The majority of the women I have spoken to over the years have said that while it is a miracle that we can grow this little human being in our stomach and then proceed to push them out 9 months later, the pregnancy itself sucks. So this is partly me venting over all the “fun” of being pregnant again, partly to reinforce to other moms (or soon to be moms) that it’s ok and normal if you feel miserable, and for the dad’s to remember that they have it really lucky!
- Most women experience some version of morning sickness. Whether it’s literally in the mornings, in the evenings, or even throughout the day. This is especially common in your first trimester. We get to throw up whenever we eat or even smell something that we don’t like. Shoot, we could have used to like it and all of a sudden our body’s senses have rejected it and now it makes us want to puke. There are some pregnancies that are lucky to not have to endure this. My first pregnancy I didn’t. But my second one hit me on full blast and I was sick the ENTIRE pregnancy. Most of the time though, this usually starts to go away around the second trimester.
- We’re exhausted. All. The. Time. We aren’t being lazy so much as just tired. While our stomachs aren’t very big in the beginning, sleeping still tends to be difficult. We can’t get comfortable; our bladders are constantly on high alert, etc. The energy and work it takes for our bodies to create a living being inside of us takes a lot of our own personal energy. When we get further along, our stomachs get bigger, our legs get more fidgety, and it’s physically difficult to get comfortable too. So if we need daily naps, just let it be. It won’t be like this forever. Shoot, in no time both parents won’t be sleeping too much!
- Our tastes change. And they can change multiple times during any given pregnancy. We may crave sandwiches one day and fruit the next. As long as it’s nothing that can hurt the baby, enjoy it. For me, I love venison. In any way I can get it. But with this pregnancy, all of a sudden I can only tolerate it a couple different ways. It’s a bummer for my husband especially who loves to cook. I’m not trying to make his life difficult. In all honesty, I feel terrible that I don’t like what I used to like. Especially if it’s something he and the boys want to eat. He’s understood enough to either make me something different entirely or adjust a portion of their dinner to work for my needs. I remember my mom telling me when she was pregnant with one of my sisters; she couldn’t handle the smell of meat browning on the stove. She could eat it afterwards, but couldn’t stand the smell of it cooking. Again, just hang in there guys. It won’t last forever! More than likely, mom is just as frustrated as you are about it.
- HORMONES! Oh my goodness. This is the most annoying part I think. Our entire world essentially gets thrown a curve ball. Mood swings are almost bound to happen. We cry over simple things, get worked up and angry over others, and everything in between. What we want even changes. For example, I’m an extremely independent person. Usually I enjoy having my time home alone. I can work on my personal projects, homework, housework, etc. without any distractions. But for whatever reason, lately I don’t even like my husband going to work. Of course I know he has to, but I will admit that I’ve teared up a few times when he’s left the house in the morning. I’m not a clingy person and I’m not trying to keep him from doing what he likes to do. I just miss his presence. So believe me, it’s frustrating! I’m no longer “myself.” And this could go back and forth throughout the pregnancy too. One week we don’t want you to leave our side and the next we may not want to even be touched. It changes and we don’t have control over our hormones. We aren’t trying to piss you guys off so have some grace and mercy. As difficult as it may be, don’t take it personally or like we have a vendetta against you. We’re not trying to pick fights either. If anything, take it as a learning experience. Our world changes as soon as we get pregnant while yours won’t change too much until after the baby is born. Learn to roll with the changes now so when baby is born, it is easier to adjust. When that time comes, we’re definitely going to need you around more, and probably want you too! Learn to see through the emotional changes and hormones, compromise when you want to do things, etc. And women, LISTEN! Don’t jump to assuming they don’t care or don’t want to be with you, etc. They may just want a night out. Bite the bullet and let them out occasionally – but guys don’t take advantage of her compromise either. Come home at a decent time or don’t go out too often, etc. Things will work out. It just takes patience.
- We’re either picky or don’t care…or both! If we don’t care about a certain color scheme or print, take it as a gift that we won’t fight you if you have an opinion on it. If we are picky about something, consider it easier to decide what to get since we know exactly what we want. For new mom’s, this may or may not be an issue. Or, again, it could come and go. I’ve found that I can be pretty particular about certain things. I like to have multiples of things like diaper pails, diaper bags, etc. Especially because our living area and sleeping area are nowhere close to each other. If you have a differing opinion on something we really want, approach the subject NICELY. Remember, we’re hormonal. We aren’t trying to fight with you. So just bring it up calmly. Women, be willing to listen and consider compromising. It’s their baby too! Consider setting up a baby registry at a couple locations (together! include dad on decisions). You can even do it online nowadays. That way if you really have your heart set on (and decided on) something, you can put it on the registry for people to see and shop for. This tends to help avoid confusion on what to get expectant mothers. If you know you want multiples of certain things (like myself) or something specific, make sure you budget for things on your own too. You may only get 1 diaper pail or a different bed set. If you’re prepared, it’s easy to go get a second pail and the bed set you want. You’re going to need the extras anyway for washing!
- We feel fat. Especially in the beginning before we get really big enough for maternity clothes. This is especially true for first and second time moms. Our stomachs are big enough to where our pants are too tight but we really just look bloated and as if we had a few too many donuts. Our bodies physically change (obviously) and some women just don’t like how they look pregnant. Guys – just try and reiterate we are still beautiful. We may not believe you, but it does help.
- When we get into our last couple months, we’re miserable. Everything is uncomfortable, our backs hurt, our stomachs are huge, the baby kicks our ribs or kidneys or hangs out on our bladders, etc. We get to experience heartburn, hot flashes, even more lack of sleep. And what I always found really creepy is when the baby is so big that I can see my stomach rolling and moving when the baby does. At this point we just want the baby OUT! Of course we want the baby healthy too, but if we go into labor earlier then our due date, we’re probably thrilled. Guys, there is absolutely no way you could ever understand how uncomfortable we are. You could strap a 10lb. bowling ball to your stomach and carry it around for the last couple months and it still only scratch the surface of how miserable mom probably is at this point. Seriously. I cannot reiterate this enough. The last couple months suck!! Moms especially need to reiterate to themselves and remember, “This won’t last forever.”
I could probably continue this list to include even more things, but honestly I’m tired at this point and need a nap myself. If you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t experience these symptoms, or it’s minimal, I’m definitely jealous. Because last but not least, every pregnancy is different! I wish that weren’t always the case. My first one was a breeze… all the rest have been much more complicated and uncomfortable. But at the same time, if this one is difficult for you but you want more kids, you may get lucky the next time around. With that being said, I’m going to clock out on this one and go get a cat nap while I can. I just have to remember… eventually this will all be over!!