10 fairly crazy things that nobody EVER mentions about pregnancy
Being pregnant kind of promises big (literally) but in some respects, I found it a little bit of a let-down (some lactating humour for you).
For starters, I couldn't eat nearly as much as I wanted to due to raging gas and creeping guilt thanks to all those ads about not eating enough fruit/nourishing the foetus adequately. Also, nothing had prepared me for the amount of times strangers would touch my belly.
Here are just ten of the mad things no one ever told me about pregnancy...
1. The feels are INTENSE
So much rage coupled with joy coupled with crying coupled with rage again. It's a confusing time. Even the X-Files made me cry when I gestating. There are no safe films for pregnant women except something completely ridiculous like Dude, Where's My Car? that was about the only film that didn't induce weeping for me back then.
2. The eating isn't all it's cracked up to be
This was quite disappointing really. I'd been looking forward to this but found that for the first few months I was too nauseous to really get into it and then by the time my appetite returned I was largely too full of baby to really gorge.
3. The anxiety is verging on debilitating
I had completely forgotten about this side of the pregnant life until a newly pregnant friend asked me in a slightly desperate voice if I'd felt worried ALL THE TIME during pregnancy. Then I remembered the perpetual terror that ebbed and flowed throughout my pregnancy.
4. Sex is weird
Maybe not everyone gets this but to me, pregnant sex = vaguely creepy sex. It's a bit like when you have sex with a pet in the room, and they seem to be staring at you, judging you. There's just this undeniable presence.
5. Sex is ESSENTIAL
The gestational horniness kinda took me by surprise. And it was definitely pretty unnerving for The Man – I'm guessing sex with a pregnant person is a bit like sex with a hormonal sperm whale. A lactating hormonal sperm whale – that's right for some lucky gestators the milk kicks in pretty early.
6. Apparently I'm carrying a piece of fruit
Every website I read likened my pet foetus to a piece of fruit. It's a blueberry, it's a satsuma, it's a jicama???
7. Not only does the baby kick you, it can also kick others
Just butt the bump up against the other half in bed or against outrageous public transport users who are resolutely refusing to give up their seat and let the angry little foetus do its worst. The foetus can also communicate in Morse code. This is an unsubstantiated personal theory but hear me out: Any time I asked it a question, it would kick once for yes, twice for no or sometimes once for no if it suited me better that way. Suffice it to say this was unendingly useful whenever The Man was resistant to going to the shops for Malteasers for me.
8. The acrobatics in your uterus feel KER-AZY
Not only does it feel crazy, it looks totally insane. Like the there's a human trapped inside a way-too-small flesh sack, which...OH WAIT... is in fact totally the case.
9. Strangers will touch you
This is a well-documented phenomenon, but what is actually more surprising is the number of people who will be openly freaked out by you and your bump. My own mother wouldn't feel for the kicks because it was "creepy".
10. Pregnancy is super, super dignified
People ask you about your pelvic floor muscles... IN COMPANY. How can I explain that my kegaling or not kegaling is no one's business but my own. And that's just the tip of the humiliation iceberg for pregnant women. Two words: Cough test.