Pregnancy to some may seem like just another normal, ordinary process of life. Sure, its something that all female mammals go through and at first glance might not seem very interesting at all. But to the woman experiencing it, pregnancy might actually feel like she's living in a 9-month long miniseries, practically starring in her very own reality show.
From the moment she reveals the positive test and makes her official announcement, which could be considered the season premiere, she's the center of attention with all eyes on her. Onlookers are audience members and they are either affectionately sympathizing with her and her delicate condition or ruthlessly judging her every move. After taking a closer look, turns out this simple phase in the human life cycle actually has a lot in common with the most riveting reality shows on TV today.
From the dramatic mood swings and ugly crying to the funny, endearing and memorable moments, the day-to-day happenings of those with child can be pretty gripping. Even the most benign daily details deserve an entire episode devoted to the subject. But in real life there are no commercial breaks to get relief from the drama. There are no producers calling the shots and no staged altercations to add interest and drive ratings. Nope, life has a special way of doing all of that on its own. So step aside real housewives of Anytown, USA and let's focus the spotlight on pregnant women to discover why they should have their own reality show.
When it comes to noshing, no one puts food away quite like a pregnant woman with a severe craving. From pickles and ice cream to peanut butter and bacon, the craziest combinations become fine dining for the classy lady now eating for two. Desperately awaking her poor husband at 3 o’clock in the morning to embark on a desperate mission to find Sriracha flavored pork rinds, funnel cake and prime rib proves to be a more compelling adventure than the housewives’ nightly dinner outing. No one really knows the real reason for cravings but experts suspect that a mom’s nutrient profile may be lacking in certain areas causing an intense desire for certain foods. The added energy expenditure of growing a baby will increase her hunger, especially her hankering foods high in carbs. This is why we might catch her shoving hot dog buns down her throat when she has a bun in her oven
Although everyone secretly enjoys a good girl-on-girl hair-pulling cat fight, the drama is no match for that which comes with the severe mood swings of an expectant mother. From sobbing uncontrollably at the bear on the toilet paper commercial to a laughing hysterically during an important board meeting at the office, raging hormone levels are at fault once again. Pile on the stress and fatigue of pregnancy and you have the perfect cocktail for a meltdown waiting to happen. Fears, doubts, expectations and other worries can have her teetering on the brink of sanity and this most raw and real experience of the female human condition is must-see TV. What will set her off next? Will she go off on the Starbucks barista for not enough foam and then agonize over the guilt and shame of screaming at an innocent teenager? You’ll have to tune in and find out! No one can really get mad at her for having a tantrum or two though, she is busy building another human being after all.
Drunken nights on the cruise ship can cause some housewives to quickly lose their inhibitions along with their slinky sequin tops, but catch a pregnant woman in the middle of summer and she might be down to her sexy granny panties and sports bra before noon, sweating over her bulging belly. Extra blood volume, which can increase up to 50%, causes blood vessels to dilate meaning blood and energy expand toward the skin’s surface making her feel hotter than normal. Along with added pregnancy weight she’s steadily gaining and surging hormones, this change can make her feel like she’s steamier than a blazing furnace. Watch her slide off her panty hose while driving down the highway as curious truck drivers attempt to sneak a peek. See her skinny dip in the community pool to relieve her latest hot flash as the neighbors stare in shocked disbelief. In this case, it’s what she’s not wearing that’s most exhilarating.
While some women do NOT want to be touched during pregnancy, many women admit to feeling friskier than normal while expecting. This can be due to many physical changes including heightened sensitivity caused by an increase in blood flow. Also, some women feel a sense of empowerment which can be translated into sexual energy, often for the first time in their lives. After the latest hot flash has the voluptuous fertility goddess in next to nothing, she’s ready to get down. The only problem is that with a big baby bump in the way, she’s becoming increasingly more and more uncomfortable, and of course laying face down on her stomach is out of the question. This means attempting new positions that have never even been heard of. Talk about getting creative in the bedroom. These contortionists’ tricks will put Kim Kardashian to shame and may even encourage others to take some notes.
