Things I Didn't Know Before: Pregnancy

Welcome to our FIRST "Things I Didn't Know BEFORE" blog post.

Today's topic is pregnancy.

Please know before you continue reading that this was a joint effort - from myself & my readers// followers. It was not created for any other reason than comic relief, solidarity & a smidge of empowerment + awareness.

Due to the nature of this post, I'd like to say to all of my dear friends who are TTC, healing from loss or battling infertility - I'm PRAYING for you. Remember, God is faithful. He will complete your family in His perfect way & in His perfect timing.

Ahhhhh pregnancy.

A surprise to some.
The emotional or physical sporting event of a lifetime for others.

The moment you pee on that stick & see those double lines, plus sign or that POWERFUL 8 letter word.. life, as you know it, changes forever.

And so begins the adventure that will change your mind, body & heart in ways you quite literally NEVER imagined possible.

I was one of those some might call obnoxious who absolutely LOVED being pregnant.

My husband & I tried very HARD for a baby, lost our first in miscarriage (read about that here) & then conceived again after with our now miracle baby who is 6 months old & prepping for college as I type this.

I savored it ALL.
I rubbed my belly CONSTANTLY.
I blogged WEEKLY after I made it through the first trimester.
I made the infamous weekly photos with the baby's fruit size equivalent.

Aside from some intense nausea + puking the first several weeks, I had a seemingly "easy" & uneventful pregnancy, physically.

Emotionally & mentally, there's a battle that lingers for EVERY mother who has ever lost a pregnancy. But that's another post for another time.

Today's post is to chat about ALL the things I didn't know before.

Isn't it funny - we do our research on HOW to get pregnant.
We prepare on HOW to give birth.

But what about those months in between?

Well, I've learned that NO amount of reading quite prepares you for pregnancy.
Because, it's the season of life in which ANYTHING goes.

Abnormal hair growth?
"oh that happened to me too.."

Crying during a laundry detergent commercial?

Vomitting triggered by the stench of stuff you actually like?
sweet pregnancy.

No doubt - we all have our stories.
Each one unique to mommas & their babies.
Some utterly difficult & some "rainbows & butterflies."
At the end of the day, we were all so privileged to carry our children.
And they are ALL sweet miracles.

But here's the nitty gritty.. hilarious.. embarrassing.. TRUTH

The things we DIDN'T know before


1. fatigue

Carrying a baby the size of an apple seed doesn't seem like it would require much effort, right?


It's AMAZING how something so small could have such a HUGE effect on your body & your mind in this way.

But when you think about it - your body is growing, nurturing & helping develop a tiny HUMAN. Girl, your body is WERKING.

So be prepared to be tired.

Initially it'll likely be 24/7 in the first trimester that you feel this inexplicable tiredness. I remember the first several weeks of my pregnancies, falling asleep ANYTIME I got in a horizontal position. Maybe even just reclined.. Whether that was at 6:30pm in bed or 10am on the floor next to the dogs - mama was OUT. Comfort, blanket & a bed were totally UNNECESSARY for sleep.

Later on in pregnancy, it'll get better.
You might even get a "surge" of energy!

Then, that all too familiar feeling comes back towards the end. But fortunately at that point you're either so large & uncomfortable or your baby is so big & won't stop moving that you can't sleep it off if you wanted to.. you're not missing out! 

People poke fun & say things like "Oh, you think you're tired now. Just wait until the baby is born." And while there's some truth in that annoying statement - the pregnancy fatigue is most definitely real. I think the fatigue we experience in pregnancy is God's way of easing us in & preparing us for the first couple of months with a newborn.

Hang in there, mama.
You'll sleep again one day!

2. heart burn

And you thought only dragons breathed fire.

Nope to the nope.

There's no other way to describe pregnancy heartburn than with that analogy.

What's weird-er.. pretend that's a the fact that the triggers are totally RANDOM & change often.

Peanut butter?

The stuff you probably ate all the time before without issue..
It's so odd, y'all.

