Pregnancy is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if you’re planning on becoming a parent, you’re probably psyched about growing what will inevitably be an adorable little human. You’ll probably love shopping for baby clothes (can clothes seriously get any cuter?) and you'll probably enjoy your baby shower. Folks tend to do genuine, nice things for you when you're pregnant; like giving up their seat on the bus or helping you with groceries or holding doors. On the other hand, there are so many parts of pregnancy that no one really likes; parts that many of us have stayed silent about for quite too long; parts that get swept under the rug in favor of the "warm and fuzzy," positive aspects of pregnancy. Well, the silence stops here and now, my friends.
The main drawbacks to most pregnancies have to do with the major, involuntary changes to your body. Between mood swings and the way you physically expand to accommodate your baby-to-be, pregnancy can be uncomfortable and inconvenient and awkward and even miserable. Then you have to deal with certain people's inappropriate reactions to your pregnancy, which are as shocking as they are inevitable and unfortunate.
As someone who’s been pregnant more than once, I can attest to what a pain in the ass pregnancy can be. Not that we should all stop having babies, mind you, but it’s nice to get real about this incredibly life-altering time in our lives. So if you, like me, didn't necessarily appreciate the following parts of pregnancy, know that you're "normal." If you're pregnant, you're probably also uncomfortable, but you're definitely, definitely, normal.
The Physical Process Of Ultrasounds
Ultrasounds are not comfortable. At all. Sometimes the gel is cold on your stomach. Sometimes they have to press hard to find your little one’s feet or face. Sometimes you have to power through transvaginal ultrasounds, which are about as much fun as you can imagine (and can actually be triggering for survivors of sexual assault.)
Everything That Happens To Your Ankles And Feet
Did you know that your feet often expand during pregnancy? Did you know that all those cute shoes you just bought are now useless to you? Did you know that your feet actually might never go back to being their original size, meaning you’ll have to go out and buy a whole new shoe collection? Ugh.
Also, your ankles often swell during pregnancy, which is just no fun (note to always be cautious in making sure there isn’t too much swelling, as that is a sign of pre-eclampsia).
Everything That Happens To Your Gastrointestinal System
Pregnancy farts are a serious (and seriously smelly) downside to pregnancy. You also burp a lot, to the point that you just forget or give up on apologizing all the time or at all. Then (because why not?) you also get constipated and hemorrhoids, to boot. Nothing good comes from pregnancy when we're talking about the gastrointestinal system.
Though there haven’t been enough studies done on this, “pregnancy brain” (often called “mom brain,” postpartum), it's a legit condition that comes with the pregnant territory. No matter how sharp you’ve always been, there’s a good chance you will have a harder time recalling things throughout your pregnancy. Maybe it’s the hormones, maybe it’s the preoccupation with another human being, or the physical discomfort, or the sleep deprivation, or, well, you get the idea.
People Wanting To Touch Your Belly
Add this to the seemingly never-ending list of totally unwelcome things people say and do when you’re pregnant. I’ve never been a fan of folks asking or wanting to touch my pregnant belly. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes many people uncomfortable.
Sore boobs are my tell-tale sign that I’m pregnant. My boobs never hurt more than they did during pregnancy (and during let down). It’s just no fun putting on a bra, or even a shirt, when your breasts are that tender.
It’s not a huge deal, but I think we could all do without the skin changes that usually accompany pregnancy. Suddenly, we’ve got a dark line from your crotch to belly button, our nipples darken and/or get flaky, skin tags show up out of nowhere, and stretch marks become the latest style.
If you're really feeling "lucky," you can also add mysterious rashes and breakouts to the list. Pregnancy is just the most fun, right?
Happy. Sad. Angry. Content. Annoyed. Scared. Peaceful. You'll be all those things, and more, in about the span of an hour. Thank you, pregnancy hormones.
People Actually Say “You’re Just Being Hormonal”
On the flip side, it’s really annoying to have a serious opinion about something when you’re pregnant, only to have certain folks say something as condescending as, "It’s just your hormones talking."
Yes, maybe our hormones are causing us to cry while we state our opinion, but that doesn’t make it any less our opinion and it definitely doesn't give anyone the right to police our emotions. We might be hormonal human beings, but we're still human beings.
All The Unsolicited Advice
Play music for the baby. Don’t drink any coffee. If you get upset, it’s bad for your baby. Breast is best. People want to give you advice all the freaking time while you’re pregnant.
All we want people to do, quite frankly, is shut the hell up so we can watch our Netflix (and pass a pregnancy fart) in peace.
People Constantly Second Guessing Your Pregnancy And Parenting Decisions
For some reason, folks think if you tell them you’re parenting wrong, it’ll cause you to change your approach and do it their way. Nope. Doesn’t work like that, my friends.
Lugging Around A Bowling Ball In Your Uterus
The first trimester, and even the second, aren’t so bad. By the third, however, you will be so done with this giant bowling ball on your belly that you'll beg and plead and pray to the pregnancy gods to go into labor.
You walk slower. You can’t bend over or even see your feet. Your back hurts constantly. You have to pee every two minutes. Nothing will ever make you more uncomfortable.
Having To Give Up Certain Things
Pregnancy and parenthood are all about sacrifice. With pregnancy, it begins with giving up many of your favorite things. For some, that means no more sushi. For others, that’s giving up your seat at the bar during happy hour.
The nausea that comes with pregnancy is quite possibly one of the worst if not the worst consequence to reproduction. Some pregnant people are lucky and only experience mild morning sickness. Others need to cover their noses for the next 3-9 months because every scent sends them running towards a toilet.
Of course, there's those poor folks who experience hyperemesis gravidarum, a nausea and sickness so intense medication is often necessary.
Actually Giving Birth
I know there are people who swear by things like HypnoBirthing as a legitimate way to help them give birth with little to no pain. Personally though, I don’t think anyone who’s ever birthed a baby would say it doesn’t suck on multiple levels. I understand it’s a very beautiful event, don't get me wrong. However, after squeezing out a 9-pound baby vaginally (and sans drugs), I can honestly say I’d much rather spend a weekend at the spa than ever, ever, do that again.