There isn't one word that can sum up my pregnancy so far. It has been easy, hard, amazing, indifferent, weird and much more. I've learned a lot during this time and could probably write an entire novel about my experience. Here are eight of the (sometimes unexpected!) things I've learned:
1. Morning sickness is a myth (sort of).
People typically think of morning sickness as throwing up in the morning. The truth is that it can happen any time or, for some unfortunate people, all day. Sometimes you just have constant bouts of nausea without throwing up - I had that and it's the worst feeling. It stays in the back of your throat and you feel like puking, but you just can't.
Read more: When it's not just morning sickness>
2. There is an awkward “fat” stage.
This is the stage where it looks like you've spent a bit too much time at the fast food drive-in window. You'll know you're at this stage when people respond to your pregnancy announcement with “I thought you were, but I didn't want to ask.”
3. People will sympathetically ask how you're doing.
I've never been asked how I'm feeling so much in my life before! It's not a typical “how are you”; it's laced with so much sympathy you'd think you had a terminal illness. There's no doubt that pregnancy can be hard, but I'm just pregnant, I'm not dying.
4. You will get all sorts of comments about your body.
Pregnancy isn't a time when people are discreet. They will say whatever is on their mind. I've been told I look big, small, don't look pregnant from behind… most of the time I don't let it get to me, but the occasional comment has irked me. The best comment I received? I was in a grocery store standing in line with no make up and looking rather disheveled. A woman came up to me and told me I was very beautiful. I thought it was the sweetest comment and it made my day.
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5. Google can be helpful and terrifying.
I wasn't prepared for a lot of things about pregnancy. I turned to Dr. Google for a variety of things, like why does my pee look radioactive? (Answer: side effect of prenatal vitamins.) Helpful. But because I was so paranoid about my pregnancy, I'd google any small thing I was worried about and would often be scared out of my wits by what I was reading. Terrifying. If you're a hypochondriac, it's best to avoid Google and go with a trusted source like your doctor or midwife.
6. Midwives still get a bad rep.
I was surprised at how many people seemed leery when I mentioned that I was going with a midwife instead of an OB. People think of them as hippy witch doctors, and wonder if I'll be giving birth behind a bush. There's a lot of misinformation about midwives, which is unfortunate as they're a great option for people to consider when pregnant. I'm glad I chose a midwife group as they've been great support for my first pregnancy.
Read more: Choosing a midwife or doctor>
7. You will get all sorts of advice.
I actually don't mind all the advice being given to me by others. I take what's useful and ignore what's not. The one piece of “advice” I get the most often that grates on my nerves is “get sleep while you still can”. It's not like I can stockpile on sleep and, when those sleepless nights with the baby hit, reminisce on how wonderful it was to sleep in. It's the most useless and annoying comment I've gotten.
8. People will be more excited than you.
I know I wasn't happy when my partner wasn't as excited as I was about my pregnancy. Yet I wasn't expecting that other people would be more excited than me. My sister was so excited when I told her that she could barely sleep that night. My co-worker had tears of joy when I shared the news. That made me wonder if I should be more excited. I never cried with happiness when I found out I was pregnant, and for most of my pregnancy I was more terrified than excited. Being full-term and knowing that the baby will come at any time now, though, I have to say I'm jazzed about the next stage in my life and looking forward to when the baby comes.
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