I remember wanting so badly to avoid medication during pregnancy - I tried EVERY natural remedy in the book for heartburn. Unfortunately, none of them worked consistently. So I caved around month 8 when it got out of control & tried tums. Turns out that tums don't really work either. Should've never caved.

Fortunately, my heartburn came in waves for the majority of my pregnancy. Only the final 6 weeks seemed more constant or really intensified during sleep.

Found a natural remedy that worked for you though?
Better drop it in the comments!

3. not all rainbows and butterflies

So my pregnancy was WONDERFUL. Aside from a rough first trimester, the anxiety from experiencing a miscarriage previously & the normal difficulties throughout, my experience was without extreme issue. I loved my bump & can't wait to do it all over again one day.

That being SAID..

This is NOT everyone's experience.

I think it's important to have appropriate expectations - to remember what your body is going through & what it's accomplishing over the course of these 40 weeks. Mindset really matters. And embracing the process. It's not going to be easy or comfortable, but it can still be wonderful!!

But, for a "lucky few" - it doesn't matter what they do or believe. Pregnancy is simply brutal on their bodies. Nausea & vomitting from day 1 to delivery is the reality for some women, my poor older sister included.

So, if you're having the rainbows & butterflies experience - cherish it.

And if you know a friend who is.. NOT.. take her a meal, buy her a pedicure certificate & send some encouragement her way!

4. pee


Forget trying to snag a great view - you're picking seats now for BATHROOM proximity.

Oh & your favorite side of the bed? You better make sure it's closest to the toilet. Because you're going to have to pee ALL the time & with progressively less notice as that precious bean of yours decides to kick or POUND on your bladder.

Embrace the 10 bathroom breaks at night - find some reading to help you get back to sleep each time. Better yet, practice any birthing visualizations, relaxation techniques or breathing to get sleepy again.

And maybe - just maybe - grab a panty liner for back up.

If not for accidental pee leakage, then for the insane amounts of *I'm so sorry but I'm going THERE* discharge you might be noticing in your britches.

5. nipples

You thought I was going to talk about sensitivity, right?

While that is SO true & you might just swat your fella for even having the THOUGHT of touching your boobs - I'm talking about another boob topic here.

The millions of ways our bodies prepare for birth & the care of our baby (specifically feeding) is nothing shy of incredible. But MAN, some - errr many - of these changes are NOT sexy.

Obviously your boobs are going to change as they prepare to feed, right?
^^This is to be continued^^

But your NIPPLES?
And your areolas??

Oh yes.
Prepare for your world to be rocked.
And take comfort knowing it's NOT just happening to YOU.

Blogs are for over sharing, right?
I can't believe I'm getting this personal.
But here we go..

I remember at one point during pregnancy Nate started referring to my areola/nipple region as pepperonis. And not the little ones you put on pizza either. "You know, the deli sliced size."

I DIED the first time he made that joke.
Because it was SO true.

Think DARK & the size of saucers!

But you know what's AWESOME??
Your body does this so your newborn can easily find your breasts to latch!

And.. they go back to "normal," believe it or not.

6. oozing

Let's continue with a variation of our last topic, shall we?

As you near the end of pregnancy, be prepared for some oozing or other forms of "leakage." Sexy, right? Haha

I promise you're not falling apart.

It's yet another sign of preparation for feeding that baby.
(kind of amazing though when you think about it..)

You guessed it,
You will PROBABLY leak colostrum.

And it MIGHT happen much much sooner than you'd expect.

So if you find wet spots on your shirt/bra or see little droplets when you're changing or getting out of the shower - don't be alarmed.

While you probably won't need any breast pads for protection, you might need to make sure you bra up as a barrier the last couple of months.

7. stranger danger

While this is an important topic of mental + physical preparation for ALL mamas-to-be, it is ESPECIALLY pertinent for the expecting introvert.

When you're pregnant, you will become a MAGNET for people's eyes, conversations & HANDS.

More on that last part later..

