Pregnancy doesn't come with a handbook. Oh wait, it does (actually, about 50 or more, last time I checked) but those guides don't necessarily share the more "nitty gritty" aspects of pregnancy. To be fair, they probably don't want to terrify new mothers, so I can somewhat understand. Regardless, there are things every grown-ass woman knows about pregnancy; things that shouldn't be a secret or something that a woman later says, "Why didn't anyone tell me??" about; things that, even if they're somewhat unpleasant, are very necessary and will help make your pregnancy as pain-free as possible.
Grown-ass women know what they're getting into, no matter what it is, and if they don't, they do their best to find out. I won't lie, I was somewhat caught off guard, during both my pregnancies, by situations I wasn't expecting. I had an easy first pregnancy that had me feeling like I could coast through the last month, only to end up dealing with a medical scare that almost had me delivering 3 weeks early and de-railing my plans of having a drug-free birth. My second pregnancy really took me for a ride, because I didn't realize you could develop depression and anxiety during your pregnancy and not just after you'd given birth. Newsflash: you totally can, and it's best to have it treated, as it leaves you more prone to developing PPD, once the baby is born.
Man, if I'd known the things on this list, I'd have been a bit more relaxed during both pregnancies, I think. So, with that in mind and in the hopes that what I didn't know will become common knowledge to every new mom, here are 12 things every grown-ass woman should know about being pregnant:
Even A Tough Pregnancy Can Have Wonderful Moments
A crappy pregnancy that is filled with complications or depression or family drama or endless morning sickness or constipation or insomnia may well (read: definitely) suck, but when you feel your baby moving those first few times? There's nothing else like it.
Even An Easy Pregnancy Can Have Tough Moments
You may breeze through the majority of your pregnancy, but then have a moment at the end where suddenly there's some kind of crazy complication or scare or even just a super long labor and delivery. Every grown-ass woman knows that she just has to roll with the punches when she's pregnant.
Your Hormones Are Freaking Out, So You Might Be Freaking Out, Too
Pregnancy can best be described as an emotional rollercoaster. Elation, anxiety, anger, sadness; they will all hit you at various moments (and even simultaneously) and you just need to remember that a lot of what you end up feeling through our pregnancy, is normal. You also need to keep an eye out for warning signs that what you're feeling isn't normal.
You Only Have A Certain Amount Of Control Over The Outcome
Once you get on this pregnancy train, there are a lot of things you don't have control over. Your baby may have genetic problems (although most don't); you may want a home birth but end up having an emergency c-section; you may hope pregnancy makes you feel one way, only to have it make you feel another. You can only work to control the things that you're able to actually control, and do your best to deal with the rest.
Giving Birth Is Probably Really Going To Hurt
You can sign yourself up for hypnobirthing or birthing from within or plan on having an epidural as soon as possible or schedule a c-section or whatever else, but there will be pain.
You Don't Always Get Offered A Seat
Every grown-ass woman knows that people out there who aren't pregnant aren't necessarily looking out for those who are. So, sometimes, people aren't going to notice you on the bus or the subway or just in general, and offer you a seat or hold open a door or offer to carry bags. Honestly, a grown-ass woman shouldn't assume people will assist her just because she's pregnant (but it sure is nice when it happens).
Pregnancy Is The Easy Part...
Listen, I know there can be horrible moments during a pregnancy, and I'm definitely not discounting them. Hyperemesis gravidarum, preeclampsia and so many more medical issues are, without question, insanely tough to negotiate, but if you look at the next point, perhaps you'll agree.
...Raising Your Kid Is The Tough Part
As I mentioned above, I am not trying to discount the difficulty of anyone's pregnancy, but let's be real here: you're going to be raising your kid for the next 18 years, minimum. That includes colicky baby, tantrum-throwing toddler, three year old that act like teenagers, actual teenagers and lord knows what else. Trust me, all of that is more than likely going to be harder than those nine months in utero.
The Luxurious Hair, Long Nails And Glowing Skin Are All A Lie
These wonderful things feel amazing, but grown-ass women know they won't last. Hair is going to fall out and your nails are going to break and you'll be getting one of those big-ass pimples the second your period comes back.
You're Probably Going To Pee Your Pants When You Sneeze, At Some Point
It is what it is. Pantyliners are, essentially, your new best friends.
You Can Wave Sleep Goodbye, Pretty Much Forever
Once you start having problems sleeping, while pregnant, it's over. You are never going to get a decent night's sleep again, I'm afraid. That's because, even when you're away from your kids, you'll find yourself waking up anyway. Welcome to motherhood.
Your Relationship With Food May Become More Complex
The list of what to have, what not to have, how much you should or shouldn't gain, morning sickness, and the concerns for gestational diabetes all make for a challenging time on the food front. It can be frustrating, but grown-ass women know that it's just temporary and sometimes necessary and we are all just doing the best we can.