I’ve written about my personal experiences of pregnancy in the past, and I will be the first to tell you: it’s a magical experience. There are so many incredible things that happen during those 40 weeks. Your body will surprise you in ways you can’t even imagine. The sheer wonder of growing human life will blow you away at times. That said, there is another side to pregnancy. The less glamorous aspects that you are less likely to discuss with colleagues in work or the girl at the till in Tesco. For the purpose of full disclosure, I’m going to be honest. When it comes to pregnancy, sometimes it’s less glow and more gross. So here you have it, a comprehensive list of the things you don’t miss when baby leaves the ‘building’ so to speak.
I don’t even know where to start with this one. There will be times where you will have crazy greasy hair for no reason. There will be unwanted hair. Hair may just sporadically sprout from random places. Like a single hair can just appear on your chin some day to say hello. In the later stages you will also have the logistical challenge of trying to reach your legs don’t mind anything else with your razor. And as for the hair you do want? Like that on your head, ah yeah that has the potential to fall out, in chunks, just to give you the heads up.
Your oesophagus will literally become a flaming pipe of lava for prolonged periods of time no matter what you eat or drink. You will probably be drinking Gaviscon with the enthusiasm you once had for a G&T, be chomping on Remigel like a camel and moping miserably over restaurant menus trying to determine which foods are least likely to burn through your insides.
There is no nice way to say it, these bad boys are a feature of pregnancy. Let’s face it, with all the iron tablets and food you shovel in during pregnancy, constipation happens. Even if you somehow manage to dodge the constipation bullet (pun intended), the sheer weight of a tiny being pushing down doesn’t help the situation. She who does not speak of the haemorrhoid most probably has one! They are horrible, unpleasant and downright painful. Don’t mess about and just go full disclosure with your GP. Go sooner rather than later and get a prescription for something to help you out.
Peeing will be the bane of your life. Well that might be slightly dramatic, but towards the end of your pregnancy you will curse your overactive, two dimensional bladder. The peeing never ends. From 5 trips to the bathroom at night, to giving every healthcare professional you meet a vile of your pee, it’s relentless. You will invariably end up peeing on your hand at some stage towards the end when trying to collect said sample in the narrowest sample jars known to man. And just in case, peeing on your hand wasn’t enough, there will be times when you will invariably pee yourself. When you laugh or sneeze, or just generally when you least expect it – pee. Prepare yourself ladies, by the end of a pregnancy you will feel terribly let down by your bladder and it may take time for you to trust it again.
One day you may just wake up, look in the mirror and realise you look like a road map. An elaborate collection of blue routes suddenly visible and protruding. Your chest, a vision of blue veins going in every directions under your skin. If you are lucky enough, the oh so attractive phenomenon that is varicose veins may start to appear up and down your legs, and beyond. When I say beyond, yes that’s right, sore, swollen veins in your actual vagina – as if things weren’t going to be hard enough going down there. Your new wardrobe staple will be support tights and leggings to increase circulation and blood flow. Which, may I add, you will pay ridiculous amounts of money for in attempt to ease the dull ache of dragging your legs around.
It’s hormones being a bitch again. For whatever reason, you will have a lot more saliva than usual during pregnancy. This can invariably lead to you waking in a pool of your own drool – a really good look. It is also possible to dribble accidentally when speaking – yes really.
Advice from a Veteran
My advice? Suck it up – and I don’t just mean the drool! Joking of course! What I really mean is, yes all of the above is gross, frustrating and overall a bit ick at times. That said, the end result more than justifies the means. You will most likely return to a shadow of your former glory. I say this because again it’s the truth. Pregnancy just like birth and most experiences in life isn’t the same for any two people. Everything might not go back to how it was before baby, and you may very well bring a few scars from the trenches (hello stretchmarks!). That said you will go back to a new version of normal. For me, I have more of an appreciation of my new normal because of the incredible things my body went through to give me two outstanding tiny humans. So embrace it and take it easy on yourself knowing that what you are experiencing is more ‘normal’ than it feels.
For more insights into the joys of pregnancy click here