Things No One Ever Tells You About Pregnancy.

April 20, 2010

I’ve been there and done this pregnancy thing a few times now. I’ve read some of those big thick books about pregnancy and of course I’ve been the recipient of loads of advice – some lovely, some not so lovely. Despite all of this I am certainly no expert on this ‘having a baby’ gig…. but it seems to me there are some things no one ever tells you about pregnancy.

It’s not just your ‘front bum’ that is gonna be forever changed.
All things being well and good the baby is going to come out of your vagina, and we all know that pushing something that big out of such a smallish space is going to cause a few changes. Combine that major event with a few other fabulous pregnancy symptoms and there is also a good chance that your bottom is going to be forever changed too. Haemorrhoids anyone? Anal Fissures? And I thought my vagina was going to be sore after that VBAC!?!

Oops, I just pee-ed in my pants a little.
Your midwife, your OB or your hospital physio will tell about pelvic floor exercises after your first baby and you’ll nod dutifully and vow to squeeze and hold 100 times a day… But because no one actually likes to admit to being 30-something with three kids and peeing their pants a little every time they squeeze, cough or jump on the trampoline, it just doesn’t seem so important. But it is!!!

Labour and birth isn’t always long and painful
If you listened to the same horrifying birth stories that I heard before my first pregnancy you would totally think that labour and birth is the longest most painful event you’ll ever be unlucky enough to experience in your whole entire life. The thing is… it’s not always like that.
I have at least two close friends who’s labour was not long… and by not long I mean like, a couple of hours max kind of not long. I’ve now met and heard lovely birth stories from a variety of women and I can personally vouch for the not painful thing.
No, I am not insane, nor was I so hyped up on drugs that I didn’t feel my labour and birth, or remember it. I felt the contractions of Muski’s birth, towards the end they were hard work, sometimes difficult to manage but never super over the top painful. I didn’t feel pain when he crowned (not even that ring of fire thing) nor when he was born…. and he wasn’t a small baby either (4.6kgs or 10lb3oz). I’ve felt more pain with a tooth ache or stomach bug than I did giving birth.

What is that? Am I growing a third leg?
Skin tags – tiny bits of overgrown skin that can pop up in the most awkward places during pregnancy. Supposedly it is the extra hormones that do it, but it is kinda weird to find myself with a tiny flap of skin right where my leg meets my groin, just were the elastic in my undies sit.

Rib Crackers.

I thought my stomach was going to get huge, I’d probably have some back pain from carrying around that huge stomach, and maybe, towards the end I’d have some pelvic discomfort as the baby engaged and things moved around down there. I never imagined that my babies would take up residence in between my ribs and make it their business to shove my rib cage apart at every opportunity. I seem to spend my life trying to shove this baby down a smidge… just a touch.. a little… just get the hell out of my rib cage!

So come on… surely I am not alone here?
Share with me.
Make me feel slightly less insane.
What were/are your weird and wonderful pregnancy experiences that no one ever told you about?

Note – the digi scrap layout above was created with items from Shabby Princess. It is my belly with Muski, haven’t taken any this time around.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda April 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Oh my goodness, where could I begin? The most annoying surprise was that pregnancy can cripple your wrists with carpal tunnel, although the fact that heartburn meant I couldn’t eat chocolate was pretty tragic too. Have to agree on the labour thing, I had a slipped disc once which was heaps worse.

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Shae April 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

No one ever told me that I could get a varicose vein IN MY VULVA.
That you might feel so sick that you WANT to throw up and can’t in the early weeks.
That an ecstatic, orgasmic birth was an actual thing that happened!

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Julie April 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Ditto re: varicose veins in the vulva – my daughter managed to slice one with her fingernail on her way out and caused me to have a post-partum bleed.

Stretch marks that would never again allow me to wear a bikini (even if I could get rid of the post baby jelly-belly)

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nic April 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Oh yes I remember being devasted when I had morning sickness, and bladder weakness at the same time when pregnant with Freya.

Oh the joys hey

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amanda April 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Princess was induced, but I had started my contractions earlier in the morning (around 1am, induced at 8am, born 1pm). So, my labor wasn’t long, and whilst contractions hurt I agree, I have had worse toothache (or, more correctly, when a tooth was recently pulled!).

