I’ve had sisters, aunties, friends, neighbours and many other pregnant people around me and they give the gist about their experience, the way they feel, baby’s first kick, the first trimester nausea and the likes. I thought I was told all and knew all about it until now, NO, I’ve not been told all about it, I don’t know all about it and really I can’t know all about it.
At some stages in my pregnancy, I had some strange experience that I thought had nothing to do with pregnancy, some I thought could hurt my baby. Nobody ever said anything about these things happening (maybe it skipped their mind or maybe it didn’t happen to them).
These experiences gave birth to this article, in order to help someone that might be going through the same thing or just to prepare you if it eventually happens. This article cannot tell you all the things you were not told about pregnancy and it might not necessarily happen to you because ALL PREGNANCY ARE DIFFERENT, non is the same, not even a person’s pregnancy is and no matter how much you take pregnancy classes or have someone tell you about it, IT CAN NEVER BE LIKE THE EXPERIENCE, EVER! but you would learn something new. Make sure you read till the end, there’s something everybody needs to know.
NAUSEA: tiredness, spitting, throwing up, weakness, irritation, morning sickness and everything in-between. Were you told you’d have mood swings, get tired of drinking water, dislike almost all you used to like, get really cranky at the slightest touch and by afternoon/evening you are back to energetic mode? Look, sometimes it gets worse, for me I hated the smell of our apartment and I once suggested we move out, it was so bad I wanted to leave the house at any slight opportunity and I dreaded returning home, I tried all air freshener to change the smell of the house but it just made it all worse.
I didn’t want to eat anything made by me (that I was told) but nobody told me it’s not about who cooks it, for me, it was about food generally, especially food prepared in my kitchen, I was just tired.
Another thing I wasn’t told about first trimester is that I’d dread sleep. When it was bed time, I’d cry silently and wish I didn’t have to sleep because I knew I’d wake up to been tired with disgusting sensations in my mouth which nobody wants to look forward to.
Like I said, no experience is the same and you cannot prepare enough for this phase of your life so just go with the flow.
SMELL IRRITATION: let me tell you, you favorite lotion, body spay, shower gel, powder, air freshener and other fragrance will later nauseate you. Maybe you were told but nobody told you that irritation would include your favorite things and at some point, I goes beyond these and extends just anything with fragrance. I just wanted everything around me to be odourless or unperfumed.
As time went by, unprocessed shear butter became my body cream and I concluded perfumes and body spray would be on break till after I had my baby.
DIZZINESS AND SHORT OF BREATH: I was at my desk in the office working on the computer and suddenly I was feeling dizzy, dehydrated and desperate to get more air through my lungs, at first I couldn’t explain the feeling, it was sudden and immediately I could not sit any longer. What came to my head then was “TAKE WATER AND LIE DOWN” I drank some water, reached for a mat and obeyed my instinct. I had a small nap in my corner at the office and I woke up feeling better.
Upon waking up, I reached for my phone to read about dizziness and short of breath during pregnancy and WHOLLA, I saw that things like these are normal when in state, it most times due to tiredness. However, when you find yourself feeling like that, lie down on your left side immediately if you cannot get to do that, then sit down and rest your back. Don’t fight it by ignoring it and keep working. Stay hydrated and rest well during this period.
LEG CRAMPS: I’d wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden sharp muscular pain at the back of my leg (my yams area) and it could last 10 seconds that feels like five minutes. Sometimes, it was upon waking up in the morning in the course of stretching. The first time I thought I had stretched too far and my body couldn’t stretch that much, I never thought it had anything to do with pregnancy. Then, it happened again and again and I knew it wasn’t normal so like I always do I checked it up.
Then I learnt leg cramps are normal during pregnancy because the baby weight is resting on the muscles of the leg, so it’s like your leg is carrying extra luggage, hence the reason for the cramps. What worked for me: hubby would help lift up the led till the pain was gone then he’d massage through the back of my leg folding it in and out.
SORE FEET: I didn’t have preeclampsia (condition of swollen feet in pregnancy that causes water logged soreness) but if you don’t know what preeclampsia is, you’d think I had it. Starting from my fifth month, my feet were constantly swollen and it got bigger and bigger. At some point around my seventh month I had to be on flip flops. I often relieve this stress my placing my leg on the pillow over night which really helped.
TIREDNESS: when you get to a certain point, you’d just get tired of carrying that big tummy around and you’d wish someone can just take out the baby for you. At around the eighth month I was counting days and studying the calendar, I was always tired, always cranky and the last month felt like forever, but guess what, I miss pregnancy now and I can “experience-lly” say “enjoy it while it last” because your little pretty bundle will grow really fast and you’d wish you can freeze time or rewind to the last trimester and relive all the baby/nursing/adorning/admiring moments.
AMAZEMENT: as much as you might read or heard or researched about pregnancy, everything about pregnancy will amaze you, from knowing you’re expecting, nausea, gradual body changes that you just suddenly notice one morning, the thin black line on your stomach, the kicks down to becoming a mum for the first time.