It can be hard to be a pregnant mom. There's so much that is unknown, and being patient is really difficult. After all, it's an entire nine months of waiting and checking and measuring and waiting some more!
Although, there are things mamas can do to get ready. Things like decorating the nursery, buying baby clothes, and shopping for a larger family vehicle, are all good steps to take to get ready for a new baby.
But what if the baby isn't what mom and dad are expecting?
The most common trope is that the baby is a boy or a girl when mom and dad were expecting the opposite. But it's more than just expectations about what color nursery will be suitable.
Lots of moms have ideas in their heads about what their babies will look like, who they'll resemble in the family, and even about how many babies are actually in there. And there's a whole lot that's unpredictable.
Whether it's a user error in the doctor's office or a test result that came back inconclusive, lots of things just aren't possible to know for sure before the baby arrives. So here are 20 signs the baby won't exactly be what mom is expecting.
20 The Ultrasound Is Inconclusive
One of the most common misconceptions about ultrasounds is that they're extremely accurate in predicting what a baby will be: boy or girl? But in many cases, pressured ultrasound techs might just guess! And other times, the techs might feel totally sure they have it right, but mom and dad find out at birth that the baby wasn't what they were planning for.
And for a lot of parents, it's really tough to deal with this! It's also no fun to go and return things they've bought for the baby when it turns out the colors they picked don't match society's expectations for either a girl or boy baby.
19 Measurements Are Just Off
How many mamas have been told their baby is bigger than expected and that they'll need a C-section or other intervention? Then when the baby is born, whether C-section or not, it turns out the kiddo is a tiny peanut? That huge margin of error is because of the inaccuracy of ultrasounds.
Basically, this type of imaging can be off by a large amount, so it's not a good idea to take an ultrasound measurement as the single predictor of your baby's size. Of course, lots of doctors have yet to get this memo, but it helps if moms are vocal about it.
18 Guessing What She’s Having Based On Old Wives’ Tales
Tons of mamas practically obsess over whether they're having a boy or a girl. And yes, we all agree that having a healthy baby is what matters most, but sometimes you just gotta know! Except, there's truly no way to know for sure (barring a plasma test), and old wives' tales don't help.
There's an old wive's tale for nearly everything, and some moms think that the way they're carrying or the day they conceived are ways to tell whether it's a boy or girl in there. But truly, predicting anything based on an old wive's tale is one surefire sign that the baby won't be what you're expecting.
17 When Cravings Mimic Past Pregnancies
Many mamas think that their cravings reflect what they're expecting. So if they have the same craving with subsequent pregnancies, they might expect they're having a girl the second time around, too. But here's another interesting tidbit: cravings often have more to do with mom than the baby.
Have you ever heard of moms craving mud or other traditionally non-edible things? It's because our bodies are telling us we need certain nutrients. Cravings can work the same way, so it might not be the baby talking, but instead, our system saying we need to up our calcium or boost our iron intake!
16 When Mom Expects More Of The Same
If a family already has three sons or four kids all with blonde hair, it's easy to expect more of the same. However, parents who think this way are sure to be surprised when the baby actually arrives! It's because of the way our DNA works that it's possible for a family of blondes to wind up with a brown-haired baby, or a family with a ton of girls to finally welcome a little brother.
Essentially, the children you've had already aren't necessarily an indicator of what the next baby will be or look like. Although, it can be. But that's the beauty of it: we don't really know for sure until the baby comes! Fun, right?
15 Mom Or Dad’s Heritage Is Mixed
Some parents are taken aback when their babies arrive and look vastly different than everyone else in the family. But the truth is, when either mom or dad (or both) have mixed heritage, however far back it is in their family history, that can mean the new baby looks different, too.
In my family, for example, our heritage has resulted in a range of skin tones among siblings, and there are no questions about the children's parentage at all! For this reason, families could wind up with a redheaded baby or one with a darker complexion, and it's all within the normal ranges of what your DNA is capable of producing!
14 Heart Rates Are Always All Over The Place, Literally
Babies' heart rates are one of the things that all medical professionals measure. It's an indicator of how well the baby is faring in the womb, and it can also help determine the baby's position. But sometimes, it can be difficult to get the baby's heart rate at all, or it could be hard to find.
So if your baby's heart rate is literally all over the place, with the doctor or midwife chasing the kiddo down for a reading, there might be more than one in there! Even doctors with ultrasound machines have neglected to catch a second (or subsequent!) baby behind the first, so multiples are often a possibility.
13 Baby’s All Knees And Elbows
Another sign that the baby isn't what mom is expecting is if her little one seems especially acrobatic in the womb. Movement is normal, but a whole lot of movement could indicate there's more than one baby. But many moms, especially if their healthcare providers say it's just one kiddo, assume their little one is bound to be a gymnastics star and simply enjoy all the wiggles and rolls.
But if you tend to feel a lot of limbs instead of the round firmness of a tush or a noggin, there just might be more than one baby jostling for space in the womb.
12 She’s Having A Whole Lot Of Heartburn
One of the more common old wives' tales is that moms with a whole lot of heartburn wind up with babies who have a whole lot of hair. But unfortunately, that's not the case. Sure, there can be coincidences when moms have unbearable heartburn and their babes arrive with luscious locks, but it's just a coincidence and not a scientific fact.
So if you're having a lot of heartburn and assume your baby will need a hairbrush right out the womb, think again. You could wind up birthing a complete baldy instead! Of course, they'll be adorable either way, but still...
