It has been nearly a year since I delivered Forrest. I remember my pregnancy very fondly. I am one of those ladies who really loved being pregnant, and would gladly be pregnant again! While there are a lot of great things about the whole experience; there are a lot of things I wish that I had known about the whole process: Being pregnant, labor & delivery, and recovery. Because of this, I put a lot of thought, and work into this segment. With help from so many wonderful ladies, who have contributed to my segments, I decided to divide this post into four parts: Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery, Recovery, and Postpartum Depression.
What I Wished I Had Known About Pregnancy
You'll transform into a frat boy.
Seriously. I interacted with a bunch of frat boys during my college years. I dealt with some really crazy stuff in that house! There were smelly, disgusting farts, burping, and belching. Throw in uncontrollably peeing, leaks, and vomiting. Your inner fraternity boy will bloom during your pregnancy!
While I was very fortunate not to have deal with this while pregnant, I did combat awful migraine headaches, and feeling queasy all day from week 6 until week 13-14. What I was most surprised about was the fact that I had awful headaches. I had anticipated to feel queasy, and maybe throwing up, but never in million years, I would have expected to be seriously debilitated by headaches. 95% of the time, headaches caused me to feel so nauseous, cranky, and tired.
Morning sickness can last longer than the first trimester and prenatals can make you sick. -Casey T.
Morning sickness can come back anytime. -Kristin P.
Morning sickness isn't only for the beginning of your pregnancy. It can last the whole pregnancy, and if you can not handle it, tell your doctor. They will be able to help you. Pregnancy suckers don't help (it might for some, but did not for me) with your morning sickness. Figure out what you can eat, and stick to it otherwise you'd throw up all of the time. I was unable to eat any meats til very end of my pregnancy. I had a severe morning sickness for the first six months, and then until month 8, it was every other day. -Ginger A.
I never realized with morning sickness, you literally felt like shit all the time. I knew it wasn't just in the morning. I knew it could happen at any point through the day/all day, but I guess I thought you'd just throw up without all of the horrible non-stop nausea. -Anonymous
When Forrest became bigger in my womb, his head pressed against my lower abdomen, and it caused awful pressure on my bladder. I had to learn in a very fast way that if I needed to pee, then I better go right there otherwise I would have dribbled, or spilled all over my pants. There was even some instances where I lost control of my bladder, and peed all over myself! This became increasingly worse as I approached the final few weeks. I finally understood the importance of kegel exercise!
I had no idea that it would be so hard to control my bladder even before the baby got very big! -Anonymous
You can leak. Not just pee. Not just water breaking. But any other normal vag fluids. Panty liners help! -Casey T.
You might end up peeing when you throw up. -Kristin P.
I was shocked that my boobs started leaking around month 7. I was prepared for my boobs to leak after I gave birth, but nobody told me that it could START before you deliver your baby! -Anonymous
My pregnancy with Forrest, I was very active until a week before I gave birth to Forrest, and I was quite glad I remained active for several reasons. It helped me to deal with a lot of bodily aches because exercising encouraged my muscles to loosen up instead of stiffening up. I gained weight slowly, and healthily. I also lost weight quicker after delivery because of my maintenance work-out. I was NO exercise guru. I did not go crazy with work-outs. Actually, I just walked A LOT, and swam laps during the hot summer days.
I was never really told how important it was to exercise during pregnancy. Everyone always made sure I wasn't "overdoing" things so that added to less physical activity. If I were to become pregnant for a third time, I would stay more fit. It is really difficult to work on losing the baby fat afterwards. -Sarah S.
Round Ligament Pain.
This started very early on for me. I was about 8 weeks along when I started experiencing a lot of shooting, and cramping sensation in my lower abdomen. I worried that it was a bad sign, and later learned that it was a good sign! It meant Forrest was growing! RLP was the worst in first, and third trimesters for me. However, what was even harder than RLP was the rib pain. Forrest's foot/heel was in my ribs the whole time from week 22 until delivery.
Everyone goes on about glowing whilst pregnant, and etc, but I was so sick in the beginning, then had RLS, and because I had a short torso; I couldn't breath, and eat well. It was terrible. -Yasmina
Oh man, I wished someone HAD cautioned me about rage. The funny thing was, I prepared to become an emotional basketcase from all stories I've heard from others, read, and watched on TV/movies. I was NOT prepared for rage. It hit me in first trimester BEFORE I knew I was expecting. Everything pissed.me.off.badly. Non-pregnant me would have brushed it off, and moved on. Pregnant me? Forget it, I was fuming pissed. Everything set me off. Stu was such a saint to put up with me because everything he did, or said pissed me off! The crazy rage finally did subside as I went further along with my pregnancy, but it did not go away completely. I had NO sympathy for anybody when they came to me with their sob stories. I went from being very calm to raging mad in a second. It was insane.
