As I wrap up the first half of my pregnancy, I’ve been reflecting on the things that have surprised me so far. Pregnancy has and hasn’t been what I expected, mostly in a good way. I have had a very easy, healthy pregnancy so far and hope it continues that way (knock on wood).
Here are the things I found surprising:
1) I had zero morning sickness. Some nausea, but no puking. I totally expected to be a barfer, since I was known for throwing up quite a bit growing up (I got motion sickness very easily and used to puke from nerves at track meets).
2) The first trimester is exhausting. I had heard this, but I thought women were exaggerating (the women I heard this from are kind of known for exaggerating). I was not prepared for the sheer exhaustion I felt for several weeks that first tri. I was shocked that some nights I barely made it until 7:30 pm before going to bed. Hitting the gym? Not likely! I could barely keep my eyes open to watch Big Bang Theory, let alone ride a stationary bike.
3) The “in-between” phase for maternity clothes lasts quite a while. I am not one of those people who thought I’d have an instant belly and be wearing cute maternity clothes immediately. I knew that at first my “belly” was from bloat, not baby. So I wasn’t surprised that it took a while before I really needed to put away my regular pants and swap for maternity options. I started wearing maternity jeans around week 15 or so, just because they were more comfy, and I think it was around week 17 that I stopped being able to wear regular pants entirely. I only started to wear maternity shirts in the last week or so. Most of my regular shirts do still fit, but they’re a bit tight and the maternity shirts show off my belly better.
Even though I’m now in maternity clothes, that doesn’t mean they fit perfectly. My belly, while too big for regular pants, isn’t bit enough to fill out the maternity pants, so I’m constantly having to pull them up. It’s been that way since I started wearing them and is kind of annoying. I know my belly will fill them out but I wish I could get through this my-pants-are-going-to-fall-down phase. It’s lasting longer than I thought.
4) Pregnancy makes people think they can say whatever they want to you. My mother-in-law hopes we have “a puker” because apparently my husband threw up a ton as a baby. When I told her that wasn’t very nice, she modified her wish to say she hopes the baby just throws up on my husband. I meant that it wasn’t nice to wish that on the baby! People also seem to love telling me I am having twins. I’m not really that big (the two girls in my yoga class who are due around the same time I am are both bigger). I don’t get it.
5) People seem surprised when I say I don’t have a gender preference. When asked if I want a boy or girl I always answer that I either is great, as long as he or she is healthy. People don’t seem to believe me. Is it really so hard to believe I’m more concerned with my baby’s health than gender?
6) I thought my monthly doctor appointments would be more involved. I knew there would be just the two ultrasounds, barring any complications, but I thought the in-between appointments would be a little more detailed. At my first appointment I was given a packet of information, but now it’s just pee in a cup, blood pressure, listen to the heartbeat, any questions? Then I’m on my way. I do always have the opportunity to ask questions but I thought I’d be given more questions – I’m not exactly sure what I should be asking!
I don’t feel overwhelmed by the lack of info, but I think that’s because I’ve made it a point to do reading on my own. I think reading from a variety of sources, as well as bouncing questions off my mommy friends, helps me to feel more knowledgeable about the process. I have What to Expect, of course, as well as Your Pregnancy Week by Week (recommended by my best friend, a mother of two). I subscribe to Fit Pregnancy magazine and just picked up Mama Glow: A Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy. The author of Mama Glow wrote an article I read in Fit Pregnancy and since I enjoyed the article I thought I’d check out her book. It focuses on eating well (she’s a vegan!) and exercising (especially yoga) to have your best pregnancy possible.
So that’s what I’ve found surprising so far. I’m sure the second half of pregnancy will be filled with even more surprises – and I know motherhood will!
What surprised you during your first pregnancy?