Pregnancy is not sexy. People will tell you it is. They'll tell you it's the most amazing thing ever. A miracle, they say. The greatest experience a woman can have, they encourage.
You want to know the truth?
Details ahead that may not be for the squeamish... You've been warned.
It is incredible. It's also terrifying, gross, and hilarious all at once. Here are some of my favorite things no one bothered telling me when recruiting me to their little parents' club. Of course, when I mentioned these to my girlfriends, they all smiled knowingly and admitted experiencing it too. What. The. Hell. Thanks for the heads up, "friends"!
You bloat like a balloon, and are full of gas too.
I've seen so many posts on my pregnancy app's forum where women who are 6 weeks along are posting their "bumps." I can assure you, that's not a baby we're looking at. It's one of two things: a belly that has been there before pregnancy, or, like in my case, bloat. Your intestine muscles apparently relax upon conception, leading to slower digestion... meaning constipation and gas. No one bothered warning me about that. I can assure you, practicing immense strength not to wince while your insides threaten to explode from air overload while having a conversation with an unsuspecting acquaintance, is not something anyone prepares you for. Take it from me - it's normal, it's common, and you should expect it.
Your boobs hurt.
This one I was actually warned about. "Oh, you get really sore boobs." Okay, got it. Then it started... the shooting pains of milk ducts activating. That's not soreness - it fucking hurts. And speaking of boobs...
Your nipples increase in size, among other things.
I'm talking National Geographic stuff. My husband made ONE comment... my reaction was strong enough that he won't make that mistake again. I'd ask my friends if they go back to normal after pregnancy, but since not a damn one of them warned of plate-sized nipples in the first place, I don't trust their responses.
Emotions run haywire.
I've always heard pregnancy makes you more emotional. I figured I would cry a little over ASPCA commercials, not have a breakdown over some Carrie Underwood song on the radio. The Cosby Show had me in tears on the couch because Claire yelled at Vanessa when she snuck out to a rock concert with her friends. The Dollar Tree made me bawl. Dirty Dancing had me yelling at my husband for not wanted to punch random people who were rude to me. Stuff like that. Batshit crazy. I'm not alone - I've asked around. It seems like every mom has at least one hilarious story of her emotions gone wrong. There's no reason to downplay it for the next round of mommies-to-be. Just be aware it's coming... and no, you're not alone. We're all a little crazy.
Crazy dreams will leave you scratching your head.
They're like television shows, they're so vivid and detailed. And they usually make VERY little sense. It's best not to even try to interpret them. No, if you dream you're cheating on your husband with a dragon, it does not mean you're falling out of love with him. It means you're pregnant, and your hormones are fucking with your brain. Just laugh and roll with it.
It's not a pregnancy glow...
That's not a glow. That's what it looks like when all of your pores are simultaneously clogged and zits are pushing their way through like Black Friday shoppers in the Walmart electronics aisle. All you can do is wash your face (but check the endless list of banned ingredients before you put anything on your face, lest you permanently disfigure your child with your own vanity -- that's sarcasm, if you can't tell), use moisturizer, and invest in a good concealer and foundation combo. But that "glow" everyone sings songs about? Yeah, not exactly. I think it's more about the twinkle in your eye, not a glow in your skin. That's just acne.
And last but not least... Morning sickness lasts all. damn. day. I recommend keeping a large bag of Jolly Ranchers near you at all times. Crackers and ginger ale are fine and dandy, but the only thing that kept me from up-chucking all over the conference table during the middle of meetings was sucking on a little Jolly Rancher. Little known secret - you're welcome.
Now a disclaimer:
This post is intended to be humorous, and I hope that it comes across that way. The body is an amazing machine, and I am continuously awed by what it can do. Knowing now that pregnancy involves as much as it does, would I still recommend it? Absolutely. Not only does misery love company, but the end result is nothing short of miraculous. I haven't even met my little guy yet, but I dream big for him and his future. It makes it all worth it. The ends far outweigh the means... even National Geographic boobs. Besides, I'll save a killing on bras - I can just tuck 'em in my pants.