10 Surprising Things I Loved & Loathed About Pregnancy

I’m about two months postpartum as I write this, and lately have found myself reflecting on my pregnancy (not to be confused for missing pregnancy). While I carried my son, I had a lot of friends who told me they hated being pregnant, and I heard from a few who said they loved it. I’m somewhere in the middle. There were definitely parts of pregnancy that made me miserable. Before I got pregnant I thought I’d hate it. But I was pleasantly surprised by all the things I loved and enjoyed about being pregnant. Love or loathe, I found them all to be surprises, since I knew pretty much zilch about pregnancy and babies until that fateful day when the word “Pregnant” appeared (twice) on the digital Clear Blue Easy.

LOVED

 

1. Even thicker, shiny hair. Pregnancy hormones and Rainbow Lite prenatal vitamins are not a joke. I didn’t think it was possible for my thick hair to get any thicker, but it did, and it was as shiny as Rudolph’s nose. Now I’m dealing with postpartum hair loss, but (surprisingly) this hasn’t been as horrible as I anticipated.

2. Baby movement. On my most achy, swollen and exhausted days, I forgot my ailments when my son moved or kicked.

3.  My acne cleared up. Since the age of 11 I’ve dealt with acne. In 23 years only Proactiv and pregnancy have cleared it up. My skin never looked as radiant as it did during pregnancy. I hoped the hormones would permanently banish the zits, but no such luck. Back to the Proactiv.

4. Strong nails. I attribute this to the prenatal vitamins, and what a treat for a girl with constantly breaking and peeling nails. Happily this has continued postpartum (which is why I think it’s the vitamins).

5. Voracious appetite. This was most prevalent during my second trimester, a point in my life where I can honestly say I enjoyed food more than any other time.

6. Maternity clothes. I dreaded buying maternity clothes until I tried them on. Nowadays they are stylish and comfortable. They can be expensive, but second-hand shops such as Clothes Mentor have entire maternity sections and you can walk out with a bag full of clothes for under $100. Target’s maternity section is chic and affordable too.

7. The way my cat and dog acted around me. The dog was extra protective and sweet, and the cat spent countless hours snuggled up with my belly.

8. Assertiveness. I became more decisive, especially when it came to picking a restaurant. It became easier for me to say no and to ask for help when I needed it.

9. Cocoa butter. I love the smell of Palmer’s cocoa butter.

10. The baby bump. Not something I’d always want to have as it made it difficult if not impossible to tie my shoes, but for the time it was necessary it was fun. Just ask my cat.

LOATHED

1. Gas. As it wasn’t enough I felt like a whale, I had to feel like a farting whale.
2. Fatigue. To all women pregnant with your first child: if you’re tired, sleep! There’s no shame in it. You need the sleep to take care of you and nurture your child, and once the baby comes, you will sleep but it won’t be the same. Ever. Again.
3. Crankiness. I thought all pregnant women were emotional, not cranky. Don’t get me wrong, I had my share of bawling (like I did in the Kohl’s bra section because they didn’t carry maternity bras), but at first I was extremely irritable. Before I took my pregnancy test I thought I had PMS because my mood was so foul.
4. Tailbone pain. I expected back pain, but the pain in the literal butt caught me off guard.
5. Migraines. Along with morning sickness I had migraines every day during my first trimester and at the beginning of the second. They were so debilitating I eventually saw a neurologist who diagnosed it as an intractable migraine and prescribed me oxygen therapy, which helped tremendously.
6. Hot flashes. I thought those were for menopause. But no, I got a special sneak peak while pregnant.
7. Peeing every 10 seconds. OK, so I’m exaggerating, it was every 10 minutes. Don’t miss that at all.
8. Functioning with extra weight. I was awkward, out of breath and wore shoes without laces the last two months.
9. Leg cramps. I got them before I was pregnant, but I never had them as often as I did until pregnant. Nothing like a fiery knot in your calf to start your day out right.
10. Sore ribs. This one perhaps surprised me most. It was mostly the right side where my son liked to rest his precious little feet. Two months after delivery my ribs are still a bit sore but feeling better every day.
Would I do it again? One look at my baby confirms the answer is yes (although I think just one more time and not right this second). What about you, mommas? Did you love pregnancy or hate it? Or were you like me with things you remember fondly and things that make you cringe? What specific things did you love or loathe about pregnancy? Please share in the comments below.
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