What (not) to Expect When You’re Expecting

November 1, 2012

What did you least expect when you were pregnant?

Bump shots

For me it was the following:

  • Going off one of my favourite things – avocados – to the extent that even now, the thought of them makes me feel queasy
  • The multitude of bizarre pregnancy symptoms I had. Extreme thirst? Dry nose? Incredibly intense dreams? Yep, all of the above…
  • Despite developing a sweet tooth and cravings for strawberry milkshake, I was more healthy than I have been in forever. I ate three square meals a day, had my five a day, drank an awful lot of water and still walked up the tube escalators at eight and a bit months pregnant
  • Having a high-risk pregnancy meant I was under consultant-led care, with a multitude of ongoing medical appointments, extra scans and so many blood tests combined with daily injections that I felt like a human pin cushion. Basically, it meant spending a LOT more time at the hospital than I’d imagined
  • However, I also didn’t expect pregnancy to be as amazing as it was. I absolutely loved it, despite some not-so-great bits, and I still feel really nostalgic now when I think about it

There is an awful lot of information and advice around health during pregnancy, and it can be difficult for parents-to-be to know what to do for the best. This is where Start4Life comes in – it’s an initiative from the Department of Health that aims to give mums and mums-to-be tips and advice on issues such as nutrition, obesity, activity, alcohol and smoking.

What did you least expect when you were expecting?



  • Domestic Goddesque

    November 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

    The most unexpected thing: not immediately falling in love with my much-longed-for child. NOT crying with joy and kissing the husband and having the cinematic childbirth moment. Yes, I was *that* naive.

  • iain maciver

    November 1, 2012 at 11:02 am

    wanting to eat alot of strange things

  • Happygomummy

    November 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    to be on crutches for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy!

  • sarah jessica

    November 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Having children when i was told i couldn’t have any!

  • sarah jessica

    November 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    i have liked you on facebook too 🙂

  • MumReinvented

    November 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    My 10 year old was a surprise and her 10 month old brother was also a bit of a surprise as I’d given up trying – he also showed up 15 days late on Christmas Day which was definitely a shock!

  • anna

    November 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    my 2nd child was quite unexpected but a great suprise!

  • anna

    November 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    ive also liked the fb page!

  • Ashleigh

    November 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Being so ill with morning sickness and ending up in hospital with it several times x

  • Julie (Mama Owl)

    November 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

    The most unexpected thing was that the birth wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was going to be. People are quick to share their horror stories, you never hear much about the wonderful experiences!

  • Hazel Christopher

    November 2, 2012 at 11:18 am

    The most unexpected thing to happen to me was when my son was born 6 1/2wks early! I so wasn’t prepared for that 🙂

    Also a fan on Facebook x

  • Maria Alford

    November 2, 2012 at 11:33 am

    The most unexpected thing was discovering what huge quantities of toast and marmalade I was able to consume!! It was also unexpected to have a baby that weighed less than 7lbs, especially considering all the toast and marmalade I’d eaten, and we had to go out and buy smaller nappies etc!

  • Lisa

    November 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    The most unexpected thing for me was discovering that I was pregnant after doctors telling me it was unlikely I would be able to conceive. It was a wonderful surprise and I am now a very excited mummy-to-be!

  • sarah rees

    November 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

    not being able to sit down properly for what seemed like forever after… lol

  • Laurie Watson

    November 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I least expected the sense that I had an alien growing inside me. I mostly thought I’d love pregnancy but often felt my body was not my own. Thanks for bringing up this topic!

  • Nicole Beauchamp

    November 3, 2012 at 10:39 am

    The most unexpected thing was suffering really bad from heartburn which made life really uncomfortable.

  • olivia kirby

    November 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

    The most unexpected thing was to meet my husband in a sweaty club in Coventry, fall in love and have 3 beautiful children. Never thought I’d be that blessed.

  • olivia kirby

    November 3, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I like your FB page

  • Emily

    November 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I think just becoming pregnant – even though I wanted a baby it is still such a huge step and such a shock when it actually happens.

  • Kate on Thin Ice

    November 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Not relevant for me to enter the competition but a great post all the same.

  • Anna

    November 4, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Meeting my fiancé…but thats a whole other story!

  • Anna

    November 4, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Fan of your fb page (Anna-Louise Brown)


  • Jan

    November 4, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Looks like a great film! Mine would have to be recently when I bumped into an old school friend who I believed to be deceased!

  • Jan

    November 4, 2012 at 2:36 am

    I’m a fan of A Baby on Board

    Jan Atkinson


  • Sarah M

    November 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Finding out my sister was expecting twins!

