Before we jump into this, let’s get one thing out the way: EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT. Each pregnancy varies from person to person and simply stated, there’s no two journeys alike. However, aside from morning sickness and cravings, there are some things that are common amongst expecting moms that no one ever told me, not even my ol’ (not so reliable) OB-GYN. So brace yourself because I am telling you some of the shocking realizations I encountered trimester by trimester. It may be worth it but it ain’t all pretty.
Cough, Sneeze, Laugh: Leaky Bladder Bandit
As with most pregnancy related normalities, your hormones are to blame for this madness. For starters, your bladder sits right underneath your uterus so that pressure will make you have to go tinkle more often than usual. But then this happened: I remember one day I was driving and talking on the phone, laughing my ass off about nothing! Out of nowhere, I sneezed. All I felt was a wet spot that I could not wrap my mind around. Yes, ladies, I peed my pants. Not full-blown drown in urine, but there was a wet spot in the white cotton leggings I was wearing in the summer breeze.
It happened again and again, many times after that when I sneezed, laughed or coughed too hard. Wearing a panty liner helps but I also learned to do kegel exercises with these balls to strengthen my vaginal muscles. ProTip: making your vagina stronger comes in handy in more than one way. *wink wink*
Relaxin ain't as Relaxing as it Sounds
Progesterone and relaxin are two hormones responsible for a lot of these body changes we are chatting about. The combination of the two help relax everything: your muscles, your joints, your tendons, etc. I know, sounds really cool right!? Nope, I rebuke you. Within the first few weeks, my feet became wider, my hips were unaligned and my intestinal muscles just gave the hell up.
Your body is relaxing every compartment to prevent early labor, but with that comes other issues that you may not have expected. Deal with each one as they come but don’t panic. These hormones should return to normal after pregnancy so you’ll get your balance back and wobbling like a penguin won’t be your daily.
You won't Poop for Days
Yea, the constipation is real and your days of pooping freely are a thing of the past. You’ll find yourself feeling extremely full and stuffed, you’ll even feel like the bowel movement of your life is right around the corner. But be not deceived. Restrain from…well, straining. There’s a little side effect to pushing too hard: hemorrhoids. I’ll stop there. Try drinking more water and increasing your fiber intake with more fruits. Even a nice probiotic can help, just be sure to chat with your OB.
Til the Sweat Drips Down Your...
Bring out the old school Lil’ John and just jam away because sweat will be dripping down your everything! I don’t think I have ever sweat so much in my life! But here’s the kicker: increased sweat means increased body odor. I had to ditch my own feminine lines for a much stronger antiperspirant: my husbae’s spray deodorant. Yep, I am around here smelling masculine because the cute little rose petals of Dove were just dying as soon as it hit my skin! I also resorted to men razors due to increased hair growth but that’s a whole ‘nother article.
Hello Insomnia and Day Naps
Here’s the moment where all the habits you rejected as a child will now be your saving grace. Sleep does not love you at night. Literally, I would find myself so tired that I knew I was certain I’d sleep the entire night. Yet, I’d be wide awake by midnight with slumber never to return til daybreak. Yes, it’s stupid, I know, however, I believe this is the body’s way of preparing us for the many sleep deprived nights to come when our fussy bundles arrive.
Taking naps throughout the day really helped me. I try to get at least one or two small naps to help keep going, especially when I have a lot to do. However, I know not everyone has that option so consider sleep aids. Some nights I used a low dose of melatonin. My OB recommended Unisom with doxylamine (I haven’t tried this but apparently its safe during pregnancy- of course, consult your folks).
This Baby's on Fire: Heartburn + Acid Reflux
By this time, your baby has grown so much that your ribs are expanding and all your organs are sitting in your chest, literally. Understand that the room in your uterus gets tighter and tighter as the baby continues to grow and develop. That said, all of your organs, including your stomach, will be getting smashed in the process so the acid in your belly will end up in your throat and it sucks. There have been a few nights where I felt like I would drown from the liquids splashing around in me. The heartburn is real and the acid reflux is nothing to play with.
A few things helped here: one eating smaller meals and being even more careful with what you eat. Tums chewables are my fave! I had one during the day and one at night, helped a tum (see what I did there)! Also elevate your chest and head while you sleep. There’s some nice wedge pillows on Amazon that have amazing reviews for helping you sleep better in these conditions.
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and even with all the crazy body changes, in the end we all know it's worth it! Just be prepared to have a few ill feelings as shit gets weird and some things you won't experience like others (for example, I didn't have one case of morning sickness), but everything on this list, I had to embrace gracefully- UGH.
What other preggo surprises did I miss?!!?! Tell me in the comments below and maybe we can add a few here. Until then, sprinkles!
Kay Glaze is a lifestyle blogger on a journey to kick ass in her career and family life as a millennial mommy. Sprinkled with a little humor and sass, KayGlaze.com is a hub for tips and advice on modern motherhood and how to stay connected with self through all the craziness. Find her on Instagram or connect with others for real conversations in her Facebook group Raw Words Real Women.