The media portrays pregnancy (and childbirth, for that matter) in a very particular way. My advice is to trust none, or quite little, of what you see on television or in the movies. There are a lot of things that are partially accurate (you may puke in your first trimester, you may swell in your third), but there’s a lot you don’t see.
There’s a lot about pregnancy that you will not expect. I can by no means cover all of it here, but these are just a few of my experiences …
1. Nausea, food aversions, and strong reactions to smells may bug you throughout your entire pregnancy. Though I am not as ill at the thought of food as I was during the first thirteen weeks of my pregnancy, I often catch myself getting nauseous at the thought of certain foods, and I find myself very particular about what I eat. Don’t get me started on smells … that has stuck with me throughout the entire pregnancy. I can’t handle the smell of someone chewing minty gum, and I almost upchucked at the waft of a banana a couple of weeks ago. Of course, it’s not nearly as bad as it once was, but my system is still very different than it was before I got pregnant. As you may have expected, heartburn runs rampant any time it wants to.
2. You may not have a natural “glow” during pregnancy. At least I haven’t noticed any. In fact, my skin has gone oily and sticky, and my high school acne has returned. I definitely have to wash my face twice a day. Oh, and my hair looks exactly the same as it ever did.
3. Not all ladies vomit during the first trimester. According to Women’s Healthcare Topics, 75% of women experience nausea or vomiting. See the “or” in there? Not everyone hurls. I never did until I got a stomach virus in my second trimester. I got quite nauseous and even lost weight because of it in my first trimester, but the content of my stomach never expelled itself. So please, don’t worry if you don’t have vomiting. Don’t even worry if you don’t have nausea — you may be in the lucky 25% (hey, that’s like a lot of people) that never experiences it to begin with.
4. You might grow OUT of some of your maternity clothes. Now this one … this really gets to me. I haven’t gained all that much weight, but I swear to you I can’t fit a couple of the things I bought at the end of my first trimester. Remedy? Think about HOW you gain weight. If you gain it through your hips and legs as I am wont to do, you might want to purchase a size up from what the size charts say you should buy. Be wise about what you buy, and don’t buy too much when you’re not all that big.
5. Your “water” most likely won’t “break” in one big rush. Your bag of waters, or amniotic sac, is the thing that holds your baby during pregnancy. It provides a safe, warm place for him or her to swish around. It’s like a saline solution in there, and when the sac breaks, it can drip out slowly, or come in several larger gushes. As in, it probably won’t all gush out on your shoes in the middle of the street.
6. Your water can break at any time during your labor — even during the stage when you’re actually pushing. Your water can break right as you start having a few contractions here and there — when the hospital is a long, long way off. It can break a good couple of days before you really go into labor. Or, it can break when the baby is on its way out. In the TV and in the movies, we see the water break just as the woman heads off to the hospital to start her labor in earnest. Which is really just not the way things work.
7. You don’t have to give birth lying down. Actually, you can push in a whole lotta different positions — hands and knees, lying on your side, or squatting. You can even do these things when you’ve got an epidural going on — you just have to be careful and get some support. If you’re interested in an epidural, but don’t want to push lying down, you can request a “walking epidural” from the doctor. This may not let you fully walk, but you can get some more mobility in order to move around some. What’s the advantage of trying different positions to push? Well, think about it. A baby can be lodged or stuck in lots of ways, and the natural way to get him to move around and get on out of there is to move around yourself. The lying down position can actually be counterproductive since you’re not using gravity to your advantage. Take note and take charge!
There are a ton of other stuff as well, I’m quite and very sure! Anything you didn’t hear about pregnancy or childbirth that you’d like to share?