Things I Didn’t Realize Before Getting Pregnant
As told by someone who is halfway through it.
Hello everyone! As you may or may not know, I am halfway through my first pregnancy. So far, pregnancy has been a rollercoaster of nausea, sleepiness, and general worry about how my baby will be when she’s born. Luckily, my husband and the rest of my friends and family have been excited to see me and the baby grow, so it’s been putting me in a very positive mood (especially now that I’m not as nauseous!).
Today, I wanted to talk about the things that you might not think about before you get pregnant. I am one of the first people of my friends to actually go through pregnancy, so I figured this would help both them and other moms-to-be see the not so common symptoms that I’ve been having personally. Of course, every pregnancy is different! I can’t speak for every mama in the world. I can only speak to what I’ve been going through so far!
As my body changes to accommodate for the baby inside, I’ve noticed my skin getting itchy. My baby bump isn’t like your average baby bump (I’ve always joked that I’ve had two levels of stomach, but it’s really noticeable now that I’m 5 months along!), so it’s been strange watching it grow.
My belly button in particular is SO itchy. I’ve never thought about my belly button as something that could be itchy all the time, but here we are. By the time I’m about to pop, I’m sure it’ll be an outie and it’ll be REALLY itchy!
I’ve been using shea butter to avoid crazy stretch marks, and it’s been working at making them less noticeable. I ultimately have some because obviously my skin is stretching, but the shea butter really helps with both the marks (making them less dark when they come in) and the itchiness. Lots of people use different things (creams, oils, etc.) but I already had the shea butter on hand and wasn’t using it for anything else. I’ve had stretch marks since I was 9, so I don’t mind getting new ones…but I will definitely try to make them less dark if I can!
Everyone knows that babies kick and move around inside the uterus during pregnancy. I am one of the lucky people that started feeling the flutters very early (I’m talking week 12…hella early). I’ve been feeling little girl move around basically since midway through the first trimester; I have been feeling her ALL the time now that she’s bigger.
No one really warns you about the sleep cycle of your child while they’re in the womb. They sleep during the day (you move around during the day so that rocks them to sleep), and they are active at night. Baby Girl moves SO much during the night. I knew my sleep would probably be interrupted by bathroom breaks, body aches, and general insomnia, but I had no idea how much I’d be waking up to my baby doing aerobic exercises in the womb. Every night I lay awake for a while, waiting for her to relax enough to go to sleep. A few hours later, I get up to pee and have to do it all over again!
I guess it’s good that I’ve been waking up to her movements, seeing as eventually I’ll be waking up to feed her and such. Still, it’s been wild to realize that she’s going to be the most active little kid around once she’s Earthside.
The Boob Problem
My boobs hurt. Plain and simple.
Breast pain is one of the first signs of pregnancy, so ever since Thanksgiving, my breasts have been so achy. Sometimes it feels like they’re on fire, sometimes it feels like someone is just stabbing them over and over. I knew that they would hurt and change, but it has been wild to really watch them do their thing in real time. I’ve never really felt any certain way about my breasts, but now that they’re achy and changing so much, I have found myself thinking about my pre-pregnant breasts every once in a while…I really took them for granted!
I know there’s so much more that will be happening with my breasts as I go about this journey, and I’m already worried about how breastfeeding will go if they’re in such pain all the time. I think I’ll learn much more about how that’ll go once I get closer to my due date, so for now I’m treating my breasts like fragile cargo, hoping that any one movement won’t take me out for the day!
I’m honestly not sure how cravings are supposed to work. I’ve seen stories about women who cry all the time, yell and act crazy, or won’t let their partners rest until they get the craving they desire. Admittedly, I have cried once or twice about food (I REALLY want Korean BBQ), but for the most part, cravings for me are more like my usual thoughts. As someone with ADHD, I tend to hyper focus on various things. I’ve realized that for me, food cravings are just like my normal, super intense thoughts.
The difference between hyper focusing and cravings are the dreams I’ve been having. I’ve been dreaming about food a lot during this second trimester! For example, I had a dream where my car got stolen when I went to go buy Grippos (a specific kind of potato chip that they only sell at certain places in Columbus), and when I caught the two girls trying to figure out how my car worked, I held onto the car for dear life until I got it back. Then I wrecked it. Apparently, that translated to me craving Grippos, so I went and bought some. They were delicious.
Another non-dream example of cravings was when I wanted Crab Rangoon REALLY bad. I don’t really enjoy crab rangoon all that much, but I just really wanted some for like a week. Finally, after we got paid, we had Chinese food! I ate those crab rangoon like it was my last meal. Upon finishing the last one, I kind of thought to myself, “Damn, that wasn’t really even THAT good…but the baby wanted it, soooo”.
I’m not sure if my cravings will get any more intense as I go through the second half of this pregnancy, but it really hasn’t been life or death like I’ve always heard it would be. I guess it’s nice that the food cravings haven’t hit me that bad! I’ve maintained my pre-pregnancy weight this entire time, which gives me hope that I’ll be able to bounce back pretty well post-birth. We’ll see what happens there.
All in all, pregnancy has been a weird, but nice, time in my life. I like being able to sing and talk knowing that my baby can hear me now, and I like the milestones that come with each week (for example, Miss Golubich has eyebrows and can make facial expressions now). I know that parenthood is a challenge, and it’s going to be a hard time for sure…but I think it’s going to be the most rewarding time of Matt and I’s lives to be able to watch our baby grow into a capable young woman. We just have to get there first!
Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope you liked my little insight onto how I’ve been during this pregnancy. It’s gone by so fast! I’m hoping I’ll be able to look back on this particular post later in life and laugh about how simple Pregnant Mary’s life was, even though it feels like a lot is going on!
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