Pregnancy has been a wild ride so far. There are so many symptoms that I didn’t expect. Obviously every woman and every pregnancy is different, but I thought that I would share my experience. Here are the things that surprised me about pregnancy.
Please don’t read this as a list of complaints. My intention is to put the info out there so that other women aren’t surprised by all these sudden changes. Plus, I want to bring attention to the things that aren’t talked about as much.
Things That Surprised Me About Pregnancy:
Some Non-Food Smells Are Unbearable
For me it was scented trash bags and our lemon dish soap. Both scents made me puke and these products had to be replaced.
Increased Sense of Smell
Let’s just say that the trash gets taken out on a more regular basis.
Food Is Gross Now (Yes, as a food blogger it hurts to say that).
I LOVED food. Until about week 8 of pregnancy. Suddenly most foods were revolting and I struggled to even identify foods that I wanted to eat. My diet is made up of basic bland foods like cereal, eggs, bagels, pasta, and rice. My go-to dinner is pasta with broccoli and a little goat cheese.
So Much Burping
The increased progesterone relaxes your esophagus and this causes you to burp more. So much more.
And So Much Saliva
Increased saliva is a weird symptom. Often I had a bad taste in my mouth too, so I started chewing gum more.
And Sometimes So Much Stomach Acid
This happens even when I avoid acidic foods. Sometimes eating something like yogurt helps to prevent the acid from causing heartburn. I have tried taking antacids too. Sleeping with my upper body more elevated too.
It’s A Struggle To Brush My Teeth
Sometimes it makes me gag. I have thrown up while brushing my teeth several times.
Middle of the Night Wake Ups
I had trouble sleeping during the first trimester. There were MANY nights where I was up from 3am-6am. My doctor recommended Unisom, an over the counter sleep aid, which helped me to sleep through the night.
But… I Want to Sleep All Day
I am tired all the time. Sometimes it is because I got poor sleep at night, other times it is because drowsiness is a side effect of the morning sickness medication that I take.
Morning Sickness is No Joke
Television shows and movies led me to believe that morning sickness involved random puking that would be inconvenient, but it wouldn’t derail your whole day. Again, people have different experiences, but for me once I got sick, I was sick until I had nothing left. This meant that there were nights where I spent 3+ hours puking over 20 times. It’s more like the stomach flu than I thought it would be.
The Second Trimester Isn’t Always Easier
My morning sickness has been more severe and so many people told me that things would get better once I reached the second trimester. I thought that I would wake up one day feeling all better. At 20 weeks, I am still waiting for that day. At 16 weeks I was so sick and dehydrated after 40 hours of puking that I needed to go to the hospital for an IV. At 18 weeks the puking continued. I am on a prescription medication called Bonjesta (it’s similar to Diclegis) that has helped me hold down food, but it does make me drowsy.
According to my doctor, usually these pains are due to muscles stretching. It feels different than muscle soreness from working out, the pain can be sudden and sharp. I experience it the most at night, after eating, when my belly is the biggest. The area that hurts the most often is the area at the top of my abdomen, at bottom of my ribcage. I have also experienced cramps from my uterus stretching out.
More Vivid Dreams
I am remembering more of my dreams. They don’t seem more strange than usual though.
My Hair Has NEVER Been Better
My scalp seems to have stopped producing grease. My hair looks great for at least 4 days after washing. I am shedding far less hair too. These are welcomed changes since the IVF medications cased major scalp dryness and hair loss.
Boobs First, Then Belly
This may not be the same for everyone, but for me clothing stopped fitting not because of a growing belly but because of an increased bust. This surprised me.
There Is An Awkward Phase Where Nothing Fits
I thought that the transition from my regular clothing to maternity clothing would happen sooner and be easier. I bought 2 pairs of pants that go over the bump… and they don’t fit yet since I don’t have enough of a bump yet. The same goes for ruched shirts and dresses. Right now I am living in leggings, a pair of under the bump maternity jeans, and sweaters. Still, most non-maternity stuff looks too small and maternity clothing looks too big.
You Don’t See The Baby At Every Appointment
Once I “graduated” from the fertility clinic and my care was passed to my ob/gyn I have gone to the doctor every 4 weeks. I assumed that I would have an ultrasound at each visit. Instead, I saw the baby at 10 weeks and 20 weeks. I also saw the baby at 12 weeks when we visited a genetic screening clinic. At some appointments they just take my weight and blood pressure, ask for a urine sample, and check the babies heart rate. I have learned to ask what happens at each appoint to spare Charles from taking time off for the appointments where we won’t see the baby.
*Side note: I was on a significant amount to progesterone supplements (as part of my IVF cycle) for my first 10 weeks and that might have an impact on some of my symptoms.
What surprised you about pregnancy? Let me know in the comments.