Nobody said that pregnancy was going to be a picnic, but boy I sure was naïve and had some unrealistic expectations about it. To be fair, prior to, my main reference point for all things pregnancy was the movie Knocked Up. Not exactly comprehensive. Those of you who are already moms will probably chuckle at some of my “expectations vs reality”. But I thought I’d take you down memory lane while providing those who are moms-to-be or thinking about becoming moms a dose of what’s to come.
Not buying maternity clothes is not an option
One of the first maternity items I bought was a BellaBand and some maternity sweats. The BellaBand is basically a wide elastic band that you wear around your waist so that you can wear your pants without buttoning them up. I have quite a collection of stretchy and oversized dresses so I figured as long as I can hold off until the weather is nice enough to wear them I will be golden. Well as soon as I got back from winter break I realized how unrealistic this was. I can’t very well wear stretchy pants to work every day and my regular tights was getting too uncomfortable. So I broke down and got a pair of H&M stretchy maternity jeans and a whole bunch of maternity tights.
Now that it’s finally nice enough to wear those dresses, I’m finding my original assumptions to be way off. Out of the dresses that I thought would be loose enough to fit me all through my pregnancy, probably only 30% was wearable past the 5-mo mark. This is due to non-belly changes that I didn’t account for.
Your body will get weird
That belly is not the only thing that gets bigger, at least not for me. I had planned on exercising throughout my pregnancy so I don’t gain excessive weight — and for the most part this worked out well. But the thing is, no matter how well you eat and how disciplined you are at working out, your boobs will get bigger (like A LOT bigger, not to mention they will just start looking…different). For me this is has been as much of a reason to buy new clothes as my growing belly. I have a few dresses that would accommodate my belly bump just fine, but is way too tight around the chest. This change also makes doing some exercises (like running) a lot more difficult. So I switched to the elliptical machine for cardio pretty early in my pregnancy. Another sneaky change that I found was that my butt got bigger, although thankfully not at the rate my belly is growing. So that BellaBand didn’t last as long as I would hope for, because at some point I couldn’t pull my jeans past the top of my thigh, let alone attempt to zip them up.
Adult (may) acne come after you in full force
I’ve never been one who is blessed with clear skin. Heck, I can’t remember a time in my life where I don’t have at least a blemish or two haunting me — and blackheads are basically a constant companion. But good lord, hormones really made my skin go haywire during the first few months of my pregnancy. And the crappy part is, pretty much all of the acne medicine that I know works for me are on category C of AMA’s medication guide list (which means you’re recommended to stay away from it). There are a few drugs that are on the B list, but they didn’t do much to help reduce my breakouts. So I was left to wait for my hormones to calm down on its own, which thankfully it did around the middle of my second trimester. My advice for this would be to try out the pregnancy-safe meds, but don’t count on it and invest on some good foundation and concealer (I use Estee Lauder DoubleWear and Urban Decay Naked concealer).
Say goodbye to hair going down the drain
Which one are you: the one that collects their “shower hair” on the edge of the tub, or the ones that collect it plastered on the shower wall? Unless you have very short hair, I think pretty much every girl collects hair while they shower. But the weird thing is, when you’re pregnant your hair does not fall out. In my first trimester, maybe a strand or two will fall. But now that I’m well into my third, seriously none at all fall. During your pregnancy, your hair is the thickest and most lustrous it will be. Okay so at least this one is not a bad thing.
It (may be) possible to avoid stretch marks
So I only have anecdotal evidence, and I should caveat that I’ve got a bit to go on my pregnancy journey. But I have managed to avoid getting stretch marks (so far). I have a collection of tiny stretch marks on my upper thigh already that I collected during my “Freshmen 15” college days. I definitely wasn’t keen on adding more to them with this pregnancy. I heard that prevention is key so I have been pretty obsessive with lathering on the Body Boost stretch mark butter and oil. I put one in the bathroom to use after I shower and the other by my bed to put on before I go to sleep. I’ve also been surprisingly good at controlling myself from scratching my belly and use a scrub every few days to help keep the itchies at bay. One unintended side effect of this: I smell really good all the time LOL. So far so good in the stretch mark management department — but I promise to give you guys an honest update in a few months to let you know if the situation changes.
Finding the motivation to workout gets harder and harder as your pregnancy progresses
During the first trimester I was dealing with some nausea and I felt tired and sleepy all the time, so I didn’t do much. But by the second trimester, I think I was so paranoid about gaining too much weight that I actually went to the gym much more often than before I was pregnant. Even the people who worked at the front desk of my apartment building noticed. I developed back pain early in my pregnancy and I found that lifting weights, with the supervision of a trainer, really helped. But slowly and surely that motivation tapered down as more pregnancy woes get added to the list. My chest, specifically the area below my ribs, started hurting as the growing baby is pushing my organs against my ribs. This also had a fun added bonus of making it hard to breathe sometime. Don’t get me wrong, working out still helps and I always feel loads better after I leave the gym. But man just getting there is so hard. If it wasn’t for scheduled training sessions and classes (of which I would forfeit money if I don’t attend), I don’t think I wouldn’t go at all. So if you want to keep some kind of a workout routine, especially past the third trimester, I suggest actually scheduling something (whether it’s a training session or class). All the time I just plan on waking up early to hit the elliptical machine, there’s a good chance I’ll skip because I’m not making a commitment to anyone other than myself (and myself is very tired and achy right now).
Veteran mamas, we’re there any expectations you had about pregnancy that was quickly shattered?
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