If you’re newly pregnant, congratulations! Also, condolences. You’re in for a wacky 40-week long roller coaster ride that may have you yelling that you want to get off. (Sorry, no refunds.)
The thing about being pregnant is that your body takes on a mind of its own. There are plenty of things that happen and feelings you get to feel that no one ever told you about. And for good reason: The world needs women to keep signing up for baby-hatching so we can survive.
To help you out, here are the 10 most shocking things I learned about pregnancy. Brace yourself:
Morning Sickness Can Last All Day
No one really understands what causes morning sickness, though doctors’ best guess is the buildup of pregnancy hormones in your body, which is especially likely to happen overnight — hence the early morning barf sessions. I hate to break it to you, though, they call it “morning sickness” but it can strike you anytime of day whenever it feels like it. Post work out sickness? Sure. Afternoon tea sickness? Why not. And while I was lucky enough to only feel nausease and never actually vomit during my pregnancy, I’ve known a few other ladies who were not as lucky.
You Might Wet Your Pants
I am not officially admitting that this happened to me, especially not while laughing uncontrollably during a really not that funny moment in Frozen, but all pregnant women have to pee way more than they ever did before. You’re carrying around a lot of fluid to fuel the baby-growing, after all. Combine a perennially full bladder with some sharp baby kicks, and you might just lose it. On the bright side, you can just tell people you think your water broke.
Your Water Can Break Long Before Your Due Date
Speaking of your water breaking, it can happen without you even noticing. Premature rupture of membranes can happen if you go into early labor or as a result of a fetal infection. It can also be tricky to diagnose, but it’s important to keep an eye on any potential leaks down there and call the doc if you notice anything weird.
You’ve Got Working Boobs Now
Sure, they look great since you’ve gained a few cup sizes, but — in what my husband declared was life’s greatest irony — they’ll hurt so bad that no one can touch them. Hell, maybe even you can’t touch them, thanks to the sensitive nipples and sore spots under your arms. The shower may or may not feel like you are being showered with bullets. And later? They leak.
You Senses Will Go Crazy
Things you used to love may send you racing to the door to escape its newly noxious stench. I had to run and hide from a particular female gym-goer with an affinity for Bath & Body works every time I wanted to squeeze in a workout. I also, and this pains me to admit, had absolutely zero taste for tea when I was pregnant. Me – who would take some Earl Gray intraveniously were it an option – wanted nothing to do with the stuff for 9 whole months. You never know what you’ll crave and what you’ll loathe.
You Never Miss Your Ankles Until They’re Gone
I know you’ve been warned about swelling, but mine came with lots of extra sweating — to the point where my hands were practically useless for anything but changing the channel on TV and I went up a full shoe size. On the bright side, I couldn’t stop staring at my gorgeous anklebones a week after giving birth — new favorite body part!
Round Ligament Pain Can Knock You Down
Every time I rolled over in bed, I would end up waking myself up in massive, shooting pain courtesy of my stretched-out round ligaments. Round ligament pain is a sharp pang that can leave you doubled over for daring to do such high-aerobic activities as standing up or sneezing.
Pink Sink Syndrome
Pregnancy gingivitis is a real thing. When you’re pregnant, your gums can get swollen and bleed — a lot! — when you try to floss, leaving you to spit out mouthfuls of pink water when you rinse. Your doctor will tell you to just power through it, since you can’t exactly skip brushing your teeth for months on end.
Your Bowels Have A Mind of Their Own
TMI or not, I had no idea how much my bowel movements would change when I was pregnant. I guess when you’ve got a baby hanging out inside all of your internal plumbing things can get a little – off. Some days I would go more than I ever though possible – and sometimes I would go days without. The relationship between a pregnant woman and the bathroom is complicated.
It’s Open Season for Body Talk
Just about everyone you meet will have an opinion about your shape, your weight gain, or your labor and delivery plans. They’ll also want to touch your belly, so practice your evasive maneuvers now. There are really few things that feel as violating in the grocery store as a total stranger reaching out and touching you in the cereal aisle.
The good news? You’ll forget all about the weird stuff that happens to your body just in time to get pregnant with your next baby. I’m pretty sure that’s how evolution works.