I know I have said this before, but I really did not enjoy pregnancy. Yes, there were some things that were amazing, but there were also things that were not amazing. I might even go so far as to say dreadful. If you have ever had a baby, you know exactly what I am talking about.
I thought it might be fun to share, both for people who haven’t been pregnant and for those who have, 30 of the best and worst parts of pregnancy. I am going to start with the worst and end with the best so that by the time you finish reading, you will still want to get pregnant.
1. Peeing. Peeing all the time. I am so not kidding when I say this. In the first trimester, you pee more because your blood flows faster through your kidneys, filling your bladder more often. In the third trimester, your bundle of joy will be pressing down onto your bladder all the time, making you have to pee all the time. Of course there is that glorious second trimester where you feel great, but that’s not what we are talking about yet. When I was pregnant with Little J I had to get up and pee probably 10 times every night at the end. It is rough. Your toilet paper will definitely disappear a little faster while you are pregnant.
2. You are uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone who has ever had a baby would say that it is a “comfortable” time of your life. Your calves are huge, your feet are huge, your tummy is huge, you are sore, you are tired, and your back hurts. You just have yourself a whole mess of discomfort. It is rough. Just keep telling yourself that it won’t last forever and you might be able to muster the strength to stand up from the couch (to go pee, I might add).
3. Labor. Duh labor is one of the worst parts of pregnancy. Some women don’t have a very long labor, and others have a crazy long labor. No matter what you have, your labor will not be your favorite part. Of course it is the final stretch of your pregnancy and you get rewarded to the max at the end, but it is hard. I threw up twice during labor, and I felt like every time a contraction ended I would only get momentary relief before the next one kicked in. Props to those ladies who have natural births because I was in there asking for medication pretty quickly once the pain started.
4. You can’t bend over. When you get to a certain point of roundness, you will not be able to bend over. I recommend painting your toe nails before this point so that you at least sort of feel feminine and like you are a lady when you are giving birth. Dropping things becomes exhausting those last few weeks of pregnancy. You begin to seriously consider if the thing you dropped is worth trying to get down on the ground to pick it up. Most of the times, the answer is no. Putting on socks becomes a chore, too. That darn belly just gets in the way and makes things 10 times harder. So let’s hope you don’t drop something important. And make sure you have plenty of slip-on shoes to wear.
5. Sleeping. There are several reasons why sleeping becomes one of the worst parts of pregnancy. I guess I am mostly talking about the third trimester when you can’t lay on your back or stomach, you have to get up to pee every hour, and every layer of covering adds 15 degrees to your body temperature. Plus if you have a hard time calming your mind so you can actually fall asleep in the first place, it can be torture. My poor husband started wearing earplugs even before our baby was born because I kept waking him up every time I would get up. And don’t forget that to roll over you have to wake up, and use your arms and it takes like 10 readjustments to finally get onto the other side. And if your baby is kicking your ribs or has hiccups there’s no way you are going to fall asleep. I actually think I got more sleep once my son was born than while I was pregnant because of how hard it was to sleep at the end.
6. Waddling. Waddling is just how it sounds. Imagine a penguin, but not a penguin because it’s you. The Mister still makes fun of me sometimes for how I was walking towards the end of pregnancy. But for real, it is not your fault! And walking is actually a great way to get some exercise when you are giant. Unfortunately, you will look sort of silly. But every pregnant woman will understand!
7. Getting sick. I am talking about both being nauseous in the first trimester, and actually getting sick. I got a stomach bug when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Little J, and it was the worst. We were really worried about him since I couldn’t keep food or drink down, so I had to go to the ER and get an IV and stuff. So try not to get sick when you are pregnant. On the other hand, you may have nausea and vomiting as one of your early pregnancy symptoms, and you can’t control that. So yeah, that is one of the not so fun parts of pregnancy.
8. Going to the doctor. At first it might seem all fun to go get to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, but by the time you are going every other week and then every week, it’s not so fun. Not very many people like going to the doctor, and there is a lot of waiting in the waiting room and in the actual room while you wait for the doctor. It gets old pretty fast. Especially if they play songs from the early 2000s that you never liked in the first place. Hopefully you don’t have to suffer through that, but even without that, going to the doctor is not fun.
9. The entire last month of pregnancy. Do I really even have to explain this one? You are huge, you can’t sleep, you can’t walk, you can’t get comfortable, you can’t tie your shoes, you are sick of being pregnant, and you spend half your time going to the bathroom. Ugh.
