Here it is; all my uncovered information. At first I thought this would be too much information to share with the public, but then I thought, I will be helping some woman who is a first time mom and doesn’t know any of this stuff. Seriously! There is so much about pregnancy and birth that no one tells you. I don’t know why as a society we don’t talk about these things. It’s like we are embarrassed to admit that we have bodily functions. Giving birth is no joke. Even if you have a smooth sailing, no tear, pain free birth, it’s still an immense amount of trauma for you body to recover from. Not just birth, but pregnancy too. I almost think that pregnancy takes more of a toll on your body than birth. Every woman’s experience is different and these were some of my experiences. So let’s get to it!
1. You may not feel so attached to your baby
When I got pregnant I didn’t feel like anything had changed besides a stick told me I was a plus sign. I did’t feel so attached to the little fetus growing inside of me. On my first doctor’s appointment I saw the baby and its heartbeat and that little heartbeat made it so real. Still, I didn’t start to really feel connected to her until I could feel her moving inside me. Then she moved and kicked at certain times of the day and this was like getting to know her. Learning the sex made it more real too. This is totally normal. Some women have an immediate, spiritual and beautiful relationship with their baby from the moment they know they conceived. I was different. And that’s okay.
2. You don’t have a period, but you still have to wear pantyliners.
Be prepared to pee yourself whenever you cough or sneeze or laugh too hard. This doesn’t happen until later in pregnancy, around the third trimester when you have 20-30 pounds sitting right on top of your bladder. I thought I would NEVER let this happen to me, but you don’t have much choice. Oh, and if you have gas, good luck holding that in too.
3. Pelvic discomfort
Also in the third trimester I began to get serious aching in my pelvis. Especially in front, where the pubic bone is. Your pelvis is held together with strong tendons. As you and your baby grow these stretch and it’s no walk in the park. In fact, if you go for a walk it’s likely to leave you aching, hence the pregnant waddle. At the end of every day I was aching here. Especially if I was particularly physically active.
4. The kicking and moving is endearing until…
When you finally feel your baby move and kick it’s exciting. There’s a person in there! My baby! And then baby gets bigger and bigger and at one point the kicking really hurts. Olivia liked to punch my bladder and kick my ribs. If I was sitting I would have to get up because I couldn’t take it. It was painful and in my heightened emotional state it made me want to cry (like everything does at that point).
5. You feel bad for feeling great
This one sounds strange, doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you, I experienced this quite a bit. Until the last two weeks I felt great throughout my pregnancy. As long as I never got hungry I didn’t have much morning sickness, I was in good shape, I was happy, I felt great! However, for many pregnant women it becomes a habit to constantly complain about their state. They do it on Facebook, they do it on the phone, in person, it’s like you can’t have a conversation without hearing about how miserable they are. I don’t blame them because pregnancy can be difficult and uncomfortable, but then if you don’t join in you look like you’re just saying you’re better than them. What?! It’s a hard one. I don’t want to complain because the more you complain the worse you feel. I want to talk positively about my body and my baby and the miracle of life that I am a part of. My only suggestion for this is to surround yourself with women who are very positive and supportive. I have got to hand it to crunchy mamas on this one. From my experience, they tend to be the most loving towards their bodies and growing babies.
6. Women will tell you their horror stories
I was determined to have a natural birth, which meant no pain-killers. I knew there would be pain, but I also knew that if that was all I focused on I would never have a natural birth. Birth is almost entirely decided in your mind. What you fill your mind with is what will manifest during your labor and birth. Even if you decide that you will have an epidural or cesarean or any type of birth, you should fill your mind with positive thoughts on birth and not fearful ones. So WHY does every woman just gush with all the terrible things about birth?! As soon as you’re visibly pregnant every conversation you have will be about the horrible things that happened during birth. “When’s your due date? I was a week late! Had to be induced” “She had an episiotomy” “Emergency c-section” “I was in labor for 29 hours” “It was the most painful experience ever” “After birth you will swear you’ll never do it again” “It’s awful” and on and on. I heard it all. Towards the end I became the master of manipulating the conversation to something totally unrelated to birth. I always wanted to ask, “Well, did you have a baby in the end? Was it the most beautiful creation ever? Were you so proud and in love? How did it feel to become a mom?” I mean, really! Even your doctor can contribute to this. I was a month away from my due date and he was already telling me how and when I would be induced if I went over my due date. Why? After conversations such as these I did affirmations. It may sound cheesy, but it helped. “My baby will come at the right time, when she is perfectly ready.”
7. People will try to discredit you
Another thing about being a healthy, happy mama is that people are always trying to find a way to NOT give you credit for that. “Well, this is your first. Your second will be different, just wait.” “I lost all my baby weight right away too, but the next one I gained 50 pounds, you’ll see.” “You’re just lucky.” “You just have good genetics.” It’s like they’re threatening you. Terms like “just wait” and “you’ll see” get thrown around a lot. You can work very hard to have the best pregnancy ever and you will be on your merry way to it and someone comes along to try to tear you down. Don’t let it get to you. Just tell yourself, “I’m awesome!” because you are.
Check out the 2nd part to this which is all about the things they don’t tell you about Birth & Postpartum.