The world only talks about how beautiful pregnancy is (and it is, no doubt about it) but you only hear about the glowing skin and the luscious hair, and not the other side of the story.
I was in for a shock when I discovered these truths about pregnancy.
- Trust your nose and not your craving. In the initial days when I had just discovered my pregnancy, I could smell things I didn’t know had any smell. One day I was craving for KFC. We were in Bombay at that time and strangely there’s no KFC in Lower Parel. So I made my husband go all the way (to Bandra or someplace I don’t remember), to get me a burger and chicken wings. I was salivating at the thought of it. And then I opened the box and the waft of chicken smell entered my nose and immediately made me want to throw up. But I ignored it because I thought I am just sensitive to smell, I’m getting this craving that means my body wants it. Two bites into that zinger burger and I was throwing my guts up. Lesson learnt: Before giving into your craving, smell it first. If your nose says no, don’t try it. I had turned into a vegetarian for almost the entire pregnancy :(. The third trimester I started having fish.
- Your abdomen has a big ball of gas in it. Yes, that’s true.God did I hate going out in public. I would sometimes dream that I didn’t have a baby inside me, and I gave birth to a ball of gas. I mean how is it possible to have so much gas and a baby inside your tremendously cramped abdomen, I don’t really know. My ladylike burps started to sound like the growl of a lion, and I couldn’t even control it. And as for passing gas, I don’t even want to get into just how embarrassing that was. Second trimester was a little better, but come third trimester, and it was back in full force!
- Hold your pee. How difficult can that be? You can’t even imagine how difficult that is. If you were embarrassed enough by the gas, see what you do about this!! You sneeze you pee, you cough you pee, you throw up and the whole floor is wet. I couldn’t believe when it started to happen in my first trimester, I mean the baby was microscopic, so why was this happening? I have no answer to that unfortunately, except you feel like your bladder is forever full and no matter how much you pee, it’s never enough. Strangely enough, when the baby was bigger in the second trimester, the urge to pee was way lesser. Of course by third trimester, you’d wish to set up house in the loo itself, if it was possible. Indian doctors never advise you on these things so if it’s your first pregnancy you don’t really know what to do! Thank god for obsessive Americans, because of their strange questions all over the net, I knew how to handle all kinds of weird issues! Kegel is the best exercise and I actually managed to control it significantly ( not completely. I mean at least I wasn’t all over the floor when I was throwing up in my third sem).
- Sit like a normal human being. That’s a joke right there. I’d go to watch movies in the afternoon on a weekday, (expecting an empty hall,) so that I could put my legs up on the seat in front of me. At home I’d sit with my legs spread as wide apart as possible, and I didn’t really care if my dad was around. I couldn’t care if anyone was around actually, I’d just turned into one of those chilled out seths with their massive protruding bellies, belching while they talk and keep on munching on something or the other. Believe me, if there was any ounce of grace in you before you were pregnant, there’d be none left after.
- Feel the heat, baby. Because of my RA I used to hate winters. But during my pregnancy god, how I wished it snowed in Kolkata! I had to change my clothes 2-3 times a day and I’d be fanning myself or sit in front of the cooler, wearing as little as possible while others would look at me strangely. I mean it was hot alright, but not the way I felt it!
- No period pain! You’re pregnant so at least there’s that one thing that you get to escape for 9 months. That’s a myth though. You get no period but you get the cramps alright. They are maybe not as bad as your worst period cramps but you do get them. At least I did in the initial months. The doc said it was because the uterus was expanding and the organs were moving around to make space for the baby. And after the uterus expands, there are so many other different kinds of cramps and pains that you actually end up missing your good ole period cramp.
The only lovely side effect of pregnancy for me was that my hair was actually great and I didn’t lose a single strand of hair during my pregnancy. But of course that was short lived. Three months into motherhood, and I’m losing hair with a vengeance.