Speaking to my pregnant friends you realise how easy it is to forget the lesser-known pregnancy symptoms and oddities. We’re all prepared for morning sickness and we’ve all heard about the strangest (chalk or coal anyone?!) or cliched cravings, but there are some things that you’re not prepared for…
The ‘too many pies’ tummy
That awkward part of pregnancy where you’re not ready to tell and you’ve not yet grown a bump, but definitely look like you’ve been scoffing a few too many takeaways. You catch people doing side glances or an involuntary double-take. It usually corresponds with an insatiable new appetite and you sense your co-worker’s eyes popping at every biscuit or sweet that ends up in your mouth. Your work wardrobe condenses as you’re limited to wearing things that hide your tummy in what you hope appears to be care free, bo ho style but rather suspect you look more like you’re deliberately trying to hide your porkier belly by any means possible- shirts out and your ‘smockier’ shapeless dresses.
Give me bran!
How do I put this one politely? Hmmm save for the ‘too many pies’ stomach you start the day relatively slimline and end the day like you’re smuggling a baby elephant. Apparently pregnancy hormones make the muscles in your digestive system less efficient and, boy, do you know it. You feel like punching the air if you manage even the smallest bowel movement…
‘…and the little one said roll over, roll over’… or not
Pregnancy is unfair. First there’s the night sweats (my husband said I was like a nuclear bomb apparently!) and then as you start to grow and want to be at your most comfortable you’re advised to stop laying on your back and your tummy (which physically you can’t do anyway) so you’re limited to your side and the recommended one- on your left side, is the one position I would never ever choose!! In a nutshell you’re tired, big and uncomfy and more tired because you can’t get comfy. It’s an (un) virtuous circle of sleeplessnes before the baby even arrives. Grrrrr!
Cramping my style
As if bedtime wasn’t full enough of frustrations, then pregnancy cramp comes along. I remember practically leaping up to the ceiling as leg pains took hold and I’d be waddling around the bedroom at 2am with legs as stiff as boards desperately trying to ease the pain. What a sight!
Hoorah for hair!
Ok so there has to be some positive payback to offset the pregnancy nasties and this is randomly thicker hair- something a fine- haired person like me would never turn their nose up at! I look back at the (deliberately rare) pregnancy and newborn photos I feature in and I am still amazed at my shiny, thick hair even if everything else isn’t so hot… and then nature plays a cruel trick, just as you’re getting used to the swishing and ponytails, that don’t look like they belong to a 2 year old child…. it falls out… in spades and you’re back to square one.
I could easily write a longer list but I’ll just leave you with these delights for now! I’d love to hear about the pregnancy symptoms you weren’t prepared for.