We’ve all seen movies or read books with pregnant people in them. Most of us have seen pregnant people in our lives, some of us have been close to them. Close enough to learn things, observe things, and ask questions too. There are things we all know about pregnancy or at least we’ve seen it in movies, read about it in books, or heard/seen it directly from family members, etc.
But what about all the surprises? What about all those things you don’t think about until they happen? What about all those things that no one talks about, and then all of a sudden you’re pregnant and going, “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!” then, and only then, do people (doctors, people who have been there, other mothers in your life, etc.) say,
“Oh yeah,” shrug “That happens.”
Here’s my swiftly growing (much like my belly these days) list of the biggest WHAT THE HELL?!’s so far that no movie, book or person in my life warned me about, much less thought to mention:
My hands and arms fall asleep at night. While I’m sleeping. I’m a back sleeper normally, but pregnancy has forced me onto my sides both for my own and BB1’s health. If I lay on my right side, my right arm and hand fall asleep. If I lay on my left side, my left arm and hand fall asleep. And when I say asleep, I mean COMPLETELY. As in Dead-Arm, complete with pins & needles as it wakes up once I turn the other way. Yep, I googled it, and yeah, “It happens.” and yeah, “It usually goes away after delivery.”
Round Ligament Pain. It’s pretty well known that starting your second trimester, you have more energy and feel better because most morning sickness is waning. But no one warns you that just because you have the energy, doesn’t mean you should keep moving at the same pace, with the same agility you had pre-pregnancy. Because one day, in your second trimester, you’ll move with the same routine movement you’ve been doing your entire life and all of a sudden you’ll be struck with a terrible pain in your belly/pelvis that feels like you’ve torn your muscles wide open. Yeah, “It happens.” and yeah, “It becomes more frequent the bigger baby gets” because your body is stretching beyond anything it’s seen so far in your life and yeah, “It goes away after delivery.”
Glucose Tests. Depending on your doctor, your medical history, and previous bloodwork, you could be in for up to 4 of these. This involves drinking a nasty orange drink, resembling flat orange soda mixed with Pedialyte, strictly for its syrupy-ness. I lied, you’re not drinking it, it’s more like chugging because you have to finish the whole thing in less than 5 minutes, and it’s so gross you don’t want to prolong it anyways. Then you wait an hour and then they draw your blood to test how your body handles the sugar overload. I had one at the beginning of my second trimester which I aced. My doctor ordered one for the beginning of my third trimester, which I missed by one point. The range is up to 140, and I came back with 141. I’m pretty sure that single point over is because I thought about eating one single Tim Tam before my test (I didn’t actually eat it, but I thought long and hard about it). Guess what? That one, single, measly, teensy-weensy point meant I got to go in for a 3 HOUR GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST. This involved fasting for 12 hours, going in and drinking a drink that was twice as sugary as the initial orange drink, and sitting, stationary, in the lab as they drew my blood every hour, on the hour, for the next three hours, to be 1,000,000% sure that I did not have Gestational Diabetes. I wanted to slash some throats, eat an entire food truck and sleep for approximately 3 days by the time we hit the 3-hour mark. It’s got to be against the Geneva Convention to make a pregnant woman fast. Guess what, every pregnant woman has at least one Glucose Test. No one mentions it. Ever. Because it sucks, and we all try to block it from our minds.
The complete inability to articulate your feelings and/or emotions about anything. I’m a big feeling and emotion sharer, but these days, sometimes I feel some type of way, and no matter how much I think about it, try to process it, or try to explain it, I just can’t. M has gotten really great about recognizing this and knows that I can’t articulate how I feel, much less what I need at that moment, or how to fix anything or make it even remotely better. He reaches for the remote to make the tough decision as to what to watch, or he’ll grab the pint of ice cream and a spoon (and potholder, because it’s too cold to hold), or he’ll open up one of our favorite board games, and pull my comfy chair over to the table so I can play, or he’ll put a cat or dog in my lap, or just hold me so I can cry it out. Yeah, this is normal in pregnancy because of the surges of all the hormones, over and over, for almost 10 months. Yeah, nearly every woman goes through it. No, no one talks about it.
In our hospital, we either have a sonogram in the fetal radiology department where we get to see and hear the baby and then head up to see the doctor OR we just have a doctor’s appointment where we’ll listen to the heartbeat in the doc’s office. In the fetal radiology department, the rooms are darkened, and the environment is conducive to a black and white image on several screens in the room, and the wand gel they spread on your tummy is warmed to more than 98 degrees making for a pleasant experience. In the doc’s office, it’s a handheld Doppler, and the wand gel they spread on your tummy is at “room temperature” or in other words: FUCKING FREEZING. All it takes is one time, and you’ll never take that gel warming doo-hickey for granted. Ever again.
I’m only at 30 weeks, and this is my list thus far. I’m sure there’ll be more to add in the upcoming 10 weeks, especially as I approach whale status.