We've all heard the cutesy buzzwords and phrases surrounding pregnancy—"she's got a sweet little bun in the oven!" or "she is absolutely GLOWING!" Except in my experience, it's more like I have a tiny, angry ninja stuck in my uterus (and she's using my bladder as her personal pillow), and that's actually just profuse sweat you're seeing all over my body, no sign of a glow here, y'all.
You might have an ethereal vision in your head of what pregnancy is. If you're lucky, that perfect vision might just become a reality (and then women all over the planet will hate you with vigor). But chances are, there are going to be some exceptionally weird, obnoxious, questionable and frankly just really gross things that happen to your body that have NOTHING to do with a prenatal glow.
Regardless of how your pregnancy experience actually turns out, most women will say it was much different than they expected it to be (why did NO ONE tell us that "lightning crotch" is a thing???) So that's why we've compiled a brutally honest list of things that no one told you could happen during your pregnancy (and it isn't for the faint of heart, you guys).
You're going to get VERY acquainted with your bathroom… and pretty much every bathroom within a 10-foot radius of you wherever you go for the next nine months.
While pregnant, you are going to spend majority of your life either peeing, or desperately searching for your next place to pee. And sadly, sometimes you won't even make it to the bathroom before the waterworks start a-flowin'. This overactive bladder business is no joke, people; one hard sneeze and you're a GONER. The most annoying part of this (yes, there is something more annoying than peeing your pants in public, believe it or not) is the absurd number of times you'll have to get up during the night to pee, making a full night of uninterrupted sleep a very, very distant memory even before the baby gets here.
The indescribable fatigue you feel in the first trimester is unlike anything you've ever experienced before. (Show this one to your partner so he'll understand why the laundry and dishes haven't been done in days… okay, weeks…)
Everyone knows tiredness and pregnancy go hand in hand; in fact, fatigue is a surefire RED ALERT signal to most women to promptly delve into The Secret Bathroom Drawer (all women have one) and whip out their underground stash of pregnancy tests. But absolutely no one can prepare you for the utter exhaustion you'll experience during those first few months, as cliché as it sounds. Some days, merely walking from the bed to the toilet (a trip you're sure to be making a lot) can feel like you've just run a marathon. And most nights you won't even remember falling asleep, it becomes more like just blacking out; one minute you're brushing your teeth and having a casual conversation with your husband about his day, and the next thing you know you're waking up and it's the next morning. The good news? The fatigue tends to subside during the 2nd trimester (a.k.a. The Honeymoon Phase of pregnancy) so on days you feel like you have 50-pound sandbags tied to all your extremities, just remember there's a light at the end of this grueling tunnel.
The term "Morning Sickness" should legally be changed to "All Freaking Day Sickness."
Guys, morning sickness isn't true! Great news, right?! Wrong. It's bad news… terrible news, to be exact. Morning sickness isn't true because it is actually ALL DAY SICKNESS that doesn't discriminate any hour of any day. Our whole life has been a lie! Sure, you're prepared to wake up feeling a little queasy in the mornings while you're cooking your little peanut over the next few months. But are you prepared to go to bed feeling that same way (after spending your entire afternoon with a constant, nagging carsick feeling)? Whoever labeled it "morning sickness" played a cruel joke on pregnant women everywhere. Luckily, there are ways you can get a little relief, just talk to your doctor about safe options.
Get ready to look like your 8th grade yearbook photo again (oh yeah, plus an extra 40+ pounds or so).
Pregnancy acne is a real thing, y'all, and it can rear its ugly little head with a vengeance while you're busy creating a new life. Even though you're now old enough to be growing a tiny human inside of you, you're going to feel like you're 13 all over again when you look in the mirror and can play a fun little game of connect the dots with the mountainous, deep-seated zits plaguing your once-spotless pre-pregnancy face. And the worst part is you can't dip your head in a huge vat of Retinol or Salicylic Acid like the good old days to clear those suckers up STAT; sadly, most of your fave effective and gloriously strong acne treatments are major no-no's for a pregnant gal. But take heart: book a trip to see your dermatologist ASAP and she'll be able to offer you some safe options to quell your pimple probs while you're rocking the bump.
