The Gross Things Nobody Tells you about Pregnnacy

Helooooo everyone!! I hope you all had a great weekend! Things were a little slow around here. Daniël was in England this weekend because we need to buy an english car before we move. So its just me and Fé here this weekend. It started out a little rough because on Friday Fé had to get her second round of vaccinations. She was pretty grumpy the whole evening and it was nearly impossible to get her to stop crying. It was pretty rough but she eventually passed out and she actually slept pretty well. She was probably so tired from all that crying. The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key. Just went into town and did a little shopping. I am using this weekend to get ahead of work on the blog and to get a jump start on packing to move.

Anyway, my sister-in-law in pregnant (yayy!) and I was inspired to write a little something about all the things during pregnancy that no one seems to talk about….the GROSS stuff. My sis-in-law asked when the “pregnancy glow”starts and to be honest, it doesn’t. For some lucky ladies I guess it does, but for me, it never really started. I suffered from a number of gross pregnancy symptoms. Symptoms that people don’t always talk about. So here goes…my list of all the gross pregnancy symptoms (the one no one talks about) Make sure to check out my pregnancy essentials for a list of all the products that got me through my pregnancy!

1. Acne

You thought that your acne would disappear after high school huh? Well, surprise, it comes back during pregnancy in full force. Actually this isn’t necessarily true. During pregnancy your hormones are all over the place (read all about pregnancy hormones here) which can cause breakouts. Fortunately for you your hormones even out around your second trimester and your acne may subside. If you are suffering from pregnancy related acne check out my guide to dealing with it!

2. Nosebleeds

Yes, your read right, nosebleeds. I had no idea that nosebleeds were a weird symptom of pregnancy. But in fact, they are! Pregnancy causes the blood vessels in your nose to expand, pair that with all that excess blood you are carrying around and you have a recipe for some nasty nosebleeds!

3. Hair, everywhere

You can thank your hormones for your voluptuous glowing locks! Unfortunately, your beautiful mane comes with a price. You will probably notice an increase in body hair. Your legs may grow at super speed, you may be growing a beard, or you may be sprouting some strange hairs on your nipples! During my pregnancy, I got stray hairs EVERYWHERE! I suggest investing in a pair of high quality tweezers to pluck those bad boys away!

4. Varicose Veins

During pregnancy you will have about 40% more blood pumping through your veins. Couple that with the fact that your growing uterus puts pressure on you Inferior Vena Cava (the large vein on the side of your body) causing all your arteries to swell. This leads to some gnarly looking swollen veins (varicose veins) that should go away after your pregnancy!

You may also get varicose veins ‘down there.’ I got vulvar varicose veins and my vagina basically looked like a swollen, purple, war zone during the last few months of my pregnancy. It was also really painful, especially if I stood or walked for too long. I haven’t been able to find much information on vulvar varicose veins on the World Wide Web, or find anyone else who also suffered with this during their pregnancy. If you suffered from vulvar varicose veins feel free to comment below or send me a message through my contact page!

5. Constipation

Your wild hormones will relax all of your muscles including your digestive tract. This means that things might not move along as well as they used to. 50% of women experience constipation during their pregnancy so don’t worry, you are not alone! Make sure you eat enough fiber and drink plenty of water. Also add dates to your diet (they also have awesome benefits for pregnant woman, read about that here!) You may also want to try sipping on some camomile tea as it helps relax your intestines!

6. Hemorrhoids

Constipation comes hand in hand with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are basically varicose veins in your anus and if you are constipated (and squeezing a little too hard) they may just pop out or become swollen and painful. To avoid hemorrhoids try so stay regular by following the same advice as for constipation. Also try to do kegels to strengthen your pelvic floor and keep things inside (if you know what I mean ;))

7. You will pee yourself

Yes, I said it. You will probably pee yourself! Your muscles down there will relax so much that you let some pee slip out every once in a while! Remember to do your kegels to keep your pelvic floor strong.

I remember the first time I peed myself very clearly. My husband and I were driving from Hungary to Serbia and we were stopped while we were crossing the border. We were waiting in line at the border crossing getting a vignette (to drive our car in Serbia) and I had to run to the car to get something and I completely wet my pants! I was so embarrassed!

If you are worried about it, you can always get some thin panty liners or pads to help protect you a little bit 😉 It may give you peace of mind just to know that in case you do let out a tinkle, you are covered!

8. You will fart, without even realizing it

Since your pelvic floor muscles will completely relax, not only will you pee yourself but you will also pass a lot of gas. Pregnancy also makes you gassier than usual. Excess gas and a lack of pelvic floor control can lead to some sneaky farts that you may not even know about!