11 There’s Not A Lot Of Movement
Yes, kick counts are a thing for a reason, but as long as babies are consistent in their movement, that's usually a good sign! But a baby who doesn't move a whole lot might lull mom into the false belief that her little one will also be calm and chill outside the womb.
Good luck with that one. Just because a baby is chill in the womb doesn't mean they won't be a firecracker outside! In fact, most babies tend to be chill in the womb because they're just floating in warm cozy comfort. Outside, it's loud, cold, and bright, which can make any formerly chill babe freak out!
10 Baby Likes Their Naps
Another way the baby's behavior in the womb influences mom's expectations is when the baby sleeps a whole bunch. Lots of us mamas are unfortunate enough to have babies that seem to stay awake all night while we're trying to rest, doing dances on our bladders. But other mamas have babies who seem content to sleep at night and be active and entertaining during the day.
Sadly, odds are, this won't continue outside the womb. Just because a baby is snoozy inside the womb doesn't mean they will stay that way once they make their entrance into the world. Basically, a sleepy baby in the womb isn't a sign of anything!
9 Flip-Flopping Happens Often
A mom might be told at every appointment that her baby is head down and ready to begin his or her descent. And isn't that what all mamas who want a natural birth want to hear? Besides, some hospitals and birth centers will flat-out refuse to do a natural delivery with a breech baby, which makes us all freak out.
But just because a baby is head-down at one appointment doesn't mean she'll stay that way. Flipping and flopping a lot can be a sign that the baby will be feet-first instead of head-first as mom expects. Fortunately, though, there's still time for things to change right up until delivery day!
8 The Fact That She Has A Natural Birth
Most mamas-to-be expect squishy and delicious newborns. And even though most moms likely desire a natural birth for many reasons, the fact that they have one is a sign the baby won't be what they expect.
After all, babies who exit the conventional way are often cone-headed and a bit out of shape. It's a difficult road to entering the world, after all, while C-section babes are often perfectly round and a little less worse for wear! Either way, babies turn out adorable and well-rounded in a bit, but moms with natural deliveries will likely be surprised by their babies' initial appearance.
7 Her Belly Is Super Out There
A super out-there belly is usually the biggest reason moms expect an overly large baby. After all, what else is in there other than baby, right? But there is also the placenta and a whole lot of fluid, so just because a mom's belly is super out there doesn't mean her baby will be any bigger than normal.
Even if an ultrasound also suggests that the baby is measuring ahead, that doesn't always mean it's accurate. Basically, everyone will have to wait for the kiddo's birth to see if he or she truly measures up to the family's (and doctor's) expectations.
6 Her Belly Is Totally Tucked In
Remember Sarah Stage, the IG model who still had a six-pack when she was nearly nine months pregnant with her first child? If you don't recall this fitness guru mama, take a gander at her updated status: mama of two and still rocking those abs. But she also proves that a tiny belly doesn't necessarily mean a tiny baby.
Both of Sarah Stage's babies were average-sized, with one arriving at just over seven pounds and one at over eight and a half. They were 19 and 22 inches long, respectively, and were also perfectly healthy. Looks can be deceiving, right?
5 It’s Her Second (Or More) Kid
Another way the belly can deceive moms in terms of what she's expecting is if she's on her second or subsequent kiddo. With the first baby, many mamas don't start to show right away. But with a second (or third, or other) baby, the belly often emerges sooner because all the muscles already know the drill.
However, some mamas might think this means their baby will be bigger or that their dates are off. But that's not usually the case! Of course, it's possible, but generally, it being a mom's second pregnancy tends to mean all bets are off in terms of belly appearance vs. expectations.
4 Mom Is A Petite Lady
Moms might think that just because they're petite, they're bound to have a pint-sized baby. But again, that's just not guaranteed. In fact, according to What to Expect, large babies are hereditary. Which means it matters more not what a mom's stature is, but what the trends are in her family. Sure, her size tempers the baby's growth patterns a bit, but that's not the only deciding factor.
So if she or her husband comes from a family of tall and gangly people, it's possible a petite mama can have a baby who's extremely tall. Basically, practically any scenario is possible, despite mom's height and stature, if her family history is apparent.
3 Family Genes Are Really Strong
Most parents expect their babies to look like either mom or dad. And that's what we all want, right? Little mini-me's from the moment they leave our womb! But for ladies who have strong genes in their family, it's possible that the baby could come out looking less like mom and dad and more like great-grandpa Wilbur with his distinctive nose!
When family genes are really strong, odds are, the baby in your womb may look less like you and more like a carbon-copy of someone in the extended family. Of course, it's more of a trend than an absolute rule, but be prepared to expect the unexpected.
2 Baby Is A Little Early (Or A Little Late)
Most of the time, moms expect picture-perfect newborns (albeit with a bit of a cone-shaped head) that are sweet and cuddly. Depending on whether your baby arrives early or late, however, they might look a little differently than you expect.
An early baby can come out with lanugo, sometimes thick hair, all over their body, or they might also be covered in thick vernix. Vernix is the stuff that protects babies' skin in the womb, but an early baby might have more on them since they're exiting before the time is up! Babies can also have dry skin if they're late, another way they're different from what mom expects.
1 She Got Some Anonymous Help
For moms who go a rather unconventional route to conceive, it's possible to birth a baby who looks nothing like what you've expected! If you have an anonymous donor when conceiving, for example, you might have an idea of their overall looks. Let's say they're blond with blue eyes, and that sounds dreamy for a newborn.
But the baby could be born with darker eyes (those often change!) and dark, curly hair, and it may or may not change as they grow! Because even if the paternity of the baby is clear, it's not guaranteed they'll look like their dad, or their mom, for that matter!
Source: What to Expect