1. Morning sickness doesn’t always end in the first trimester and can start and stop weeks or months at a time.
I had “severe/acute morning sickness” from 5 to 16 weeks. I had to take medication to control it–which really meant limit my getting sick to 2 times a day and feeling nauseous for the rest of the day. Then, it stopped from 17 to about 33…and came back mildly from 34 weeks on! I’m sorry if you had to deal with it and may be a little jealous if you haven’t had to.
2. If taking steroids and/or additional hormones, you may (probably will) gain excess (water) weight faster and in some weird places (boobs, back, neck, arms). Watching your diet, having morning sickness, and exercise won’t combat the gain either.
3. Swelling is painful. Really painful! I have never experienced the swelling and skin tightening like this ever before.
All but 2 pairs of shoes NO LONGER fit thanks to swelling and the water retention from the steroids and excess hormones!
4. Sleeping is difficult and you may not sleep again at normal times or through the night. I have let it go that I’ll be able to “catch up” on/store sleep before baby gets here.
I’ve never understood those two terms “catch up on” and “storing” sleep. You’re body isn’t like a savings account at a bank! If you sleep a day away, you’ve just slept a lot, you may have helped yourself and be rested for the day, but you aren’t going to be able to dip into the sleep bank in 2 months when you’re exhausted…
5. While you may not have weird cravings, what you do crave you will want. Right. Away. No exceptions. I may or may not be speaking from personal (constant) experience.
Potatoes. Chocolate. A fizzy drink. HAND IT OVER, NOW!
6. Pregnancy is hard! Everyone I’ve run into makes it seem like a walk in the park. With glowing skin, no visible signs of hot flashes, and being 100% comfortable in their own skin. It’s not like that for everyone and that’s ok. You can be (and most likely are) grateful to be pregnant, but pregnancy doesn’t always agree with everyone’s body!
I don’t feel like it’s agreed with my body and I finally (at 30+ weeks) cut myself some slack. Between weight gain, increased issues with my GERD, anxiety, and body image issues, it’s been hard. With that being said, I am INCREDIBLY grateful to be pregnant and will do it again to give this baby a sibling in the future.
7. You can be thrilled and grateful to be pregnant and still have to deal with depression, anxiety, and/or may not like how your body is handling pregnancy/looking. It’s ok, but make sure you get help from your support people, if necessary.
My anxiety SKY ROCKETED! Every turn, bump, pain, or even lack of symptoms (and feeling good) scared me to no end. It was debilitating not knowing if any movement was harming him. Thank goodness for healthcare professionals who caught it and helped me without making me feel shameful!
8. Do NOT read EVERY baby/parenting book out there. It’s overwhelming, there is a lot of unnecessary information on random medical issues, and just too many opinions on everything.
Read, or skim, a few of them. Be prepared. Know when to stop; I didn’t and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress. I would rent a bundle of books from the library and skim them. THEN, if I liked what I read, I’d buy the book. It cut down on expenses (books aren’t cheap) and feeling overwhelmed by all the information. I only ended up buying 1 book and saving another in my Amazon cart for when it is needed.
9. Nesting will come out of nowhere and you’ll be unable to control it. Everything will feel like it needs to be completed immediately.
Make a list, move slowly, and know that it may feel like nothing is getting done, while everything is. I have a huge ever-expanding list that you wouldn’t believe. For me, it helps to see all the things we’ve completed versus all the things left to do.
10. You do you! I’ve had many people give opinions, suggestions, and personal stories. Some are funny, terrifying, and even just unhelpful.
Be polite. Take it in, move on, and do what you (and your partner) are comfortable with. It’s only just beginning and I’m sure will continue to be overwhelming listening to everyone’s stories.
And that’s it! Those are the top 10 things that I wish I knew before getting pregnant. If you have something different or want to add-on to any of these, leave it in the comments below!