10 Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy


1. Your feet may get a half shoe size bigger, and stay that way.

2. If you travel on an airplane, your husband’s ankles may get swollen during the flight. That’s what happened to my friend Emily and her husband when they took a trip during her third trimester.

3. Your hair might fall out, like my friend Annette’s did. She thought she had a terminal disease but actually she was pregnant.

4. Or your hair might get thick and shiny and gorgeous. But it’s not yours. Once the baby comes you will start losing it in clumps.

5. You may not have any of those vivid Technicolor pregnancy dreams everyone tells you about.

6. You may get “morning sickness” in the afternoons and evenings and feel perfectly fine in the mornings.

7. Turning from side to side in bed becomes a Herculean task. Think: beetle stuck on its back, legs flailing in the air.

8. You will love your pregnancy body pillow more than your husband.

9. A lot of people won’t even notice you are pregnant, even if you’re as big as a brick house. “I just thought you’d been putting on weight, like I have,” Perii at the library said to me. When I was pregnant with my second child, I was lecturing in front of 40 students three times a week. Though I was eight months along when the semester ended, more than half of them had no idea I was pregnant.

10. Your baby will not come when you think it will or want it to. It will come when you’re least expecting it. I expected to be two weeks past the due date with my first. Instead I was two weeks early.

What surprised you about being pregnant? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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25 thoughts on “10 Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy”

  1. And when all that lovely hair falls out, your remaining hair will look limp and greasy, complimenting the acne you will get from the hormones from breastfeeding.

  2. 11. You will do it again, even though during labor you swear it is the worst pain in your life and who would ever dream of subjecting themselves to this ever?

  3. I’ve never felt blissful during pregnancy, ever. Nor have I bonded with my babies before they were born, even though so many people say they do. I just couldn’t relate to what was making me so physically miserable (can we talk 9 months of morning sickness?) I always made up for it in spades the moment the baby was born, though!
    .-= Christine at OrigamiMommy´s last blog ..Welcoming Anna =-.

  4. That’s an easy question. I was surprised that all the dire warnings about how I would feel during pregnancy (why do women love to share all the bad stuff?) did NOT come true. I was healthier and felt better than I ever have in my life. Delivery was not a piece of cake, but that’s only a few hours at the end of nine months of bliss.
    .-= Vera Marie Badertscher´s last blog ..TEN PERFECT GIFTS FOR TRAVELERS WHO READ =-.

  5. I lived in France while pregnant, outside Paris. Suddenly people who usually ignored me started opening doors and smiling. I felt like a celebrity. Being pregnant in France brought status somehow. But, but, but, what was funny was that people kept calling me “mademoiselle” because I looked so young, although my very pregnant belly should have told them I had to be a “madame.”
    .-= Alexandra´s last blog ..On Trouve Tout

  6. I *still* sleep w/ my pregnancy body pillow! When I get too hot spooning my husband, I flip over and hug “Fred” on the opposite side of the bed. (Yes, we nicknamed him, and it stuck!)

  7. The crud that I kept finding in my underwear–that was a surprise, especially when I told my gyno about it and she said, “Totally normal.” No one warned me about that.

    Let’s see. Just how many people think it’s so cool that you are about to have a baby, especially if it’s your first one. I had more strangers initiate conversations with me during pregnancy than ever in my life.

    You might get horny. But your husband might think that it’s “weird” to have sex with you.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..The Best Marriage Advice You Ever Got =-.

  8. I totally had wacky, vivid, sometimes violent dreams.

    I also had…pubic bone pain, sciatica … those weren’t fun! And carpal tunnel AFTER pregnancy. Not that everyone gets these pains, but they are pretty common.

    Oh and a tad off topic, I was expecting to not have my period for a year (roughly) if I breastfed for a year. Turns out it came back THREE MONTHS postpartum. The lactation consultant told me I should be pumping twice at night. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THIS?!?!? Everyone celebrates when baby starts sleeping in longer stretches (mine’s doing between 4-6 in the first stretch and 2-3 thereafter), but no one ever says, well you’d better be pumping then!

  9. This doesn’t exactly make me want to get pregnant. I thought this was supposed to be a positive, uplifting website. This whiny, negative article is like something you’d read in a typical corporate women’s magazine.

  10. Hmmm. Didn’t sound whiny to me. In fact, it reminded me of the pain that I had completely forgotten about once my little Bodhi came into the world.

    And just wanted to mention what they didn’t tell me about after the baby is born. My yoni is Wayyy different. Just didn’t ever here about it from any women. Why don’t we share with our sisters???

  11. Funny, ’cause in my case everybody would just talk about the beautiful things they experienced while being pregnant and I can’t say I enjoyed more than 10% of the process. It would actually piss me off when they started talking they felt amazing and beautiful and stuf… most of them didn’t have enough breasts for example, while I had already before getting pregnant, so my breasts got so huge I just couldn’t breath well.

    And the sickness, and the farts, and being angry and happy the very next moment, and my intuition, which was so good so far, not working while other people who had nothing to do with me would tell me things that came true (such as the baby’s gender).

    What pregnancy brought me was a lot of uncertainty… I felt without power actually. As if somebody were telling me what to feel and do and I couldn’t be the one I wanted to, change my mind, be free.

    Anyway… It was me myself who chose to live this and it is certainly trying to teach me something about myself.

