In rounding the corner to week 32, I find myself continually experiencing not only new symptoms but reoccurring ones as well. It’s like the first trimester is coming back to haunt me with random, extreme fatigue and food aversions. This week, I was thinking as I scrolled past photos of some families vacationing and others spending the afternoons at local parks, pregnancy really is its own amusement park filled with emotional and hormonal roller coasters.
For some, it’s comparable to Disney—filled with happy and wonderful things; for others, it’s an amusement park straight out of hell. No matter which park you get a nine-month pass to, it’s inevitable that you’ll be questioning some of the things that your body is doing and not doing. So, I’ve gathered a list of different questions that I’ve found myself asking—sometimes on a daily basis—to hopefully help prepare you a bit for your time at the pregnancy park.
1. Why do my boobs hurt so badly?
Ahh, yes—one of the first things to change after you learn you’re about to grow a human. If you’ve been a proud member of the “Itty-Bitty Titty Committee” most of your life, the growth of your lady lumps during pregnancy may have been something you’ve looked forward to … until it’s actually happening, and they’re tender and sore as hell. Not to fret, the soreness and tenderness doesn’t last the whole time, but it will seem like they’ve hurt for a million years. If you and your partner are planning to start a family, just make sure you don’t go crazy at Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale and buy 20 new, really pretty, rhinestone-embellished bras. They won’t fit for very long.
2. Why does that smell make me want to barf?
Yet another lovely feature of pregnancy land. The place in town that has your favorite and most bomb pizza ever might become your newest enemy. According to Google, food aversions and cravings are possibly caused by the many hormonal changes your body’s going through. For me, it was grilled chicken. Every time the Progresso chicken noodle soup commercial came on and the TV flashed to the “all white meat chicken” being sliced, I either closed my eyes, turned the channel or ran for the bathroom. Luckily, I’ve overcome this aversion, and I believe you’ll be able to overcome yours as well. You can do this.
3. Why am I wet?
As you continue through the human-growing process, you might run into some more issues with your newly larger and lovely lady lumps. While they’ve finally stopped hurting (woo!), you may now encounter random leaking (ugh!). While this is totally normal for your body to prepare itself to soon become a lactation fountain, it’s also kind of gross and somewhat inconvenient. Hopefully, this will happen to you in the comfort of your own home, but don’t count on it. It could also happen while you’re making your daily trip to Target, and it could go as far as leaking through not only your shirt but your nicely padded bra. No worries—I plan on turning this unpleasant experience into a fun one with nipple pads that look like Oreos and chocolate chip cookies … because who doesn’t love cookies?
This question can also speak in regards to the other end of your torso. If you’re questioning: why am I wet “down there”… well my friend, you may have just mastered the art of peezing. You can consider it a great accomplishment of multitasking, or you can be completely embarrassed by it. Either way, like most weird things during this time, it’s totally normal. So what if your bladder can’t handle the force of a sneeze? You can either work on those Kegel exercises, or you can throw on a pair of Depends and own it. Get it, girl.
4. Why am I still hungry?
Girl. You’re literally g-r-o-w-i-n-g a human! It takes a lot! There will be times that you finish a burger the size of your head accompanied by endless steak fries and think you couldn’t possibly eat another bite … and then, boom! Five minutes later, you’re starving. It’s a crazy life, but embrace it. You’re pregnant. You’re allowed to eat, and eat as much as you want.
5. Why am I eating this combination of food?
My best advice would be to not question it. Just go with it. Pickles and yogurt, cheese curl and ketchup sandwiches—just let it happen. My personal favorite has been the discovery of a hot dog, bacon and ketchup grilled cheese. I would, however, recommend that you don’t broadcast your strange cravings unless you’re prepared to be judged just a little for it.
6. Why do I still feel like I have to pee?
I’d probably count this as one of the biggest staples of pregnancy. As that little lump of love grows, your poor pee holder is succumbing to the extra weight bearing down upon it. Perhaps, the most frustrating part is not only the frequency in which you have to pee but how little comes out each time. With what you’re feeling, your bladder is so full that you’re gonna give yourself some dirty pee pants if you don’t find a bathroom now … and once you rest thyself upon the porcelain throne, it ain’t nothin’ but a trickle. It gets real old, real fast.
7. Why can’t I poop?
This is probably the worst, most horrible feeling of them all. And then when you think about all the things you’ve eaten in the last week … all those weird combinations and late night snacks … still sitting like a rock in your lower intestine. Ugh. You’ll probably start feeling desperate after a while. You’re willing to do just about anything—and I mean anything—to get your poop shoot flowin’ again. Take a deep breath, and keep the Miralax plentiful in your kitchen cabinet. This too, shall pass—hopefully without much strain or struggle. Stock up on the fruits, veggies and oatmeal, and if you can muster up the energy to get a short workout in, that might help, too. Just be mindful that all of these helpful tools could kick in while you’re in the middle of your workout on the elliptical. In which case—clench those cheeks, and gracefully run as fast as you can in all of your pregnant glory to the bathroom.
8. Why is water giving me heartburn?
I wish I had an answer to this. If anyone out there does, please—for the love—let me know. I’ve been keeping Tums in business for the last three months.
9. Why can’t I sleep?
As both you and your baby continue to grow, sleep can get tricky, especially towards the end. While you might find such love and contentment in those little baby movements in your belly, come 2 a.m., the baby turns straight ninja child and kicks every surface of your uterus, and sometimes, you can feel like they’re about to karate chop through your lady land. This can cause some slight discomfort and loss of sleep. You might also just simply not be able to get comfortable. Your hips hurt, your back hurts, everything hurts, and unless you have a hole cut in your mattress, sleeping belly down is out of the question. I haven’t found any great solutions for this issue just yet. Luckily though, the soothing scrolling on Pinterest during these rough times is usually enough to lull me back to sleep.
10. Why am I so in love with this little person I haven’t even met yet?
The best question. But best not to question it. Let it be. Let the love be, and let it grow. Try to remind yourself that all of this crazy, gross, unexplainable stuff happens for a reason. It might not all be pleasant, but it’s all worth it.