Random things they don’t tell you about being pregnant
Because Too Much Information is Never Enough – here are some random things they don’t tell you about being pregnant:
~ Blood noses. You get them. Lots.
~ Employer parental leave policies are not as straightforward as you think. But they’re still easier to understand than the structure of Family Tax Benefits or Child Care Rebate calculations.
~ There is an inordinately long period between when you’re stomach starts to stick out and when other people will acknowledge you’re pregnant. During this period, most people (or so you think) will be looking at you and thinking: “maybe pregnant, probably just fat.”
~ Related to above. People don’t like taking the initiative to stand up for you on public transport. This is not actually from selfishness – most people are more than willing – but rather from fear of assuming pregnancy and only then finding out somebody is just fat
~ No, really about the blood noses. It’s something to do with thin membranes in the nose or dried out noses or something. And of course the loads and loads of extra blood pumping around your body, like massive amounts more than usual.
~ There’s loads of extra blood pumping around your body. So when you have a blood test or, you know, whack your hand while out in the street and don’t have a tissue handy at all, it takes forever to stop bleeding and the blood goes everywhere.
~ Along with the blood, there’s loads of other bodily fluids as well, like heaps of excess saliva and snot and stuff. And, oh yes…
~ …Discharge. See above. You don’t want to know the gory details. Just take my advice and pack a spare pair of undies.
~ You still have to take crowded peak-hour public transport to work in first trimester, even though you’ve got morning sickness and can throw up without warning. Carry a plastic bag. That’s all I can say.
~ The exhaustion of the first trimester is mind-blowing. You can sleep twelve hours, get up for an hour, and then need to go back to bed.
~ It’s advisable not to tell your workplace you’re pregnant in the first trimester. This coincides exactly with the period you are most exhausted, when your body routinely sending you to sleep in the middle of the day, and/or when you’re most prone to throwing up without warning.
~ Explaining your exhausted, vomity state to your boss without mentioning the word ‘pregnant’ is harder than it seems.
~ Did I mention the blood noses?
~ Thrush? Have I mentioned thrush? No? Well, consider it mentioned now. Big in pregnancy. Hope you enjoy yoghurt.
~ You dehydrate really easily. While there’s all this excess bodily fluid stuff, none of it is for you. It’s for the baby being created inside you. So you dry out. Drink lots of water.
~ Itchy skin. Dry eyes. Blood noses. Excessive thirst. Headaches. The dehydration will get you, one way or another. So let me repeat: drink lots of water.
~ You need to pee all the time. Like, all the time. No idea why.
~ When you first feel the baby move, you probably won’t recognise that it’s the baby. It is described on some of the more conservative pregnancy websites as “like you are passing wind”, and on the more down-to-earth pregnancy websites as “like you’re about to fart”. They’re not actually bullshitting you.
~ When you first feel the baby move and recognise it as such, it makes the world stop spinning and everything else falls away in importance.
~ Sleep deprivation begins way before the baby’s birth. Waaaay before. You just try sleeping a solid eight hours a night when you need to get up and pee every twenty minutes.
~ It’s okay to cry when you see your baby in the ultrasounds.
~ Try not to cry when you discover that your employer has a paid maternity leave scheme and you won’t have to default on your mortgage just to be able to stay home with the baby. The relief is immense, but tears in a workplace can be misconstrued and they might think something is wrong, instead of so right.
~ It’s not about you. Mother Nature only has one thing on her mind – reproduction of the species. She’s only interested in your baby. You’re just the host.
~ You tend to agree with Mother Nature.
~ Google is not your friend. There’s a lot of crap written about pregnancy out there and some good stuff. Sifting through it causes anxiety and, occasionally, spontaneous bursts of humour. Such as when you stumble across the pregnancy forum posting “I have mould in my bathroom, is this dangerous to my unborn baby?”
~ For the record, I wasn’t aware bathrooms came without mould.
~ Back ache, hip ache, leg ache, round ligament pain, stretching muscles, sore joints. Heart burn and indigestion. Swollen ankles and feet. See the “it’s not about you” item above.
~ I’ve not even touched yet on the psychological impact and anxiety of stressing about all the things that could go wrong at each stage in the pregnancy.
~ All this might sound very negative, but it’s not. It’s just the way it is and despite it all, with it all, being pregnant is wonderful, and amazing, and mind-blowingly surreal.
~ There’s a baby in there. A thinking, feeling, moving, breathing – even if it is amniotic fluid – and playing baby. They play with their umbilical cords while in the womb. Grabbing it and letting it go again. It’s their first toy.
~ I’ve enjoyed every second of it so far. Every second. Even the blood noses.
~ Of course, I’m only half way through. There’s still third trimester to come yet, not to mention…
~ …The Birth…