10. You are always hot and always hungry. Lucky for me I wasn’t very pregnant during the hot months of summer, but I can only imagine how much being somewhere hot would multiply your discomfort. You pretty much are walking around with a heater on your stomach that eats your food. You feel like all you want to do is eat, and you sweat all the time (even in the winter). And no matter how much you eat or how often you eat, you are always hungry again like an hour after a big meal. The good news is that it won’t last forever!
11. Gas. Nobody likes gas. Pregnant ladies and husbands alike. With Little J, I felt bloated all the time. I frequently felt bubbles inside me that were sort of crampy, but were actually gas. And let’s be honest, when you have a baby in your tummy it can be hard to hold that in. It’s just not fun for anyone.
12. Going past your due date. I know it’s not guaranteed that your baby will be born the day you are due, but you look forward to that day for nine months and then if you go past it, it’s the worst. I cried for a whole day when I went to the doctor two days after my due date and they told me I would have to wait until another appointment before they even thought about inducing me. And the fact that my fun little pregnancy app had suddenly turned on me by announcing very boldly that “You are past your due date.” One of the worst things you could possibly say to someone who has gone past their due date is “you’re still here, huh?” Now I know that a very low percentage of women actually have their babies on their due date, but it still makes you feel awful when it’s the day after your baby was supposed to be here and you are still fat and swollen.
13. Unwelcome belly-touchers. I actually didn’t get any unwelcome belly-touchers while I was pregnant, but I have seen people touch other people’s bellies and have heard about even strangers touching people’s bellies, and it’s probably a good thing it never happened to me. Just because you are pregnant does not make you public property. Your personal space should definitely still exist.
14. Swelling. By the end of my pregnancy, my calves and ankles were HUGE! I’m not even kidding, they were quite a bit bigger than before I got pregnant. The Mister did this thing where he pointed and flexed my feet and that seemed to help a little, but it was nice after Little J was born and my calves went back to normal.
15. Stretch marks. I have heard some people say that they are proud to wear their stretch marks because they are symbols of being a mom, but honestly, nobody wants scars if you can avoid them. With me, those darn stretch marks crept up everywhere! My stomach, my thighs, my chest, my butt. Yes, I did gain an unnecessary amount of weight so that probably accounted for a lot of it, but they are still not fun.
16. Super nose.You can pretty much smell like a dog when you are pregnant. I could smell the trash, when things were starting to go bad in the fridge, when the Mister had been outside (yes, outside has a smell). Pretty much everything you don’t want to smell, I could smell. I know sometimes you can smell those things anyway, but magnify it times five and that’s what your nose is like during pregnancy. Not fun.
Okay, so now that you are thinking you never want to get pregnant because it’s the worst thing in the world, here are the best parts of pregnancy.
1. Stretchy pants. At first, I did not love having to wear stretchy pants, but by the end of pregnancy, they were my best friend. I actually had a hard time letting go of them after Little J was born. Not only do they keep your tummy warm, but they are so easy to put on and keep on and it’s way nicer to wear them than wearing pants that you have to zip and button. They are fantastic. I sort of wish I could wear them all the time. But let’s just keep that between us.
2. Feeling baby move. How can this not be one of the best parts of pregnancy? It took me a while before I actually decided I was actually feeling the baby and not just having gas, but it was amazing. Pregnancy becomes a lot more real once you start feeling that life inside of you moving.
3. The whole second trimester. Seriously though. You don’t have to pee anymore, you aren’t feeling sick or throwing up, you are in the cute bump stage where you don’t look fat anymore but you also aren’t too big (around basketball size), you have energy, you enjoy food, you can still sleep. It’s like the golden three months of pregnancy. I don’t think anyone would deny that this is the best time of being pregnant.
4. People are nicer. If you have been pregnant I’m sure you will have noticed that people are nicer to you when they see your bulging belly. People will hold doors for you, smile at you in passing, help you when you look like you are struggling. For some reason this changes once the baby is born (which is when you probably actually need those things), but during pregnancy it is definitely a plus.
5. Priority parking. There aren’t very many places that have priority parking for pregnant ladies, but at our mall, there is a sign right out front of Barnes and Noble that says “Reserved for Expectant Mothers” and when I was pregnant with Little J, it was my favorite place to park. The Mister and I would go walk at the mall a lot, and it was nice to be able to get out of the cold quickly and get into the nice warm mall. Another place that has these is Babies R Us, and it’s so dang helpful when you really don’t want to move much.
