Being pregnant has definitely been enlightening. I thought I knew a lot about pregnancy- and maybe compared to some people, I did/do. But being pregnant has definitely taught me even more.
I’ve always been the girl who steps in to help the pregnant women. “Here, let me get that for you” if she drops something and has to bend, or if she’s reaching for something on the top shelf, or at work and something is heavy-ish. That’s just me. But being on the receiving end, well, it’s weird for me.
I’ve always been “super woman” (although that’s probably too strong a phrase, but whatever). I always work hard, rarely asking for help. I could push my body beyond its limits and be okay. I could force my tired body to pick up the pace and walk faster. I did pretty much everything for myself, and accepting help just wasn’t me.
Some things I’ve learned I already knew of, just didn’t understand- like being dead tired after doing nothing.
So, without further ado, here’s some things, in no particular order, I’ve learned since being pregnant.
- It is A-OK to accept help, it doesn’t make you weak.
- Eventually, no matter how hard you try, your posture will start to slump. I have done pretty well in keeping my back straight, but since I hit about 35 weeks, I’ve noticed I’ve been catching myself slumping over a lot more frequently. And it’s easier to just stay that way because my back hurts…but then my dear baby squishes herself into my ribcage and being slightly stooped, it makes it even more uncomfortable. Guess she’s helping me keep my back straight. Haha.
- My feet hurt! I hate my feet being touched, but during this pregnancy, I’ve accepted foot massages because after working, they kill me. My feet never bothered me before, but I guess the added weight baring down on them gets to them.
- Leg cramps. Holy cow, the leg cramps. You know those charley horses you get in the middle of the night? Yeah, it’s way worse. Usually I could eat a banana, and avoid getting them for another six months or so (don’t ask, but it worked). I have tried eating a banana every day, but nope, I still get these cramps. I’ve increased my water intake. Still get them. Granted, drinking more water seems to help. I honestly didn’t know about leg cramps in pregnancy. I didn’t know it was a thing in pregnancy until I started experiencing them, and looked it up. My mom then informed me, that yes, leg cramps are a very painful part of pregnancy.
- Round ligament pain. I am pretty sure I have heard of it, but didn’t really understand it. I hated it…I had it pretty bad the first trimester and mentioned the pains to my doctor, and she said it’s very normal, but if the cramps got really bad or came with spotting/bleeding, give them call. That never happened, and eventually they went away.
- Of course pregnant women like to eat…but for me, I didn’t know you could stuff yourself and a couple hours later, be ready to eat again. If I stuffed myself, I was done for the day. These last few weeks, I can eat like a pig and feel fat and miserable. And then a couple hours later, I’m in the kitchen looking for something to eat. This came in the third trimester, in the first two, if I made myself full, I was done eating for the majority of the day.
- Ok, this one is probably TMI, but I’m including it anyway because I seriously had NO IDEA it was a thing. And after searching the internet and reading forums, neither did many other women. Genital itching. No, no yeast or bacteria infection, not an STD (duh, you get tested at the beginning of your pregnancy). Just…itching. Painful itching. And you just want to scream. Some women speak of experiencing it from the early weeks until the baby is born. Others mention not getting it until the last several weeks, and it lasts til the baby is born. Both groups of women assured the women asking about the itching that once baby is born, the itching goes away. So that’s a positive, something to look forward to. They mention different ways of finding relief. For me personally, putting ice on the area (I put it in a sandwich bag and wrap it in a wash cloth) helps soothe the area. Usually keeps the itch at bay for a few hours. Not enough help, but if you’re laying in bed relaxing, it’ll stop you from scratching. And you can probably get a nap in. Which is always awesome. I also left my pants off when alone in my room, to let air get to the area. Again, offers small relief. So, I tried the personal feminine wipes to clean myself thoroughly every time I pee (get the sweat off my body) and using panty liners so it kept my underwear dry and when it got wet, I could simply change it. That has brought the most relief. (Oh and obviously showering every day helps, too.) I finally just bought the off-brand of Vagisil because 1) it’s cheaper and 2) the two active ingredients are the exact same. That has brought the most relief. I finally slept peacefully, without being awoken by a terrible itch. Oh, and I noticed a small relief when I upped my water intake.
- I have finally learned that it’s truly better to go by weeks than months. I always found it annoying when I asked a pregnant how far along she is and she said weeks. Like, can’t you just tell me in months? Well, sure. But weeks is just better. And you can figure out the months yourself when someone says how many weeks.
- Random people will randomly congratulate you. Literally. Out of nowhere I’ll hear “hey congratulations!” and I turn around and they’re smiling at me and pointing. Um…thanks.
- Sleep is your favorite activity. Or mine anyway.
So there it is. And I’m sure there’s other things, but offhand I can’t think of them. It’s growing late and I’m tired.