  • Sarah M

    November 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I like baby on board on fb

    FB name sarah louise

  • Emily Dew

    November 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I love your pregnancy shots.
    We took a photo of my side profile every 2 weeks so I can do a flip book showing growing tummy!
    Best bit of being preggers was feeling baby kicking and somersaulting around – I still miss it. Oh, and seats on trains (when wearing baby on board badge.)
    Worst bit was not being able to sleep on my back (or sleep much at all in the last week!)
    But overall I loved it just like you did – all the positive comments from people (friends and strangers) and all that hope and expectation!!

    Great blog as always x x

  • Laura Bovington

    November 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Chatting to a lady on the bus when she asks if I was happy that I had 2 boys, seeing my 3 yr old and newborn sitting in the double buggy, or would I have liked to have had a girl. Oh, I have 3 boys and 2 girls actually. The look on her face was fab! 🙂

  • Louise

    November 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Going into labour 2 weeks early with my first born.

  • Louise

    November 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Facebook name: Louise Bowman

  • Emma

    November 6, 2012 at 5:20 am

    1) breast feeding was so much harder than I thought it would be
    2) I could feel so good after 1.5 hours sleep
    3) that our baby would be so tiny (we’re both tall) that an emergency dash to John Lewis was necessary
    4) the level of fierce protectiveness I could feel
    So many more, she continues to surprise me most days!

  • Turkishmum

    November 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Heartburn! It was horrible and it was constant.

  • WaitingOnBaby

    November 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Most unexpected thing was losing my sweet tooth and overall appetite for anything vaguely tasty! And despite everything I’d heard, the last thing I wanted was fruit & veg. My breakfast of wheat crunchies on the commute in might explain my daughter’s unhealthy obsession with savoury snacks at 22 months…oops! KG

  • Claire Ryan

    November 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    After going into labour, with regular contractions on a Saturday evening and thinking aha, this is it…my baby’s on his way! Then not having him arrive until the Tuesday. I didn’t expect that!

  • shirley

    November 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I expected to feel fat and ugly but i never did,I bloomed with best skin and hair ever(so did my daughter)I never wanted my pregnancy stage to end.

  • carol stirmey

    November 8, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I went for scan on liver and kidneys after rapid weight loss, to be told I was pregnant, 10 days later I had a baby.

  • Laura Pritchard

    November 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Having a lovely quick, fairly pain free smug-inducing labour – that was an unexpected & pleasant surprise after psyching myself up for 9 months!

  • Donna Lawton

    November 11, 2012 at 8:49 am

    The thing that surprised me the most was how funny child birth was! One example was when the midwife said to me during labour “Would you like to know the colour of your babies hair?”. I said yes and she said “It’s black”.

    I looked at my hubby (blonde) and myself (light brown). Odd.

    Then another midwife appeared and looked and said “The babies coming out backwards”. (The black sadly was the meconium)…but this is where the humour comes in……

    My first reaction was “Oh no, my baby has a hairy bum!!!!!”. LOL

    My little girl ended up having 3 operations before she was 1 year old. She was in a full body cast for 3 months but all is going pretty well now. x

  • Kate

    November 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    My most unexpected thing that happened to me was a fact that I met my husband on skype when I was not looking for a boyfriend at all! 🙂

  • Laura Harris

    November 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Becoming pregnant after being with my partner after just 3 months together….10 years on and we’re still riding the rough with the smooth!

  • liz denial

    November 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    getting a birthday kiss off Olly Murs & Dermot O’Leary in Kenya after their trek across the desert for comic relief

  • Sally Carter

    November 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Not feeling quite as weepy as I had been told to expect – a blessing.

  • Louise O’Carroll

    November 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Everybody says that when you’re pregnant you glow and look and feel amazing, this is a lie! I had 8 months of chronic morning sickness, SPD where your pelvis seperates and you need crutches just to be able to walk a small distance in absolote agony, you go off tea, coffee and CHOCOLATE! stretch marks itch like crazy, you struggle to get comfortable enough to sleep and then 25hrs of hard natural labour, but yes it is worth it, despite needing emergency surgery 5 months later to have my gall bladder removed I have enjoyed every precious moment in both my sons lives, I remember uttering the words ‘Im never doing that again’ once I delivered my second son, but in all honesty he is 5 next week and yes I would do it all again xx p.s I love what to expect, such a funny movie

  • Vicky Limerick

    November 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    The instant tiredness

  • Lynne Donnelly

    November 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    The most unexpected thing for me is that I’ve got to 30 weeks pregnant now and still have no bump! I’m sure people think I’m making it up that I’m having a baby.

  • Shelley Hawkins

    November 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    i am a vegitarian but found myself craving steak on my 1st pregnancy.

  • kayleigh bates

    November 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    My daughter arriving 13 weeks early on my wedding night, yep still cant believe it now lol

    1. gillian

      November 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Wow – talk about timing! Is she OK now?


