Before you get pregnant people mutter about how they had a long labour or their baby weighed 24lb and in the last 2 months of their pregnancy they peed all the time. It’s true, some babies are big and they don’t exactly just slide out without damage. And yep apparently I’ll pee a lot more by the end. But you know the thing that pissed me off? That nobody told me the real nitty-gritty. I don’t care that you took 48 hours to have your 24lber. I do care that nobody told me the truth, including the baby books – which are almost all awful. Truly awful. And useless. An often hilarious. One book I got from the thrift store had birth photos that bordered on porn and the first photo – with no warning – was a shot of the baby crowning. Yikes! So with my official 20 week mark coming tomorrow here’s what I have learnt the hard way:
- You’ll pee your brains out right from the start. I was all prepared to pee more as I got bigger but I was a little freaked out at the constant need to pee immediately. Apparently it’s because your uterus changes shape and is normal. But it was also winter and our toilet seat is just plain cold at 1am. Also at 2.30am and 5am. And not very warm at 7am either.
- You’ll have a thirst to rival that of a….very thirsty person. Yeah sorry words failed me. But you’ll be utterly alarmed at how you are suddenly (and often while you’re up to pee) desperately thirsty – like you’ve not had a drop of water all week. Which is usually why you’ll have to get up to pee again in another hour. It’s one of those things though like itching an unbearable itch – that glass of water will feel so good going down. Also totally normal – you’re increasing your blood volume by about 20%, you need fluid.
- You’ll want to eat McDonalds like never before. This one may vary (pizza featured highly too) but man in that first trimester people are rabbiting on to you about fruit and vegetables and you’re thinking “Shut up and pass me the greasy, salty fries.” It’s to do with the body going through a fit of carbo loading. And frankly all I cared about in the first trimester was eating whatever wanted to stay down without trying to come back up. Their burgers are all revolting but oh, their french fries with more salt than is decent are good.
- Gagging. I haven’t vomited despite coming close a few times. I do however gag at everything. Coughing ends in gagging. Putting out the rubbish. Gagfest. Even trying to get a hair out of my mouth had me gagging. It’s pretty awful but frankly if it ain’t vomiting I’ll consider it a win.
- Gas. Both ends. Normal. Disgusting but normal. Sporadic thank God.
- Sleep. Or lack of it. This one is the one that pissed me off the most. People ay things like “Oh, you better get al the sleep you can cos once the baby arrives….(knowing looks here)” If anyone ever says that to you then tell them to f*** off. Seriously. If I’ve had a full nights sleep since I get pregnant then I do not remember it. At first it was the constant need to pee. Then it was mixed with pregnancy insomnia. It’s not like normal insomnia. Oh no, it’s worse. I bet you didn’t know that there was anything worse than regular insomnia. You’ll wake up 5 times a night because someone 5 miles away coughed. Or you rolled over. Or just because. You’ll then take an hour to fall asleep again. And you’ll wake up about an hour later. Every night until you go insane. Seriously, who wakes up because they rolled over? And each time you wake you’ll find yourself debating whether you can hold on until you wake up next time or if you have to pee now. Apparently it’s natures way of preparing you for the lack of sleep once the baby is born. I miss sleep. Real deep sleep.
- Pooping. Sorry but I have to mention it. You’ll either back up so tightly it’s frightening and takes an hour to pass something that feels like giving birth and is only the size of a freaking pea. Or you’ll poop so often you can’t believe there’s that much in one person. 5 times a day sometimes. Either way pregnancy suddenly makes the consistency of your poop a very big issue in terms of comfort – or scheduling if you’re a constant pooper. Drink lots of water.
- Breathing. If you come to (roughly) the start of the second trimester and suddenly start huffing and puffing like a 90-year-old chain smoker when you take a small walk on flat ground when you could previously charge up hills like an Ironman don’t panic. It’s truly frightening how pathetic I have become but yes, like almost every other thing it is ‘normal’. It is your body diverting extra oxygen to the baby and giving you the carbon dioxide. You definitely get the rough end of that deal but it’s a pretty cool way of giving the baby all the lovely oxygen they need.
- The changing size of your bump. Or blob as it starts out (well for fatties like me). One day it’s big, next it’s not. Even within an hour it changes. And sometimes it goes pointy.
- Nesting. Not just for women in labour who end up cleaning the bathroom tiles with a toothbrush. I built a cupboard last weekend. Got all 40kg+ of it out of the box, screwed it together, nailed the back on (the wrong way but whatever). I only needed (allowed really) Dave to hang the doors on because I was too short. And also because it turned out I had screwed the hinge mounts on the wrong way which is why I couldn’t hang the doors when I tried. Nesting wont get the dishes done or the floor vacuumed or mopped. It will get the stove top cleaned to within an inch of its life. And the ceilings cleaned. And the outside of the house hosed down. You will regret it the next day but you will be so manic about it that you just can’t stop til that last little speck of burnt on gunk is gone from the stove top.
So I think that’s everything that nobody told me about pregnancy. Or the best I can remember while dealing with baby brain.