When B and I were becoming pregnant and then when we found out that we were I was very nervous about how the hormonal changes would affect my mental wellbeing. I am happy to say that I have not experienced the mood swings that many pregnant women report which I was most fearful of. What has gotten to me the most are the physical symptoms that the hormones have caused. Throughout the past 23 weeks, I have tried to remember the end goal and that is to deliver a baby safely and love my son with everything I have.
There are a few things I wish I had known before becoming pregnant. I think it speaks to our overall lack of education about pregnancy. Much of what I am going to write about is unique to me. Some pregnant people have it “better” or “worse” but I do believe that every pregnant person has a few shocking moments in their pregnancy that scare or annoy them.
- Fatigue and nausea can mean you cannot function at all. My nausea was constant for almost 3 months. My exhaustion may have been for about a month. My first trimester was basically me laying around not being able to do anything. I found myself feeling useless as I could not show affection towards B, help with chores around the house, I couldn’t get to work and most times I could barely get up to feed myself, let alone eat enough in a day.
- Needing to pee becomes the most annoying thing your body does. I have sometimes found myself holding my pee too long or not drinking a lot of water because I am so tired of having to go pee. I find the need or at least the sensation, to pee has increased with the movement of the baby. He will wiggle around so much sometimes and the push on my bladder has me hoping I don’t wet myself.
- Bleeding will happen and it can mean nothing but it will scare the shit out of you every single time. In my second month of pregnancy, I had 3 instances of bleeding, with the first one being heavy enough (in my opinion) to go to the ER. A doctor determined that the bleeding was not the result of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. The cervix becomes more sensitive during pregnancy and can become agitated easily which sometimes results in bleeding. Bleeding should always be taken seriously when there is a pregnancy.
- Pregnancy is not always enjoyable. The media shows pregnancy as filled with glowing pregnant people, fun baby showers and of course, the happy end result of having your baby. I didn’t start enjoying my pregnancy until recently, probably the past few weeks. Many pregnant people spend so much time worrying about the condition of their baby, endure horrible symptoms and some face a strain on their relationships. Your clothes stop fitting, you can’t eat all the foods you normally do and you need to plan for something that is going to change your life forever! I can’t imagine being pregnant when I already have a child! Some pregnant people have such a tough pregnancy that they don’t want to have any more children where they need to be pregnant. Pregnancy is HARD!
- Pregnancy is dangerous. I did know this but it always feels different when it’s happening to you. I live in a country with a low maternal death rate but the risk is always there. The hormonal changes can really throw your body out of wack, creating new health problems that you possibly would not have gotten if you had not become pregnant (ie: high blood pressure, diabetes). People who do have existing conditions like diabetes or immune system deficiencies are at a higher risk for things to go wrong. Doctors need to closely monitor some pregnancies. Again, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
In the end, I trust my body and my midwife to get me through my pregnancy. I love feeling him move around and have recently been able to see my stomach move as he kicks me. It’s amazing to witness and I am honoured to be carrying this potential for life.
What do you wish you knew before you became pregnant?