The media constantly shows us pregnant women who are idyllic and beautiful. Round goddesses, who literally glow and are always smiling, while rubbing their perfectly smooth baby bumps. Now I realize that some people actually do enjoy pregnancy. But I am not one of those people. For me, pregnancy is miserable, and I have especially not enjoyed experiencing the gross aspects of pregnancy that I can't unsee, smell, or feel.
From the bloating and vomiting of the first trimester (and sometimes the second and third trimester, too) to the hormone changes causing unexplained hair growth, acne, and vaginal discharge, pregnancy can be super gross. And that doesn't even include the poop, farts, and hemorrhoids. My poor butt.
For me, pregnancy is not beautiful at all, and I'll tell you a secret, it doesn't have to be. So what if my leg hair is long and my belly isn't smooth? I am growing a freaking human. In a few short months things will be back to normal, or more accurately, their new postpartum version of normal, and I'll have a baby to snuggle and different poop to worry about.
In the meantime, I have a good sense of humor about these things and currently have a stuffed-up nose. That's one benefit (or the only benefit) of not being able to take real cold medicine while pregnant, no pregnancy fart smelling for me.
If you think you can handle it, here's my list of the grossest aspects of pregnancy that I can't unsee:
If I could choose one superpower today it would be to never vomit again. Seriously. I am currently pregnant with my second hyperemesis gravidarium (extreme nausea and vomiting) pregnancy. I vomit most days. My teeth are destroyed. I clean my toilets daily so that I have a clean vessel to puke in. I have a short list of "safe foods" I rely on. I get car sick. Just last week I vomited 32 oz. in the car on the way home from the new Harry Potter movie (my vomit bag told me the volume). It's so gross.
Peeing On Myself When I Vomit, Sneeze, Cough, Or Think Too Hard
And when I vomit, I pee myself, or to be more accurate I should say that when I do almost anything except sleep, I pee myself. It's so gross and demoralizing. Fortunately, I have lots of black pants, pads, and just placed an order for incontinence underwear.
I seem to grow a belly before the line appears on the pregnancy test. In fact, I knew I was pregnant because none of my pants fit. But it was not "beautiful baby bump" growth, it was "none of my clothes fit at a time when I am extremely emotional" growth. Not cool, body. Not cool.
Not only is all of my hair growing at a supernatural pace, I am plucking random hairs from weird places, like the four-inch long hair I found on my neck under my chin. My pubic hair is no exception, and now that I can't see it, I had to ask my spouse to help me landscape.
Increased vaginal discharge is another one of those things they don't tell you about being pregnant. Not only does it change in volume, but also in consistency and smell. And there's so much that now that I am in my third trimester, I am constantly wondering if my water has broken or I peed myself again.
Humble brag: When I am not pregnant, I don't fart very much, and when I do, they don't smell that bad or even at all. Pregnancy farts are another story entirely. Have you ever experienced a fart so bad that your eyes started to water and you found a reason to leave the room to escape it? It's like that, except they are your farts, so they follow you when you leave the room. All day long.
I haven't been able to poop normally in month. Between pregnancy hormones and the anti-nausea drugs I take, I am so constipated all of the time. Daily doses of fiber and laxatives seem to help, when I can keep them down. There's nothing quite so humiliating than having to ask your partner to bring you something to help you remove poop from your assh*le. Been there.
This time, constipation brought his buddy hemorrhoids along for a visit. Great. I'd never had them before and had no idea what I was dealing with. They are gross, painful, and more than a little disconcerting. I fought back by purchasing a bidet. It is life-changing. I hope I never have to poop without one again.
My second pregnancy, I swelled so much that I got stretch marks on my feet. My ankles looked like sausages, and none of my shoes fit. For shoes, I was limited to flip flops, which might have been OK if it hadn't been late October.
Some pregnant women glow. Not me. My pregnant face looks more like a pale, oily fish belly with red spots. Thanks, hormones.
Speaking of red spots, I got hives so bad during my second trimester that one ER nurse thought I might have chicken pox. Yuck.
My Water Breaking
The first time my water broke, I'd just been admitted to the hospital and got up to go to the bathroom. I remember thinking, Oh, great, Steph, you just peed yourself and now, you have to tell the nurse, and then, OMFG that's a lot of pee. When will it stop?
Fortunately, I always remember to pack clean underwear in my purse, especially while pregnant.
I was one of those fortunate women who didn't get stretch marks my first pregnancy. I'd like to go back in time and tell my past self to wear more crop tops. Now, my belly has a ton of stripes, red and white, to match the blue dark circles under my eyes (my pregnant body is so patriotic).