If you haven't read my previous blog post, it's part 1. Check it out. As I said before, there is lots of information available to you about pregnancy, labor & delivery, postpartum and dealing with a newborn. Unfortunately, some things you don't hear about until you experience them. Some things, perhaps, people are uncomfortable talking about and other things you read but ignored, thinking, "That'll never happen to me!" My hope is to be transparent in an attempt to help first-timers more aware of what they might encounter.
More pregnancy-related "secrets":
11) Your belly button may literally go from being an "innie", to being so stretched you can't tell where it was, to being an "outie" that very obviously protrudes from beneath your shirt.
12) You can get stretch marks ANYWHERE. Some people get them just on their bellies, others have them on their legs and breasts. Excited yet?
13) Your belly will most likely itch from the stretching it endures. Lotion helps!
14) Studies show that if you're born to get stretch marks, you'll get them regardless of what kind of preventative measures you take.
15) Even once your breasts stop being tender (generally after the first trimester), your nipples can remain very sensitive to things such as touch and temperature change.
16) Your sense of balance is a constantly changing thing as you adapt to an ever-growing belly. Simple things like bowling or tying your shoes can become complicated. (Yes, the bowling reference is from experience).
17) Reading about newborn care and breastfeeding is important. Yes, some things can and will come naturally, but having a good reference is vital in those first few weeks when you're sleep deprived and emotional. Start reading before the baby is born so you have a leg up on things.
18) It's never stupid to call the doctor's office and ask questions. They know you're hormonal and full of questions. You're not the first mom to panic about something every five minutes. The doctor's office is an important resource. It's important to call when there is potential for your concern to be important. If your doctor's office doesn't take your questions seriously, I would consider finding one that does.
19) People (including ones you don't know) will try to give you all sorts of advice once they realize you're pregnant. Some of it may be helpful, but most of it will be annoying or even shocking. Having a patent response such as, "Thanks for sharing that with me," can help you get through awkward situations. (It also helps if you can control the eye rolls.)
20) At your "big" ultrasound, you may not get the news you're expecting. Baby might not cooperate with the ultrasound tech and you may have no idea what the gender is. Also, you may find yourself disappointed at the gender that is discovered. If you're hoping for a particular gender and end up with the other, you may find it takes some time to adjust your thinking and re-excite yourself about your upcoming arrival. While you may feel stupid or guilty about this, it's normal!
How I'm feeling...exhausted. After spending the day on my feet cooking and cleaning, I'm ready for bed!
What's next?? Part 3 of the Things They Don't Tell You series.