Nowhere else will you find females subjecting themselves to eating jars of baby food than the adoring friends and family at a baby shower. No other group of women would willingly put their face up to a poopy diaper to catch a whiff or even take a taste! And no other time will a lady gladly let a crowd of other women guess her waist measurement just for fun! But just like getting sworn into a secret society of sisterhood, this rite-of-passage is a totally normal tradition for many women. Equally important as the finger foods and the being put on display during the gift opening, these barbaric rituals known as shower games are often the highlight of the most exciting event honoring an expectant mother. In fact, this will likely be the last time the woman gets shown any attention before baby takes his grand debut and requires a reality show of his own.
No one feels the frustration of FOMO (fear of missing out) more intensely than a pregnant woman who can no longer drink to her heart’s content. Not being able to participate can lead to anger and resentment which is no good for baby! This call for the concoction of fabulous mocktails that even Skinny Girl Margarita inventor Bethenny Frenkel would be proud of. One of the most delicious and healthiest replacement beverages is known as Good Girl Moonshine. Created as an alcohol alternative by authors Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett of the holistic website TrimHealthyMama.com, this refreshing treat is made with apple cider vinegar and ginger and is an excellent drink that not only calms cravings for booze but also eases the queasiness caused by morning sickness. Another option is sparkling water, fruit juice, mint leaves and a lime. Call it a fauxjito. Mineral water and orange juice mimic mimosas. So many options will leave her tipsy with delight and a harmless sugar high. And she won’t even realize she’s missing the alcohol in virgin Cosmo because she can party right along with her favorite winos without skipping a beat.
Morning sickness, or more commonly known as all day and night sickness, is caused by fluctuating hormone levels and can be intensified by aversions to certain foods and smells. Her late night partying extravaganzas may be in the not-so-distant past, but she constantly puking her guts out may make her feel like a college freshman all over again. And although she may not be throwing up into a Berkin Bag but rather the waste bin in her office cubicle, she’s still feeling like a straight up hot mess! Luckily morning sickness tends to ease up by the end of the first trimester as hormone levels begin to stabilize but for some the whole nine months can feel like the day after her bachelorette party! Paying tribute to the porcelain throne is just another reality of pregnancy and hopefully she can still count on her friends to hold her purse, and her hair, while she loses her lunch!
Living the high life affords certain luxuries like fancy trips to the spa with friends for facials and other pampering. The real housewives wouldn’t dare letting their roots show or allow their perfect manicure to chip. But who needs those things with the illuminating glow of pregnancy? Despite the weight gain, swelling and bags under the eyes from lack of sleep, pregnancy is often a time when a woman looks the most beautiful. Femininity is at its purest pinnacle, even if she did just spend an hour trying to hoist her Oompa Loompa body out of bed. She takes center stage as a shining star while a precious new life grows inside of her. And she should embrace this short but bittersweet season because after baby is born, it will be back to the real Real World with mom jeans and messy buns and probably no time for pedicures for the next 18 years!
Pregnancy is crazy time that often seems like a cable channel exclusive. One of these shows is History Channel's Ancient Aliens, which features scientists who explore the possibility of life on other planets. But they really need to look no further than mama’s turning tummy. The way baby kicks, rolls, swims and jabs inside is so fascinating that it deserves its own segment in the daily line-up. Babies move for many reasons, as they are practice building the muscles that they will need to use in the outside world. They are also responding to stimulation including lights and sounds. They learn to recognize mother’s voice and distinguish hers from other voices. She may even get excited when Kandi Burruss and Porsha Williams get into another brawl. So when mom-to-be is having drama, baby will be responding. And you may see an elbow drag across the entire span of the belly feeling like your body is being invaded by intelligent life.
