Every woman's pregnancy is different. But there is one thing that is similar for most: They feel different compared to what they expected and their pregnancy look is almost never similar to the perfect photos they see all over the place online.
Instead of radiating vitality, gals may see that their skin is covered with a rash and acne. Instead of rocking the maternity style and buying all the prettiest clothes for expecting moms, they feel fine in baggy T-shirts and yoga pants. And even if they had planned a pregnancy photoshoot before they got a bun in the oven, now they don't really care about dressing up and posing for these photos.
Of course, some moms claim that they had the "perfect" pregnancy that didn't make their life too different and they looked and felt energetic at all times. Well... either these moms are very, very lucky and we should be happy for them, or they're just lying through their teeth.
But we're not here to talk about perfect preggers. We're here to discuss what 20 things can go differently than planned during pregnancy and childbirth, just to prepare ourselves and know that we're not the only ones having these issues. Won't it make us feel better?
Everyone is speaking about the so-called "pregnancy glow" claiming that during pregnancy the woman's skin will be "lit from within" and she will look like an angel. Upon seeing her, everyone will instantly know that she's pregnant because she'll radiate health and vitality, growing a miracle of life within her...
However poetic it sounds, the reality is far from it. In fact, this glow should be called with a much more proper word, which is sweat. Because you'll sweat like crazy during pregnancy. Besides, your skin will be covered with rashes, pimples, and strange lines, and, instead of admiring you, people will say that you look cranky and tired.
Do you really expect that people will be so nice to you only because you're pregnant? Do you think that they will smile to you all the time, give up their seats for you, and treat you like a fragile vase? Then the reality will disappoint you.
Most people will be far from nice. Instead, they will invade your privacy, wanting to know when you're due and exclaiming how big you are. What's worse, they will also want to touch your belly. Even those who barely know you will want to do it. Why? No one knows... It seems like all people are just driven by the desire to touch a pregnant woman's belly because it gives them luck or something.
For some reason, many women think that pregnancy is going to be the happiest and most special time of their life. There's no doubt that it's going to be special, but happy? Well, not always...
Most of the time, especially in the final months, you're going to be extremely tired due to your huge belly and to lack of sleep. Besides, it's also a daunting time, especially if it's your first baby and you don't know how to be a mother. Like this is not enough, you can also become depressed. According to Parents, about 20% of women experience it during pregnancy.
Keep in mind that if you have the symptoms of depression, you should talk to your doctor and find a way to deal with it.
Looking at the photos of pregnant women in magazines and on the internet, some of us think that we're going to be as stylish as them and will rock that cute bump. We believe that we will be wearing adorable maternity clothes and will feel comfortable in them.
The reality kicks in when it turns out that the only comfortable style now is sweatpants and baggy t-shirts. Besides, these cute clothes made specifically for pregnant women turn out to be hard to find and they are expensive as hell. Considering that you'll outgrow them pretty quickly and won't be able to wear them after childbirth, what's the sense in buying them after all?
Even if you still plan to rock the maternity style, you probably want to do it only for the sake of a pregnancy photoshoot you've planned a long time ago. You waited for that bump to become big enough, and you wanted to find a beautiful place, wear beautiful clothes, take your handsome partner with you, and look amazing for these photos.
But, when it comes to the time when your belly is big enough, you suddenly don't want to do anything. Like, anything at all. You just want to crawl into your bed, find the least uncomfortable position, and have some rest, if that's even possible.
Who cares about this maternity photoshoot if you can do selfies anyway?
Do you think that whatever food you crave during pregnancy, you will remain sensible and stop thinking about it, if you know that it's going to be bad for you or your baby? Like, what if you want a double cheeseburger with a huge portion of chocolate ice cream on the side? "Nah, I'll be fine," you think.
You're way too naive if you assume that you can just ignore these cravings. When you're craving something during pregnancy, you will feel like if you don't get this thing right now, or at least in 30 seconds, you're going to perish. So you will start crying and begging your hubby to go get it for you. Even if it's 2 AM. And he won't find it funny or adorable.
A lot of people say that you should sleep as much as possible during pregnancy because you'll have all these sleepless nights when the baby's born.
Do these people have any idea that sleeping comfortably during pregnancy, especially in the last month, becomes almost impossible? Through most of the night, you're going to twist and turn to find a position that will be at least a bit comfortable (and even these huge pregnancy pillows won't always help). And just when you find it, you'll have to get up, because you'll need to pee. Or your baby will start kicking like crazy. At this moment, you'll think whether counting the kicks will help you fall asleep. Here's a little secret: it won't.
Morning sickness can be a bad guy. A really, really bad guy that ruins the life of most pregnant women in the first trimester. The only comfort you can find lies in the thinking that it's going to be over soon. When you come into the second trimester, it will go away and you'll come back to your happy self.
For most women, it does go away in the second trimester, but for some, it doesn't. Nausea and vomiting can continue for as long as a few weeks more. Sometimes, it keeps on torturing a woman till the 16th week and, if she's really unfortunate, it can last much, much further into pregnancy.
Another lie about the morning sickness most women believe in comes from its name. Since it's called "morning" sickness, we assume that it only strikes in the morning and the rest of the day we'll be fine.
What an elaborate lie it is and it comes from someone who called it morning sickness. In fact, it should be called "any-time-of-the-day" sickness. Or, at least, "pregnancy" sickness. It can come at any time, at any place, whether you're at the office, trying to get some work done in the afternoon, whether you're having romantic dinner with your partner at a restaurant, or just trying to get some rest at night.
During pregnancy, your body goes through an enormous change and it all turns you into a different person, not only in terms of appearance but also in the way you feel. Very often you'll notice that your emotions skyrocket during pregnancy and it's a rookie's mistake to think that it's easy to deal with them.
