Before I experienced the baby bump world, I admired pregnant women and their bellies…I imagined how glorious it must be to have a round tummy on purpose, how incredible it must be to have your baby moving inside of you.
I didn’t imagine how it would feel to literally have to waddle because your pelvis feels broken, or how the baby can constantly kick you in your bladder, making you pee a little bit each time.
So here are 10 things no one told me I’d experience once I had a baby bump of my own!
O N E
Everything swells. Not just that big ol’ belly. EVERYTHING. Use your imagination here as I say it again: everything, and I mean everything swells.
T W O
You will have a hard time catching your breath because a small human is crushing your lungs. When walking up the stairs, when carrying your toddler, when talking on the phone. The biggest shock was when I took a video of my daughter – I watched the video later, and wondered why in the world it sounded like Darth Vader was breathing in the background. And then I realized it was me.
T H R E E
If you fall subject to morning sickness, there is a good chance it’ll be an all-day sickness. Actually, I have yet to meet someone who was only sick in the mornings. Why in the world do they even call it morning sickness?! Anyway, this nausea is weird – like an all-day hangover, except you weren’t invited to the party. And if you’re anything like me, you will think of one thing you can stomach…and then you eat it. Then you swear it off for the rest of your life. As evidence, see the following pictures of my desk drawers at work during my first pregnancy:
Cheez-Its, rice cakes, saltines, ginger cookies, Ritz Bits, and a jar of peanut butter. But wait…
There’s more… Sour Patch Kids, Sweet Tart Chews, trail mix, raisins, oatmeal, a pack of mustard, and some Peeps.
F O U R
You will sneeze, and you will pee. The more kids you’ve had, the more you will pee with each sneeze.
F I V E
You will likely fall subject to pregnancy insomnia – aka the world in which you are absolutely, positively exhausted…but cannot sleep. Insomnia which may wake you up in the middle of the night, every night, from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m…during which you stumble upon a marathon showing of Pretty Little Liars and become obsessed with a show that is absolutely ridiculous and targeted toward girls who are 20 years younger than you.
S I X
You will have an insane amount of hormones racing through your body. Hormones that make you cry during Pampers commercials and that make you angry over the tiniest, most insignificant things. Go ahead and apologize to your significant other.
S E V E N
There will come a point in your pregnancy where you will be shaving blindly. You cannot see or maneuver around your belly whatsoever, so do the sign of the cross, say a quick prayer, and go to town.
E I G H T
The bigger you get, the more impossible it is to do even the most mundane tasks. Like tying your shoes, or putting on your socks – I’m not sure which is harder! Or getting up off of the floor. Or, true story, getting out of your rainboots. When I was pregnant with my son, I got stuck in my rainboots after a morning trip to the grocery store. I literally could not get them off, no matter how hard I tried. I had to wait until my husband got home from work that evening to finally pry off those bad boys.
N I N E
You will pop stool softeners like candy. My medicine cabinet currently holds an assortment of fiber pills, laxatives, all-natural-make-you-go-to-the-bathroom-type-pills, powders to add to drinks, and a super-sized bottle of stool softeners. Any and everything that will help things GET THE HECK OUT. And possibly even more important is having this arsenal on hand post-delivery. Don’t get me started on going to the ladies’ room post-delivery…
T E N
Also don’t even get me started on the days post-birth. Everyone was all OMG about labor and delivery, but no one, and I mean no one warned me about what things would really be like afterward. Honestly, my labor and delivery were great (helloooo, epidural). And sure, I had my perfect, squishy, tiny little human in my arms and that was the best thing in the whole wide world. However, I didn’t know about the mesh panties, the need for mattress-sized pads, that I’d have to sit in an Epsom salt bath everyday for weeks, that it would hurt to sit down, that I’d start bawling for absolutely no reason, that I’d wake up in the middle of the night drenched in hormone-releasing sweats, that I’d sport a kangaroo-like pooch for several months, that I would lose massive amounts of hair…
But. Then there’s this…
There’s a reason people have more than one kid, a reason people choose to be pregnant more than one time. And this is actually the one thing everyone did try to tell me – just how incredible mama-hood would be. But words never quite did it justice until I was there, on the other side of love.
A love that makes every minute of nausea, every stuck-on rainboot, and every pee-filled sneeze totally worth it.