The (Revolting) Truth About Pregnancy



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All of those books, websites and what to expect emails are a conspiracy. They are. Oh sure, they do indeed tell you some of the less glamorous, pregnancy side effects. But I’ve yet to have one show up that told the flat-out truth. You want the truth about pregnancy? I’ll tell you.

• Today you may be experiencing what feels like a raw bunch of cauliflower hanging from your booty (also known as hemorrhoids). It might bleed! It might itch! It might make sitting, walking and speaking to others as if nothing is wrong almost impossible. Side effect, try not to murder your husband as he thinks he is being cute and slaps your tush as you walk by. He just wants you to know he still thinks you’re hot, even hugely pregnant. He has no idea a fiery bouquet has blossomed between your cheeks and that slight slap makes you literally lose your vision for two minutes.

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• Today you may feel a bit like a baboon from one of those National Geographic movies you used to watch in junior high. Your lady bits have swollen due to all that pressure your baby is putting on your lower half. That red swollen “flower” of your ladyhood now makes crossing your legs impossible! It’s concerning how large it is and you will be very grateful that your giant belly blocks any and all view.

• Did you know your entire vagina can fall asleep? It can! You may resting comfortably on a chair and stand up to find that you have absolutely NO feeling in your lady bits! This is caused again, by swelling and pressure that your baby, which no weighs a grand total of three whole pounds, has put on your nether regions.

• That [redacted because it’s too gross even to write about]that’s coming out of you? Totally normal. Please try not to scream in terror when a normal (well, as normal as it can be at this point) trip to the loo turns into a scene from SAW 2.

• Apple maps not working? No worries! Your legs are now a complex visual representation of our nations highway system. Complete with hills! These are commonly known as varicose veins…but really they are the summer shame of pregnancy. Caused, yet again, by pressure from your precious bundle of joy! Oh, that aching feeling? There to let you know there is a ton of traffic and an accident on the 405. You can see the Sig alert pulsing right there on your calf.

• Today you may become completely fixated on a seemingly unimportant detail. Perhaps it’s the paint color in the front hall. Perhaps it’s that you need to reframe the pictures from your wedding right the eff now. Perhaps it’s how your husband breathes. This fixation can, and probably will drive you to distraction. You may find yourself painting the front hall at 2 in the morning. You may find yourself taking out everything in the kitchen cabinets and washing them, sometimes two or three times in a row.

The good news is that 90% of the crap that’s happening is normal and not dangerous, no matter how disturbing it is. The hemorrhoids will probably fade after the baby is born and the varicose veins probably will too, and if not there are treatments. The bad news is that a lot of the time for a lot of the women pregnancy SUCKS. It’s painful and embarrassing and there is no glowing or burst of energy. Instead of being a weepy nostalgic pregnant mother to be, you may be a rage-filled hormonal mess who just wants to scream at everyone being stupid. You may actually scream at someone for being stupid. Probably your husband. Because sometimes husband’s become really stupid during pregnancy. Really, really stupid.

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Something really great is that loathing pregnancy doesn’t mean you won’t love being a mom. It really doesn’t. Try not to feel disappointed or like a failure if it’s not the dreamy, glowy experience you’ve been dreaming of since you first tucked the couch cushion under your nightgown when you were five, pretending it was a baby belly. It’s going to be okay. Even if you are counting down the days till this oozing, aching, complaining journey is over.

Related: The Scary Mommy Pregnancy Guide


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  1. 1

    Mary says

    I was lucky. I loved being pregnant. No morning sickness or hemorrhoids.
    Yes I did get stretch marks and constipation. Fortunately the constipation went away after the first three months. My only advice is lots of fiber supplements and to avoid hemorrhoids during pregnancy, if you have to work in order to poop, just don’t. I think that’s what saved me. Hemorrhoids resulting from delivery? No advice, I just got lucky there.

    The worst part of pregnancy for me was permanently going up a full shoe size with the first and half a size with the second. Plus my feet got a lot wider. I already had no arches, this side effect has made shoe shopping even worse!

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  2. 5

    Carissa says

    Thank you! I had always believed pregnancy was this magical wonderful gift. Until I became pregnant and then I hated it. I’ve always felt so bad that I didn’t love it and cherish every moment. This made me feel so much better!

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  3. 6

    Brette says

    I didn’t have an awful pregnancy with my first but I never enjoyed it. The midwife would smile when she’d put the Doppler to my belly and say that’s your baby and I’d just say ok. I never enjoyed feeling the kicks or flutters, I never connected with my baby during pregnancy but I loved him from the second I had him. Now with 3 weeks to go on baby #2 I’ve been a raving hormonal lunatic for 9 months and had every bad side effect of pregnancy but at least I know you can truly hate being pregnant and trying to nurse a squrimy 17 month old on a gigantic belly and still love your baby after. There’s always the light at the end of the tunnel, you just don’t see it when the husband says something stupid yet again :)

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  4. 9


    With me I had constant sleepwalking. And overheating where central air AND a window air conditioner didn’t keep me comfortable at night. So, my pregnancy brain thought it was a good idea to sleep walk and open up the windows in the kitchen because I was so hot. Never mind the fact that the bedroom door was shut while sleeping.

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