6 surprising things about pregnancy

by Ginger on April 13, 2009

in Oh Baby!

This week marks my 20th week of pregnancy which, for those of you not versed (nay beat about the head) with the calendar keeping of an incubating human, is the typical halfway point before birth! Of course, that assumes that you deliver “on schedule”, or that the schedule is right to begin with, but who am I to nit-pick?

Anywhoodle, the point is I’m halfway through this pregnancy. I haven’t talked about it much on this blog, for various reasons, but I figured this was a good time to mention some of my observations about being pregnant. I’ve found pregnancy weird–not bad (really I’ve been lucky thus far to have a fairly easy go), just strange.

Oh sure, there were the things I knew to expect–bigger boobs, nausea, mood swings, exhaustion, backaches and the like. Those are the things that our culture readily talks about, be it in movies, tv, books, blogs or magazine articles. However, there have been some things I wasn’t as prepared for, some things I don’t recall ever being mentioned in my presence before, that have taken me by surprise. Hey look, what a great opportunity for a list!

  1. I was well prepared for backaches–that particular affliction in pregnant women is well documented. What I wasn’t prepared for was the ungodly hip pain I’ve experienced. Did you know that your hips start to shift over the course of your pregnancy? Did you know this can, um, hurt?? According to everything I read, “most” women feel this kind of hip pain in their last trimester, as the body prepares for labor and delivery. Lucky me, my body is overachieving and starting early.
  2. One of the biggest things I wasn’t prepared for was how EVERYTHING is apparently bad for pregnant women. Oh sure, I knew about the biggies: raw fish, undercooked eggs, alcohol, caffeine, certain OTC drugs, heavy lifting, etc. But the list of foods, drinks, activities, and items to avoid can literally be pages and pages long–if you follow every book, and every website* out there. Things I was unaware are supposed to bad for pregnant women: deli meat, mayo, certain teas, cured meats, steak, sausage, topical acne cream, Tums, among myriad others. Luckily, I have a great doctor who has talked to me specifically about some of these things, and I know where I stand, but if you just were following books and the internet, you’d think you couldn’t eat, drink, or do ANYTHING.
  3. Of course, almost worse than the list of “restrictions” are the conflicting pieces of information. For example, make sure to eat fish, it’s good for the babies brain development. Oh wait, no don’t have fish, it’s got too much mercury/parasites/toxins. Oh, you should make sure to have peanuts and peanut butter, as it will help reduce the likelihood of peanut allergies in your child. Oh heavens no, that helps CAUSE allergies in your child. Have milk, it’s good for you and the baby. Don’t have milk, it makes it more likely that your child will be lactose intolerant. GAH!
  4. We’re all well aware of food cravings in pregnancy. Well, I pretty much haven’t had those too much–maybe the occasional desire for ice cream, but not much beyond that. What I have had is food aversions. This symptom doesn’t get as much press, but let me tell you, it kind of sucks. There have been moments where I’ve had to move to another area of the room due to a particular food aversion (combined with the lovely increased sense of smell of being pregnant). Makes restaurants an interesting mine field.
  5. Do you guys know about round ligament pain? I sure didn’t before getting pregnant (cuz why would I?). Here, let me quote: “Round ligament pain generally refers to a brief, sharp, stabbing pain or a longer-lasting dull ache that pregnant women commonly feel in the lower abdomen or groin, starting in the second trimester.” It’s another one of those things where your body is adjusting to make room for the baby. I wasn’t prepared for the constant barrage of this pain that I’ve had pretty much every day for the past few months–you’d think I’d be used to it by now.
  6. Now this next one is more a shock at how soon this starts–the judgment from everyone else about every choice you make. I knew that as a parent, my choices would likely be judged, everything from vaccines to whether to work to whether we let our kids watch TV and on. However, I wasn’t prepared for how soon this starts. I’ve already faced this judgment from others on such topics as finding out the sex of the baby (we are) all the way to wearing maternity clothes (um, I kind of have to). I know that it will come with names, what kind of delivery I have, and whether/how I breastfeed. I’m just surprised at how pregnancy and childbirth seem to be topics that others feel they can opine about without any wariness, when the rest of our lives are pretty much kept free from that level of scrutiny and judgment.

Oh, I could go on and on, but I think that this list of pregnancy surprises is enough for now. Even with all this, I don’t find pregnancy BAD–like I said, it’s just weird, and frankly, I’m not sure anyone could ever be prepared for all that can happen to you during this 9 month time period. I’m glad I’m halfway there now–it seems to be going so slowly and so fast at the same time, but I am looking forward to meeting this little person. Now if only my hips would stop hurting enough to let me sleep while I still can!

As always, check out more lists over at abdpbt!


*This of course, brings up my point that the internet is the best and worst thing on the planet. If you are a pregnant woman, please for the love of all that is good and holy, don’t take your advice from the internet. Talk to your doctor, or call one of those nurse lines. You can find out on the internet that literally everything is bad for you if you know where to look.

Amy April 13, 2009 at 11:09 am

*disclaimer – I have never been, nor do I intend to ever BE pregnant.*

People have judgments about wearing maternity clothes? For serious? The other stuff, I’ve heard about (I read mommy blogs more often than a non-breeder really should), but maternity wear? That just floors me!

Amy´s last blog post..YAY! We Didn’t Die!

