I've had two babies. I had two very easy (on my knees praising the Lord) pregnancies. Although they were 'easy' - meaning no morning sickness and no major complications along the way - neither experience came without its little surprises and 'does this happen to everyone...?' moments. Here's a quick run down of what I wish someone had told me:
- Be prepared for the worst heartburn you've ever had by investing in a gallon-sized jug of Tums. And make sure you have a small container in your desk at work. And one in your purse. And one in the car...because even consuming iceberg lettuce can cause it to flare up.
- Don't be surprised by how frequently you will receive pregnancy/parenting advice from complete strangers and more importantly, don't be surprised by how many of those total strangers feel that the sight of your pregnant belly is an invitation for them to touch it like one of those static electricity balls they have at the science museum.
- You will be told that you'll have to pee at lot as your little miracle grows and uses your bladder as a trampoline, but they leave out the part about the horrid amounts of gas you will produce and emit, most of the time unintentionally in public places like while trying to get that box of rice from the bottom shelf in the grocery store where nearby toddlers will bursts into fits of laughter when you let one rip.
- Once people find out you're pregnant, you will be forced to hear about everyone else's pregnancies and all of their experiences, you'll be forced to listen to their boring stories and recounting of what they went through when they carried little Johnny....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It can be tough to politely stand there and listen like you actually care, but trust me when all is said and done you'll end up doing it, too.
- It hurts. Pregnancy hurts, even for a lucky soul like me who made it through two of them virtually unscathed. Your internal organs, muscles and tendons are stretching, moving, and adjusting - along with parts of your skeleton - and that s*it can hurt, not to mention when junior decides his favorite place to incubate is right up underneath your rib cage.
- Some of the foods you used to love might make you instantly nauseous while pregnant, so be cautious when the waiter puts that big bowl of that pasta primavera you love so much right in front of you and you inhale a big whiff of that wonderful, garlicky, creamy....uh oh. Be ready - you might be making an emergency dash to the restroom.
- You know there will be some 'stuff' going on down there when you deliver, but there's other 'stuff' that will, ya know, come out during pregnancy. This one's kinda gross so just figure it out for yourself.
- That stripe. What the hell is that stripe down the center of my belly?! Oh, that's normal you say?! Well how about telling me about that one before I start thinking my seams are coming apart and this baby is just going to come busting out of my belly alien-style?!
- Once your belly starts getting pretty big, if you are a back or face-down sleeper you're screwed. Actually, when you get really big you're screwed no matter what when it comes to sleep; you have to pee every 30 minutes, something is always making you uncomfortable - gas, baby up under your ribs, gotta pee again - so just learn how to deal with very little sleep. it's nature's way of training you for the months ahead.
- Do yourself a favor - when your due date is only a handful of days away, tell your family members, your besties, your employer and your loved ones to leave you the hell alone and stop calling or texting. When it is time, they will hear about it. And warn them in advance that if they actually are dumb enough to call you and ask "No baby yet...?!' like you've already gone into labor, delivered and are casually taking their call, that they will be promptly hung up on and blocked from your contacts list. Permanently.
So there you have it- a list of things no one tells you, but that you should keep in mind just in case. Oh, and one last thing...enjoy all those sexy curves you've got right now because once that baby comes, you're going to look like a partially deflated balloon for a little while. Good luck!!!