  12. It’s different for every woman, and even the same woman experiences different pregnancies. To me, it has also to do with the baby’s personality. He’s developing a creative mind as well and participates on the creation, that’s what I believe in.

    I never had many “nirvana” moments while being pregnant, but definitelly many “angry animal” ones. I keep saying I don’t wanna do this again, but I’m pretty happy I’ve been through it once. People say we forget it all. But I know women who didn’t and only had one child.

    I guess that God (or whatever you call it) has some plans for each one of us and maybe for me, not wanting to have another kid coming out of my body would make me adopt a child, which I really consider to do in the future. I believe this could be way better for my family than having a regular one, with kids of my own. So I think everything comes to benefit us, and the others.

    Don’t believe in everything people say and try to choose what you want to experience, consciently. But know that you might get frustrated for not being able to do this all the time. It’s not because it doesn’t work. It’s because we don’t know ourselves that deeply. And then you can learn some things about yourself too.

  13. I agree – I am 5 months pregnant, suffering hyperemesis gravidarum and completely miserable. If I am not vomiting I am so nauseas I can barely function. Everyone around me expects me to be happy and glowy while I am just miserable and counting down the days until I can be a parent be done with pregnancy. I worry a great deal that I won’t be bonded to my son because I feel nothing for him right now… just sorta like throwing up.

  14. I was SURE that I would become even more of a nympho once I was pregnant. But now sex hurts! Lubrication means nothing, it still feels like I’m making love to a horse – and that’s NOT a good thing…
    .-= Kaela´s last blog ..I Have a Baby Inside Me! =-.

  15. I love Mothering magazine, but this was disappointing…

    I felt like I was reading page out of a mainstream parenting magazine–one of those that doesn’t get it. As if that list wasn’t disappointing enough, then it was followed up by a bunch of people with negative attitudes and complaints. (As if I don’t hear enough of that in real life)

    Of course these things are true–pregnancy is not easy.

    What this list didn’t include are the things that ARE important–that pregnancy and birth are the most profound and spiritual experiences you will even encounter (that is, if you choose to make it so).

    (PS:I lost my hair, got stretch marks, had a sprained pubic bone, had SPD and sciatica, a torn birth canal, postpartum depression, have bigger feet…but these do not define my experience and I don’t even mention these things often.)

    It’s all in the attitude, baby!

  16. Hi, Lisa,

    Thanks for joining in the conversation.

    I’m sorry you were frustrated, but I think if you take a fresh look at what we all wrote above, you might not think we’re so at odds with anything you mention, which isn’t out of sync with what others were talking about.

    The commenters experiences were different from yours, but they are just as valid, and your reaction isn’t as respectful as I might hope we would all be with each other. If we can make space for the diversity of experience, and treat each other with compassion and understanding, I think that’s the best way for us all to help each other and to grow personally as we go through the transformative experiences of pregnancy and new motherhood.

    I agree with you that pregnancy, and especially childbirth, can be a spiritual experience but I also think one of our most spiritual practices as a community of mothers is engaging with each other about both the wonderful and the difficult parts of pregnancy and birth.

    Hyperemesis and other conditions mentioned are profoundly difficult, as are a sprained pubic bone and PPD. With my first pregnancy I was sick as a dog for six months. I agree with you that it’s definitely good to have a positive attitude but it would be unfair to insist that this is always possible at every moment. I am grateful to the readers here who shared some of their darker moments. When we share our experiences honestly, we can support instead of blame each other.

    I don’t know any woman who has not been profoundly moved and enriched by the experience of being pregnant and giving birth. But pregnancy is a journey. There are difficult parts and problems to face and ways we learn to grow as we enjoy parts of it, survive parts of it, feel nirvana during parts of it, and feel miserable during parts of it.

    There’s more to it than just attitude–though attitude helps! Compassion and community are a big help, too. I strive to create both on this blog and I think if you read some other posts about pregnancy and about our unassisted birth and beyond, you will see that this blog is very much in keeping with Mothering’s values and also critical of the mainstream.

    My way in this post was to approach the difficulties with humor, another good attitude to help us through this journey of motherhood.
    .-= Jennifer Margulis´s last blog ..The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins =-.

  17. My husband and I tried for 7 months to concieve this baby. I was so happy to see the plus sign. Untill it really kicked in. Now i have hyperemesis gravidarum and can barely keep air down, let alone water, im constantly dehydrated. My skin is so dry and cracked I wanna cry. I’m so exhuasted I feel like I just went through a nucular holocaust and on top of that I cry at random moments for no reason at all. Or for things I thought would never make me cry. Like my husband rubbing my feet last night, felt so good I bawled like a baby. Feels like an alien has taken over my body. And I’m only 2 months. 7 more to go…yeah!!! Lol not complaining but come on mother nature, give the soon to be mommies a break

  18. Im am so suprised how many symptoms i have at six weeks this is my second baby and i dont remember feeling this way with my first. I mean cravings already are you kidding me lol,and i completely forgot about that nasty crud in my underwear hahaha till a few days ago i freaked out. Its been over 3 year since ive been with child so i dont remember alot i guess like cramps i sure dont remember that i thought there was something wrong till i looked it up!! Well i guess im trying to say no matter how gross it can be i did really miss it!!

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