Ahh, the beauty of pregnancy: glowing skin, thick hair, long nails. It’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life. Well, beautiful for the most part. With hormones flowing and weight gain rising, we women are realistic and expect our ankles to be thicker, for burning acid to be forced up our throats by our 52-inch waists, and our feet to grow with the sizes of our derrieres. However, there is a pretty disturbing side of pregnancy that no one dares talk about. Anyone who has been through a pregnancy (or has watched a loved one be pregnant) knows of what we speak. There is some silent code that keeps these women (and their protectively mute partners) silent about the what really goes on with a baby inside of you. We are here to help you prepare! Here are all of the grossest parts of pregnancy that no one ever talks about…
You can’t breathe.
Who would think that your nose would be affected by that little love bump that you carry? Weight gain and hormones can wreak havoc on your sniffer and cause it to be stuffy one minute then running down your chin the next. Between this and the sneezing fits that accompany the change, you may find it helpful to make a trip to your nearest warehouse club and stock up on tissues.
You are able to smell way too much.
When you’re nose isn’t stuffy, you’re going to pray for it to be. We’re preparing you in advance because the intensity of this side effect of pregnancy always takes women by surprise! Your new and ever increasing heightened sense of smell will make you think that you’re surely bionic and send you dry heaving at every fish fry, locker room visit, or walk past the perfume department.
The problem with being able to smell more, is now you can smell how your personal scent has changed, and, honey, it ain’t good. Changing hormones can cause your body to sweat not only in places you would expect, like your armpits, but it can also cause sweat glands in the genitals to go mad as well. Add the insulation of increased weight gain and you’ll be wringing your shirt out by mid-afternoon.
You can’t sleep.
Speaking of your nose, sleeping proves to be pretty problematic as you move further into your pregnancy; for you as well as well as everyone within 15 square miles of you. Increased mucosal lining and abnormal sleep positions can wreak havoc on your much needed rest, causing you to make quite a raucous as you slumber. Your snoring will rival your Uncle Hector’s snorts after a long family party.
You grow extra (weird) skin.
As rosy and glowing as your skin may initially appear, don’t get used to it because it goes south real quick! Hormonal changes can affect the biggest organ of your body as well. One day your face looks youthful and bright, the next morning you look like a pubescent teen who played lacrosse all week, didn’t wash her face and binged on bars of chocolate. And that’s just the start. You’ll find extra skin, known as skin tags, hanging off of odd parts of your body like your neck and back. If you get lucky, you’ll get the added benefit of being able to play connect the dots on the (wait for it) telangiectasias that form on your skin. These bright red bumps appear all over your body and are a result of the hormonal surge that is raging inside of your body.
You grow hair…everywhere.
And we mean everywhere. The hormones secreted by your body will cause you to sprout more hair, of a different texture, and also cause you to lose less hair. So the hair on your head will be a big, thick mane but, alas, your body doesn’t discriminate. You’ll be growing hair on your face, on your ears, down your legs, on your nipples. Anywhere on your body is considered fair game.
Your mouth can also be affected by your pregnancy too (and it’s not in the form of you cursing that you can’t shave your legs anymore.) The mucus lined areas of your body increase their discharge to help your immune system causing your mouth to be thicker and fuller. We’re not talking a little extra spit here and there; we’re talking gushing. You’ll be able to practically drown yourself in the pool of drool that you wake up in.
You can’t breathe.
It will feel nearly impossible to get a deep breath during your pregnancy, and there’s a reason this changes throughout your trimesters. In the beginning, increasing hormones cause you to breathe more often so that your lungs can expand to carry oxygen to your baby. You basically feel like you’re hyperventilating. Later on, the increasing size of your baby will limit your breathing capacity along with the addition of more weight (and more water.) Normal everyday activities will cause you to panic like a quick one block jog to catch the bus or a broken down escalator. If the elevator’s broken you may as well park yourself in the lobby and set up camp.
Your mouth bleeds.
Brushing your teeth may prove to be somewhat nightmarish as well. Hormonal changes make your gums more sensitive to bacteria causing it to look like a crime scene every time you swish.
You can’t walk.
Not that an extra 25 to 40 pounds does much for your ability to get around but your body will seem to be fighting you every literal step; from the “paralyze your leg” sciatica pain, to the varicose vein located in prime spot right in your vulva that causes your entire lower body to ache and you to remain hunched over, to the stabbing pain of your round ligament stretching in your groin. Put this all together and walking more than a block will be a luxury you’ll await until after you give birth.
You cringe in the bathroom.
We’re not sure at what point during the pregnancy this will happen to you but at some time you’ll realize that going No. 2 will make or break your day. Between the horse pill vitamins and the hormones, having a bowel movement will require praying, a couple of shots of prune juice, and some self talk.
You drop everything.
One day you’ll be holding your favorite coffee mug and “BAM!” it’ll go slipping out of your hands and shatter to the floor. Then there’s the jar of mustard that you can’t open, not to mention your brand new iPhone. That beautiful baby inside of you is responsible! Extra fluid that’s retained during pregnancy can put pressure on the nerves in your wrist and can cause aching, burning, shooting, and sometimes surprising shock-like pain down your wrist and hand.
You forget everything.
Your keys. Your glasses. Your phone. Your water bottle. Your schedule. These all can be victims of what is known as “mom brain.” Studies showed that as you move along in your pregnancy, increasing hormones make your memory increasingly worse. It can seem pretty scary, but there’s good news! The studies also showed that your memory returns to normal after you give birth; bad news is it can take up to three months.