Be prepared to deal with & work through that stranger danger.

Because the rest of the world thinks that pregnant women know no strangers.
But this pregnant woman begged to differ.

Either put on your blinders & become a speed walking ninja everywhere you go (better yet, wear earbuds ALL the time) or prep a few short key responses.

Just know, it's coming.


8. advice

I'm pretty sure that people love talking about nothing more than their own experience with pregnant women.

I mean, heck.. I'm writing this friggin blog post, right!?
Not quite the same since you're choosing to read it.

BUT advice - you know, the unsolicited, don't care or did NOT need to know kind - is abundant, my dear.

Don't be afraid to tune people out or say "thanks, but no thanks" while you're mentally preparing for birth or parenthood.

It's A-OK to filter what you're taking in, as an effort to master + maintain a positive mindset.

9. plug

Plug? WHAT plug?

Oh yes.. you have a plug.

And you're going to lose said plug.

How many times can I type plug in a minute..

I'm going to have you google "mucous plug" in another internet window & proceed with caution.. especially if you're going to view images.

Then come back to this post & join in again.

Not everyone gets the "joy" of seeing their plug when it's lost, which is typically a couple of weeks to days before labor begins. But some of us, myself included, do.

So if you're using the bathroom, showering or changing your undies & see what looks to be some sort of mucous.. it is. Still confused? Like, your V just blew her nose in your pants.

*did she just type that?*
Gross, I know.

BUT - it's SUPPOSED to happen. And it's another sign that your body is gearing up for the big day!! Eww.. I mean, YAY! haha

10. hormones

I still haven't decided which are worse, pregnancy hormones or postpartum hormones. Let's just say they're BOTH super intense.

Hormones causing you to cry.. errr SOB.. during commercials or while folding baby laundry are the SAME hormones leaving you ready to murder your spouse for the smallest thing.. like, leaving the store without one of the TEN important must haves you've had a hankering for. Bless their hearts.

You're not a basket case, mama. You're just pregnant.

11. Dat nose

Prepare to be impressed with yourself.. again.

Girlfriend, your sniffer is going to develop SKILLZ - like, the equivalent to a team of cracked-out blood hounds tracking a scent.

I kid you not.
You'll be able to smell what your husband had for lunch five days ago - what the walmart staff brought for their lunch & put in the break room from the CHECKOUT line - & all of the "unscented" items in your home.

The overload of all these scents can be a lot though.
Beware of NEW things.
And beware of familiar things becoming repulsive.

One Saturday morning my husband was opening up some coffee beans to grind & brew, note that I LOVE coffee, but the literal INSTANT I smelled it, I threw up in the sink. 

It's the weirdest thing.
This combined with nesting - stay tuned - produces the cleanest house everrrrr.


12. time flies.. or it crawls

One day you're counting down the days, just imagining what it will be like to have your due date right around the corner.

Then, you'll hit the point where you count the number of weekends you have left before baby & you'll PANIC that there's not enough time to tackle your to do list.. or to have dates with your spouse.. or sleep in (well, try to).

THEN, you'll hit your final month of pregnancy.
And while most months of the year have between 28-31 days, your last month of pregnancy has approximately 453.

It's the my odd experience to feel like you've time warped & also that the moments stand as you anticipate baby.

13. that MOP though

If there was ONE thing I could physically bring back from pregnancy (besides the cute bump & feeling baby kicks, obvi), I would HANDS down want my hair back.

You should google it so you know the exact science behind it all, but basically you stop shedding like you normally do while you're pregnant.

What does that mean?

CUE THE VOLUME, GIRL!!!, shampoo model status.
For reals.

So soak it up.
Becauseeeeee the portpartum hair LOSS sucks.
But those 9 months of leading up to it - they're GLORIOUS!

14. oh it's "NORMAL"

I kind of joked around this in the beginning of this post, but it couldn't be more true. When you have symptoms, feelings or experiences from conception until birth - do NOT be shocked when you google it & it's SOMEHOW a "normal" or potential side affect of pregnancy.

