Because I always need yoga...and I sometimes need chips.

6/28/2018

The Ten Surprising Things I've Learned about Pregnancy

I thought I had heard it all.

21 week bump!

Morning sickness sucks! Labor hurts! It's cool to feel the baby kick! But I wanted to share what I've learned - the good, bad, and the ugly (yes, yes, I know in yoga we shouldn't distinguish things as "good" or "bad," so I'll let you draw your own opinions) - about pregnancy that I never knew. And disclaimer - Everybody and every body is different, so take what I say with a grain of salt, and please consult a medical professional if something doesn't feel right. Consider this a brief preparation guide for what incubating your little spawn may feel like.

1) You will be more exhausted than you've ever been in your entire life. Like, maybe I'd heard people say, "I was really tired during my first trimester," but to me that was like saying, "I don't enjoy going to work on Mondays," or "The Bachelor is totally fake" (jk I know it's real). It's a given, right? And in today's society, everyone's stasis is being tired! It's the norm! It's a rite of passage! You're doing it wrong if you're not tired! Well, I hate to break the news to you, but you weren't actually tired before. This newly defined exhaustion that engulfed me during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy was a bloody beat-down like I had never experienced. And it doesn't matter how much extra sleep you get - you STILL won't be able to lift your head off your keyboard! And even better? It might be too early for you to feel comfortable telling anyone you're pregnant, so all of your coworkers just think you're a big giant hungover <~~(if they only knew) slacker. Hooray! 

2) You think you've had Charley horses before? Think again. My second trimester is characterized by two things: debilitating leg cramps and intense back/rib pain. Oh, and feeling the baby move, I guess. But more on the latter two in a minute. Imagine jolting out of bed at night, not once, not twice, but three times due to lightning bolt pain in the same calf. Then you're doubled over your leg, gasping for air, flexing your foot (as the interwebs have instructed you to do so), which then causes the cramp to migrate to your shin, all while your saint of a husband wakes up bewildered at the beast that is thrashing around wildly in his bed. Then you're limping around for days after because the experience was so intense! But there actually is good news on this one - There's a little something called a magnesium supplement that will make this all go away. Just learn from my mistake of enduring a month of these cramps before doing anything about them, and (after consulting your doc or midwife) start taking the magnesium the second you get one of these Level 10 Leg Destroyers.

3) Your ribs will start to expand, or your baby will press up against them, or maybe it's just gas? which really really really does not feel great. In general, I have some low back issues. Nothing too major, but just some tweakiness that I have to be mindful of. So I figured if I were to have back issues during pregnancy, that's where they would take place. Au contraire! I've recently had quite a bit of pain in my mid back, which travels around to the front of my ribs. It's so uncomfortable that it has become the norm that I come home, walk in the door, bra in my hand, and my husband says, "Did you take your bra off while driving again?" Yes, because the wire is digging into my ribs, and even though they measured me and gave me a more fitting size now that I'm a milk factory, the pain is still there. RIB PAIN people, who knew?

4) Speaking of gas. That delicate, modest flower of a lady your partner once knew and loved? She is nowhere in sight for nine months. The flatulence is real, and horrifying, and inevitable. But if you're a class act like me, you'll ever-so-calmly scream, "YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!" every time an "incident" occurs and your significant other looks at you with horror in their eyes. 

5) You will run out of breath very quickly. Walking up the stairs? Need to catch a quick breath. Standing up from your chair? Whew, feeling a little winded. Lifting that chocolate chip cookie to your lips? GASPING FOR DEAR LIFE. That whole baby-crowding-your-lungs-and-ribs thing gets you every time.

6) People will not let you lift a finger when you're pregnant. This really bothers some people. Others love it. I'm like, you know what? I'm carrying a bowling ball around that is sucking all of the magnesium out of me and karate-chopping my ribs on the reg - If you want to carry that *slightly* heavy thing for me, I appreciate you, good madam or sir.

7) Giving up pants will save your life. My husband and I were leaving to go out of town a few weeks ago. He asked me if I was packing jeans, to which I said, "I don't know if you've noticed, but I've stopped wearing pants altogether." It's summertime in Houston, which means it's 178 degrees (give or take), and I need flowy clothes that allow me to feel the breeze between my ever-growing thighs. Going pants-less is my biggest piece of unsolicited advice, YOU'RE WELCOME.

8) Pregnancy glow? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My skin hasn't looked like this since the seventh grade!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

9) The emotional roller coasters are very very real. Have I mentioned my husband is a saint? 

10) Feeling the baby move is really freaking cool. Okay, I know this is one of those common things you do hear about, but I have to emphasize its coolness. As of right now, my little Chipotle burrito (that's how big he is this week, doesn't he sound delicious?) is not big enough to be giving me ferocious punches to my gut (though I know that's a joy yet to come!), but he moves around, and I can feel it! And my husband was actually able to feel him recently, which was also very cool. Apparently my baby is quite the wiggle worm, as the technicians at my doctor's office always have to chase him around my stomach with the doppler thing to find him, and I feel him totally spazzing out every night right as I lay down to go to sleep. Out of control AND a night owl?! Jon and I are totally prepared scared shitless.


All joking aside, we have been very fortunate to have a smooth and healthy pregnancy so far, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. If you've been through pregnancy before, I'd love to hear in the comments section below about the surprising things you discovered. I'm learning so much about this process, and I know there's so much more I'm going to learn. And word on the street is the end result makes all of the aches and pains totally worth it.

(Also, I plan to remind my son regularly about all of the sacrifices I made for him, and make him repay me through foot rubs, doing dishes, and remaking '90s musicals with me to perform for his dad. Namaste.)
2 comments on "The Ten Surprising Things I've Learned about Pregnancy"
  1. My boobs grew. I swear they grew every day. I think I changed bra sizes about 5 times. And then after baby came.... they grew more! I do HIGHLY recommend H&M nursing tanks, and the soft nursing bras from motherhood maternity. (If you plan to nurse that is). Nursing. That’s a whole other beast. I had leg cramps too, those pale in comparison to the initial nipple pain you will feel. Not to mention the cracks, the bleeding.... lanolin is your new best friend.

    Jess :-) (from Sky Ranch)

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    1. Jess! OMG I feel you on the growth! And thank you for the tips, def going to check out H&M and Motherhood Maternity. Oh the many many joys. :)

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