9. You will sweat like crazy

Your hormones are going all over the place so your body temperature will fluctuate more than usual. Thus, you will probably sweat more than usual. Being pregnant is basically like going through menopause (hormone-wise that is). If you are anything like me, you will find yourself bundling up under a blanket in lays of clothing, only to throw them all off a few minutes later!

10. You may be extra stinky!

Your excessive sweating may be making you a little bit stinker than usual. Either that, or it’s your incredible super-human sense of smell. During my pregnancy I thought I was super smelly all the time, but whenever I asked my husband, he said he didn’t smell anything. Whether I was actually smellier than usual or I just thought I was, I invested in some really great clinical strength deodorant!

11. Snoring

Pregnancy can cause a bunch of different sleep problems including snoring. Your nasal passages will swell and you will gain some weight which will turn you into a snoring grandpa when you hit the sack. My husband woke me up more times than I can count because I was snoring so loudly!

To prevent snoring, try to only gain as much weight as you need to by following a healthy pregnancy diet. You can also try using some nasal strips at bedtime, propping up your pillow so you sleep on a slight incline, or sleep on your left side! Or you can give your partner some earplugs and tell them to suck it up 😉

12. Bleeding gums 

Your swollen veins and excess blood will make your gums a little bit more sensitive than usual. This is why dentists tell you to be extra picky about your oral hygiene during pregnancy! You may find that your gums are bleeding more than they did before or you have more problems with your teeth.

Many insurance companies offer better oral health coverage during your pregnancy. I suggest checking with your insurance company and taking advantage of this added bonus!

13. Major Heartburn

I suffered from HORRIBLE heartburn during the last few months of pregnancy. I could barely sleep and ended up sleeping practically sitting up because it was so painful. Since your muscles are relaxed, the valve from your stomach to your esophagus is also relaxed which allows acid to slip back up, which causes heartburn. If you are experiencing heartburn check out these tips on how to deal with it!

14. Swelling, down there!

It’s no secret that you will swell up everywhere, all the way from your face to your ankles. But you will also swell up in your lady parts. The weight of your uterus and your growing baby puts an incredible amount of pressure on your pelvis and lady area. Nobody seems to talk about this, but your female flower will blossom (quite literally if you think about it) and will probably look nothing like what it looked like before. It may also make sex more painful, or the look of it may totally put your partner off (sorry but it’s the honest truth). Thankfully, the swelling should completely go away after your baby is born and your lady parts will return to normal.

If you are having problems with this you may want to invest in a maternity support belt to add support and take pressure off of your pelvis.

Side note: Some ladies may be worried about what their lady parts will look like after pregnancy. With proper rest and a few pelvic floor exercises, you should be back to your pre-pregnancy self in no time!

15. Itchy skin or rashes

This is a random and weird pregnancy symptom, but your hormones may cause skin irritation. If you have really dry skin or are prone to getting eczema or skin rashes you may experience worse than usual skin issues. I spoke with a women when I was in my first trimester who said that her eczema was so bad at the end of her pregnancy she was just so happy not to be pregnant anymore! She said she would take childbirth over the last few months of her pregnancy any day.

Remember…

I know that this post isn’t very encouraging for all you mamas-to-be but remember that it will all be over soon enough. All these pregnancy related symptoms will go away after pregnancy. Holding your baby in your arms for the first time will make you forget all about the horrors of pregnancy. At the end of 9 or 10 long months of pregnancy you can say that you did one of the hardest and most beautiful things a woman can do. Everything will be worth it in the end! Hang in there mama <3

Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms

 

Wednesday Randomness & My Favorite Pregnancy and Motherhood books!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! I wanted to share with you a random Wednesday around here in our teeny Dutch apartment. We are planning on moving to the UK soon, and I wanted to share with you a little glimpse of what our life is like here in Holland before we make the big move.

This morning started out pretty lazy (most mornings do). Fé slept for a whole seven hours straight! Isn’t that amazing?! She has been sleeping for longer stretches of time (usually around 6 hours) and last night she surprised us by sleeping a whopping seven hours. We normally put her down for the final time around 11pm (last night was more like 12am) and today she didn’t wake up until 7am! I was shocked, I woke up around 6am surprised that she hadn’t yet woken us up to feed.