You might not immediately feel a bond with your unborn fetus, and that's perfectly ok.
Listen, you have nine months to wrap your head around this strange, scary, confusing, bizarre, beautiful time in your life, so take your time and don't rush your feelings (or what you think you're SUPPOSED to be feeling). Social media is a sometimes dangerous beast, and you might see other pregnant women gushing on Instagram over the "incredible, amazing bond" they already feel with their unborn child at only 7 weeks pregnant. If you feel gassy, bloated, tired, slightly terrified and certifiably crazy (basically anything BUT a special bond with this foreign little alien kicking you in the ribs when you're trying to sleep) DON'T WORRY! Those feelings will come, PROMISE. Everyone's pregnancy experience is different so try not to compare yours to others. (So basically, STEP AWAY FROM THE FACEBOOK, y'all. It'll be there when you return from the Land of Crazy Pregnancy Hormones, and it'll be a much safer place for you then.)
Be prepared to be cursed with the awkward "almost pregnant" belly for way longer than you think.
Before you're pregnant, you just assume that when you are pregnant you'll have this cute baby bump like you see in the movies or the maternity magazines. That cute bump will come… but not for a while. In some cases, and especially if it's your first pregnancy, you can go through almost your entire 2nd trimester and STILL be stuck in the awkward, in-between limbo phase where you haven't quite popped all the way yet, provoking people to nervously think to themselves "is she or isn't she?" While gaining weight is never fun for any woman, you might find yourself actually wishing you'd pack on some pounds around your belly so that you'll finally look positively pregnant, and not like you've just eaten a huge burrito for lunch…
Let's see, how can we put this lightly…ok, we can't. You're going to have gas. And you're going to have a lot of it.
Ok, and by a lot of it we mean you could easily fit right in on a school bus full of sticky, stinky junior high football players. Makes you feel real cute, right? This is just one of the many insufferable pregnancy symptoms you're going to have to accept and realize you can't keep blaming it on the dog anymore. So just apologize profusely to your husband in advance and make sure he knows that just because you're experiencing flatulence issues, this is NOT a free pass for him to let 'em loose too (yours is a PROVEN MEDICAL CONDITION, ok? His is just pure grossness.)
And while we're on the lovely subject, let's talk about the fact that regular bowel movements will be a thing of the distant past.
Bet you never thought there'd come a day where you covet your bowel movements and silently apologize for taking them for granted all these years, eh? Well if you're preggers, that day has finally come; going "big bathroom" will start to resemble some sort of Olympic challenge deserving of a gold medal once it finally does happen. Along with a little patience and a whole lot of mental determination, mild stool softeners recommended by your doctor will be your saving grace to combat this pesky problem.
The art of landscaping will become obsolete, and we're not talking about your front yard.
Gone will be the days of meticulously grooming your lady parts to the satisfaction of both you and your partner. When you're pregnant, it'll be a miracle if you can even see your feet, let alone the dark, cavernous, neglected place in between your thighs. Now the thought of blindly going at it with a sharp razor will not only seem terrifying but mainly just downright exhausting. So just let it be wild and free, ladies, and if your partner has a problem with that, just tell him he can get down there and shave it himself (that should shut him up).
You'll have some pretty wild, crazy and sometimes raunchy dreams.
You love your Baby Daddy, right? Then why are you having racy, explicit dreams about James Franco every other night? (I could've sworn I really was riding on the back of James Franco's motorcycle on our way to his private island…I was devastated when I woke up to my stupid alarm clock and my dog practically sitting on my face. IT JUST FELT SO REAL, Y'ALL.) If you're waking up with visions of hooking up with your hubby's best friend (you miiiight not wanna mention that one to him, gals), don't freak out. It doesn't mean anything except that you're pregnant and it's a known side effect that dreams of all kinds dramatically increase while you're preggo. Just enjoy it while you can and maybe keep a dream journal so you can go back and revisit your torrid romantic affairs.
So there you have it, ladies—the real, raw truth. We know this is just the very tip of the iceberg and every brave mama has her own battle stories, so let us know if we missed any of your personal "favorites"!