Pregnant Women Reveal Things People Commonly Misconstrue About Pregnancy
Story Time! When I went into labor with my first baby, I took three or four showers after my water broke. It wasn't that I felt dirty, it's just that I kept getting re-dressed and having to change because my water would leak every time I stood up. I thought that once it broke it would just stop. Like a gush and then done. Nobody told me it would keep leaking at random times and that I should just slap on a pad, grab a towel, and get on with things.
So when I saw one Reddit user asked:
I was in there immediately - and it turns out I wasn't the only one who had no idea about the water breaking thing! I picked out 20 of my favorite responses and piled them together for you.
BONUS MISCONCEPTION: For a lot of women, pregnancy is closer to TEN months.
Sleep Before Baby
Don't tell a woman in her third trimester to "get sleep while you can, hahaha" because I can guarantee you that between the many bathroom trips, the discomfort every time you turn over and the general late pregnancy insomnia, she's not sleeping.
I have a 7 week old, and I get way more sleep now than I did in my last two months of pregnancy.
VIsit Politely Please
Even a simple delivery is hard on Mum. You visit the baby then you need to remember the Mum is not the hostess. It may hurt for to sit, or walk or even pee.
She should not be making you a meal and drinks while you hold her baby, please don't leave a mess for her to tidy when you leave.
Keep visits short, and check with Mum how she is actually feeling, and check if it adds up with how she looks. If she looks tired but says she is fine, then she's probably tired but polite.
It's Okay To Not Be "Overjoyed"
Pregnancy is sometimes really hard and sad. You don't feel like yourself, you don't look like yourself, you're uncomfortable and vulnerable because you have a ton of hormones rushing through you. You're scared that you're not doing the right things and that you're selfish.
You're also having a constant medical condition - you have something taking your blood circulation, your food, and crowding your organs. A baby acts like a parasite, so you're always a little weak and a little bit "off." It's difficult to tell when something is serious or just uncomfortable.
You have a LOT of pressure to be "overjoyed" and it's weird that people seem to think that any complaining is insulting, but they're always asking how you're doing. If you don't want to know, don't ask.
When you got to pee, that means Now. Not when we get home, or on your lunch break, or next commercial break. Right NOW.
It's Not Gonna Stop
I was only 18 and under the huge misconception that your water breaking is just one big gush and done. Nobody warned me. So when my "water kept breaking" I was freaking out.
So young girls of reddit, when you get pregnant and your water breaks, it's not gonna stop. Its gonna be like peeing yourself repeatedly.
Can't Control My Farts
I can't control my farts. Ive never in 6 years farted in front of my husband. Now my farts are so loud they wake us up from sleep.
Im not lactating yet, but my bras smell like spoiled milk at the end of the day.
It's Not All Hormones
Although pregnant women are hormonal, I don't recommend blaming everything on hormones or dismissing a pregnant woman's concerns and feelings by saying "you are just too hormonal." My husband learned this the hard way. Pregnant women can still have legitimate concerns and reactions. Go figure.
My sense of smell is INSANE. I call it the bloodhound nose. It's kind of crazy how things that never bothered you before (ex: cooking meat) make you gag/vomit every time. Bro in law made hotdogs in the middle of winter with my first pregnancy and I had all the windows open to air out the stink. It was freezing, I didn't care.
There's an enormous misconception (hah) that when your water breaks, the baby is due like right now. The reality is it can still take up to a day or two for labor to begin in earnest. Some babies are born without mom's water ever breaking. It's rare, but it happens. It isn't the way it seems on TV or in movies very often.
Not All Pregnancies "Show" The Same Way
I was slightly overweight when I got pregnant, lost 11lbs (yay morning sickness), then gained 13lbs. I started gaining weight when I was 24 weeks along (morning sickness started to fade a bit) and I didn't start showing obviously until I was 32 weeks. It really hurts to be told that you're faking being pregnant. Everyone's body reacts differently to growing another human, it's not nice to judge a pregnant woman for how her body is reacting. All baby bumps are fantastic.
So... Very... Tired
Pregnancy is hard work! Even in the first trimester the tiredness is insane. There is an expectation that pregnancy is something that most women go through, so you should just get on with it, but needing to go to bed at 8pm is perfectly acceptable.
Stomach Sleepers Beware
The worst part, forget pains and swelling and baby being made inside you, is when you can't sleep on your stomach anymore. You don't miss sleeping on your stomach until it is literally impossible, then it's like your humanity was stripped from you
Sometimes It Sucks
Not all women enjoy the experience. I hated every second of all of my pregnancies. I had heartburn nearly from day one with sciatica and constantly feeling hot. Plus I worked jobs where I was on my feet the entire day. For some women pregnancy sucks!
"All About The Baby"
That not everyone processes the physical, emotional and mental realities of pregnancy the same way. Not everyone wants to "perform" pregnancy. Not everyone wants to hold an extended conversation about All.Things.Baby. all of the time while they're pregnant. It's obnoxious when every conversation at work, out in public, at dinner with the in-laws gets turned into an extended discussion about your womb and its contents.
Yes, there's a sweetness to people's enthusiasm for you and I tried to focus on that, but I got really tired of my body being the focus of everyone's attention all the friggin time, and the fact that everyone needed to comment (usually advice/hilarious joke about "get your sleep now! har har! you'll never have any again!") Seriously, if you say that to a pregnant woman, I give her permission to slap you. Like I wasn't already barely functional on 14 hours of pregnancy-induced coma-sleep.
Also, women with children really assume how you feel now/or will feel once you hold your chilld, etc. Please stop telling me how to feel. I had post partum anxiety and depression, and didn't feel that "overwhelming rush of love and rightness and zen etc etc " everyone gushes about and wants to hear you gush about. No, the stars did not align and my place in the universe was not suddenly made clear to me.
Hypermesis is a very serious thing. I cannot stress this enough. Morning sickness for some women isn't what you see in movies or tv shows.
It is disorientation, heightened sensitivity to smells and noise. I threw up just remembering food. You feel like you just drank a pint of used grease and it's right at the back of your throat waiting to jump out.
If you know anyone who has it please, please help in anyway you can. Drop off food for the rest of the family, offer to take older children, don't expect them to attend parties or events until baby is delivered.
Hands To Yourself
You don't automatically have permission to "feel the baby."
Seriously, keep your hands to yourself.
Miscarriages Aren't That Rare.
Miscarriages happen more often than people think (up to 15 - 20%), and it's not always because the mother did something criminally irresponsible with her body.
It's All Different
Every pregnancy, birth, and baby is different. And they can be REALLY different.
Some people's breasts triple in size; some people's don't change at all. Some have morning sickness and throw up every day, some never feel sick at all. Some people love their c-sections and other people feel traumatized by them. Some women make too little milk to breastfeed; some women make way too much. Some babies sleep through the night at 2 months; some won't for 2 years. All of this is normal.
Please believe and support people when they tell you their honest experience. Don't compare or judge. Just listen.