8 Things I Thought I Knew About Pregnancy

by Joanna McClanahan
Originally Published: 

There are some perks to pregnancy. You don’t have to worry about counting calories, and …

OK, fine. There is exactly one perk to pregnancy: you get to eat for two.

Everything else pretty much sucks. You can’t drink. You can’t eat awesome things like soft cheese and sushi. You can’t ride on rides (or probably even fit in them).

But what surprised me most about pregnancy was how wrong a lot of my expectations were. Here are eight things I thought I knew about pregnancy, until I actually started growing a tiny human inside me:

1. “I’ll be sensitive to some smells.”

I wasn’t just sensitive. I had the smelling capacity of a bloodhound. I could smell someone’s body odor from two blocks away. Some smells were worse than others. But I was surprised at how many made me want to puke immediately. Just catching the slightest whiff of something like gasoline, hand sanitizer, energy drinks, cooking meat, or garlic was enough to make me dry-heave.

2. “I’ll get morning sickness.”

Morning my ASS. I don’t know who came up with this term, but they were probably never pregnant. Because if they had been, it would be called “morning-is-just-the-beginning sickness.” Or “pretty-much-all-the-damn-time sickness.” Or, you know … “Pregnancy.”

3. “I’ll have mood swings.”

I thought I knew what mood swings were before pregnancy. NOPE. Pregnancy mood swings are like PMS mood swings on steroids. One time a commercial about dog adoption made me sob uncontrollably. Then I laughed with my husband about how ridiculous it was. Then I cried again about the lack of control I had over my own emotions. Then I turned on my husband and yelled at him for being an unsympathetic asshole. All in the course of ten minutes.

4. “I’ll be a little extra gassy.”

I was genuinely surprised by the sounds and smells that came from my pregnant body. There were the short, puttering farts that sounded like machine gun fire. There were the long, drawn-out farts that sounded like a trombone or a tuba. Either way, they smelled like death. I don’t remember ever having to escape the smell of my own farts before pregnancy, but during pregnancy it was a whole different ball game.

5. “I’ll put on lotion so I won’t get stretch marks.”

I used all the lotions, oils, and cocoa butter I could get my hands on. Stretch marks still found me. But it’s probably for the best anyway. Better to smell like cocoa butter than farts.

6. “I’ll love picking out baby names.”

I actually did enjoy picking out baby names, but I wasn’t prepared for everyone’s unsolicited opinions on them. Suddenly everyone had stories to tell me about freaks they dated or strippers they knew with the exact same names. The only way to avoid people telling you what you should/shouldn’t name your child is to keep that shit on lock until it’s printed on the birth certificate.

7. “I’ll love my big pregnant belly.”

At first I did. At six months, I had a cute belly. It was just big enough to use as the perfect coaster for my drinks. By the time I was nine months along, the belly wasn’t so cute anymore. I couldn’t get up on my own. I couldn’t bend over. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw my love garden (which, because of those last two things, had turned into more of a “love forest”).

8. “I’ll get some sleep while I can.”

Who started this vicious rumor? Between the giant belly, constant nausea, heartburn, backache, and having to pee every 20 minutes – I couldn’t get any quality sleep.

Pregnancy didn’t work out exactly the way I envisioned it would. I was never “glowing.” Unless you count the shimmer of grease/sweat that always seemed to find me in those later months.

But I was also unprepared for how much none of that really mattered, in the end.

After she was born and they put her in my arms, my world forever changed for the better. And it was worth every single moment it took to get there.

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