I didn’t really know too much about how pregnancy affects a woman’s body until I became pregnant. For the most part, I had only heard of the glow that pregnant women have and how it is such a glorious thing. Everything I had heard of about pregnancy was that it was this amazing process and butterflies here and rainbows there blah blah blah blah blah. When dealing with people and in all of my relationships I prefer a painful truth to a nice little lie. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard of some women having just the best time while they are pregnant; however, I am not one of those women. Listed below are some facts about pregnancy and how a woman’s body might be afterwards. (If you think this might be gross, then you may want to stop reading my posts like this, Dad.)
- Morning sickness sucks. Not to mention it can last all day and night. Mine kicked in when I hit week number six of being pregnant. I couldn’t really eat anything and I worried some of my family members. It took me a while to learn that I could eat lemons. Surprisingly, lemons, or anything citrus, actually help nausea. Sadly, for some this is not true. There are a few women I know that have such an awful time with morning sickness that literally nothing helps and they just have to deal with it.
- Mood swings. I’ll admit, I used to believe that pregnant women who burst out into different moods and cry at the drop of a hat were just seeking attention and could truly control their emotions. I was dead wrong. The slightest thing could make me cry, especially food. For instance, one evening I heated some spaghetti up in the microwave (it was covered, thank you very much) and it exploded. There was hardly a clean surface in the microwave and it took me the better part of an hour to clean it up. It was that bad. Also, it probably didn’t help that I started crying like I was trying to fill a swimming pool. While this was going on (and since I couldn’t call my husband since he was deployed) I had to talk to my grandpa and a friend to calm down. Occasionally, my husband will remember me freaking out over this and still makes fun of me for it. I look at him with tears in my eyes and say, “Too soon.” To this day, if a recipe doesn’t go right or doesn’t look how it’s supposed to look, I tear up a bit. My husband thinks this is funny. Jerk.
- Bladder control. I knew that I would pee a lot while I was pregnant, what I didn’t know is that it is extremely hard to control your bladder while being pregnant. You may have times where you have to change clothes (or take a shower or two) because of the lack of control of said bladder. This gets worse after you have your kid.
- Food cravings. Not every pregnant woman craves pickles and peanut butter. Some of us crave dipping beef jerky into vanilla ice cream (hey, when you crave salty and sweet foods, this works). Once a food craving is satisfied, it is absolutely amazing. True story.
- Rib cage. Babies do get stuck in rib cages. They also can twist your ribs so much that your OB may have to put them back in line. This is painful. It becomes painful to do anything. You may or may not have to twist around in some weird positions to get temporary relief.
- Hips. They are never the same. Can you say wide load ahead?
- Labor. It hurts. I don’t care what the doctors, nurses, and midwives say. It’s not just pressure.
- Epidural. If you get an epidural, it may not stop all of the pain you feel. In fact, it may just work on one side and not on the other, or it may even not work on the pelvic region like it should. Awesome, right?
- Bowel movements. You may or may not poop when you are pushing out your kid. It is actually a good thing if you poop while pushing, because it means that you are pushing correctly. This might be one of those things your husband blocks out of his memory.
- Birth canal. Your baby can twist and turn in the birth canal and get his cord wrapped around his neck a couple of times. This might result in having a vacuum assisted birth. Yes, those exist. It also may lead to a tear that takes an hour for the doctor to stop the bleeding.
- Bleeding. So much bleeding. It will go on for few weeks.
- Down there. Yeah, it’ll be swollen like a balloon. You will seriously think it will deflate if you poke it. True story.
- Pain medication. When I was at the hospital, they gave me a cooling spray and a foam thing to put in my undies. These two things were AWESOME, but they won’t last forever. Warm water does help ease it a bit. Good luck getting anything effective (vicodin) after birth, though. Remember, you have a little, tiny human being to take care of now.
- Bladder control part 2. Hehe, what bladder control?
- Lasting pain. It may hurt for several months after birth to have relations with your husband. This is apparently normal. However, you may have so much persisting pain because of some scar tissue. Scar tissue may require you to have some awkward physical therapy. They do indeed have physical therapy for that.
- Baby behavior. Remember that little peanut you grew in your belly, that you popped out, that peanut that you couldn’t believe the nurses trusted you to take care of all by yourself without them when they sent you home? Yeah, that baby may be colic. So much awesomeness.
- Exhaustion. While you are dealing with healing after giving birth, you now have a little one that you are in charge of for your entire life, or until he or she turns 18. You will be sleep deprived, short-tempered (your hormones are still off for a while after birth), and you are the owner of a body that looks entirely different from how it looked before getting pregnant.
Through all of the pains of growing a baby, having a baby, and taking care of a baby everything will be different. You won’t really get a good night’s sleep for a while, you have a little person that you have to take with you everywhere you go, and you always have to plan ahead for trips. No more spontaneous, “Hey, let’s go to California,” trips. Babies are very expensive, they are hard work, and you don’t have to act like everything is all perfect after he or she is born. If people ask me how pregnancy is and how it is to give birth, I won’t sugar-coat it. You feel miserable through both and you get not sympathy from anyone about all of the pain you are in. However, even though you feel awful a lot and just would like one night where you don’t have to worry about taking care of the baby, you wouldn’t change it for the world.