Hormonal rage does exist because I always wanted to bitch slap my doctor for being dumb about my pregnancy. -Sarah
From my husband's perspective, he was shocked at how emotional I became whilst pregnant, and how much of a physical toll my pregnancy took on my body. -Yasmina
What annoyed me the most was that people kept telling me that I needed to get all rest I can before Forrest came. Oh really? Like I was not struggling with sleep already???! My huge belly was in the way. I had to get up every to pee or to drink or eat. I felt restless. I was uncomfortable, and hot. Every morning between 2-4 am, Forrest kicked up a storm. Then when it was close for me to deliver Forrest, I was anxious, and lost a lot of sleep that way. Because of this experience, I learned not to ever say "Get all rest you can" to any pregnant woman!
How are you meant to get a lot of rest before the arrival if you can't sleep to begin with! -Yasmina
As a pregnant woman, I had so much fun watching my body change. I loved watching my belly grow. I felt beautiful, amazing, and wonderful. It was a humbling experience. However, I did not realize HOW MUCH my body had changed. One of the weirdest changes I had seen was that one of my mole literally grew with my pregnancy. I asked my doctor about it, and she laughed! She explained to me that it was absolutely normal, and it should return to its size after I delivered. It did. I watched my belly button go from being an innie to being very flat. I saw a dark vertical line appear on my belly (called Liner Nigra), and that didn't go away until I was nearly 11 months postpartum. My hair was fabulous! I loved my hair. My skin, oh it glowed, and I looked great. Unfortunately, my hair became brittle, dull, and lost its shine after pregnancy. My skin was like a crazed teen girl breaking out for good four-five months after delivery. It did get better though!
Your nipples change colors. -Anonymous
Your belly gets hairy! That was embarrassing!! -Anonymous
How uncomfortable it gets toward the end of pregnancy -Jess
I never knew that you can get itchy nipples. They drove me up the wall during my first trimester. The only thing that helped was using a lotion. -Gracie
Expect your breasts to GROOOOOOOOOOOOW. They may only grow one cup size or they may grow 4, but expect a serious change, and dont' expect them to return to the size they were before. They may shrink, but the shape will be changed. -Patrice
Doctors don't always know everything.
Even if you are the first time mom, you know your body the best, and do what is right for you. I had a pretty scary moment over July of 4th while I was pregnant with Forrest. I had not felt him move for 5 hours, and called the hotline through my OB-GYN office. The doctor on the phone was somewhat dismissive, and had very little concern. I ended up telling Stu that I wanted to go in to be checked. Well, as it had turned out, I was contracting, and that caused Forrest not to move as much! I was dehydrated, and needed more fluids. Even though Forrest was doing great, I was glad I went in to be looked at anyway.
I wish from the beginning I would have been watched more closely. In hindsight all the concerns and thing I was worried about lead to a lot of complications in the end. Every complaint I had was always written up as 'oh that's just twins pregnancy'. In the end my concerns (my inconsistent blood levels, weird rashes, early contractions that at times were timely, swollen legs, very low weight gain) and a very quick ultra sound given by a tech that seemed preoccupied lead my baby girl going into growth restrictions and causing per term labor at 28 weeks. After being rushed to GB hospital and put on magnesium they were able to stop labor and found that Haven was being growth restricted. So sometime between my last good ultra sound and the ultra sound that left me uneasy which was just days before per term labor something had happened and she had stopped growing. I had ultra sounds every 4 weeks because of multiples. Both babies continued to be monitored 24 hours a day while I was completely bed ridden. At that point they allowed me to go home but with 24 hour supervision and coming back for testing every 3 days. Both babies continued to be active and everything seemed fine but they couldn't do a growth test for 3 weeks to truly know if the twins would need to be delivered or continue carrying. If Haven did not grow significantly they would deliver without choice at 31 weeks. At 31 weeks elaborate testing revealed that Haven completely bounced back, I remained on bedrest to keep them cooking. -Ashley A.
Stay tuned for Part Two: Labor & Delivery!!!