You didn’t think I only had those five pregnancy shockers from yesterday, did you? Oh no! There are many, many more and I am still a couple of months away from delivery so I am sure there are even more to come! If you missed Part 1 you can catch up here.
When I read back on the first post I kind of thought perhaps this was a bit too much realness and maybe I embarrassed myself with my explicit details. Then I remember that the very first thing that happens if you go to the doctor, after you have gotten a positive on your stick, is that they take your dignity from you and lock it safely away in an undisclosed location. I am not sure what exactly happens to your dignity once they have taken it off your hands and if you do perhaps get it back after birth? I am really not sure yet, I will have to report back on this. So here is Part 2 – as if I have not embarrassed myself enough, haha!
If you have any shockers of your own to add, then please go ahead! The more the merrier! Haha!6. You know how important a healthy diet is, right?
Add to this: “You don’t HAVE to eat for two, you know?”
Oh, bugger off! Only a true idiot with extremely poor EQ will comment on what and the amount a pregnant lady is eating. If you love your life and wish to keep your head firmly attached to your neck, then rather refrain from making any food-related comments or jokes.
No pregnant lady that proceeded past Grade R in the education apartment does not know that she sort of needs to eat a balanced, healthy diet and maintain some level of exercise. She also knows that what she puts into her body during pregnancy might decide to hang around a bit post-partum. She knows – you absolutely do not have to tell her that.
You know all those magazine pictures of the pregnant lady holding a salad plate or coyly biting on a piece of celery, smiling and happily looking into the camera? Fake news!
I also want to add that especially during the first trimester with the crazy sense of smell, the food aversions to nearly 99.999% of all foods on earth and the constant vomiting and nausea, her options might not be that great in terms of what to eat and actually keep down. I went through weeks where I could only stomach strawberry meringue ice-cream from a very, very specific brand. At least strawberry-flavour vomit doesn’t taste so badly when it comes back up….. right? Sorry, I know it is so gross to hear and total TMI, but that is real life for you. During pregnancy you actually consider carefully what this particular food will taste like when it returns and if it is truly worth it.
Now that most of my food aversions subsided, my nausea is 90% under control and I only vomit once in a while, I am able to eat healthier by choice. I am at the stage where I am actually ravenous and I basically graze the whole day. My husband has since learned that if I say “I am hungry” there is not much time to get some food in my belly. I hardly think there is anything more aggressive than a hungry pregnant woman. She can’t really help her unpleasantness to be honest.
Top tip 1: Always keep snacks in your handbag.
Top tip 2: DO NOT under any circumstances eat my food in the fridge or pantry. Yes, until the baby is born none of the food in the house is yours and you will have to ask prior to eating anything just in case I was saving it for later. Just a healthy tip – use it, don’t use it.
7. All your symptoms will disappear in the 2nd trimester, honey!
Liar, liar! For every first trimester symptom that disappears, you will get a brand new replacement during the second trimester. Having said that: I will NOT trade in any of my second trimester symptoms for a first trimester symptom. No ways! I will rather deal with what I have now.
Second trimester is definitely significantly better from me compared to the first four months and the symptoms much more mild and tolerable. However, it ain’t no walk in the park either. Below is a realistic list of what I am currently experiencing:
- Insomnia – Goodbye first trimester fatigue, hello second trimester insomnia! You bloody can’t win, can you? On average I wake up between 5 to 8 times per night due to a full bladder, body discomfort or no reason at all. Joy!
- Overall Body Discomfort – Who ever thought that lying like a sack of potatoes on the couch binge-watching series can be uncomfortable? It can and it is.
- Lower Back Pain – This is mainly due to your ligaments relaxing to expand your hips and pelvis, causing just over all instability in your lower half. I really struggle with terrible back pain due to a misbehaving SI-joint and hip instability, but try to manage it the best I possibly can. I had to seek professional help for relief.
- Restless Legs – I think I run at least a half-marathon every night with my restless legs!
