What are the things that no-one ever tells you about being pregnant and having a baby?
Congratulations, you’re pregnant! It’s all floaty kaftans and graceful, naval gazing introspection from here right the way through to your pain-free hypnobirth…isn’t it? Well, kind of.
While pregnancy is different from woman to woman, and even from pregnancy to pregnancy, there’s one thing that’s the same throughout. A whole host of weird and wonderful happenings that are never really mentioned, especially not in glossy magazine interviews. It’s what the heavily PR’d celebrity handbooks won’t tell you. But your best friend will, if she’s drunk enough.
So here’s a recap of the things that people don’t really talk about; what no-one ever tells a first-time mum about pregnancy. This post is for anyone, positive test in hand, who’s wondering; what really happens now?
Pregnancy is not an elegant time; from weeing on sticks and into tiny pots, to sweeps that have nothing to do with the puppet, getting around with a giant bump, to lying legs akimbo in the delivery room, and having the whole world see your boobs forever after (or at least, as long as you breastfeed). Your dignity flies out of the window the minute the sperm meets the egg. But the good news? You need never fear a smear test again, and the second time round you’re too tired to care about any of these things.
Pregnancy is not at all like you see on the TV. Morning sickness doesn’t have to involve actually being sick just in the morning, or indeed being sick at all, and it’s normal to have cravings that aren’t pickles and ice-cream. Don’t worry if yours doesn’t seem to be ‘textbook.’ No-one’s is (always ask your midwife if you’re worried though).
Pregnancy symptoms are strange, and there are hundreds of them. Leg cramps in the middle of the night, nausea, aches and pains, dry noses, vivid dreams, super-human clumsiness – almost anything can be blamed on hormones.
You cry a lot, a lot of the time. For a myriad of complicated reasons that no-one will understand, not even yourself. And it’s not pretty crying, as I found out at my friend’s wedding when I burst into chest-heaving sobs a month before I could safely explain why.
Heartburn during pregnancy. Indigestion, Wind. Need I say more? It’s all glamour.
Strange things will happen to your bellybutton. It will stretch, flatten, pop out, or worse, half pop out. My husband naturally thinks this is hilarious. I don’t want to talk about it *sob*.
Labour. It’s just like bad period pains, honestly*
(*this is what my mum actually told me, and I believed her).
But the good news? There’s the excitement of the positive test. The first scan. Hearing the heartbeat. Baby kicks, knowing you’re growing a new life and the anticipation that you’re going to meet them really, really soon.
It’s a magical, awesome and life-changing time. That’s one thing the pregnancy manuals will tell you that’s actually true. Trust me.