Before I got pregnant, I had a pretty good idea (I thought) of how it all worked. You got pregnant, told people after 12 weeks, became cute and round, wore high-waisted clothes and received loads of special treatment. Well.
Some of that is true! People are extremely nice in offering seats and inquiring after my health, but there are quite a few other aspects I didn’t expect.
1. “Eating for two” is a LIE.
I’ve heard that phrase a lot, especially when reaching for a third (or fourth) piece of pizza. Unfortunately, an baby in utero doesn’t have the same caloric needs as a grown human. We’re talking an allowance of about 300 calories in the second trimester and 400 calories in the third trimester. That does not go very far when fun foods (read: ice cream and cheese) are involved.
2. Yes, I am falling over from a standing position.
My husband can tell you that I am insanely clumsy even without being pregnant, managing to fall over at just about every opportunity. It’s gotten worse with carrying the extra weight in front. I’ve tripped on my own feet more than once. Another issue: bonking my front into the counter or other awkward places. I forget about the BSA (Baby Storage Area — my replacement term for bump, my least favorite phrase EVER) and indelicately maneuver myself into tight spots.
3. Speaking of Baby Storage Area, there isn’t a standard for size.
I figured people basically conformed to a standard size based on how far along they were. And thanks to the influence of chalkboard updates and cute ladies on Pinterest, I thought I had a pretty good idea of how big I’d get at certain points. Mostly I was wrong. Some days I feel like I’m the “right” size. Some days (not so much lately), I wondered if I had actually gotten smaller, as dumb as that sounds. Newsflash: people grow at different rates.
4. Strangers do make comments.
Sitcoms and stand-up comedians would imply that all people should be paralyzed by fear into never ever ever asking a woman if she’s pregnant. I haven’t seen this personally — more than one stranger has piped up and asked when I was due or made other comments. I don’t mind it since I haven’t gotten any truly rude comments or any intrusive remarks.
5. Baby kicking? More like baby karate.
One thing I really didn’t understand was kicking. I figured the baby would kick sometimes, at random. Little did I know that babies (or at least this whippersnapper) can spend hours at a time rolling around, kicking, punching, and flailing with lots of energy. Toddlerhood may destroy me if he shows the same enthusiasm for constant movement in a couple years.
6. It’s not just ankles that swell up. Feet do too.