And I'm not just talking about normal stuff.. but off the wall things.

It's funny if you don't stress too much.
Laugh about it & write it down so you can remember it all later!

(seriously, it would be HILARIOUS to go back through my google history through pregnancy. Stuff you NEVER thought you'd type..)

15. sex

Yep, I'm going there.

**If you're related to me by marriage - consider yourself warned & I'd go ahead and just skip right over this one**

Back to sex.
It's what got you here, right?

Maybe it was whoops sex - or maybe it was scheduled, trying to conceive sex.

Sex during pregnancy is so interesting though.

You'll either WANT it.. often.
You'll forget it exists because you're EXHAUSTED - don't worry this is temporary.
Or want to be FAR from it.. not because of your spouse, but because "HELLO there's a human inside of me."

If you're the latter, let me encourage you.
Take the time to stay romantically connected to your spouse during pregnancy.

Gosh, it's such a special time together before the BIGGEST change in your relationship. Cherish those moments - know you are BEAUTIFUL - and connect with that person you created LIFE with.

*also note that you maybe want to attempt some new positions for comfort. okay, TMI train out!*

Because there's no sex for 6 weeks after baby.
Then after that, it's like a new world finding your sexual "rhythm" again.

So GO for it!

16. the wand

Wand.. a WAND?
Like fairy Godmother wand?

"oh Lord, where's she going with this?"

Maybe you're so far passed it that you've already forgotten.


Or maybe you're so early on that you haven't experienced it yet.

Just picture it..
You're FIRST prenatal visit.

You're SO excited for that 8-10 week ultrasound.
You count down the days.
You have butterflies on your way to the office.

You step into the room, heart beating out of your chest & the nurse says "okay, you can go ahead & get undressed from the waist down. Just sit on the table & cover yourself with this sheet."
You think to yourself, "that's weird." But you roll with it.
The, you hop up on the table, prior feelings resume.
The nurse says, "okay, honey. put your put up on here & scoot your bottom down."
You act like everything's normal & you're not at all caught off guard, but on the inside you're thinking "UH, does she KNOW I'm not here for my pap!?!"

THEN, the wand comes out. She squirts some warm lube on the end. And you can imagine the rest.

Meet - the wand.

Fortunately, you don't give two RIPS about the wand because hopefully you're getting to see your precious little bean of a baby for the first time & see a flickering heartbeat.

You're do it over & over again for that magical moment.

Adios, wand!!
Ultrasounds from here on out are on that belly, momma!

(Mamas reading this who have experienced loss - my heart is with you. I'll never forget the moment my world shattered when I saw our first baby on an ultrasound with no heart beat. Your time is coming. Until then, keep believing, dear one)

17. you know I'm just pregnant, right?

Okay so how about this one..

You're out & about, doing your thing.
You're picking up some groceries & at the check out, the bagger asks if you need help carrying those three bags to the car.

Exsqueeze me?

Or, you're at the post office. Mailing back some maternity clothes that don't fit your preggo body. You're standing in line, chilling, & the woman in the front of the line offers you to go in front of her.

Oh thanks.. wait, what?

Come on, now.
What am I, y'all?

That first example was real life OTEN & used to annoy me so much.
I'd tell people - I workout daily so I promise I can carry my groceries..

Seriously, the day I walked out with a watermelon on my hip around 30ish weeks, you would've thought I had a third eye!

The second example is also a true story - it me feel so awkward because I didn't feel like I needed the special treatment. NOW, while it would have been awesome to skip those ten spots to the front of the line, I just couldn't justify it.

It doesn't come from a bad place when people make these offers.
But it DID somehow surprise me every time.

Maybe you'll love the perks & attention.
Or maybe you're like me & you'll need this response saved for constant use.

Because I might have a BELLY, so I'm super hella capable, y'all.
*okay, don't say that out loud*
And this bump doesn't impact my abilities (for the most part),
to stand in line or carry things.
*don't say that quite yet either UNLESS they're persistent*

But this works..
"You know I'm just pregnant, right?"

