10 Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy
Hey guys! WHERE HAVE I BEEN? I know, right?!
Well, in case the title of this post didn't give it away, I've been growing a tiny human. As you know, it's a pretty sensitive thing, especially in the early months, so I kept it close to the chest. And, the way my brain is set up, writer's block set in SO HARD because I couldn't share what was actually on my mind.
Thus, the tumbleweeds around here.
But, I'm now five months along and feel a little more comfortable sharing, so here it go!
This could actually be called 10-Things-Somebody-May-Have-Told-Me-About-Pregnancy-But-I-Didn't-Retain-Any-Of-It. Because everybody's pregnancy is different and, really, who learns all the ins and outs of pregnancy when they're not pregnant? I think it's one of those things where you learn as you go. Here are 10 things I've discovered out along the way:
1. Boobs Become Over-Achievers
I never knew boobs were one of the first noticeable changes to a pregnant body. I knew they grew, and I must have assumed this happened gradually over the course of the pregnancy - kind of like your stomach. I stand corrected. I must have been five or six weeks along and I got out of the shower one day and pondered aloud, "WHOSE BOOBS ARE THESE?!" And then hugs started to hurt. They would make me flinch. HUGS! My regular love of big hugs at hello were met with dread and back-caved-in one-armed church hugs.
2. Food Aversions
I knew about cravings. That has to be one of the classic pregnancy stereotypes. But I had the opposite response. I was grossed out by almost everything I typically liked to eat - especially in the first trimester. Anything with too much flavor? GET IT AWAY FROM ME. The texture of shrimp or eggs. NO THANK YOU, PLEASE. Gum? I haven't had a single piece of gum since November and I used to be the queen of gum. For a couple of weeks there, all I wanted to eat was some form of rice, hummus, chicken and bread. Plus oranges or peanut butter. What is variety?
3. Soft Cheese
Yo. I had no clue about this soft cheese thing. None. I knew things like alcohol and sushi were out of the question, which is bad enough. But when my doctor said "no soft cheeses" I thought she was trying to pick a fight.
What, I ask, is a salad without goat cheese? Or Feta? Or Gorgonzola? I've had Caesar or salads sans cheese in the mean time. (Which were reintroduced into my diet during the second trimester anyway because: see point above.) You don't realize how much you love soft cheese (or alcohol for that matter) until you can't have any.
4. The Exhaustion
I don't know how this one flew over my head, but I was not ready. I'm *already* a sleepy head by nature. After a certain hour, I knock out like a light. Add this pregnancy symptom on top and I don't know how I wasn't classified as comatose. First trimester, I was ALWAYS sleep (or sleepy if I was awake). If I blinked too long at my desk I damn near fell asleep. If meetings were any time after 11 a.m., forgetaboutit. I came home from church one Sunday afternoon around 2 and "took a nap". I didn't wake up until midnight. This was before I even realized I was pregnant; it definitely should have been a clue.
5. The Smells. THE SMELLS.
Pregnancy puts your sense of smell on a hundred, thousand, trillion. Thankfully, I never had any morning sickness (which was a pleasant surprise), but strong-smelling anything is what got me closest to up-chucking. Foods, perfume/cologne, bleach, mint (hence the gum thing), I wanted no parts of it. My neighbor was cooking something one night that wafted into the hallway in our building. Mr. Nash was all "that smells delicious." Meanwhile I'm frantically pushing the elevator button trying to escape this rude smell invading my senses. I almost took the stairs.
I majored in advertising in undergrad and in one of my research classes, we learned about how marketers track your shopping habits. They gave an example that when a woman in a particular age bracket buys unscented soap, it's an indication to them that she might be pregnant (which is when they start mailing her coupons for diapers, etc.). I never understood reasons behind how that worked until the very moment I was in Target on a mission for unscented Dove because I could not endure the smell of my soap any longer.
6. The Thirst is Real
"Stay Thirsty My Friends" would be the title of my pregnancy memoir (with foreword, "Pour it Up," written by Rihanna). #NeverNotThirsty #WheresMyWater
7. Heightened Awareness of Other People's Colds
I was prepared to be all "get your germs TFOH" when the baby actually gets here. I didn't realize my own immune system would also be an issue. Basically, your immune system is lowered when you're pregnant so the antibodies don't attack this foreign object in your body - the baby. On top of that, most medicines are discouraged, so if I get sick, it's a problem. That said, any cough, sneeze, sniffle or even close-talking at this point has me on edge. I never realized how many adults don't cover their mouths when they cough until now.
8. The "Glow"
I had heard about this "glow", but I assumed it was just a myth or a saying. Once again, I stand corrected. Over the last week, at least seven different people have told me I had the pregnancy glow. I'll take it!
9. Digestion Struggles
Let me tell you about me and apples. I love apples - especially Honeycrisp. I used to eat them several mornings a week with peanut better. #SnackOfChampions. However, once again, my food intake was thwarted by that first trimester. Digestive system was OUT OF CONTROL like an unsupervised five-year-old who just eaten half a birthday cake. Completely haywire. I never knew about this side-effect. I haven't had an apple in months.
10. Stomach Muscles Become Under-Achievers
Stomach muscles - what are those? What is sitting up anymore? What is gracefully getting in/out of a car? I now use my arms and roll to get up from any soft place - the bed, a couch, and the other day from a restaurant booth. Core muscles are clearly like, "OUT OF OFFICE, NOT CHECKING EMAIL, BE BACK WHENEVER, CONTACT ARM OR LEG MUSCLES WITH ANY URGENT MATTERS."
We'll see what else is to come with my body as #BabyNash gets bigger. (I've started feeling kicks in the past couple of weeks, which is pretty awesome.)
Moms/Moms-to-Be, let me know if there are other things I have to look forward to. My boobs can't possibly get any bigger.