This is my second time around, which has reminded me of all of the little things about being pregnant that I was not at all prepared for. Sure, everyone knows your going to gain weight, have to pee every 5 minutes, have a hard time sleeping, maybe even have morning sickness. But there are several symptoms, situations, and uh.....lets just say, after effects that no one deems important enough to share with you before hand. Here is my list of things that women need to know about pregnancy, that I wish I would have known.
#1- Not all ultrasounds happen as you see them on sitcoms: I was shocked....ok, horrified when my doctor explained that I was too early on and that my first ultrasound with my son would be an internal one. What?! I had no idea this was even a thing. The only ultrasound experiences I had ever been privy to included gooey gel on the belly. So comfortable and sweet looking. Nope. This is not the case if you get an ultrasound earlier in your pregnancy. Most done that early requires being done internally. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but it would have been nice to know ahead of time.
#2- Cramping doesn't necessarily mean a miscarriage: Before getting pregnant with Liam I read several books, countless blogs/advice posts, and magazine articles about early pregnancy. They all specifically made statements explaining the correlation between early cramping and miscarriages. This scared the crap out of me when at six weeks pregnant I started cramping excessively. This was made worse by the fact that I rarely cramp during my menstrual cycle, so not only were "experts" from all corners saying my pregnancy was doomed, but it was also extremely abnormal for me. However, my son is here, happy, and healthy and I have since learned that this is completely common in the early months. Your uterus is expanding to make room for the little visitor and the cramps are just part of the process.
#3- You never regain bladder control: This too was a shock! I have heard my whole life about the pressure your bladder feels while a baby resides near it (which makes perfect sense), but no one ever told me that knowing where a bathroom is would still be an issue months later. Also, beware of the sneeze-pee!
#4- Charlie-Horses: This was by far the worst symptom of pregnancy that I faced, and I didn't even know it was coming. It didn't start until about the 6th month, but from that point on I would wake up screaming and in pain several times a week. Joe had several sleepless nights because of my response, so maybe warn your husbands too.
#5- Your baby will be a literal pain in your butt: The siatic nerve is one that stretches from your back to the bottom of your leg. If your baby is sitting just right, they trigger this nerve and the pain can vary (in my experience) from slight aching to severe shooting pains in the rear. I have heard that it can go down the leg as well, but mine stayed put directly in the center of my right butt cheek. It felt like getting a shot constantly for weeks. Not fun!
#6- Swelling doesn't just happen to your feet: I had minimal swelling of the feet throughout my pregnancy with Liam. It wasn't until the week before he was born that I noticed my shoes didn't fit quite as well as they used to and my wedding ring was a bit snug. Actually, it wasn't until the day I went into labor that the swelling was really an issue. However, it took days to go away even after our little man had entered the world. My hands ballooned up to about three times their normal size, my face and arms followed suit. I felt bigger after labor than I ever did before hand. Great for your post-pregnancy self-esteem!
I'm sure that there are several more tidbits that I could add to this list, but they haven't been triggered yet. Once my little bean sprout starts making itself known I'll add anything that I think newbies should be aware of. Happy baby growing!