What to REALLY expect when you’re expecting

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.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “What to REALLY expect when you’re expecting

  1. Jen

    I never craved McDs
    but I also sniff hard (couldnt afford to buy) as i was going past KFC when i was preggy with my daughter almost 21 years ago (shes 20 next week)

    even bread use to come me gag when i was preggy with all my kids

    I was also ripped off with my youngest by not only being sick the first 3 months but the last 3 too – you did want to know!!

  2. toastandcupcakes

    Ahh yes, the joys huh? Wait til you get to the last part… reflux 24/7 (if you don’t already have it), aches and cramps places you never knew you could get them, hemorrhoids (if you’re lucky enough), crazy vivid dreams about birth and babies.. and then there’s the post-birth delights.. how-eee.
    Lucky these kids are so damn cute, huh?

  3. Congratulations on your baby girl! I just had our little girl a week ago, I was so relieved as it meant I could finally stop cleaning! I drove myself mad dusting, scrubbing the impulse was overwhelming. I totally hear you with the insomnia, people were constantly telling me to enjoy my sleep before baby came, as if, I was up every hour peeing and then would just lie there for hours wide awake. The last week I was averaging maybe 4 hours of restless sleep on a good night! Now that she is here I am having the most wonderful head hits the pillow dead to the world sleep, total bliss.

  4. Sarah

    For me it was cheese and onion crisp (walkers – its an English brand, I didn’t want to try other brands or flavours) that was with my daughter. Then with my little boy it was Fab ice lollies, almost by the box full. Luckily most of the unpleasant parts of pregnancy fade in your ‘baby brain’ once the baby is born. Sarah

  5. glenda

    I actually don’t recall any of those being issues for me except the sleep and nesting things :::ducking & running:::.

    During my last trimester, I often woke for the day at 3:00 a.m., so I pretty quickly realized I should go on into work and work until noon or early afternoon while I was !!AWAKE!!, and then end my day when I started getting tired. I was fortunate to have an employer who let me do that.

    The Christmas I was pregnant, I decided to decorate our tree while my hubby and brother were at a hockey game. I got the lights all put on, then decided they didn’t look quite right so I took them off and RE-DID the whole dang thing, and added all the ornaments!! No stinkin’ way I’d ever do that again LOL, but I was full of crazy energy back then ;-).

  6. Hmmmmm. So you’re not enjoying it then?

  7. Nooo not McD’s…I liked sandwiches of natural yoghurt and salt and vinegar crisps( which I hate!). Constant vomitting( including in the street!).Constant exhaustion, yet lack of sleep- you will have to get used to getting up for feeds so get the hang of that one! WHat about sick all the time- coughs.colds etc?
    I put up a 6 foot bookshelf with a nailfile because hubby had gone off in the car with the tools and I just HAD to have the shelves up then!-you wait til the REAL nesting comes in, I cleaned the tops of the doors??!!
    The last 2 weeks of pregnancy last about as long as the first 6 months with the baby.
    Don’t get me started on labour, childbirth and breast feeding!!

    Then both my sons told me they love me “so much” today…and suddenly it is all worth it!

  8. Oh and the “love you so much” bit I just wrote- probably had you sobbing with the gorgeousness of it all? I sobbed at lame daytime soaps- everything!

  9. No-one tells you these things because then no-one would get pregnant! The sleep issues – well they are to prepare you for what’s to come 😉
    Personally I didn’t get a full night’s sleep for years but it didn’t really bother me too much. Kids are better than sleep!!
    Good luck with the third trimester….oh and if you think pooing is like giving birth (no matter how big it was) you are so, so, so far off the mark – just putting it out there – bahaha
    But seriously – it’s an amazing process and one that I have never, ever, ever regretted. And to be honest, even with all the aches and pains (I had problems with my pubis symphysis) and everything thing else – I still thought it was magical. Until I was two weeks late (with both boys) and then it was downright irritating!!

  10. definitely with you on the carbs and salt. and the puffing. oh yes, the gas too. thankfully, i’m remaining quite averse to the whole nesting and cleaning malarkey – cuts too much into the knitting time… sleep well!

  11. Remember now–you asked. When I was pegnant with the youngest, the last month I had terrible gas. I got up early one morning to make breakfast for my hub’s and every step I took down the stairs i farted. Every move I made resulted in more farting. I’d turn to switch on the stove and poof! Bent to reach into the cupboard for the pan and poof! Waddle to the fridge and poof! poof! poof! I was so disgusted with myself that I just sat on the floor bawling my eyes out. Needless to say I didn’t leave the house very much the last few weeks and even though it was winter the windows were cracked open. I can laugh about it now but it was very frustrating. Yet, when the doctor placed my almost nine pound baby girl in my arms I told him I would do it all over again. It will be soo worth it when you see your own baby for the first time. 🙂

  12. Steph, so much of this sounds distressingly familiar! It is a big consolation to me that we’re both going through the hard bits, though, and that one of is isn’t all ‘la la la pregnancy is AMAZING’! I’m now getting lots of typical third trimester symptoms – no room in my tummy for food (so it hurts whenever I eat), not enough lung room (so I’m breathless a lot of the time), big bump preventing me from being able to sleep comfortably, ever… and I’ve got 17 flipping weeks of it to go. Anybody who has twins and then chooses to get pregnant again is a certifiable lunatic, in my opinion.

  13. lol, sounds like I have lots to look forward too when I finally get pregnant:) Lucky babies are totaly awesome, maybe on purpose to thank their mums for all they went through to bring them into the world. Agreed about the pram obsessing being necissary, ive gone through lots of prams, only 2 of them flat out broke (one cost $300 and broke in less than a year!) but ive gone through quite a few second hand ones that just didnt work well. What pram are you getting? I got a mountain buggy with a scooter toddler board. Great for off roading and a bit of jogging if I get keen apparently:) Expensive but I have a feeling it will be worth the $$ in the years to come. I managed to save $130 as baby buntings shop was able to price match an online shop (i only found this out through a friend so deffinately see if your store will price match incase you can get yourself a good deal!

    • Hey Karen,
      I’ve heard that these prams are excellent – it would have been my choice if I had to do it over again. I had an Emmaljunga which was passed on to me by my sister (Els) who had two babies in it – and it got passed on again. In the end I think it saw seven kids through from birth to toddlerhood and it was still going. This is one item, in my experience, that is worth researching and spending money on.
      L
      x

      • hey levin, I remember you suggesting mountain buggy to me a few years back, that’s what made me start looking into them:) Mum had the same Emmaljunga for us and I still remember sitting up top in the toddler seat lol good times

  14. Congratulations!!!!! I am way behind on my blog reading.

    I have had McDs twice in my entire life. And that was during my pregnancy.

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