Coming at this as someone who will never personally experience the wonder of childbirth seem rather difficult.
While not every woman will be, or even wants to become, pregnant, there is a universal fascination with the process. You're growing something in your belly, after all.
It's something those who haven't experienced can only dream about, and even then it's a stretch, as women who've gone through it wish they could warn their younger selves about what it's like to create life.
"Pregnant women of Reddit, what is something you wish you knew BEFORE you got pregnant?"
To get this topic out of the way, there are a lot of changes and trials you might experience that people outside would find "gross." It's all part of the amazing life-making process, but surely in the moment it doesn't feel that way.
You Still Don't Understand What You're Dealing With, Do You?
"Baby kicks don't feel like butterflies."
"They feel like something crawled across your skin quickly; but from the inside"
"Yep. Always expected something to burst out like the scene from Alien..."
A Lot Of Inside Changes
"The insane amounts of uncontrollable gas"
"During labor the "water breaking" is not one rush of liquid. it's continuous and can occur for several hours. it's horrendous and messy and incredibly awful to deal with. it feels like peeing but you have zero control over anything and if you tense up then everything is much more painful and weird feeling."
"nobody ever told me that and i was VERY surprised to find out for myself."
It's The 3rd One That'll Get Ya'
"No one ever told me about the "3rd delivery" aka your first poop. I was struggling for so long."
"Edit: My first awards! Thank you people! Never thought talking about poop would get me awards."
"Edit 2: for all asking. The first delivery is the baby, second is the placenta and the third is the poo."
"Your uterus can change shape after baby. With my first I had a perfectly shaped uterus. Went for an ultrasound with my second and they had to use the wand because my uterus had become a deflated balloon."
"The body odor. Oh God the body odor. I swear I smelled so much worse while pregnant and breastfeeding. Deodorant wouldn't even touch it."
"You will pee, get up, wash your hands only to turn back around and go pee again. It was so f-cking annoying."
Of course your body is never going to be the same. That's science.
What happens during those radical changes, however, can be some of the most physically and mentally taxing experiences you've ever encountered.
How About Instead, "Sleep When You Can?"
"The sickest joke of all: you stop being able to sleep way before the baby gets here."
"Everyone loves to tell me to "sleep now while I can" but pregnancy leads to unexplained insomnia and I'm a total wreck already."
"My boobs hurt so bad. I hit one in my sleep and woke up in excruciating pain. Like...wtf. I knew they got bigger, but the pain was a surprise."
"I was told by my sister about boobs hurting in the first trimester from growth, she forgot to mention my nipples would feel like they were burning in hell."
It's All On The Table
"Your hormones are crazy, literally making anything and everything that happens to your body a pregnancy symptom."
"Bloody nose? pregnancy. Hands dry? pregnancy. Itchy skin? pregnancy."
"Pregnancy is the wild f-cking west, ya'll."
All The Little Things Stack Up
"Finally one for me. I’m 18 weeks."
"Getting health insurance is stressful during a pandemic. The nausea is like a hangover at first but mine got to the point that I couldn’t function. My hormones make me act out in ways that make me feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I’m ashamed of myself a lot lately. I have to eat every two hours or else I feel sick and this includes the middle of the night. Peeing when I cough or sneeze.......... it’s so annoying. Out of nowhere I started getting out of breath doing stuff I used to be able to do with no problem."
3 Hours Later...
"No one and I mean no one told me how long I would have to push for. My labor progressed super quickly I got checked in at 6 or 630pm and was pushing by 9 or 930 and didn’t have the baby until almost 1 am the next day. I was actively pushing for at least 3 hours. It kinda shocked me. The nurse said oh that’s normal for first births. If it’s so normal why didn’t anyone tell us not even in our birth class."
However, the one thing most common among every woman's pregnancy experience is how not every woman's pregnancy is the same. What you go through may not be what everyone else goes through, and sometimes that can be the scariest part.
I Can Sympathize Greatly
"You can order one, but get two."
"Username checks out"
Hopefully They Tell You
"After you give birth the nurses press the shit out of your stomach to get all the blood out of you. They literally wring you like a sponge. It was the most horrifying part because no one ever tells you about that. And the drugs wore off so my wife felt everything. Why did no one tell us? We tell this to everyone."
Jumped Up Another Decade
"I felt like I aged a decade overnight. I’m 27 and almost 8 months post partum. I feel like pregnancy ravaged my body, even though I had a very normal pregnancy and recovered without any major issues. But I have aches and pains all the time, I look much older, and I can’t move as well. It’s a huge trauma on the body and I’m lucky I recovered as well as I did."
The Healing Is Mental And Physical
"I wish someone had told me that no, your body does not magically go back to normal once the baby is out. You have weeks of healing, your boobs are still on baby mode and have a whole new set of problems now, pooping will be terrifying lol depression risks are higher, just a lot of stuff continues on after the baby."
"I don't know WHY people insist on visiting right after delivery. I am tired, I am busy with this baby, I am tore up from the floor up, please come in a month when I can at least have some sort of a routine."
Things Are Never Really The Same
"The stuff that stays with your body afterwards. I developed allergies after I had my second. My feet definitely got bigger. Hormones are no joke."
"My feet grew half a size and my hair got curly. It was wavy before, but now I get ringlets. It also made my fingernails stronger. Also I developed an aversion to beef that never really went away. I only eat it like once a month to this day, and my youngest is about to turn ten. It's like a second puberty...what the hell is happening to my body???"
You're Creating Life. You Are A God.
"That it is possible to enjoy giving birth. I am not saying it is a gentle ride in the park, but I would have liked to know more positive stories. I have had four natural births, each different in nature and context, and I have never felt as powerful. As powerful as a mountain, as powerful as the world, as powerful as a... mom. Whichever way you had to give birth, by choice or by imposition, you are so freaking strong. Be proud. Also, I wish I knew people always want to tell you how to do things when you are pregnant or giving birth, or trying to be a mom... Just do your best, it's already enough."
"*The purpose of my comment is not to exclude all women out there struggling to have a child, or all women who just don't want to have kids. You guys are badasses too <3"
The Thing That Happens More Than You Think But No One Talks About
"Miscarriage is ridiculously common."
"I second this. I was absolutely SHOCKED when my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I thought that I must have done something to cause it. When my second pregnancy ended the same way I started to think that I had some kind of physical malfunction. Only after talking to several other women about it did I realize how common it is. Still heartbreaking though."
When you feel ready to bring life into the world, know that things are never going to be the same. Your sleeping patterns, your daily routines, and even your body are all up for offering on the altar of baby. It's amazing when it's over, because you have something there for you to love and raise and protect, but be prepared for what's coming before that.
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