- Round Ligament Pain – Normal part of pregnancy I am afraid, but sheesh kebab, I nearly collapsed on the floor with my first round ligament pain encounter! It feels like someone is stabbing you out of nowhere with a knife about where your appendix would be. Luckily this does not happen too often.
- Itchy Belly – I want to take the coarsest piece of sandpaper I can find and scratch my belly with it. I really want to. But I can’t. The itching is caused by your stretching skin and it is sadly best to refrain from scratching and rather moisturise your skin properly. It doesn’t always help though, but you just have to suck it up.
- Very Sensitive Gag Reflex – This was also featured in my first trimester complaints, only that second trimester gag-reflex sensitivity is on an escalated level and you can thank ever present heartburn for irritating your throat.
- Annoying Cough – Also courtesy of reflux. Reflux acid basically triggers an ‘allergic’ reaction in your throat causing you to have this stupid 24/7 unproductive cough.
- Blocked Nose – Maybe that is why we are able to eat better during the second trimester! Because you won’t be able to smell something at least five out of the seven days in a week. Unfortunately the linings in our noses are very sensitive to pregnancy hormones resulting in a frequently blocked nose. This is particularly troublesome from late afternoon onward and makes sleeping rather difficult.
- Serious Reflux – Mentioned a few times in the above points. This one is a real b*tch! I have never had heartburn in my life. Now I have it every single day. Gaviscon does absolutely nothing. Rennies, why is it even on the market? And none of the natural ‘hacks’ work. Sparkling water does nothing. Neither does ice water. Apple cider vinegar is the stupidest advice ever to grace the internet and elevating your pillow at night is not going to stop your vicious stomach acid from traveling up your throat.
- Indigestion – It is such a paradox! You will be absolutely starving, but because your intestines are all pushed to the side and shuffled up like tangled Christmas lights you can’t really eat as much as what you thought you would. Then after eating whatever amount of food you could manage your tummy is just like: “yeah, I don’t really feel like processing this food right now, I will do it first thing tomorrow, okay?”
- Hormone Fluctuations – This is not technically a ‘new’ symptom, but I am significantly more aware of hormone fluctuations now that I feel more like myself. I can literally feel a hormone fluctuation as it is on its way – it kind of builds up like a tsunami (the results are equally destructive) Think PMS x 4000.
- Pregnancy Brain – Even if you consider yourself to be organised and smart: you will do moronic things. Like leave your house-key with your car keys attached in the front door lock that directly faces the street with lots of people walking past. Your car is also parked right in front of the house, like 7cm from the front door. The skollie can simply push the remote button, get in, adjust the seat and drive off into the sunset.
- Lots and lots of peepee time – At the moment all my decisions revolve around: ‘Is there an easily accessible toilet in close proximity?” If there is not, then I cannot go.
8. You are going to do/not do WHAT??? You bad mother you!
The judgement, the judgement! I must have been a complete naive ignorant fool, but I never realised just how aggressive some moms can be in terms of whatever the current trend is. Please note my very specific use of the word ‘trend’. Because that is how I see all these topics people can get so passionate about and be abusive as a result towards fellow moms that do not necessarily follow that protocol.
We do not live in a one-size-fits-all world, so why try to fit a round peg in a square hole and make the peg feel bad for not fitting in the hole? The one thing I am aggressive about is when people try to force you into doing something because that is what they believe or have been brainwashed/indoctrinated into. This irks me so, so much! Let people just be! Let them make their own decisions! I find this so incredibly stupid.
It feels like every single topic regarding babies is an explosive minefield. In the bigger scheme it is just not worth it to be awful to people just because their situation and decisions are different to yours. Do you really think said person has not carefully considered and discussed with their medical professional teams their options (and ultimately the decision) regarding the birthing process, epidurals, bottle-feeding, formula, breast-feeding, cloth diapers, vaccinations, having coffee or a glass of wine during pregnancy, sushi, prenatal supplements, the list goes on and on.
Do what you feel is right for you, your baby and your family. But one’s ‘right’ is unique to your own situation and not necessarily for someone else. Remember: we are all just trying our best.
