
5 Is My Hooha Supposed to Hurt Already?
It's not unusual tor your undercarriage to feel sore months before the baby is due. There’s a lovely hormone on the scene called relaxin. (Not kidding, that’s it’s actual name). And it is having a FIELD DAY loosening the ligaments that usually keep your pelvic joint aligned and stable.
This condition used to be called Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction but that terminology has been replaced by the much better Pelvic Girdle Pain. Isn’t that fun? What is the Pelvic Girdle, you ask? Well, it includes your pubis, hip joint, coccyx and perineum (that’s your taint).
And what does it feel like when your hips spread and your bones soften? It could feel sharp, like you got kicked in your lady parts, or it could be a dull ache that visits when you sit too long, walk too much, climb a stair, get up from a chair, roll over in bed or get out of a car.
Good thing you never do any of that, huh?
Good news, you can put those droopy ligaments back in their place with a pelvic support belt, a large elastic contraption with a hook and loop closure, tummy strap, and lots of Velcro. Because every pregnant lady needs one more thing to put on in the morning – am I right?
4 Umm, My Gums Are Bleeding. WTF?
Don’t be alarmed if it looks like you got in a bar fight every time you brush those pearly whites. More than half of moms-to-be have “pregnancy gingivitis” -- a lovely condition that causes swollen, tender gums that bleed whenever you get near them with a dental implement.
You guessed it, it’s hormones again causing inflammation from all the bacteria inside your mouth. You may also get a cute little nodule (or pregnancy tumor, sounds harmless, right?) that crusts over and hurts when you talk.
So, brush gently, floss daily and quit dodging that dentist. And if you needed more proof that cheese is the perfect food, now you have it. Who knew, le fromage has antibacterial properties?! So dig in to that chunk of cheddar without guilt.
3 Can You Get Everyone To STFU About My Damn Belly?!
There is nothing private about pregnancy. In fact, the very obvious physical transformation you go through as an expectant mom seems to make others think you are Public Property. Seemingly everyone in society, while well-meaning, will offer unsolicited comments/tips/feedback/general appraisals of your body, the baby's gender and how close they think you are to delivery. The riper you get, the more you become a target for inappropriate comments from just about everyone.
While buying milk you may hear, “You look as though that could happen any minute.” And you’ll smile sweetly, wanting to say, "And you look like you’re due for your next electrolysis appointment!" You may also hear gems such as, “Have you got any room left to breathe?” “Is it twins?” And “I just don’t see how you’ll make it to term!”
Sigh. Everyone is happy for you and just making conversation. But the bottom line is it is not cool to make any comment on the size or appearance of a pregnant woman. Unless it's "You look amazing. Congratulations!"
2 Get. This. Thing. Out. Of. Me.
There comes a point in every woman's full-term pregnancy when, tired, uncomfortable and sore she thinks, "I cannot take one more minute. Get this freaking thing out!”
Don't be alarmed if in those last weeks, you are fully baked and over it. At the end of my pregnancies, I was a large, slow-moving, pee factory of leg cramps and loose hip joints who looked like a puffer fish being circled by a Great White.
A lovely edema, or fluid retention, takes hold of your body toward the end of your pregnancy. Your inner thighs may fuse together, you may not be able to wear your rings (or shoes) and your socks may leave marks that look like you’ve been chained up in a medieval dungeon.
Take every opportunity to stretch your legs, put your feet up and become so sick of being pregnant you’ll actually welcome 12-24 hours of hard labor to evict this roommate and replace it with lots and lotsa wine.
1 Yeah So...
This is one we really wish we could send to our OBGYN. In all of our many, many appointments leading up to the big day, when we talked about pushing and breathing and crowning and transitioning and induction and water breaking and epidurals...not ONCE did we hear about what happens after the baby comes out.
It's pretty shocking when you think, after many agonizing hours of labor, that you are done and your body is finally free to relax, only to be come at with two firm, gloved hands that start pushing down HARD on your already shredded midsection. Of course, the placenta needs to get out. But we really wish we had had some warning.