The whole baby growing, birthing, and raising process was entirely new to me. I didn’t know jack squat. In order to help expecting parents and for your entertainment, here is a list of things I didn’t know about pregnancy and taking care of a baby. (If you want to read about the birthing process in-depth or want to read about my other baby experiences, look in the birth, life as a stay-at-home-mom, and random/humor categories.)
- Morning sickness- It’s just awful. Morning sickness isn’t just in the morning, so I have no idea on earth why they call it morning sickness. This awfulness can last all day and night. However, it can also cause you to lose 14 pounds and start to worry your doctors, because you literally can’t eat anything. The awesomeness that is this nausea may also not be eased by zofran (a wonder pill for pregnant women) and you may just have to wait it out. Some women have this their entire pregnancy. Here’s a tip: eat citrus. Especially lemon. Drink lemon water. You know what? Just go on a strict lemon diet (it was literally the only food I could eat for a long time) until you can eat other foods. Strangely enough, morning sickness hit me right at my 6th week of pregnancy and didn’t end until well into my second trimester. Since I can’t throw up (tummy surgery when I was a baby), I dry heaved like crazy. That hurt. A lot. Me no likey.
- Food aversion-This new (not-so) bundle of joy can also cause you to not be able to eat your favorite food, like popcorn. I had eaten popcorn since I was a baby and totally started to hate it. To this day, I can only eat three types of popcorn: movie theater popcorn, popcorn that you pop on the stove (yes, it exists), and Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Microwavable Popcorn with Pour Over Movie Theater Butter (extremely specific, I know). Also, I had, and to this day still have, a strong aversion to pizza. That’s right, pizza. Sadly, I found this out with Domino’s pizza and their robust tomato sauce or whatever. Baby no likey.
- Food experiences- I only had one, slightly odd craving. Tabasco flavored Slim Jim beef jerky dipped in vanilla ice cream. Happiness erupted when I had those two together. It makes me laugh a bit when I think back at how happy I was for food then. Ah, the memories. However, it also brings to my mind a bad experience. Seafood was never really my thing. In fact, the only seafood or fish I’ll eat is Southern fried catfish. Breaded properly. One day, I ordered some Chinese food and wanted cream cheese wontons some kind of bad. The person on the phone did specify that the restaurant had cream cheese wontons and not crab. He must not have understood me, because I bit into it to discover that it was crab and cheese wonton. Melted cheese and crab meat were the two first things I ever threw up in my life. Never again.
- Stretch marks- I’m not saying definitively that if you scratch a certain part of your body that stretch marks will appear, but that happened to me in a couple of places…in PERFECT scratch mark shapes. Space and everything. It is highly recommended that you just pat your itchy spots or put lotion on the itchy spots every time they itch. I would wake up a few times during the night to put lotion on my person. There are no creams that can prevent stretch marks. If you have the genes for it, then you will get the marks. I know, it stinks. I’m sorry.
- Feet- They may grow. Mine grew half a size (not from swelling). I was very sad to get rid of my favorite pair of shoes, but it was too uncomfortable to squeeze into the pair.
- Ribs- They can twist together. It hurts. A lot. Talk to your doctor if you think this is happening to you.
- Face- It is inevitable, your face will probably get a little fatter. How fat depends on the person. For me, let’s just say a certain attendant at the eye glasses store asked me if I had my picture taken while I was pregnant. I was in denial about how fat my face had gotten until I looked at my I.D. Not awesome. (Hint: Guys, your lady will probably have some image issues while she’s pregnant. Just comfort her and assure her that you are still very attracted to her and that you love her. It helps.)
- The Waddle- The waddle is funny. I laughed at myself when I began noticing that I was waddling. Your spine is out of whack, your equilibrium (ooh, big word) is thrown off, and you have a belly out past your feet. You will waddle. Embrace it like the penguin you’ve known you could always be….waddle waddle.
Taking care of that little
- The first poop- It is nasty. Your husband may get so dramatic when he sees it that you will pee yourself from laughing and he has to change it while you change yourself. (Remember bladder control = non-existent now.)
- Poop- It may spill out of the diaper and onto you. How this happens when he has a diaper, onesie, and pants on, I’ll never know.
- Pee- Even girls can arch their pee to hit you in the face. I learned this from a good friend who has a girl. There are things called peepee-teepee’s made for boys. It’s a little cone-type thing you place on their weewee’s when you change their diaper. True story. Really wish I heard of that when my son was younger.
- Spit up- Some babies spit up more than others and it may require you to give them medicine a couple of times a day to correct it. Before my son got his medicine to correct this, he spit up in my mouth. You see, I was at a friend’s house the weekend before my husband came home from Afghanistan. While we were waiting on the rest of the people to meet at her house before we went to a free football game, I played on the floor with my son. When I lifted him up above my head, with my mouth open (I was talking to him), a waterfall of puke landed in my mouth. My friend, Amber, rushed over and put a burp cloth under my mouth so I could spit it out. She also gave me pink lemonade to get the taste out. It took so much pink lemonade.
- Colic- Having a baby with colic is extremely stressful. I feel extra sorry for the parents of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) when two or more of their children are colic. Your baby will eventually grow out of it, causing you to permanently lose your mind in the process.
- Favorites- your husband may be your baby’s favorite person, even though you feed, clothe, soothe, clean, and bathe him and all he really sees for the first four months of life (except for the first week of life) of his daddy is on a computer screen. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my husband and son bonded so well and that my son is always happy when he saw/sees his daddy, but I am a little jealous. This kid still cries the most around me. Oh well.
- Diapers- They weren’t kidding when they say newborns need to be changed a lot. So many diapers.
- Older babies- Once your baby gets older and you get into a routine, things will get easier. Then harder again as you deal with a mobile baby. Encourage your baby’s independence, it’ll help him more in the long run.