As soon as everyone finds out you are pregnant there is an immediate reaction of oohs and aahs and everyone gushing over you having a baby. How far along are you? You are absolutely glowing! Are you having a boy or a girl? What name did you pick? Then there is the baby shower with all the super cute gifts (half of which you will never use) and you are just floating on cloud nine. Of course, the biggest gift of pregnancy is the baby you get after ten months of pregnancy (that whole 9 months thing is a total lie). And if that angel you birthed hasn’t already been the biggest shock of your life, your lovely postpartum body has a few more gifts for you that you probably weren’t expecting because nobody kindly informed you. And I hate to be the one to tell you, but these not so welcome gifts of pregnancy are the kind you don’t get to return and they usually stick around for the long haul.
Expanded Feet. When you are pregnant, your entire body expands even your nose and yes your feet. Most likely your feet will either grow at least 1/2 a size in length or get about a 1/2 size wider and they probably will stay that way. All those beautiful 4-inch heels you acquired over your pre-child life… You can pretty much kiss them goodbye. Or you can do what I do and refuse to throw them away and display them in boxes in your closet so you can occasionally walk down memory lane.
Back Aches. I am not sure if you should blame the back pain on the 10 months of carrying another human in your body or maybe the long epidural needle they stick into your back to ease the searing pain of childbirth. Then of course there are the long nights of feeding babies in ever so awkward, half asleep positions or carrying them on your jutted out hip while you attempt to cook, clean and carry on with life. Regardless, it all comes back to getting pregnant in the first place and I am pretty sure that my back is never going to fully recover for at least the next 10 years.
Nipples Gone Wild. There was once a time when both my nipples stood at attention at the same level and in the same direction. Of course, pre-babies, I was a card carrying member of the itty-bitty-titty committee so that may have had something to do with it. These days I am not sure which direction my nipples will go; I just know it won’t be the same for both. Unfortunately, the bigger your boobs are, the bigger this problem will be.
Stretch Marks. You can spend your entire pregnancy greasing your body with your cream or body oil of choice trying to avoid the inevitable appearance of stretch marks and 9 times out of 10 those lovely lines will show up some where on your skin. If you are lucky, they will fade to almost nothing but those marks are there to stay. These days a lot of mommas are referring to them as tiger stripes and that’s fine by me because I for damn sure earned them.
Saggy Skin. That’s right… having a baby practically stretches the life out of your skin and having more than one pretty much demolishes all hopes of any elasticity returning to your skin. It usually comes in combination with the lovely stretch marks and, unfortunately, losing all the baby weight doesn’t always solve the problem and can sometimes even make it worse.
Hemorrhoids. Thanks to all that lovely pushing you did to get that angel baby out, you get a special gift of itchy polyps in the crack of your butt. And if you didn’t get them in the delivery room, I am convinced that the first post-pregnancy poop pretty much ensures that all mothers get the gift of hemorrhoids. Then, from time to time, they just pop right in on you unannounced whenever they get an itch to visit. Fun times, I tell you…fun times.
And last but definitely not least…
Incontinence. So you thought that peeing on yourself wouldn’t be something you would have to worry about till your golden years. Ha… Sorry. Now you can spend your days worried that a surprising sneeze or unexpected laugh could ruin your day. One time I sneezed and in the process of trying to grip my legs together to prevent pee from shooting out, I dropped and shattered my iPhone…true story! And God forbid you have a cold. You might as well bring a few changes of clothes with you for the day or just give in and buy Depends. It’s a losing battle my friend.
What’s something you gained from pregnancy that no one told you about?
This post was originally published on Mom Care Forum.