What I’ve Learned About Pregnancy

At this point, I’m over halfway through my pregnancy (more like two-thirds! Crazy!) and I think I’ve experienced enough of it to tell all of you my impression of it.

All in all, it’s been a fairly easy pregnancy for me.  I was talking to my mom a little bit about it, and she said with all of her pregnancies, she was a “happy pregnant lady.”  While I don’t know that I’d call it happy, it hasn’t been the torture I’ve heard some women describe.

You know the horror stories – the women that are sick all the time, have swelling immediately, and/or gain way too much weight.  There’s one woman I work with that told me she was sick the entire time she was pregnant…and that’s why her daughter is an only child.  I’ve been lucky that my experience hasn’t been too extreme.

So here’s what I have learned about pregnancy:

  1. Tylenol/acetaminophen…they do NOTHING.  If there’s anything I miss most of all, it’s Advil/ibuprofen.  Before I was pregnant, I would take ibuprofen for everything – headaches, body aches, fever, whatever.  Now that it’s off-limits, I am not-so-patiently waiting for the day I’m allowed to take it again.  Thankfully all I’ve had to take anything for were the headaches I’ve gotten, especially at the end of the first trimester/beginning of the second, but I know the aches are coming…and I miss ibuprofen like it’s my job.  To the point I get jealous of the face Chris gets to take them.  Who would have thought I’d miss a medicine so much?
  2. Not everyone throws up.  It’s the first thing you often hear about pregnancy – morning sickness – but I got very little of it.  I was a little nauseous for a while, but never actually got sick.  I’m so thankful I haven’t really had to deal with that, but it does get annoying when that’s people’s first question about your pregnancy.
  3. Initial baby movements do not feel like a butterfly – at least not for me!  My mom led me to believe it would be a nice, tickling sensation when I first felt BB moving around, but I definitely felt jabs and kicks before I felt anything fluttering!  It was almost like BB had already learned to poke me when he/she wants something…like “hey mom, I’m hungry!”  I’m now at the point that I’ve felt all kinds of different movements, but it was definitely kicks at first for me rather than flutters.  It’s a weird feeling, but I love being able to feel BB move around and know things are ok in there.
  4. Swelling happens way earlier than you expect it to.  I started swelling at about 20 weeks, and thought for sure something was wrong…nope, my body is just ready to retain water earlier!  I haven’t worn my original wedding rings in months, instead wearing the cheap one I bought so I’d still be wearing a ring, and my feet swell on a regular basis.  I put them up under my desk at work and that helps, but I still need to put them up right when I get home.  I’m scared to see how much worse they’ll get in the next 14 weeks or so!
  5. Pregnancy fatigue is no joke.  I get tired walking up a flight of stairs, and a few hours at the mall is exhausting.  Sometimes I’m surprised I make it through the workday without falling asleep in my chair.
  6. Stretch marks seem to be something every woman is afraid of.  While I would have been ecstatic to not get any, it seems it just wasn’t in cards for me.  I’ve got them all over my growing belly, and you know what?  I’ll get to look at them forever and remember this pregnancy.  They’ll fade eventually, and I was never a girl who wore bikinis anyway!
  7. Buy Tums.  I had my first attack of heartburn in my life this week, and it was awful.  Except for maybe calling it throatburn, it’s aptly named.  I literally called about 20 people at work until I found someone who had some Tums…lesson learned.  I bought some on the way home that day and they are never leaving my purse again.
  8. People will think its okay to touch your belly as it grows.  Honestly, it doesn’t bother me too much yet, but I’m sure it’ll get old really fast.  I’ve read countless ways to deal with it, from backing away to putting a hand on the offender’s midsection…but I’m an anti-confrontational person.  I’ll probably just let it happen to be honest…I just hope it’s not still happening after BB is born!
  9. Buy a body pillow or pregnancy pillow.  Trust me on this one.  So far I’ve gotten away with a $10 body pillow, but buy what works for you.  Get sleep while you can!
  10. Maternity clothing is really not that bad nowadays.  Early on, I wore a lot of dresses since they didn’t pinch, and I’ve been rotating the same 3 pairs of work pants for the past 3 months or so.  Buy them.  Don’t try to get away with bigger versions of normal clothes – they don’t fit right and just make you feel fat instead of pregnant.
  11. Buy properly fitting undergarments.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll get bigger in those areas too.  It did invest in maternity underwear, and I’m so glad I did – they were inexpensive and I’m so much more comfortable.  Also, get your bra size measured – and not by those clowns at Victoria’s secret.  (Side note – Victoria’s secret drives me nuts.  They once measured me and proceeded to tell me I was a D.  My true pre-pregnancy size is a G cup.  In my experience, they have no idea what they’re talking about.).  I’m lucky enough to have a specialty store nearby that does a great job measuring and carries up to a K in cup size.  I’m so thankful to have them around, and it’s so important to have a bra that fits.  When I went to get new bras mid-way through my pregnancy, they made sure to measure me in a way that the ones I bought have some room to grow and hopefully should last me my whole pregnancy…hopefully!  (P.S. Properly fitting bras are a MAJOR pet peeve of mine, so if you have questions, I’ve likely researched it…comes with years of being well-endowed!)
  12. This is a little TMI…you will be in the bathroom a LOT.  Sometimes you will be “plugged up” for lack of a nicer term…and sometimes sneezing will make you have no control of your bladder.  It’s embarrassing, but normal.  Buy some Poise pads and try not to think about it too much.  No one knows but you.  (Unless, like me, you choose to tell all of your blog readers!)
  13. Pregnant women have a reputation for being gassy for a reason.  There’s all sorts of extra stuff going on in your body, and it responds in strange ways.  Thankfully, my husband thinks it’s funny and doesn’t get weirded out.  In fact, I once said the word “fart” while we were talking and he laughed for about 30 minutes, no joke.
  14. I’ve craved things I can’t have.  Beer.  Sushi.  A giant margarita.  I really would love to have a turkey sandwich.  Then I remind myself that it isn’t that much longer…and I’d rather have a healthy baby than anything else in the world.
  15. I’ve often thought about the fact that my son/daughter will never be this close to me again.  I get to shelter BB while he/she grows, and get to feel everything associated with that.  Sometimes I wish Chris could go through it too…and then I think about birth, and I really wish he could feel that instead of me!

