Everyone always seems to gush - quite openly - about the joy of pregnancy. And rightfully so. Carrying a brand new little one, regardless of whether or not this is your first, is both a privilege and ever important responsibility. But all the while, increasingly exciting.
But it's no secret that along with the happiness and wonder of a new pregnancy comes the swollen ankles, uncontrollable gas and sometimes insane food cravings. It is also no secret that for every woman spilling over with pregnancy excitement, there are a few of us who are willing to admit that with great new motherhood comes a rather great list of unpleasantness.
Of course we readily accept the negative aspects of pregnancy because the end result is a beautiful, pudgy, sweet-smelling baby. That doesn't mean that we can't complain though, or miss things about our lives before baby.
And while I'm pregnant, there are certainly a handful of things I'll be missing about life - and my body! - before this little guy (or girl) started growing inside of me. That doesn't mean that I won't enjoy the next nine months or so, but hey, I'm entitled to a little complaining, right? Some of the things we all tend to miss as these months progress:
8 Having Control Of My Bladder
Maybe the whole spontaneous urine leaking thing won't come until much later, but in some cases, it arrives faster than you can say "pee pad". As a non-pregnant civilian, you are privy to just one pair of fresh undies per day and the safety that comes with being able to laugh freely, stand up quickly, and work out to your heart's content without the danger of urinating yourself.
It is one of those things that you take for granted, as silly as that sounds. And it is also one of those things that little bean has unknowingly taken control over. As much as you'd love to go to the bathroom on your terms, though, you can't blame your little one. Especially as they freely slip and turn around in there, growing larger and pressing more insistently on that precious bladder of yours.
You begin to feel like a panty liner commercial
But if you're facing the urinary problem more often than you can handle, then be ready to keep up with your kegels! Not only do they "work out" your vaginal muscles in preparation of a possible vaginal delivery, but they help you start to gain better control all together. And remember, don't be so quick to place all the blame on baby.
Avoid liquids like coffee and sodas, as they often aggravate the bladder, furthering your problem. Don't be a slave to those pee pads in you don't have to, trust me!
7 Having A Cold One
Okay, yes, alcohol is a very hard, absolute no-no in the pregnancy world. I'm not disputing that fact and very adamantly am stressing that that absolutely adhere to that. However, that ever important rule does not mean that you can't miss it. You know, that hopsy, frothy, sometimes fruity beverage known best in a bottle or can.
For some of us, before the baby meant unwinding after a tough day with a nice, ice cold, tall one. Or, unwinding with the girls over fruity mixed drinks in a multitude of colors. Now, however, we can barely down carbonated diet sodas without it resulting in acid reflux or the sudden need to go running for the bathroom.
Sometimes it's nice to just kick back and relax with a nice cold cooler
Getting used to dealing with the stress in different ways, or simply watching your girlfriends enjoy Pina Coladas is a challenge, sure, but not one that is unrealistic to deal with. Affix your juice with a pretty umbrella, or mix citrus soda with orange juice for your very own virgin mixed drink.
No, it's not designed to "take the edge off" specifically. But the sweet treat is enough to give you that tiny sugar rush, all the while making you feel like you're having something a little more special than your everyday bottle of spring water.
6 Being As Active As I Want
When you're pregnant, it seems like the thing about your body that most people are most concerned with is your weight gain. Not too much, not too little, all belly, mostly arms. You get the picture. And if you're like me, you were just getting into a workout routine when little bean came along and start growing so quickly.
While working out during your pregnancy is totally okay - and even encouraged - don’t try to start a new set of cross-training exercises or look to parkour to keep that body in shape while your belly expands. Instead, look to prenatal yoga to incorporate into your routine. It may not burn the most calories, but it is great for keeping limber and staying active.
The bigger you get the more awkward your workout becomes
Or, for a bit more movement, take up and keep up with walking. Not only will it work out your entire body, but studies have shown that keeping up with walking while pregnant can increase your baby's ability to sleep through the night. The increased oxygen and steady, routine movements, help in giving the baby a relaxing, rocking experience very early on.
So if you're feeling a little trapped in not being able to stay as active as you'd prefer, remember that walking is good for the both of you.
5 My Feet!
We all expect our bellies to grow as the months progress. Call it a job hazard, if you will. But the more it grows - stretches, even - the less you can see of your feet below. Which just puts into perspective how big you're getting and that alone could make you long for the days of flat, and even chubby, bellies. And toes you can reach to paint the nails of, for that matter.
