Maybe I’m luckier than most in that, after three pregnancies, I have experienced the gamut of pregnancy side effects. Believe me when I tell you that YOU are the lucky one if your experience only results in the side effect of having a beautiful baby. I am not one of those cute pregnant ladies who seem to glow with the ever-maturing basketball under the perfectly pressed maternity shirt. My experience with pregnancy is anything but beautiful and, as much as I love my kids, I really dislike being pregnant.
My intention is not to scare or discourage; rather, I hope that you find comfort in knowing that you are not the only one having the full experience of pregnancy. Here are the 20 side effects that no one wants to talk about:
1.) “Morning sickness.” I put this in quotes because I was throwing up all day long. I noticed that the nausea got worse the more tired I became. The best advice I would give you is just to go with it. If you feel the need to throw up, it's better just to give in. I remember driving into work and pulling off the side of the highway, quickly opening my door, just in time to give all of the morning traffic a view of my ex-breakfast.
2.) Stretch marks. Despite rubbing everything on my skin, from cocoa butter to olive oil, my body looks like a bomb went off and, according to my dermatologist, there isn’t technology available to get rid of them.
3.) Hair anomalies. The hair on your head is fabulous! It's thick, it’s shiny, definitely one of the perks of pregnancy. You will also notice hair growing in other places at a vigorous pace. Not to worry, this will go away but, until then, you may be a little fuzzier than normal.
4.) Sex dreams. Don’t ask me why, but just at the time when I felt the least sexy I started having the craziest sex dreams. This is definitely a mixed blessing.
5.) Bladder control. Yes, I admit that I have peed myself. Definitely not a high point in my life, but I find comfort in knowing that you, too, will pee yourself.
6.) Bigger boobs. I never really had boobs until I had kids and, once they arrived, I wasn’t sure what the big deal was. Admittedly, having enormous boobs that are leaking milk isn’t exactly what I wished for when I was 14 (I’m sure it wasn’t what my husband was wishing for at 14 either). Nonetheless, they came out of nowhere and, once I was done breastfeeding, the only things that were left were these sad little socks.
7.) Unsolicited advice from friends, family and strangers. Maybe there is something about me that welcomes this sort of weird and frankly uncomfortable feedback. I think the topper for me was when a male co-worker was offering breastfeeding advice (and no, I’m not making that up).