Saturday, July 07, 2012

What They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy

Through the last 36 weeks, I've come across a lot of things that people don't really talk about when discussing pregnancy. There are always the typical discussions about weight gain, stretch marks, and labor... but what about everything else? Pregnancy is so much more than that!

(Men, if you continue to read this you will probably learn more about your woman (and me) than you'll ever want to know. It may be in your best interest to stop reading now.)

  1. Pregnancy nose- This is more discussed than many of the points that I'll make, but you can smell so much more while you're pregnant. There have been many times that I've asked my husband "Do you smell that? It's disgusting!" and he just laughs and says no. I swear, if there is a barbecue within half a mile, I will be able to tell you (mostly because the smell of meat makes me sick). 
  2. You're not really eating for two-You do need extra calories every day, but not an extra 2,000. As one of my nurses said, "put down the second burger." There's really no need to eat double portions unless you're trying to double in size in a matter of 9 months. On that note...
  3. It is possible to not gain a million pounds- At 35 weeks and 5 days, I've gained a grand total of 28 pounds. Adalin weighs right close to 6 pounds now. Between the baby and all the fluid and whatnot that comes out at delivery, I'm hoping to only have between 15 and 20 pounds to lose after delivery. What has been my secret? Well, a few things... First, Carnation Instant Breakfast for breakfast or lunch every day. I hate milk so it has really helped me get the calcium I need. Second, walking, walking, walking! Although I haven't been walking as much the past few weeks because it gives me contractions, I was really active through well over half of the pregnancy. If you can manage to walk a mile or two every day, you'll feel a lot better. Third, heartburn. Sometimes it got to the point where I actually couldn't  eat without wanting to throw up so I just limited myself to smaller, more frequent, meals that were extremely plain. It's worked for me so far. 
  4. Heartburn and nausea don't always stop after the first trimester- In all honesty, my heartburn has been far worse during the third trimester than it was during the first. I have to take Zantac 150 twice every day, along with Tums after every meal, in order to keep it under control. From what little reading I've done, my situation isn't entirely uncommon because all your organs get squished up closer to your throat during the end of pregnancy. There's less room for food and everything else inside of you so you're more likely to have issues with that. 
  5. Constipation and hemroids are the norm in pregnancy- I have been super lucky to have not had issues with either. I never heard anything about this in my random girl talks about pregnancy and babies until after I was pregnant. I think it's one of those well kept secrets that people like to spring on the newly-pregnant lady. As you can imagine, I freaked out when I heard this. As long as you keep your fiber intake up and don't eat things you know don't agree with you, you might be okay. Some prenatal vitamins are known to make constipation worse, but doctors can give you stuff for that. Like I said, I've been super super lucky. Most of the women I talk to who are pregnant or have kids rant about how much the last trimester sucked because they couldn't poop. I feel blessed! 
  6. Doctors will hound you about taking prenatal vitamins- They are important, yes. But if you're unlucky like me, they will make you sick as a dog. As I already said, my heartburn has been so intense through the whole pregnancy, I have to do everything I can to keep it under control. This includes not taking my prenatals every day. I try my hardest to take them at least 3 or 4 times each week, but it doesn't always happen. I don't feel quite as bad because the Carnation Instant Breakfasts have a lot of vitamins in them, and I drink V8 Splash like it's going out of style, so I am getting a decent amount of vitamins in my normal diet. 
  7. Your due date is an estimate- Just because you're due on a certain day doesn't mean that you'll actually give birth that day. My "estimated" due date has changed at every measurement ultrasound because the baby is measuring larger than what a baby due on August 6th "usually" would measure. The earliest that they've actually changed it to is July 29th, even though she was measuring at the 24th. She's never measured small though. They keep my original due date on file because that is the statistically most accurate measurement (based on my last period). 
  8. You probably won't get tons of ultrasounds- I've been fortunate to have ultrasounds about every other week, but the reason is far less fortunate. Since Adalin has some health concerns, they have to monitor her more closely. Most of the time, in a non-high-risk pregnancy, insurance companies cover between 2-4 ultrasounds (from my understanding). You'll usually get one within the first trimester to make sure everything looks okay from the beginning, but mine wasn't that great detail-wise. The next one comes around 20 week. That's when you find out the sex (if baby cooperates and you want to know) and they check for any abnormalities. The last one (or next one, if you go longer) comes towards the end. I'm not exactly sure when because my ultrasound schedule changed at 20 weeks. 
  9. You're not supposed to go in hot tubs while pregnant- The hot water can basically cook the baby (from my understanding). So, it's a big no-no during pregnancy. You actually have to be careful that your bath water isn't too hot too. You can still take warm baths, but not super hot ones. 
  10. You can't change cat litter- Darn! Really though, there's a bacteria in it that is not good for you to be around. If you don't have someone who can change the cat litter for you, you might have to re-home kitty for the extent of the pregnancy. One article I read actually recommended to eliminate all contact with cats through pregnancy because they do walk in the litter, therefore, carry the bacteria everywhere they go... I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to tell you to get rid of Fluffy, but definitely do your reading. 
  11. Itchy belly syndrome- Because your skin stretches so much during pregnancy, you might feel very itchy. Since I've been religiously lotioning my stomach and hips twice every day since I was about 6 weeks along, I haven't been too itchy. I have noticed that since I started laying out on our patio to work up a tan, I am slightly more itchy. I know it's because tanning dries your skin out. The solution is just to lotion as much as possible. Try not to scratch too hard. 
  12. Everything heals slower- I have an ant bite on my leg from the beginning of May. It's still not entirely healed yet (It's JULY now!). Any random scrapes and bruises take longer to heal too. 
  13. You can't take a lot of medicines while pregnant- This seems like common sense to me now, but I was shocked at some of the things that you aren't supposed to take while pregnant. Ibuprofen and asprin are not looked highly upon. Any muscle relaxers, anti-depressants,  or other psychological drugs aren't really accepted either. Your doctor will fill you in on all that. 
  14. Caffeine intake is supposed to be limited- my doctor says it's okay to drink up to one cup/can of caffeine each day. Caffeine restricts blood flow to the baby, which can be problematic during pregnancy (especially the first trimester). 
I'm wanting to add more to this list, so please comment with things that surprised you during pregnancy. My experience is limited to my pregnancy (and the stories friends have told me). I'm not a doctor so none of this is official. This is simply based on what has (or hasn't) happened to me. 

God Bless ♥ Vi