What did all of you Moms and moms-to-be figure out during your pregnancies?  Did you have it fairly easy like I have, or so terrible you only had one child?

About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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8 Responses

  1. You’re so right about maternity clothes not being so bad. I don’t understand why people try to stuff themselves into their normal clothes for way too long–I’ve been wearing the same maternity dress pants since around week 13 and I think they will last me through the next 2 months. I definitely got a ton of use out of them and they were way more comfortable than wearing things that were too tight.

  2. You can eat lunch meat if you heat it to 165 degrees beforehand. I realize cold cuts might not be as palatable hot, but it might satisfy that craving.

  3. This is so interesting to a non-preggo non-mom here! My work friend said she had heartburn literally until the moment she delivered. It only subsided when they pulled him out! LOL!! Hope your heartburn gets better 🙂

  4. Hahaha I didn’t throw up at all either … anddddd I also started swelling just as early as you! After labor, they said my swelling would GET WORSE before it got BETTER. A-holes. Anyway, a week after delivery my swelling in my ankles/feet has gone away but I still can’t fit into my wedding rings. :[

  5. Oh how I miss maternity clothes. Okay, well let me be more specific, I miss wearing fitted shirts. I’m still wearing maternity shirts at 14 weeks post partum, well ones that don’t look like maternity shirts.

    I didn’t have any heartburn, “morning” sickness was bearable, I did throw up a handful of times though. I ate lunch meat, just headed it up first. I peed all. the. time. And I loved my body pillow! I absolutely adored being pregnant, and it’s so weird now to know what I looked like pregnant when I spent my whole life wondering what I would look like pregnant. Enjoy it!

  6. I love this so much!

    I think I would kill a man for Advil right now…Tums are a gift from God…why people are so interested in whether or not you puke, I will never know…the pee from sneezing is a real treat!

    You definitely nailed it girl. 🙂

I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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