If you’ve ever peed on a stick and had those two little lines pop up, you’ve no doubt picked up your share of pregnancy books and magazines or skimmed through countless articles online. They all tell you about the nine months ahead of you and what to expect. You know about the swelling, the nausea, putting out a missing person’s ad for your toes. But there’s plenty they don’t tell you and won’t tell you, because pregnancy, while a blessing and a gift and yada yada yada, is a stone-cold, gross-ass bitch.
1. Your breasts can leak milk before you ever give birth.
Wake up to an unexpected wet spot in your bed? You didn’t pee the bed (this time). Your boobs did. Many women start lactating in their third trimester, but don’t freak out if you don’t. It doesn’t mean you won’t. It just means you can’t freak out your husband with a surprise milk-shot to the eye when he won’t stop talking during Game of Thrones.
2. ‘Glowing’ is a nice word people use for ‘sweaty.’
People are really nice to you when you’re pregnant. They can tell you’re uncomfortable. They know you’re about to go through the kind of sleep deprivation that would break a Navy Seal. They are pretty sure those are your husband’s flip-flops you’re wearing. So they do what they can to make you feel a little better. Telling a pregnant woman she is glowing is just polite code for “You have sweat through the panty liners you stuck in your pits.” And you will sweat everywhere—in February. Back? Sweaty. Under/between your boobs? Sweaty. Butt crack? Swamp ass. Behind your knees, in your hair, everywhere.
3. Your hair. Sweet Jesus, your hair.
Curly to straight. Straight to curly. Some women lose hair. Lots of women keep all their hair, and it gets crazy thick. I am an enormous dirt ball and only wash my hair about once a week. I can usually fashion a small cat out of what I pull out of the drain. While I’m pregnant? I can count the hairs that fall out on one hand. But don’t get too excited about your luscious Kim K. locks just yet. A few weeks postpartum and you’re going to take a shower and scream for someone to call 911 because half your hair just fell out at once and you’re 98% sure you’re about to die. The lord giveth, and the lord taketh away.
4. You will enter a long-distance relationship with your vagina.
We know about not being able to see your feet after your belly overshadows them. But by the time the feet depart, your vagina is already long gone. If you’re into any grooming down there, I suggest investing in an angled mirror or putting a shitload of trust in your partner. My advice? In the key of Elsa, “Let it grow. Let it grooooooow!”
5. There will be surprise farts.
During pregnancy, your ligaments in your hips and pelvis relax due to a hormone named Relaxin. The nerd who came up with that name deserves to be slapped in the face with a MacArthur Genius award or whatever shiny trophy they give giant dorks. Anyway, things relax, and I’m not a scientist, but I think your butthole is around your pelvis, and it must get relaxed too—because you’re done holding in farts, my friend. If you’re meek and dainty and don’t do that in front of people, get ready. You will go from, “Oh god! I’m sorry! Excuse me! *clutches pearls*” to lifting up one cheek and staring down the person waiting in line next to you at the Apple Store, daring them to speak.
6. They put a Q-tip there.
At your 36 week prenatal appointment, you will be tested for group B strep. The test goes like this: The doctor sticks a Q-tip in your butt. That is all. Just thought I’d give you a heads up.
7. Dish-plate nips…
Taking nudes of yourself is not always a horrible idea because at least you now have something to remember your boobs by. You’re going to reach a time in pregnancy when you feel like you’re going to be OK. You have some energy. You’re done puking. You’ve got a cute little baby bump. Then you wake up one morning and you’ve got nipples the same size as your face. You could fit all of your Thanksgiving dinner on your nipple and still have room for a dinner roll.
8. Sorry, that wasn’t your water breaking.
You will get to a point in your pregnancy where any twinge of pain leaves you begging for more, praying you are going into labor. You’re over this crap and desperate to get the show on the road. And if you’re like me, you will wet yourself and be so deep in desperation that you convince yourself that you’re soaked in amniotic fluid and not your own urine. Also, nurses love it when they have to use a triage room just to tell you that you peed your pants.
Now, don’t be too alarmed. A lot of the body stuff goes back to being kind of the same. And if any of it truly bothers you, you could always shave a little off the top of baby’s college fund to get shit put back where you found it. And in the end, you get a (hopefully) cute baby out of the deal, so pregnancy isn’t all bad. Just don’t let Junior ever forget what you had to go through to bring him or her into the world.