Looking back on my pregnancy, now at 35 weeks, I realize that there is so much that women just don’t talk about. Here are the pregnancy side effects that I was not prepared for.
- All-Day Sickness: The nausea that I experienced during my first trimester was unreal. I knew that morning sickness was commonplace, but I didn’t know how intense it could get. I wasn’t vomiting that often, but I was constantly – and I mean, constantly – on the verge. I actually found myself wishing I would vomit more so I could get some sort of relief; it became extremely difficult to function on a daily basis and I was quite miserable.
- Trouble Sleeping: I didn’t think that I would have trouble sleeping that early in the pregnancy, but it was very difficult for me to get a good night’s rest. Add that to the extreme nausea and I felt like a shell of my former self.
- Anger, Regret, then Guilt: I started feeling angry toward the pregnancy and even found myself regretting it at times because I was so sick. And then I would be filled with overwhelming sadness for the way I was feeling. How could I regret something that I had wanted so badly? How could I be mad at this little bundle of cells growing inside me? It is important to remember that all these feelings are valid and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It took me a while to figure that out.
There is an over-the-counter medication called Unisom and it changed my life. Seriously, I cannot recommend this enough. It is marketed as a sleep aid, but there is an ingredient that takes away nausea. Take it at night; you’ll fall asleep faster and have no nausea at all the next day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t told about this medication until the end of my first trimester but, I wanted to share it with all of you. Do yourselves a favor and get Unisom. Once you’re sleeping and feeling, the mental state will follow suit.
- Burping: I don’t think I’ve burped more my entire life than I have while pregnant; it started in the second trimester, but has continued into the third. There are times when I can’t even get a sentence out without burping through every word and it makes me feel like a monster. Moving organs in the belly means more air moving around which causes burping and also more gas. As of right now,I have not found any solutions to this.
- Misophonia: Irritating noises have become impossible to deal with. I posted about this last week, but it is important to reiterate; I hear everything louder and more clearly than I did before and it sets my teeth on edge. My only suggestions for this would be having the TV on louder so it drowns out irritating noises. This one was such a big deal for me, I have an entire post dedicated to it.
- Stress becomes harder to manage: During the first and half of the second trimester, I worked full time as a paralegal. Before I got pregnant, it was stressful but I was able to manage. After getting pregnant, the stress became overwhelming. I pushed through it because I needed to be a rockstar at work regardless of what was happening in my body, but this sent me to the ER twice with heart palpitations. This kind of stress is not healthy for you or your developing baby; my suggestion for any pregnant woman working would be to really concentrate on ways to mitigate and manage this stress. I ended up having to quit my job, but that isn’t possible for everyone. Listen to your body and make changes as needed; no job is worth jeopardizing your or your baby’s health and well-being.
- Restless Leg Syndrome: I definitely had not heard that this could happen during pregnancy; I had never even had RLS before in my life. Basically, at night all my leg muscles will spasm regularly and it makes it impossible to sleep. The only solutions to this that I could find is massage and walking around to fatigue the muscles.
- Heartburn: Yet another thing that I didn’t know I would have and had never experienced before. Do yourselves a favor and have some Tums ready. Heartburn doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s extremely uncomfortable and even leads to sore throat and cough. Tums all day every day.
- Swelling: I have now started to swell in my hands and feet. I didn’t notice it at first, since I see my hands and feet every day but, I can no longer wear rings (including my wedding ring) and, my feet hurt when I walk. Gentle massage is a good temporary fix for this.
- Pre-Term Contractions: This is a big one. I knew about Braxton Hicks, but I had no idea that I would get regular, painful contractions before I actually went into labor. I have been contracting so often, in fact, that after two visits to Labor & Delivery to slow things down my OB has put me on bed rest for the remaining weeks of this pregnancy. Bed rest is an entirely different issue, but I will be posting about that next week.
As hard as these side effects are to deal with, I am beyond excited to be having my little girl and I know that all of this pain and discomfort is worth it. Seriously, though, this little girl needs to hurry up 🙂