In fact, sometimes the hurricane of emotions you experience will be overwhelming and it can be caused by the tiniest little things. You might be sobbing due to the fact that you don't have the food you want to eat, due to being unable to see your toes anymore, or due to learning that your favorite series is going to have the final season soon. At other times, you might be mad, excited, frustrated, or joyful, and nothing (and no one) will stop you.
"The only difference between my lifestyle in pregnancy and non-pregnancy will be the bump. Nothing else will change. I'll keep on working, doing my fitness routine, and go out with my friends every Saturday night. It's not a big deal."
These are the thoughts of a woman, who has never been pregnant before. She has no idea how much her life will change due to this bump. She'll have to consult with her ob-gyn about everything she wants to do and her whole life will revolve around her growing belly. She won't even be able to do most things on her own and she'll need help to sit up, roll over, get up, get off the toilet, walk, you name it.
Every future mom dreams of decorating her baby's room with all the prettiest, cutest, and most wonderful things she can find. She thinks that she's going to spend most of her time choosing decorations, the cradle, and everything else for her bundle of joy. And she'll do it with so much excitement!
Really? I mean, really? Nah... Instead, she'll probably be so tired that she won't even want to get out of bed, all the more to go to the kid store and search it for everything she wanted to buy. And when she learns how much these things cost... Most likely, she'll just decide to co-sleep until the kid goes to school.
Okay, the nursery decorations aren't a big deal, but at least you have to buy some stuff for your baby, like toys and tiny clothes. And it's also necessary to purchase some of the things you will need after childbirth, such as a diaper bag from a good brand and a wet wipe warmer. Or is it?
In reality, it's not so necessary. And, to be honest, probably you won't even want to do it. Why? Well, because a wet wipe warmer and a brand new diaper bag aren't as necessary as most people think. Besides, your baby won't really care about the clothes they're wearing and they won't need any toys for some time. So don't waste your precious energy and do this kind of shopping later.
When your baby starts kicking, you find it adorable. You call everyone you know to come and touch your belly to feel these tiny little kicks. "This feels so great! I could live with it all day long!" you think.
Feeling the baby's kicks is actually wonderful, but it's not always comfortable or timely. More often than not, it will feel like your bladder turned into a ring for a wrestling match where you're clearly losing because you have to go to the loo again. And at other times, it will also feel like your baby is trying to break free through your stomach. Or your ribs.
It all can happen at any time – whether you're walking, sitting, or trying to sleep.
"We didn't have any difficulty choosing the name for the baby because my partner and I have absolutely similar tastes in everything. I chose a name and he just agreed to it, end of the story," said no mom ever.
Most likely, you're not going to simply choose a name that both of you will like right away. Even if you find one, someone else, for example, your parents or your best friend, might dislike it and you will have to start all over again. Besides, there are so many names! How is it even possible to choose the one that will be pretty, cute, unique, but at the same time appropriate? It's way too hard for a pregnant woman with her hurricane of emotions!
In all movies, the labor starts with water breaking and a huge amount of fluid gushing through the woman's nether regions. Immediately after it, she rushes to the hospital, as if she fears that her baby will just jump out of her uterus in a moment.
It might make you think that labor always begins with water breaking and, if it happens differently, you can find it hard to understand what's happening.
It's actually completely normal if your water breaks and labor doesn't start. According to Belly Belly, 1 in 10 women have their membranes ruptured several hours before the first contractions. And sometimes, the nurse will have to break your water manually, when you're already in the hospital with full-fledged labor, because it just didn't happen before.
Another mistake that comes from the movies is the time when you have to go to the hospital to give birth. Do you really think that you need to go right after you've felt the first contraction? If you do, we're here to bust this myth.
In fact, you have to wait for some time before you can go, because if you come too early you won't be admitted. You'll either have to stay in the waiting room till you're dilated enough to get into the maternity ward, or you will need to come back home, wait for a certain amount of time, and only then go to the hospital.
So listen closely to the instructions your ob/gyn gives about how soon you can come after contractions begin.
In most cases, the doctor who was checking on you while you were pregnant will help you deliver your baby. It's great if you have a good relationship with this doctor because it'll make you feel more comfortable during labor. And it's also important to deliver your baby to someone you trust.
But, however disappointing (or, for some women, frightening) it is, it doesn't always happen. Your doctor is a human being, too, and something can happen that will prevent them from delivering your baby. They can be sick, have a family issue, or they might have to leave for an emergency reason. So be ready to see an unknown face in the delivery room and, well, deal with it.
A lot of women dream of natural birth and think that it's the best way to deliver a child. They don't want to use any medications, including pain relief, they refuse from C-section, and ask in their birth plan to avoid offering them anything that will make the birth "unnatural."
But sometimes the reality is different. Something unexpected happens and they just have to change their mind for the sake of their baby. Pain can be too strong to handle and an epidural will be necessary. Or a complication might occur that will lead to an emergency C-section. It may happen and you should be ready for it.
If something makes your birth any less "natural", don't blame yourself. Just choose what's best for you and your little one.
A future mom might expect to become blissful and feel something really special when she sees her baby for the first time. It's going to be a feeling that can't be compared to anything else. And when you come back home with your baby, you'll continue to feel this bliss and you won't mind the sleep deprivation, baby blues, or anxiety.
But the reality can be different, and it's okay. It's fine if you feel anxious and worry about dropping your baby or doing something wrong. It's okay if you're completely clueless, despite all the preparation you had during pregnancy. And it's fine if you don't feel this bliss at all. It doesn't make you a worse mother.
Sources: S. Mommy, Parents, Bounty, Belly Belly, The Odyssey Online, Bump Boxes