It was only when I got to mother’s group that I later heard horrific stories and freaked out. I had my mum and husband with me at the birth, he rubbed my back, she hushed my sookings (I never swore, just whined). It was only decided a few days beforehand that my mum would be there and we were both thankful that she was.

I miss my boobs more than anything … they are not where they used to be, and someone still thinks they have some claim to them ..

Muski was huge! I thought Princess was big at 8lb10oz!

Oh, and please be kind to the rib crackers. I was born with a dislocated hip thanks to my mum prodding me back after kicking her ribs!

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Kelly Burstow April 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Ah yes, the changes pregnancy brings! I’ve been fortunate not to have Haemorrhoids, incontience or varicose veins but instead I got stretch marks, back pain (that’s I’m still suffering with) and my stomach, well, it’s just not the same lol.

It accepting the changes hard? Sometimes. Is it worth it? Yep.

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Miss Carly April 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Tehehe. I am so looking forward to childbirth now. Stomach ache, can totally handle. Teeth ripped out. Yep can handle that too.

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Kate April 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I’d nearly forgotten about the weird freaky skin flaps all over by boobs.
I’m glad I have never heard about posterior births or I think I would have held Evie in. It freaking hurt like hell.

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Melanie April 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Nobody told me that my hair would fall out afterwards. As someone with long, very thick hair, it was somewhat devastating to see it coming out in handfuls a few months after each birth (only a surprise the first time, but no less upsetting later).

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amanda April 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Oh! I had completely forgotten the hair thing! I don’t know if I just don’t have the time to look after my hair anymore, but it is STILL falling out at an unbelievable rate (apparently women lose 75 hairs a day, and men half that. I definitely lose more than that)!

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Kelly Burstow April 21, 2010 at 7:49 am

oh yes, me too re the hair thing. I lost HEAPS of hair 3 months after I’d given birth. After 4 births, well, I’m still trying to catch up.

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Tracey April 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm

SWEATING – after my first no one told me about night sweats and this time round no one told me I would just sweat profusely for ever!!!!!!

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Melissa April 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Pregnancy is crazy!

I remember the constant feeling of being overheated. I’m normally always freezing and grabbing sweaters at every turn, but for the whole time I was pregnant, I cannot remember being cold even once. I had my son in November of 2008, and I never bought a maternity coat. A long sweater was fine for me, because I was sweating anyway.

Also, no one tells you how crazy the cravings can be. When I was in the first trimester, I craved the most unhealthy foods–stuff I hadn’t eaten since I was seven or eight. I dreamed about Spaghetti O’s, Cheetos, and Macaroni and Cheese. Then, during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, it was goat cheese and water crackers.

Finally, no one even mentioned the possibility of actually having to be knocked out for your kid’s birth. I was induced and after 8 hours of back labor, only dialated 1 inch. When they tried to put in a spinal for a c-section, I guess I had so much calcification in my spine (whatever that means) that it wouldn’t take. They had to completely knock me out, and I was under for the whole birth. Frankly, it wasn’t a bad way to have a baby. I woke up high on morphine.

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Veronica April 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Brilliant list!

No one ever told me that I’d hate food that I previously enjoyed. And that it might take years to like that food again, (broccoli anyone?)

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Marilyn at live first, write later April 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Oops, had forgotten all about the pelvic exercises. Hope it’s not too late to start!

I’ve managed to escape most of the worst after three kids. Except I can attest to really painful rib kicking and poking too. Also had relatively short births without needing epidural.

Here’s hoping I’m as lucky with the fourth.

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Jodie Moss May 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I love this list- how about the my tummy muscles dont meet anymore or the i cant walk anymore near the end of pregnancy

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Sarah September 2, 2013 at 11:18 am

The worst for me was during the pushing process, no one told me, that it can feel about the same as having to poop, and some people inadvertently do. The nurses tell you, oh its normal, its fine, but heads up that that is a possibility would be nice. (Ive witnessed 2 different births, and talked to many more ladies that were mortified when it happened to them.)

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