    November 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Finding a huge 8cm ovarian cyst during my first ultrasound scan! No idea it was there and has luckily been removed after having my first baby.

  • Angela Glynn

    November 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    The most unexpected thing for me was that this whole pregnancy thing works! It’s incredible that you can make a whole new person from scratch and that they arrive all in one piece! Wow!

  • Janet Dixon

    November 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    My ,most unexpected thing was my best friend ringing last week to tell me the scan showed twins !!! would love to win this to give to him and his girlfriend.

  • Andy Dommett

    November 12, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Not winning the lottery. It seems so easy….

  • Jennifer Prismall

    November 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I wasn’t expecting to crave steak with my 2nd child – I usually don’t like it!
    Also, wasn’t expecting my 2nd child to be a week late and weigh less than my 1st baby, as I had heard that 2nd babies usually arrived earlier and were heavier!

  • Hayley bolt

    November 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    All the funny cravings

  • angela sandhu

    November 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Not expecting to have my water break at 30 weeks and be stuck in hospital for 2 weeks waiting for him to arrive.

  • Solange

    November 13, 2012 at 12:42 am

    A boy when it was supposed to be a girl

  • Cheryl Pearson

    November 14, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I didn’t expect the “baby blues”. Oh, they were awful. hit me like a ton of bricks that my life was never going to be the same again, and that I was not “good enough” for my son.

  • emma

    November 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    getting pregnant naturally after 2 years trying, pcos, 2 operations and 3 failed rounds of clomid! I’m now 23 weeks and loving every minute.

  • andrea miles

    November 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

    my water’s breaking in reception as I was being transferred to labour ward

  • christine

    November 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Didnt expect that at 8 months pregnant people were still unsure if I was pregnant or had just been eating too much chocolate!! Ohhh and the other great thing …. not to have hormonal acne whilst pregnant!!!!

  • louise connor

    November 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Giving birth to an 11lb baby naturally after being told she was going to be normal size!!!!! ha ha shock or what….

  • Annette Benjamin

    November 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    The most unexpected thing for me so far was to be told that I’m expecting identical twin boys early in the new year!

  • Nick Hopkins

    November 17, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I didn’t expect my wife to show such strength and courage.

  • Dot

    November 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

    It hasn’t happened yet……..It’s winning this competiton.

  • Shannon Wilson

    November 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I didn’t expect all the crazy cravings! PS liked on Facebook 🙂

  • Eleanor Powell

    November 17, 2012 at 10:58 am

    The sickness I had with my second baby as my first was textbook perfect

  • Trudi Walsh

    November 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I’m in my 3rd trimester and over the last few weeks I’ve been having the oddest dreams, one which springs to mind is the buffalo one, I dreamt that there was a buffalo that followed me everywhere and kept me safe, like a guardian angel!

  • Jo Kelly

    November 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I didn’t expect how weird it would feel when baby was bigger & moving around inside. Don’t get me wrong, I was so excited about meeting baby & so totally in love but I just couldn’t get used to all those huge movements – especially under the ribs :O

  • Jo Kelly

    November 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Also following you on FB 🙂 x

  • Kimberley Howes

    November 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Finding out I had a girl when the doctors told me all throughout my whole pregnancy it was going to be a boy. I was shocked, but in great way of course 🙂

  • Janine Atkin

    November 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    labour! id been waiting nine month for it to happen and when it did i was still shocked! duhh! but it was more shock that omg, this is it. i will actually see my baby!

  • Claire Butler

    November 18, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Having my son after 10 nyears of miscarriages

  • emma kinsey

    November 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

    had to be sickness too in hospital for 5 months as i couldnt eat ior drink

  • Cat Adams

    November 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I craved and ate chalk (apparently quite common!) and wanted to lick newly painted walls (!?) …I dreamt of flying pigs … and woke up every morning at 3am from about 20wks..(should have known that was a sign of things to come lol! ) and had a chat with my very lively bump ..it took me over ten years to get there and I was about to give up on my dream of being a Mummy, but I loved being pregnant..I had multiple scares, bled early on.. they thought I was leaking waters at 22 wks, ended up eye sight going whilst driving at 36wks due to pre eclampsia…being induced… pessary shoved in ended up giving me bladder spasms (which I thought were contractions)…failed to induce..so went on drip …then they couldn’t stop contractions …which did nothing 8hrs later heartbeat of baby not good…tried one epidural in case of c section …failed….tried second epidural ..different anesthetist….that failed … consultant anesthetist called out tried again….that failed … rushed in for emergency c section … then as I was about to be put out..I was asked if I would let another lady go first who had an abruption and she was bleeding so badly both her and her baby would have died …but they couldn’t guarantee my baby would be ok …’JUST DO IT!’ I shouted and before I knew it I was out as well and the next thing I knew was a while later seeing my Mum hold my precious little baby boy, he had been born with the cord around his neck twice and also in a knot so he would not have survived a normal birth (someone was looking out for me somewhere not letting the epidurals work!) … he is worth every ounce of heartache/tears/drug side effects/sickness/bleeding/being poked & prodded/procedures/pre-eclampsia ..whatever …he is my little miracle (and the mischievious little 3am waker lasted a while!) So whatever they tell you it may be smooth sailing or you may have every problem in the book…but as long as they arrive safe and well everything else will sort itself out… I know I am lucky ..so lucky ..my dream came true.