Sure, it may sound like a superficial thing to miss from your pre-pregnancy days. But what's probably worse is that it is something you can't control. Your disappearing feet are just a reminder that - however miraculous it feels most days - you are sharing your body now.
The good news? It doesn’t last forever, trust me. If you're one of us unlucky gals whose feet swell - ahem, balloon up - then you won't have to look at those beasts with your belly in the way. Not helping? Okay, then look at it this way. The bigger the baby, the healthier he or she is (in most cases). So, the bigger your belly is, the chubbier and sweeter your little one will be when they make their grand entrance into the world.
4 Not Being Touched By Strangers
Incoming - an out-stretched hand, reaching for your swelling stomach. And if it was a friend or relative, it would be totally acceptable. But in too many cases, it is a perfect stranger, intent on rubbing your belly. For good luck, perhaps? But, good God, we aren't Buddhas, right?
Before pregnancy, I could walk down the street, into stores, through the library, without even so much as a second glance from a passersby. Now, however, it is as if - because my belly is jutting out - people think they have some claim to cop a feel. You know the ones.
A pregnant belly isn't public space, it's MY space
If it gets to be something that truly bothers you though, then feel free to smile and politely tell them that people touching your belly bump simply makes you feel uncomfortable. These strangers likely don't mean to be disrespectful in any way and really, who can blame them for being interested in your cute pregnant self?
Just stand your ground, however uncomfortable the situation may seem at the time. If you're over people reaching out for that belly, calmly decline their advances. Trust me, the more you're willing to stand your ground, the easier it will be each time.
3 Having A Lid On My Emotions
While I may have been a bit of a sensitive person before, nothing really compares to the emotional roller coaster that I am now on. Since when did car commercials bring me to tears? And why was I so angry with my husband for cooking steak instead of chicken last night? The easy answer is hormones, You know, the out of control, up and down, crazy woman, pregnancy hormones.
Before, you may have been able to simply take a few deep breaths and calm yourself down. Now? A fit of anger followed by a good 10 minutes of crying will do it. But all of this is plenty normal. And to help yourself get through it, remember that. Remind yourself that worrying about your heightened emotions will only make you feel worse.
And don’t be afraid to talk it out. With friends, family, and other mothers. You aren’t the only one going through this, feeling so helpless with your pregnancy hormones. Learning how other mamas have coped - and currently are coping - can be the remedy to get you on the right track.
2 Having Ample Energy
Being able to run errands, get up and go at the drop of a hat, and quite literally run, are all things I took for granted before my pregnancy. When you're pregnant, it doesn’t usually matter if you relax all day to conserve your energy. At night, you'll likely still only have that small reservoir of energy to spare. Which, in some cases, is all well and good. Maybe you should be taking advantage of any rest you can get before baby arrives.
When you're pregnant, you may get bouts of sudden energy, making you jump off the couch (figuratively speaking, of course) to scurry around the house cleaning. But it often seems like directly after that, you're drained. And when you're pregnant, energy drinks and shots are strictly off the menu. Instead, try to rely on homemade energy teas and fruits like bananas and apricots, which are high in natural energy.
No, they may not give you enough stamina to run circles around professional track stars, but they might make you feel more alert and less spent.
1 Being "Regular" In The Bathroom
One day, you can't seem to get yourself to go, er number two. The next day, you're running to the bathroom every half hour it seems. I have come to realize that pregnancy equals, before many other things, the inability to be regular.
I could handle one of the issues. At one time. But to go back and forth between both extremes? It's enough to drive anyone's brain and body bonkers. And, it seems, no matter what kind of fiber regimen you begin to combat either, the other problem creeps back into the picture.
There is just no happy medium. Fun, right?
Still, there is no shame in trying. Flax seed oil can sometimes help ease constipation and is totally natural. And something as simple as an ample amount of water daily can work to keep you regular.
But how about the whole diarrhea thing? Enjoy several pomegranates and get a sweet treat while also fighting that whole nasty thing going on. The little seedy fruit not your thing? Try some homemade ginger tea instead.
There are so many exciting things about the miracle of pregnancy, but with them, come some admittedly bad ones as well. Yes, we give up small freedoms when we become pregnant. But I think we can all agree that it is what's best for all. And totally worth it when you see that chubby little bundle in your arms.