Recently, I have had another wave of my friends – real life and blog world – get pregnant (with their seconds and thirds, mostly). Talking to them about their weird symptoms and questioning what is “normal” during a pregnancy got me thinking. What is normal? Is there such a thing as a normal pregnancy? Are you similarly pregnant each time, or do you have a different pregnancy with each child? Here are my thoughts:
1. Whatever happens to you is your “normal”. Feel great? That’s normal! Super tired and cranky? That’s normal! Only willing to eat watermelon and macaroni and cheese? That’s normal! For me, normal was feeling great and eating either raw food (salad, fruit, etc) and cereal. Weird, I know.
2. Fatigue is real. I repeat, the fatigue is real. I don’t care how far long you are, or what number child you’re having. You will experience fatigue sometimes. For me, it’s typically first trimester, and a little bit third trimester when I’m doing too much with that big belly and extra weight.
3. Pregnancy symptoms can start really early. Those people who tell you that the first several weeks you can’t even tell you’re pregnant… are lying. Breast soreness, increased appetite, backaches, headaches, fatigue – it can all start as early as BEFORE YOU EVEN KNOW YOU’RE PREGNANT. For real.
4. Maternity pants fit no one. Over-the-belly ones, at least. Especially because you might have a week that they fit you perfectly, but you know darn well that they won’t fit you if you are only 23 weeks, and they won’t fit you if you’re 37 weeks. When I’m pregnant, I wear under-the-belly bottoms almost exclusively.
5. Getting a cold feels like the flu. A smile was cold you caught from your preschooler can turn into a nasty snot fest that has you bedridden, begging Hubby to make you hot tea and grilled cheese.
6. Telling (and not telling) your news is equally stressful and fun. It’s hard to decide when and how and to whom to share the news. It’s taboo to tell too early, but waiting is tough when you cut out alcohol and caffeine and can’t fit in your clothes like you used to.
7. Once you’ve had a miscarriage, you may drive yourself crazy waiting for signs of another one. With J, I was fearful every time I felt a tiny bit of pain in my belly, or when I was really tired or had done a lot in a day without resting.
8. Learning to sleep on your left side for nine months is hard, but could be permanent. I’ve slept on my left side almost every night since I changed to doing that while pregnant with EK. I was always a stomach sleeper before.
9. Hormones are real, and scary. I cried a lot, about good things and bad, and I was a little… on edge (read: snappy. Sorry Hubby.). And unfortunately it didn’t really go away until the baby was a couple months old. It takes a while to get back to normal!
10. Insatiable hunger is a thing. I was hungry and craving things from the moment I was pregnant, it seemed. Different things all the time, but trying to quench my hunger with fruits and veggies didn’t always work. I frequently needed carbs and proteins to really stave off hunger more than a few minutes. And the only time I went hours without being hungry was sleeping at night, and sometimes not even then.
So there are 10 of my personal truths about being pregnant. Now I want to know: Are you currently pregnant? What was your normal when you were? Were your pregnancies similar? Did you do anything differently?