I woke up in a puddle of my own sweat. As I got out of bed, waves of heat and nausea flowed over me. I ran to the bathroom to throw up and thought to myself: could I be going through menopause? I had no idea that pregnant people can experience hot flashes, too. I Googled my symptoms, took a pregnancy test, and sure enough, I was pregnant. I continued to have hot flashes throughout my pregnancy, but they didn't mirror the stereotype of a woman fanning herself dramatically. Pregnancy hot flashes actually feel so different. In fact, they feel worse.
According to BabyCenter, about a third of pregnant people experience hot flashes due to drops in hormone levels. The site makes it sounds so normal, but in my experience, hot flashes felt weird and markedly unpleasant. In other words, not normal at all. Sometimes I would get so hot at night I'd throw all the blankets on the floor, only to discover that it was freezing in our house. Then I'd end up doing this exhausting dance between wanting to be snuggled in all the covers and wanting absolutely nothing to touch my burning body. And trust me when I say that's a difficult dance to follow, dear reader, because I had a husband, cats, and sometimes children in my bed.
To make matters worse, I was lucky enough to be pregnant in the summertime, so getting cool was difficult all on its own. Hot flashes were literally the last thing I needed. I had hyperemesis gravidarum, too, and was so nauseated that I couldn’t eat. Did you know that having low blood sugar makes hot flashes worse? FML. I felt dizzy, unbearably warm, nauseated, and like I had no ability to control what was happening in my body. It really sucked.
So yeah, there are a few things that pregnancy hot flashes actually feel like, and none of them are particularly pleasant.