6. Baby hiccups. I guess some people might not enjoy these, but I thought it was so cute when Little J would get hiccups while I was pregnant. I could always tell when he had the hiccups and wasn’t just moving because I would feel him move every ten seconds or so. It was almost exact. He had hiccups a lot when he was first born too, and I just loved it. He didn’t, but I did.
7. Nesting. One of my favorite things to do while I was pregnant was to get Little J’s room ready for him. Once we found out we were having a boy, it took me about a month to pick out the fabric I wanted to make his bedding out of. Then I got to make the bedding, organize his closet, decorate the room, all of that fun stuff. I would often just go stand in his room and look at it because I was just so excited for him to be there. It’s fun to get your baby’s room ready and imagine how they will look in their giant crib!
8. Ultrasounds. Obviously any chance you have to see your baby you probably want to take. We got to see Little J twice while I was pregnant, and both times were so special. The best ultrasound is the gender ultrasound around 20 weeks because you get to see them for so long and you get to look at all of their tiny bones and see their heart beating and watch them move. Little J was sucking his thumb and hiding his face, and I wasn’t even mad because I thought it was so cute. It’s really an amazing thing to be able to see a little baby moving around inside of you.
9. Knowing there is a life inside of you. Something changes when you find out you are pregnant. You aren’t only taking care of yourself anymore, you have a living thing inside of you that is completely, 100% dependent on you. It can be sort of scary but it’s also incredible. It’s sort of hard to put into words, but anyone who has been pregnant knows what I am talking about.
10. Using your stomach as a table. Once your stomach gets to a certain roundness, you can use it as a table and it is awesome. I did this frequently with fruit snacks, plates, and bowls. It’s neat to have your food so close to your mouth. And when you are shaped all awkward with that big of a tummy, it’s nice to actually get some use out of it!
11. Hair of a goddess. But for real. During pregnancy, my hair was silky, strong, shiny, and it grew super fast. It doesn’t fall out like it does when you aren’t pregnant, so it is thick and just amazing. My hair was probably one of my favorite things about being pregnant because it was so much better than when I wasn’t pregnant. Unfortunately a few months after your baby is born you have a bunch of your hair fall out to catch up with you, but it’s amazing while it lasts!
12. No period. Duh this is one of the best things because nobody likes having that time of the month. I didn’t get my period until I stopped nursing Little J either, so I went 15 months with no lady time. It was amazing.
13. Buying things for your baby. It’s really fun to buy a tiny outfit and think to yourself “our child will wear this!” or to buy a little blanket and think about how your baby will carry it around with him all the time. Pretty much anything when you get to think about how your baby will touch or use something is fun. The Mister and I both had tiny Nikes when we were little so we went out and bought Little J some tiny baby Nikes when we found out we were having a boy. When we found out we were pregnant we went to Babies R Us and bought a little pacifier pack (purple and green so it wouldn’t matter if we had a boy or girl). It was really fun and a great way to celebrate getting pregnant!
14. Driving to the hospital knowing you will meet your baby soon. When we knew it was time and we were going to have our baby, it was so exciting. Getting in the car and realizing that the next time you are home you will be bringing your child back with you is crazy. On the drive to the hospital we could barely contain ourselves. We sort of finally decided on a name, we talked about how excited we were, I cried happy tears, and we just talked about how everything was about to change. It was one of the last special moments with just the Mister and I, and I will never forget how I felt.
15. Pregnancy is the ultimate excuse. For anything. If you feel tired, blame it on pregnancy. If you feel like eating a whole pizza, blame it on pregnancy. If you feel sick looking at a whole pizza, blame it on pregnancy. If you can’t get up from the couch, blame it on pregnancy. If you have gas, blame it on pregnancy. Seriously, you are making a person so you can sort of do whatever you want. I probably used this excuse too many times though, because by the end, the Mister was sick of it. So just use it with caution, but don’t be afraid to use it. It’s the best.
So now that you know all of the best and worst things about pregnancy, aren’t you so excited to get pregnant!? But really, as rough as pregnancy can be sometimes, it is all worth it in the end when the doctor hands you that perfect little bundle and you first meet your child. There’s really nothing like it.