Pregnancy Books

Anyway, we ended up dozing a little bit more after she woke up at seven and finally got up again around 9:30 when Fé wanted a second breakfast. Daniël loves cuddling with Fé in the mornings before he starts working on his thesis so he cuddled with her in bed a while, while I made a big pot of coffee. My morning coffee is honestly one of my favorite things in the whole world! I stopped drinking coffee during my pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding, but since I have stopped breastfeeding (read more about that in Fé’s two month update) I have started drinking coffee again and let me tell you, I really missed it. I think I am one of those people who just needs coffee in their life so going back to my morning cup of joe has made me a much more pleasant person!

Pregnancy Books

After I made some coffee we got our day started. I did some housework while Daniël worked on his thesis and Fé played with her new foot finders and wrist rattles!

Pregnancy Books

After getting some housework done I ate a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins and dried apricots (yummy!). I am trying to lose my baby weight (check out my weight loss tips here) so I have been using MyFitnessPal to count calories and it is really working. I have lost a couple of kilograms since I started counting calories just about two weeks ago!

After lunch/breakfast we tried to take Fé on a walk in our Ergobaby baby carrier but when we got about 15 minutes away from our house, the wind really picked up and Fé just wasn’t having it. She started howling and crying so we just decided to come back to the house.

Afterwards, I decided to continue packing up some things for our big move to England in a couple of weeks. As I was going through some old books I found some of the books that got me through my pregnancy and helped prepare me for motherhood (although nothing can truly prep you to be a mother!)

Pregnancy Books

I wanted to share with our my favorite pregnancy and motherhood books that I think every mama-to-be should read 😉

10 Pregnancy and Motherhood Books

1. What to Expect When Your Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

This book was easily one of my favorite books during my pregnancy. It became my go to pregnancy bible. I outlines every single month of your pregnancy and tells you what to expect to feel, doctors visits, how your baby is growing and so much more. It really gives you all the information you need to get you through your pregnancy and labor and delivery!

2. Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Another AMAZING book from the What to Expect series. This books gives you a TON of information about how to stay healthy when you are pregnant. It really shows how the food you consume impacts your baby’s development and encourages you to eat as healthy as possible, not only for you but also for your baby. It shows you how to eat well plus there are a ton of great recipes to try in the back of the book.You cant really see from the picture above but I have filled this book with sticky notes so I can flip to my favorite recipes or other important pages of this book. Check out my pregnancy nutrition post for some insight into what this book has to offer.

3. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

This book is also awesome. From the Mayo Clinic it provides you with great information about your pregnancy and your babies weekly development. It also includes a 40 week pregnancy calendar and outlines some of the important decisions you need to make as expecting parents (like different pre-natal tests and things like that!)

4. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Glaskin

I mentioned this book before in my Guide to a Natural Childbirth. This book is an amazing resource if you are planning a natural childbirth. Ina May, one of the most reputable midwives, provides you with everything you need to know in order to have the best birth experience. My natural birth experience was truly amazing and Ina May shows women how to have their own wonderful birth experience. Whether you are planning on having a natural childbirth or not, I seriously recommend this book!

5. Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricky Lake

Another great book to help you prepare for childbirth (whether natural or not). This book outlines all your options so you can choose the birth that is right for you!

6. When We Became Three Memory Book

This isn’t technically a book for reading but a memory book for you to fill out during your pregnancy. My friend sent me this book and I had so much fun filling it with pictures and memories of my pregnancy!

7. The Shit No one Tells You by Dawn Dais

I LOVE this book! Its hilarious and so true. My friend send me this book and I read it in about two days! Real moms tell real stories of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. This hilariously honest book is a total must have (in my opinion) for any mama to be! It also makes an awesome gift for any pregnant friends you may have 😉

8. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff

If you couldn’t tell, I am a huge fan of the What to Expect Series! This is another one of their awesome books that provides you with a ton of information about your baby’s first year! As new parents, Daniël and I constantly have questions and this go-to book clears up so many baby confusions! It is truly a life saver!

9. The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij

Okay so I don’t actually own this book, but I really really want it! I outlines all of your babies different developmental phases, known as the wonder weeks. It also provides information on how to stimulate your baby and encourage their development. The wonder weeks also has a journal (sold separately) to track your baby’s developmental milestones!

10. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

This book is an awesome parenting resource for all first-time (and second and third-time) parents. It helps parents understand their crying babies, teaches them soothing techniques, and helps get their babies to sleep. What parent doesn’t want that!

I hope this list helps some of you mamas-to-be prepare for your little bundle of joy to arrive. I know these books helped me so much throughout my pregnancy and they still provide such a great resource for all my parenting questions!

I would love to hear any more of your baby book suggestions if you have any. Feel free to comment below. Until next time, have a happy Wednesday!