We had my daughter young, not “teen mom” young, but I was 24 and the first among my friends to get pregnant. We had no base of knowledge for pregnancy and every bumpy experience was new.
Fast-forward nine and a half years to finding out we are expecting again. It has been so long since I’ve been pregnant I forgot all the “interesting” things that take place in those nine months when my body is held captive by a tiny, adorable, invader. 9 ½ years is a long time between pregnancies, here’s a list of things I forgot in that time:
Everyone knows you gain weight during pregnancy. Everyone has also heard the recommendations for gaining between 25 and 35 lbs through the course of your pregnancy. What they don’t tell you is that those lbs are not all “baby weight” there is so much bloating.
I’m talking bloat on top of bloat. Like your engagement and wedding rings? Find a safe place to store them for the next 9 months because sausage fingers are a truth. Favorite pair of shoes? Unless they look like something Ronald McDonald would have in his closet kiss them goodbye.
- Vivid Dreams
I guess this one doesn’t happen to everyone, but I for one have incredibly realistic dreams. And not fun ones either. I can’t fly or breathe underwater or anything cool. I usually have a very realistic dream that I leave my baby in a Target cart in the parking lot and drive away. Then I wake up in a cold sweat completely convinced that DCFS is knocking on my door with the baby at 3 am to arrest me for negligence.
So much for catching up on sleep before baby’s arrival.
- Bleeding Gums
OK, I know this is gross. I also know that it all could be fixed with rigorous dental hygiene, but, if I’m honest, flossing for me is more of a do-it-when-I-remember-it thing than a part of my twice-daily brushing routine. My dentist hates me.
Anyway, pregnant women are way more susceptible to infections and germs – including gingivitis, which translates to bloody gums. I’ve increased flossing and Listerine swishing which has stopped it. Just another glamorous bonus of growing a child.
- Exploding Boobs from Hell
Most people refer to these as “Tender Breasts,” but I think my description is more accurate. Boob pain is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy but no one really tells you how painful it actually is. During the first trimester even awesome water pressure is your enemy. Your soon-to-be baby bags should be treated with the utmost delicacy to avoid massive discomfort. Luckily this eases by trimester two, but it’s a doozy while it lasts.
- Rapidly Expanding Bump
For the first 5 months of pregnancy I was stuck in what I call the Pizza-or-Pregnant stage. While my belly definitely started getting bigger, most of my baby weight found its way to my now ample (see: HUGE) butt and the aforementioned Exploding Boobs from Hell. Somewhere between weeks 22 and 26 my bump appeared out of nowhere and shows no sign of slowing. Gone are the days of belly sleeping and full meals that I can still move after.
- Alien Gymnastics
Once the baby starts getting big enough that others can feel his movements, he will definitely be using your uterus as a tumbling mat. As I write this, my littlest is currently mistaking my ribs for a xylophone.
I love feeling the baby move, and seeing his mystery limbs make an appearance as he stretches. My husband on the other hand is completely freaked out that there is a tiny human inside of me trying to get out. He is just waiting for THAT scene in Alien to happen and prove him right. In the meantime, my 9-year-old has taken to mocking him by following him around the house yelling “Touch the Belly!” This delights me to no end.
As we round out the 3rd trimester all sorts of soreness and stretching are taking over, making me even more eager to meet this little guy who’s already altered our lives so much.