As a disclaimer, I am by no means an expert on pregnancy. I am a simply a first time mom who is experiencing this crazy ride for the first time. There are tons of lists online of things to expect when you are expecting. There are loads of books on this topic alone. For myself, a lot of my questions were and are being answered by other people who have experienced pregnancy before. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you can't know what pregnancy will be like until you experience it yourself. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is also different and unique to each individual. For myself, I know there were many things I already knew about pregnancy. But there were also things that no one told me (and I wish they would have). Now don't fear. Not all of these "things" are bad. In fact, I have learned that there are many awesome aspects of pregnancy. Whether good or bad, I figured I would share my experience thus far with pregnancy. If you yourself are ever interested in having children, maybe this will help :) or maybe not. Either way, enjoy!
1. Not all women end up with morning sickness!
What a positive way to start a list, wouldn't you say? Seriously though, all you ever hear is how miserably sick you are going to be in your first trimester. No one told me though, that dreadful morning sickness does not have to be your fate. For my own pregnancy, yes I was a bit sick for a few days. Actually, I did get a bit nauseous throughout the day for a few months. But there was no dramatic trips to the toilet, and I was overall able to completely continue my daily life. As long as I wasn't hungry, I did not feel too sick at all. Some women feel absolutely no sickness and it takes them a long time to even discover they are pregnant in the first place. Although, the opposite is also true. Some women have such bad morning sickness they require trips to the hospital. I feel very bad for those women, and my hope is that to not be the case for you! My point is, don't let other women scare you into thinking you are going to die with morning sickness. There is still hope that you may be part of the lucky few who don't get sick, or only slightly sick. Again, every pregnancy is a unique story.
2. Your first "signs" of pregnancy might be be very odd. If you even have any.
A women often knows she is pregnant when she feels the classic symptoms or signs. Some of these include nausea, tender breasts, mood swings, and the most obvious, a missed period. However, there are also some very odd symptoms out there that no one told me about, such as a runny nose. Yes ladies, you produce more mucus when you are pregnant, therefore you can have a runny nose. Spotting is also another sign of pregnancy that I never would have guessed. When it came to my pregnancy, I had no other symptoms except for the constant need to urinate. I didn't feel sick, my breasts didn't feel sore, and I wasn't even tired. I just needed to use the bathroom. Like very two hours. In fact, I went to the doctor thinking I had UTI. A few days later after no relief, I took a test and there it was. That faint positive sign. Apparently the need to urinate all the time can start very early in pregnancy due to hormones. I had no idea! My point is, pregnancy may come with signs that you would never even think about. Some women don't even have symptoms at all. So if you are trying to get pregnant and your body is acting strange in any way, it doesn't hurt to take a pregnancy test!
3. The first trimester is full of waiting. And more waiting. And more waiting.
No one told me how much waiting would take place in the first few months. You wait when watching the pregnancy test, you wait to be able to announce the pregnancy, but also there was waiting that I was not expecting. For instance, I had no idea doctors usually won't even see you for your pregnancy until you are around 8 weeks or so. When you first find out you are pregnant this can feel like a lifetime! From then on you have to patiently wait for every appointment to make sure everything is going well. When your baby is the size of a sesame seed or small bean, you don't feel its movements in the first trimester. This can make waiting until the next appointment very difficult. If you are anything like me, you just want to know you are indeed still pregnant and that your baby is healthy. I also had no idea you only see the doctor once a month for most of your pregnancy. Waiting was the theme of my first trimester. Be prepared for this!
4. Cramping is not necessarily a bad sign.
With miscarriage rates so high in the first trimester, every new feeling in your body can cause alarm. With my own pregnancy, I cramped quite a bit in the first few weeks. Some of them were quite uncomfortable and I thought for sure something bad was happening. However, apparently cramping is quite common as your uterus is stretching and making room for a baby. Unless you have bad cramps along with blood, my doctor said there is usually no concern. If someone had told me this before, it would have saved me from a lot of restless nights worrying!
5. You might not get to hear the heartbeat as early as you hope. And that is okay.
This one is so important! I really wished I would have been warned of this when I got pregnant. It would have prepared me for some disappointment. In theory, you should be able to hear the heartbeat as early as week 8. However, many doctors won't even try to hear the heartbeat until around 11-12 weeks. Even then the heartbeat might be difficult to find because the baby is still very small. I had no idea how hard it can be to find the heartbeat. It's not at all like in the movies! If your baby is hiding or in the wrong position, it can be very hard to hear it's heartbeat in the early weeks. In fact, it can be described as finding a needle in a haystack sometimes. I went in for my 11 week appointment and was not able to hear it. I was not at al panicked because my doctor said that is extremely common. However, it was sooooo disappointing. My husband even came with me to hear it and we got nothing. Luckily, our 12 week ultrasound was just a few days later. We were able to see our baby happily bouncing around. So just be prepared that the possibility of you not hearing your baby's heartbeat is there, but that doesn't mean something wrong is going on. Just be patient, you will hear that little heartbeat eventually. And it will be magical.
6. You might take a long time to start showing.
When I got pregnant I knew that it might take me a long time to start actually looking pregnant. Depending on your position, this can be either an awesome thing or a disappointing thing. Every body is different, but I had no idea it would take me almost 6 whole months before I looked obviously pregnant. With your first pregnancy your body takes much longer to show because it has not yet had to stretch out for a baby. By your second child though, you will show much quicker. I started getting a bump around 18-19 weeks but it wasn't until my 23rd-24th week that my belly bump was a pregnancy bump and not just a food baby! I guess to other people I just looked like I was getting fat. Oh well! But don't worry if you are getting pretty far in the pregnancy and still not showing. As long as your baby is healthy, it doesn't matter :). I know women who have shown very little all the way until the end of the pregnancy.
7. It might be a long time before you feel the baby move. And it may feel different than what you are told.
Just like it takes a long time to start showing for some women, it may also take a really long time to feel any movements from the baby. Depending on where your placenta is you may not feel the baby much at all the whole pregnancy. For myself, I felt some movements around week 18-20. Again, movements cal be felt as early as 12-13 weeks if you are pregnant with a second child or later. But for first pregnancies, movement might not be felt until 16-25 weeks. So obviously, the wait is different for every woman. In addition, everyone always told me I would know the baby was moving because it would feel like butterflies in my tummy. This was not the case for me at all! I would describe my feeling as more of a popping movement. Like someone was popping bubble wrap in my tummy. It takes awhile to recognize the baby over other things such as gas in your stomach. You will learn to recognize your baby no matter what it feels like to you.
I can't emphasize enough that every woman's body is different. So if any of these experiences are not the case for you, that is perfectly understandable. I just wanted to share my own experience with things I really wish people had prepared me for before I had to discover them myself. Maybe my own experiences can be beneficial to you :).
Until Next Time ,