Being pregnant for the first time has been a strange experience. I often find myself comparing my experiences to what friends have told me about their pregnancies and what I’ve seen in movies, but in the end, you really have to be pregnant to fully understand the strange, uncomfortable, scary things that happen to your body. Like war, or a really bad car accident, pregnancy is one of the experiences in life that is impossible to describe unless you’ve lived through it. I’ve been keeping a list of observations throughout pregnancy that provide a glimpse into the strange world that has been the last eight months of my life.
10 Surprising Observations about Pregnancy
- It is a bizarre feeling the first time your baby has hiccups while you’re pregnant. It is even more bizarre when you get used to a human having hiccups inside your body.
- The first doctor’s appointment in the movies and the first doctor’s appointment in real life are not the same. I expected the doctor to wheel an ultrasound machine over to the exam table I was lying on and show Dan and me our baby on the monitor. Finding out that we would have to go to a separate place for a separate appointment for that was kind of earth shattering.
- There’s this terrible image going around on TV and movies of what nine months pregnant looks like. In movies, when a woman goes into labor, she grabs her back and grits her teeth and sticks out this tiny belly no bigger than a medicine ball, and we’re supposed to think she’s full term. Me? I’m looking down at my belly wondering if watermelons ever grow this big on the East Coast.
- People say weird things. Your family might all of a sudden start talking about things you’ve never discussed before, like you’re going to use an Irish family name, right? Um, we are? People also say extremely rude things, like “What does it mean that you’re so big already? Does that mean it’s a boy or something?” (Note: File that under “Things not to say to a woman who is 15 weeks pregnant.)
- The urge to organize random things is real. There’s this feeling that comes over me from time to time, that if I don’t get my entire life organized, I literally might die. I never thought I would lay awake at night pondering the organization status of cans of soup in the pantry, the cleaning supplies under the sink and the old yearbooks up in the attic.
- There will be days when your brain just doesn’t work. For example, several times I’ve pulled up to a four-way stop intersection when there were other cars there, too, and I froze. Is it my turn? Their turn? I just sat there, paralyzed with indecision, until someone honked.
- Once you reach a certain size, you develop a new system for deciding whether something is worthy of being picked up off the ground. I walked past the newspaper in our driveway the other day and thought to myself “Eh, I never really read that newspaper anyway.”
- Your interests might shift dramatically. I’ve gone from a person who keeps up with current news events to someone who wakes up and logs onto BabyCenter and TheBump.com.
- Making friends is a totally new process. When I’ve met people lately, instead of asking questions like “What do you do?” I find myself asking questions like “Who’s your OB?” or “Where are you delivering?”
- The last few months of pregnancy are just a blur of drinking water and going to the bathroom. Your body will basically be acting as a water filter, 24 hours a day. Don’t get too comfortable in the bathtub because as soon as you do, you will have to haul your giant self out to pee. Again.
There you have it—that’s my list of weird pregnancy observations. Do you have any to add?