9. Are you carrying twins?! Congratulations! I knew it!
No. No, I am actually not. Yes, I am really sure it is a single unit pregnancy.
You will have to really brace yourself for the comments that are about to come regarding your appearance. Look, pregnancy is tough on your body and I was totally unprepared for the physical changes my body will go through. For example: I never knew that your hips and rib-cage physically expand in order to accommodate your growing child.
Let’s talk real for a moment: I have only picked up a total of 3kg since the very start of my pregnancy to this current date. It really is not a lot. Some women even lose weight. But, my bottom-half expanded from a size 10/12 to a size 16! I kid you not. This was almost the most difficult mental hurdle for me to overcome. Because how on earth do you jump two sizes in basically the absence of weight gain??? According to the gynaecologist it is completely normal as your ligaments holding your hips and pelvis together just relax and basically temporarily give up on life. It does go back to normal after the birth, but it does apparently take quite a couple of months.
So, you can imagine it is not really a delight to receive the following comments:
“I can totally see from your hips you are carrying a boy!” – Gee thanks, I haven’t noticed. It’s also a girl.
“Sjo, Mariska, you now have hips, hey? You are much wider than when I last saw you. Is it a boy?” – it’s not a boy. Sorry.
“Ek kan aan jou stertjies (bum) sien jy het ‘n seuntjie” – this gem is courtesy of mom-in-law’s housekeeper that I thought liked me. She obviously doesn’t and I will not share my koeksisters again with her during tea-time.
I rest my case.
10. Why are there a gazillion baby product options?
No man, this is just exhausting! I am a simpleton! I just want to go to the shops, purchase the stuff on my list and go home. I don’t want to be bombarded with so many choices and pro’s and con’s to each. Jean and I have been at least 20-times to the massive babyshops here and came back home with nothing. Wait, that’s not true: I did buy a cupholder for the pram last week It is for MY coffee though, so not sure if that counts?
I have never looked at baby stuff in my entire life. Never had to. I find this so extremely overwhelming and I have no idea how parents actually navigate this. Nothing is simple and straightforward with baby product shopping. You have to research every little thing and I find this extremely boring.
Classic example: I need to buy bottles. Sister-in-law (4-kids so she has a LOT of experience) says buy X-brand. Great. Get to the shop all excited – I am actually going to buy something today! Firstly: there are a trillion baby bottle brands on the market. But it’s fine, she said I must buy X. First hurdle: plastic or glass? Each has pro’s and con’s longer than the length of my arm. Second hurdle: there are three options available in the newborn bottles of brand X – wide neck, standard, natural or something to this degree. Ok, fine. Third hurdle: there are also like a thousand different teat flow options specifically for things like ‘tongue-tie’, type of milk you use, colic, gas and cramps etc. Ag nee. I just left with nothing. We still have time to procrastinate a little longer and I am just going to wing it when the baby comes. I don’t know how you moms actually do this!
11. Name please?
At first you will be harassed in terms of the gender and then comes the name questions. All meant well of course. My general observation is to keep your baby’s name quiet from every single person except your husband until the birth certificate is printed. That includes even the closest family members. People will have strong opinions, disapprove, take offence and make you feel like rubbish because you do not want to name the baby after uncle Harold.
It is hard enough as it is to just settle on a name that you AND your husband actually like and to work around the headache of using family names or not. They will just have to wait. Finish and klaar.
12. Social Media Mommy Groups
Social media mommy-groups and Baby Centre/What To Expect When You Are Expecting-type-apps are some of the most judgemental and toxic spaces I have ever seen! I don’t know if I have much hope for the world if that is how moms treat other (often new or inexperienced) moms that have a different opinion or simply asked a question. Good grief, it’s like all the trolls in the whole universe are expecting babies and lurking and feeding on these groups. Delete, delete, delete! I am sure some ‘support groups’ are better than others, but in my own opinion and observation they all have some sort of an undercurrent which I have no interest in.
Ok. this is about as much as I have to rant about today I hope you enjoyed these posts and please do share your own shockers with all of us! xxx