Ah pregnancy. It’s a miraculous time for women everywhere as they experience the joys of creating life from within the depths of their wombs and prepare to bestow their glowing love on their growing families. But if you’re a pragmatist, pregnancy is also a time of swollen ankles, limited wardrobe choices and weird-ass cravings.
While we wouldn’t trade the resulting babies that pregnancy brings for anything else in the world, here are just some of the very real struggles that only the pregnant ladies out there can relate to.
1. Feeling like your body is public domain
Just because you have a human being growing in your uterus does not give people the right to touch it willy-nilly. But try telling them that; as soon as le bump starts growing, people happily grab for it in a celebration of life. And public opinion doesn’t stop with touching, either. Get used to people telling you what you should be eating, commenting on how much weight you’ve gained, whether you should exercise and of course, asking you if you’re sure it’s not twins. (Yes. You’re pretty sure you’d know, thank you very much.)
2. Those hormonal, boomerang and (sometimes gross) cravings
It’s no secret that pregnant women crave certain foods. We’re not just talking pickles and ice cream either — fresh fruit, milk, veggies and peanut butter are among some of the often-requested items pregnant women suddenly crave in spades. But what they don’t tell you is that cravings aren’t just mere cravings. Nope, these things come on quite suddenly and soon they’re all you can think about. And then, just when you finally get the item in question, you find that you have absolutely zero appetite to actually eat it. Because, pregnancy.
3. The glorious second-trimester energy rush
Many preggers spend most of the first trimester green and in front of the toilet. And the third trimester is all about feeling like a blobby human incubator with zero energy or motivation (aside from the sudden nesting phase that tends to kick in right before birth). That leaves the second trimester as the pregnancy sweet spot, when your energy kicks back in and you actually want to do things again. Trust us when we say that we all enjoy it while it lasts, because it really doesn’t seem to last.
4. The torture that is trying to sleep
Sure, we invest in fancy snoogles and place regular old pillows between our knees, but six-plus months of only being able to sleep on our sides really starts to take a toll after a while. Our hips give out, our backs feel like crap and waking up to pee 17.5 times an evening means that peaceful nights of rest are a thing of the past. On the bright side, at least this tumultuous sleep schedule prepares us for the middle-of-the-night feedings to come once the baby arrives.
5. Toughing it out at work
If you thought 3 p.m. walls were hard, try being pregnant and hitting that wall. We’ve hit ours so hard that it’s smacked us right back, nearly knocking us unconscious in the process. Add in the guilt of having to leave work to attend myriad doctor appointments and dealing with a ‘baby brain’ that makes simple tasks way harder than they should be, and the final few months of work before that coveted maternity leave are tough ones. After all, not all of us can be Beyoncé.
6. Blowing a gasket over the baby registry
Being a first-time mom is overwhelming for so many reasons, mostly because you begin to second-guess every single decision you make. One of the biggest decisions you make early on is trying to narrow down items you actually need for the baby registry. And while some items like clothes, diapers and wipes seem like obvious no-brainers, there are way too many products on the market out there to choose from. Wipe warmers? Bottle stands? Snot suckers? These days they make a product for everything, and it’s impossible to narrow down what you really need until you’re in the moment. Until then, the stress is very, very real.
7. The torture that is completing everyday tasks
Remember when doing dishes took mere minutes, or throwing a casserole in the oven was a simple task? Now your back aches, your stomach feels like it’s holding in a bowling ball and the pressure on your pelvis makes you want to stretch out in bed for the remainder of your sentence. Except you can’t actually lay on your back, so you resort to doing cat-cow yoga poses and bouncing on your exercise balls in the living room instead, and dread the moment you have to climb those stairs again or struggle to put boots on to go outside. As for personal hygiene? Well don’t even get us started on the joys of trying to shave our legs or (gulp) the dreaded blind-shave, bikini-line dance.
8. Keeping your emotions in any kind of check
Why is it that, as the pregnancy goes on, the list of things that gets on your nerves or makes you bawl your eyes out seems to grow longer? Suddenly, you’re dabbing your eyes at a car insurance commercial, or you’re completely frustrated that your partner didn’t bring home the extra large fruit platter instead of the regular old one. And while you know that the hormones coursing through your body are causing you to freak out at things that wouldn’t normally faze you, you can’t seem to stop yourself when you’re in the moment either.
9. That. Last. Month.
There are 28-to-31 days in any given month, except the last month of pregnancy. That month contains roughly 346 days, maybe more if you’ve had a previous pregnancy where you popped early. Between not sleeping, heartburn, overall aches and the sheer stress of trying to get everything together before baby comes, the final month of pregnancy is by far the hardest, both physically and emotionally. At that point the finish line seems like anywhere else but “in sight.”
Thankfully, all of those things mean that your new baby will soon be here, and that’s when the real fun starts. Before long you’ll forget about all of these hardships, or at least be glad that they’re long gone as you and your body start the inevitable postpartum healing process.