T-Byrd June 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

Your not the only non-breeder who ready mommy blogs. I also make children’s stuffed animals and felt food. Shrug. I like it.

I also think it is rather silly that people would pick such an odd thing to judge. it isnt like there is a large range of choices such as regular clothes… and to get more choices you almost have to sign away your first born because maternity clothes are much over priced in my non-breeder opinion considering you can only wear them a short period of time!

Elizabeth April 13, 2009 at 11:26 am

I’m with Amy on that one–maternity clothes? Say what? We definitely want kids soon, and I had no idea that that stuff was bad for you. Strangely, I knew about salicylic acid in face products…weird, I know.

Anyway, awesome list!

Elizabeth´s last blog post..Remembering Maddie Spohr

abdpbt April 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Oh yeah, people love to give advice to pregnant women, and chime in on what you can and cannot do. It sucks! But I’m glad you’re having an OK time so far.

abdpbt´s last blog post..12 Ways Upstart Somali Pirates Are Ruining Everything

Jessica April 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Yeah, if I was pregnant, I would be too scared to eat anything! Those articles are scary about what you can and can’t do.

Jessica´s last blog post..Key Learnings, Easter and candy coma

Ally April 14, 2009 at 4:56 am

Oh dear, when I’m pregnant I think I’ll just need to stay away from the internet. I am so bad about looking up info and then freaking out about it!

Also, about the hip shifting thing, when my cousin was 5 months pregnant she and I went to a yoga class. The instructor told her she had to be extra careful with some of the poses because pregnancy causes women to be extra limber and she could accidentally stretch her body too far and get stuck. I found it funny at the time 🙂

Ally´s last blog post..Weekend Recap

SoMi's Nilsa April 15, 2009 at 8:21 am

So, I’ll probably be judged like crazy for saying this. But, generally, I think everything in moderation when it comes to lots of things in life, including pregnancy. I have a friend who drank a small glass of wine a few times a week during her pregnancy. And you know what? Her children (now 10 and 8) are amazing and extraordinarily gifted. As you’ve found, for every warning, there’s evidence it’s perfectly fine. Sigh.

SoMi’s Nilsa´s last blog post..Babies

Ginger April 15, 2009 at 10:46 am

@Amy & @Elizabeth: yes, strangely I’ve been judged for maternity clothes. But then, maybe those folks were the same who would judge me for my “normal” clothes too. That one was weird.

@Nilsa I’m pretty much with you (as is my doctor). I think a lot of it stems from how frantic and afraid we are as a country about everything having to do with kids, and a pregnant woman, oh dear god she must be practically incapable of doing ANYTHING lest she hurt the poor baby. Nevermind that women have been doing this for, um, the entirety of human existence!

Cee April 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm

A ton of my girlfriends in my circle have had kids. I think I’m one of two who haven’t reproduced.

The thing that scares me the most is how EVERYTHING swells up – even facial features like your nose and stuff.

WTH. What does your nose have to do with ANYTHING about having a kid?

I have a big enough nose as it is… thanks!

Cee´s last blog post..I Don’t Have a Green Thumb

Stephanie January 19, 2012 at 9:40 am

It really is crazy how many things you aren’t supposed to eat, I figure we can only do our best. I was told about the peanuts/peanutbutter only if there are people in your family that have a reaction, otherwise you should just be fine. And I eat a lot of pb&j sandwiches since i can’t have the lunchmeat. Well technically, you can have it, it just has to be cooked, so I take time cook it and heat it in like a grilled turkey/cheese or the like.

Christi September 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

LOL All soooo true! The onslaught of horror birth stories were fair game and very helpful in the minds of the storytellers. That round ligament pain was highly painful for the first nine months of my recovery from childbirth every time I took a long walk or jog. As you say, you could go on and on…..

Christi September 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

By the way, by my third pregnancy, I ate raw milk and eggs and even had sushi once!

Gibbsmommy September 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

I think many or most people mean well with the unsolicited advice. But honestly folks, just because you, your mother-in-law, your sister, or your co-worker had a certain bad (or good) experience, doesn’t mean that every mother/baby out there will too. I guess this comment is more for moms-to-be, take advice or criticism with a grain of salt if that’s about how useful it will be to you and YOUR baby. Because this is YOUR baby. “Dad” has more say than most, but even he needs to know YOU are going through this, and it changes YOUR body! As for raising the baby, you and “Dad” (if there is a partner in your life) are the parents. YOU make the decisions. If you are doing your best to do what’s best for your child, making informed decisions, and following your heart and conscience, I’ll bet you are doing a good job of parenting. So for all the people out there, well-meaning or not, who make interfering comments, remember that the decisions are YOURS, because YOU’RE THE MOM! Sorry for such a long rant, I didn’t mean to take over, or anything. I just feel strongly on this subject.

Gibbsmommy September 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

Okay, this set-up doesn’t let you edit your comment once you’ve posted it. I meant to say “when you come across all those people out there who give unsolicited advice, remember that YOU’RE THE MOM.” (paraphrased). The way I typed it looked like I was speaking TO the advice-givers out there, which doesn’t make sense. Oops.

http://tinyurl.com/learnash08139 January 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm

“6 surprising things about pregnancy | Ramble Ramble” was a splendid blog, can’t wait to look over more of your blogs.
Time to waste some time on the net lol. Thanks for your time -Demi

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