Another show that highlights real life is Hoarders, which perfectly describes the fascinating phenomenon known as nesting. Nesting is the instinctual compulsion that typical develops in the 3rd trimester to collect, store and tidy up for baby whose arrival is imminent. For some, this means cleaning obsessively so that not a single germ will come into contact with her perfect babe. For others who take nesting to the extreme, this overwhelming urge to prepare leads to hoarding. This is especially true for first time moms who are convinced that they need every single gadget Babies R Us has to offer. Not to mention the amount of cubic feet that will be dedicated to storing diapers, wipes and butt paste in mass quantities. Another reason for buying in excess is the undeniable fact that all things baby are just so freaking adorable. So this is clearly why she needs every onesie. In every size. In every color.
Pregnancy is a time of transformation, the obvious being a bigger belly and swollen feet, but sometimes the bodily changes can be strange and downright scary. New hair is not always associated with that pregnancy glow and for some women, there will be more hair in more places she’d be willing to admit, including neck, cheeks, breasts, chin and upper lip. This unwanted side effect is likely caused by rising sex hormones known as androgens. Women with dark hair are more likely to be affected. Unfortunately, removal options are somewhat restricted as chemicals used to remove hair may enter the bloodstream and could cause harm to unborn baby in the womb. Maybe she’ll need that spa day with the gal pals after all. And just as unwanted hair grows wildly during pregnancy, she may experience the opposite annoyance-hair falling out due to plummeting estrogen levels. If only leg hair would fall out instead!
Of all the pregnancy changes and transformations, this one is probably the most welcomed and most pleasant. Every Daddy/ Husband will gladly agree that increasing breast size a fun side effect! But no need for the collagen filled tatas of pretty much every real housewife coast to coast. Mother Nature will take care of that herself, certainly outdoing the work of even the most decorated plastic surgeon. Maternal fat stores build up during pregnancy to provide ample sustenance to mother’s body which in turn allow her to create proper nutrition for baby. But don’t go too crazy buying new bras every trimester as breast size will continue to increase well past baby’s birth day. Breasts will typically increase an additional cup size when engorged with mama juice as mammary glands begin their work to produce breast milk. It is recommended to wait until a week or so before delivery to purchase nursing or pumping bras.
Over the years, sonograms have become more and more sophisticated as technology advances and instant gratification becomes our expectation. Parents-to-be marvel at the realness of a 4D ultrasound as they ponder "Will he have my eyes?" and exclaim “OMG he has your chin!” The difference between a traditional 2D sonogram and fancy boutique 3D version is pretty simple but the result is stunning. Both use a wand that emits sound waves through the body which reflect from inside to create a picture on the technician's screen. The latest innovation takes the captured images and joins them together at multiple angles to reveal a realistic glimpse of the little bambino. It is suggested that the mama-to-be consume something sugary like orange juice or a candy bar before her appointment. The sugar will give baby a little boost so he’ll be active and ready, not only for the highly anticipated gender reveal but for his first selfie as well!
Nothing gets the claws out faster than Moms in their Facebook groups who viciously battle it out rant after rant. No two parenting styles are necessarily right or wrong but the heat of passion can be felt full force. Everyone is an expert and everyone has a mother-in-law who knows best. This well-meaning group which was created for support, camaraderie and guidance quickly turns into World War 3 faster than you can say Nene Leakes. Some of the most notoriously battled topics include The Cry It out Method along with yay or nay to rice cereal and everything under the sun regarding breastfeeding. It’s really bad when an admin has to delete a user and ban them from the page! A simple “May I kindly suggest” can turn into “I will cut you bitch” in a heartbeat. Couple that with raging hormones, and no sleep and you can call that a wrap on Season 1.
If labor and delivery could be given ratings like prime time television, birth would have the number one time slot for sure. Everyone waits patiently for the multi-part TV event as baby prepares for his grand entrance into this big world. Even the most routine, scheduled induction or C-section can’t underscore the fact a new soul will soon come into existence. While housewives final episodes uncover who has had a terrible season, who hates who the hardest and which bitch back stabs the deepest, birth reveals a pregnant woman's greatest work. The season of pregnancy ends as she gives life to a brand new human being. But as soon as this phase ends, a new one is just beginning. Motherhood transforms the way no face lift could ever change a profile and creates more emotions than Botox could ever take away. The good comes on immediately along with the bad and the ugly and that’s as real as it gets!