  • Gillian Holmes

    November 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

    How the smell of tar became strangely attractive.

  • Sarah Williams

    November 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Not expecting to have any sleep for months and months due to baby kicking constantly while pregnant (after 7 months) and then not having any sleep when baby was first born – due to constant breastfeeding and wrestless nights with baby.

  • Maria Jane Knight

    November 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I didnt expect to be rhesus negative, i was unaware of what time meant until a blood test during pregnancy. Ive had lots of bloody tests over the years and was never told by my gp what my blood type was.

  • jess cambridge

    November 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    The most unexpected thing for me was when i got into college i really thought i messed up my interview (i frozze on the spot and just mumbled :/) but turns i manged to get in 😀

  • Nicole

    November 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Getting pregnant so quickly with my first!

  • kristy brown

    November 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    The most unexpected thing…….been pregnant! I was told 9 weeks before I found out I would never have a child, and found out the day before millenium eve! Shocked was the understatement of my life!

  • Emma Carrington

    November 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Missing my bump after gave birth

  • Emma K

    November 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    The most unexpected thing was to find out I was expecting!

  • Joanne Crosby

    November 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Being so afraid of the labour then it only lasting two hours from start to finish, for the first baby.

  • Annamarie Riddiford

    November 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    being proposed to

  • Christina Michael

    November 19, 2012 at 3:00 am

    I did not bloom during any of my pregnancies

  • Olivia Wright

    November 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I am only 13 weeks but from about week 6 i have had conjunctivitis in my right eye! At first i thought it was just a twitch (which i hear is common in early pregnancy!) but after a few days it turned into a full blown infection. I consulted my doctor and they said its nothing to worry about and it will go when my body starts to adjust to having a new little person on board! Very strange and a little uncomfortable but it has taken my mind off all the super sickness ive been having and is a constant reminder that in a few months i will be a mummy, very exciting!

  • Tracy Gladman

    November 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Myself and my husband were told that we would never have children naturally due to my many problems and confirmation from all the tests I had undertaken. We were put on a waiting list for IVF treatment. I was told that as I couldn’t fall pregnant naturally there was no point me taking the pill. I stopped taking the pill and within 6 weeks I was pregnant naturally with my daughter. Needless to say we were absolutely delighted. I did try for another child but it never happened so I just say to myself that she was a miracle that was meant to be.

  • Tracy Gladman

    November 19, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Have liked your facebook page

  • S Ripley

    November 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

    It was my partners birthday, the school rang and sent my daughter home with chicken pox, and the same night my waters broke 3 weeks before our due date. talk about everything happening at once!

  • S Ripley

    November 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

    also following on facebook

  • lindsay chadburn

    November 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I didnt expect to get diabetes when i was pregnant

  • Adrian Clarke

    November 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Having a very strong sense of smell!

  • Nicola Aldridge

    November 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    My most unexpected thing to happen to me was probably finding out i was pregnant for the second time, I had not long miscarried , got married and conceived during the honeymoon but i didnt know for a while as i still continued to gety my period , so when i started being ill with the same stuff from my first pregnancy i did a test and there was the positive result 😀 one of the best moments of my life! linked to that was when i went scan thinking i was 10 weeks and i was further along 😉

  • sue willshee

    November 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    my most unexpected thing was needing an emergency caesarian and feeling like such a failre afterwards. It’s really strange but because baby wasn’t born ‘normally’ I felt like ~I hadn’t done it properly! It didn’t affect how much I adored her, just made me feel pretty useless because I assumed it would all go to plan.
    I felt like that all the way through until baby number 2 was born (normally I’m pleased to say) and suddenly I felt much better.

  • Kirsty Fox

    November 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    The most unexpected thing that ever happened to me was being told by my cousin an hour before we were going out that she and her then boyfriend had arranged a blind date between me and his friend. We met his friend Robert in a nightclub and 16 years and two children later we are still together!!


  • Kirsty Fox

    November 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I like A Baboy On Board on Facebook – Kirsty Fox

  • Stacey Guilliatt

    November 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Falling pregnant when I never thought I would!

  • karen dixon

    November 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    i’ve found it so unexpected that it is so hard to fall pregnant – hopefully soon

  • siobhan marie

    November 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    getting pregnant x

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