And go on with your bad self..

18. personal space

Okay this one is the last about PEOPLE.
Can you tell I'm an introvert yet!?? Ha..

You know that normal bubble people have?
The normal space around your body that people respect because, well, it's YOUR friggin BODY?

It disappears when your pregnant.
(& with a baby, but I'll save that for later because I'm still figuring it out)

This, perhaps, infuriated me most.
Mostly because people assume their rights to your body.

People will reach &, if they make contact, touch or rub your belly.
Are you cringing like I am just thinking about it?

Somehow it's forgotten that your belly is an extension of YOU & your personal space - which was TERRIFYING for me.

Nate & I had a long chat about this early on - he finally understood where I was coming from - and would run my "interference" when we were out & about.


So heads up, incase you're a PersonalSpace offender,
but hadn't thought about it before.

Ask first.
Do NOT be offended if you hear, "no thanks."

It's not your right.
It's my body.

Nuff. Said.

19. nesting

Nope - you're not on crack.
Yes, those closets NEED to be reorganized 3 times.
It's totally normal.
You're NESTING, mama.

I'll try to explain it.
The URGE you feel to prepare.
But you just have to experience it.

Suddenly your environment, the one that you've LIVED IN.. that you've possibly been prepping for months, is suddenly NOT clean anymore or ready enough for a baby.

One day you wake up & realize you need to PURGE, POLISH & TIDY..

Don't feel crazy.
And don't be surprised if your hubby goes through his own version of this.

Nate actually pressure washed our entire house & cleaned the garage before Raegan was born. I might have made the suggestion, but he TOTALLY thought it made sense & obliged. Ha

Nest away, mama bird!

20. mama bear instinct

Speaking of animals.
first a bird, now a bear.
Let's talk about some straight primal instinct.

It's intense.

The innate feeling of responsibility & the engrained need to PROTECT something.. rather someONE you haven't even held in your hands yet. 

If that WAVE of instinct & emotion hasn't quite taken hold yet,
it's just a matter of time.

I remember early on in my pregnancy with Raegan - we were painting her room one night. I was imagining her in it. I was imagining her growing up.
I was imagining going to bat for her. In the most random scenarios.
Protecting her. Guarding her.
My body got HOT. I started to sweat.
And I was suddenly ready to put the SMACK DOWN on someone for my girl.
..who was nestled in my belly.

You may have thought this would start when the baby was born.
But it actually only intensifies that day.

Don't feel bad.. or weird.

That instinct.
That intuition.
That line you teeter on.
The readiness to defend & protect..
That GUT feeling.

It's ALWAYS right, as long as that little one is under your care!
Trust it.
It's there for a reason!

21. love

Everyone says this.
And it's completely true.

There's no love like the love for a child.

It's such a privilege.
It's a gift.
It's nearly miraculous.

Becoming a parent uncovers sides of you you NEVER knew existed.
It fills your life with something you didn't know was missing.

The day you get a positive test - the day you see that heartbeat for the first time - the first time you feel a squirm & kick - the moment you go into labor & know it's only a matter of time before you meet that child for the first time - your body & soul is washed over with a love words can't quite describe.

And just when you think it can't grow, your baby is born.

*cue the water works*



It's such an incredible, interesting experience that you simple cannot compare to anything else you'll ever go through.

I hope you've enjoyed this post.
I hope you've laughed a little.
I hope you feel prepared.
I hope you feel some solidarity, mama!

 Because I had fun writing this - and reliving my own pregnancy!!

So what's next up in our "THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE.." blog series?

Stay tuned!!

1 comment:

  1. I had probably one of my last runs of this pregnancy, running 4 miles with a friend and our toddlers in strollers. As soon as I got a bit of a belly, the impact of running just hasn't felt great, so I've been doing a lot more walking with short jogging stretches. I'm also stepping up my strength game, trying to lift 3-4 days a week for 20-30 minutes at a time.learn more