Ten things I didn't expect about pregnancy.

October 29, 2012

I've watched friends go through pregnancy and I've seen it on T.V. and in the movies. It seemed pretty simple (relatively) and something I would easily be able to do one day. When that one day came, I realized there's a lot more to it than the cute bump and the glowing skin.

There are quite a few things I didn't expect about pregnancy... so far.

It kind of hurts. I didn't realize how much my body had to stretch and grow to accommodate this baby. I really didn't realize that sometimes that stretching really hurts. I mean, it seems obvious that since a baby takes up a lot of room, it has to end up somewhere. But I just assumed my body would quietly adjust to the new arrival. It's adjusted - is adjusting - not so quietly.

I'm much more of a private person than I thought. I have loved sharing this pregnancy with friends and family, but sometimes I want us to take on certain parts of it on our own. Chris and I have ideas - good ideas - and we kind of want to at least have a conversation about them on our own first. Also, I am all about Chris, close family and good friends touching my growing bump, but acquaintances and not-so-much acquaintances just makes it awkward. In fact, I had to remove a lingering hand the other week... from a family member. It might still be there today if I hadn't intervened.

I really am hungry all of the time. I've never been a huge eater. I would have coffee for breakfast and would rarely snack. Now I have to eat at least every two hours or I'm famished. If I'm running errands, I have to pack a bag of snacks and bring along a sports drink or slushy to keep me going.

I really am tired all of the time. I've always loved naps, but have never needed one just to make it until 10 o'clock in the evening. Now I take a short nap when I get home from work about every other day and am still downright exhausted by 10:30. Chris has actually started encouraging naps.

Shopping for maternity clothes isn't as fun as shopping for regular clothes. I'm sure it's just because of my changing body, but clothes don't feel as good as they used to, even if they are still my size. It's hard passing up cute clothes in a store as I make a b-line to the maternity section. I love the elastic band on maternity pants, but the awkward fit overall has me desperately searching.

I'm already obsessive over this baby. I've said it before, but everything I do/eat/drink/feel/plan revolves around this baby. I anxiously await my next appointment to hear the heartbeat or see the baby on the big screen. I've started tracking our future trips and plans by how many weeks I'll be.

I can't keep up like I used to. But I think I can. So I go, go, go, and then find my back throbbing, feet aching and my whole body screaming at me to just stop and sit down. I do my best to listen.

No matter how much time I have left until the baby arrives, it doesn't seem like enough time to get everything ready. Now that I've reached the halfway point I find myself thinking, "HALFway? Only one more half? Where did the first half go?" And I slightly panic as I see an empty office that has to be cleaned out to make room for the new guest room which will also have to be cleaned out to make room for the nursery. 

Feeling the baby move really is surreal. I want Chris to be able to feel it so badly so he can experience it, too. The movements are subtle reminders that Baby is in there, good and well.

Don't underestimate the power of your husband tagging along to doctor appointments. My husband came along with me so far to the first few appointments. Two included an ultrasound, but one didn't. I definitely wanted him there for the ultrasound appointments, but having him there for the regular check-up proved beneficial as well. First of all, he had his own questions. It was fun to hear his take on the whole ordeal and it made him feel more comfortable overall. Secondly, the nurse reiterated just how important naps are over the next few months, which made me feel a lot more justified in taking one almost every other day without feeling guilty for being curled up in bed when he walked in the door after work. And lastly, when the nurse said I needed more protein in my diet, my husband came home with a bulk-sized jar of cashews. I don't know if he'll need to join me for a lot of the future appointments, but having him at the earlier ones made us both feel more at ease.

With the first twenty weeks down, I'm sure I have a lot more to learn over the next twenty.

If you are or have been pregnant, what did you experience during the first half that you weren't expecting?

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