Pregnancy is easily among the most incredible yet unnerving things a person can experience. On the one (probably swollen) hand, you're making a brand new person and, if you've decided to stay pregnant, you're probably pretty excited about that. On the other (also probably swollen) hand, your body is likely doing all sorts of things you don't recognize, particularly if it's your first time. As is only natural, you'll worry every time a new thing happens because worrying is what mothers do. To save you some time, here are some texts you'll inevitably send your midwife, because pregnancy is straight ridiculous at times.
Midwives are amazing because they're experts in "normal." They understand, appreciate, and respect the wide variety of ways women's bodies do the amazing work of creating new life. What feels weird, awkward, or just plain nuts to us is all stuff they've seen plenty of times before. That means they're great people to have around when you have questions about whether a certain symptom means you're still in the range of normal, or if it's time to see them or a doctor. I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic midwife who answered loads of questions for me and who still answers my weirdo texts, even now that the son she caught is almost two. (It's also way better to talk to them versus rolling the dice on a nerve-wracking Google search. If you find yourself going that route, whether during pregnancy or after your baby comes, be forewarned: never look at the image results in your search.)
So, feel free to click and save, or just read and savor the fact that if you've ever considered sending anything like the following to your midwife, you're totally not alone.
When Your Symptoms Are Overwhelming
I spent a huge chunk of my first trimester not only feeling nauseous, but also eating, drinking, working, and resting in bed because I was so tired I could fall asleep standing up. If I had to travel and pretend to be my normal self for work, I'd spend the next two to three days in bed paying for it. Pregnancy symptoms are no. joke.
When You Don't Feel Any Symptoms At All
Few things are scarier — especially for pregnant ladies with a history of pregnancy loss — than clearly experiencing pregnancy symptoms, then having those symptoms lessen or disappear. This can happen for perfectly benign reasons, like your body getting used to the way pregnancy makes you feel, or because you're entering an easier phase of pregnancy (if you're among the lucky ladies who have a really smooth second trimester). But if you're worried, totally check in with your midwife or another professional so they can let you know what's up.
When You Don't Want To Eat Anything
We know that a pregnant woman isn't technically eating for two, but making her feel so sick she barely even wants to eat for one seems like kind of a design flaw on nature's part.
When You Want To Eat Everything
I had these days off and on until my second trimester, when I switched back to permanently wanting to eat everything. Of course, that wasn't much of a change from my normal, but my poor partner had to put up with not just one, but two demanding, hangry beings in his life. #RealMVP right there.
When You Accidentally Eat A Forbidden Or Suspicious Thing
The rules for what pregnant women should avoid seems to change by the hour. Combine that with recalls of everything from peanut butter to ice cream (et tu, ice cream?!), and situations where you can't totally control how food is prepared or presented (hello large get-togethers with food that has been unrefrigerated for an unknown amount of time!), and it's almost certain that at some point, you'll end up needing to be reassured that your last bite won't send you to the hospital.
When Can't Tell If You're Feeling Your Baby Moving Or You're Having Gas
Because pregnancy is so lovely, you guys.
When You Felt Your Baby Move Earlier, And Now You Can't
Once I was certain that I was feeling my baby move and not preparing to fart, I started getting obsessive about feeling it again. As my midwife reassured me, earlier on when the baby is still pretty small and has lots of room to move around, feeling them move can be inconsistent because they can go to parts of the uterus that aren't as easy to feel.
But later on, once they've established clear patterns of activity and rest, it's worth calling the professionals if they're not active at a time when you expect them to be.
When Your Baby Is Moving But They Don't Feel The Same As They Used To
As my wise midwife informed me, sometimes the baby's movements feel "kickier," and sometimes they feel squirmier. It's just them using and stretching their different body parts and moving all around.
However and again, if there's a really distinct change in movement later on in pregnancy, definitely have your care provider take a look and be sure.
When You're Not Sure If Your Baby Is Hanging Out In A Weird Spot
Another mistaken assumption I previously had about pregnancy: I assumed my baby's movements would make sense, and be confined to one area. Not at all. My baby seemed determined to explore every inch of my abdomen and as far beyond as he could get.
(He's also super rambunctious and all over the place now that he's out of the womb, so I guess he was trying to let me know what I was in for.)
When You Start Wondering About That Weird Sensation
There are so many little aches, pains, and twinges that can happen during pregnancy. I really had to stretch my vocabulary (and pay attention to previously ignored body parts) so I could accurately describe the weird things that were going on in my body and verify that my baby and I were OK.
Oh, and the angry uterus? That was round ligament pain. Annoying, but unserious.
When You're Feeling Like A Marshmallow (Wo)man
Before I actually got pregnant, I assumed the only place expecting mamas grow is in their bellies and breasts. But sometimes, the rest of her can swell up too. A little swelling — like, the wear comfy shoes, leggings, and put your rings on a necklace kind — is normal.
But more than a little swelling during pregnancy could be a sign of a more serious problem. According to BabyCenter, a you should be seen immediately if you experience "[any] swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, anything more than a little swelling in your hands, severe and sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, or a rapid weight gain (more than 4 pounds in a week)."
When You Can't Tell If You're In Labor
If you have to ask, it's probably Braxton Hicks, not real labor. #RAGE