What You Thought You Knew About Pregnancy and Were Wrong About


Pregnancy is kind of the most amazing thing you will ever experience, even when it’s completely miserable. But the real kicker is that there are so many things we all assume about pregnancy that may or may not be true. For me, there were things that I thought I knew about being pregnant from the start that were completely inaccurate, and then things I thought would be the same that were completely inaccurate. While I never really gave much thought to being pregnant before my husband and I decided it was time to have our first baby, I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible. Some of it amazing, some of it not-so-amazing, and some of it not even really that important; and some of what I’ve learned is pretty hilarious. And even knowing what I know now, I also know that what I know might not be what you know. What’s true for me in pregnancy probably is not true for you in pregnancy. Essentially, everything I’ve learned after having four kids is completely subjective, personal and only potentially helpful to you. So, what did I learn over the course of five pregnancies, two miscarriages, and four kids? Oh-so-much.

It’s Not Always Hard to Get Pregnant

I know that there are people who have an exceptionally difficult time becoming pregnant for various reasons, but not everyone does. I don’t say that lightly or maliciously or to hurt anyone. When my husband and I decided to start a family, I got pregnant the first try. People told me left and right it would take forever, a year or so, and it was hurtful to hear. I got pregnant on the first try every time I got pregnant. Unfortunately, two of my pregnancies ended quickly in miscarriage, but at the same time, it’s not always difficult to get pregnant for every woman.

You REALLY Shouldn’t Announce Early

With all of our kids, I began testing three weeks to the day following the first day of my last period. It was a week before my period was expected, and very early to test, but I tested positive every single time. I also announced our first when I was three weeks along. I did the same for our second. Unfortunately for us, a month after I announced I was pregnant the second time, I miscarried. It was difficult to make that announcement. I learned the very hard way to keep it to myself.

Anything can Happen

When I was pregnant with my first, I had a dream pregnancy. I was healthy, happy, felt great the entire time, and I was so excited about it all. I never worried. I went into labor a week before my due date. It was quick, painless and amazing. I expected all my pregnancies would be the same. I never expected to lose two babies back to back and end up pregnant a month after my second miscarriage after deciding we’d wait a while. I never expected any of that. I’m healthy. I take care of myself. I never realized that anything can happen until it happened.

Everyone is an Expert

EVERYONE. The woman who never had a baby is an expert because her sister’s friend’s cousin had a baby. The woman with a baby is an expert because she had a baby. Your mom, mother-in-law, even your husband is an expert. Everyone is an expert. Learn to nod and smile and move on.

Not all Pregnancies are Awful

So many people like to complain that they have miserable pregnancies. So many women like to complain that they get fat and they never lose the weight, that they’re sick. They have no energy, they hurt; it doesn’t happen like that every time. In fact, aside from the time I was sick for the first three months with the twins, I was never sick. Additionally, none of my girlfriends were ever sick. It happens, yes, but not to everyone. And another thing; I have four kids (twins included) and no stretch marks. Neither of the three women I’m closest to in life have stretch marks after multiple kids, and none of us were ever swollen. It might happen, but it might not.

Not all Pregnancies are Amazing

I had an amazing first pregnancy. I fully expected the same with my second. But after two miscarriages, my second pregnancy was anything but amazing. I was stressed the entire time. I scrutinized every piece of toilet paper I used for blood for 9 months. I bled a few times and thought I’d lost the baby later on in my pregnancy. We were told our baby had a calcified spot on her heart halfway through, and we would not a  Level II Ultrasound to check for Downs Syndrome and that we’d have to consider our ‘options’. My labor was just as easy and carefree as my first, but our daughter was born with two Hemangiomas; one on her lip and one on her stomach. They were monitored closely for the first year of her life as they can be cancerous. They faded and eventually disappeared, but it was scary.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I was SICK. I was so tired I couldn’t move. I was so sick I couldn’t drive a mile without stopping to vomit. Then I found out it was twins. Then I was on bedrest. I worried every single day that I’d go into labor early. I did. I went into labor at 36 weeks and 6 days and I had to spend week in the hospital with my very tiny babies. See, no matter how healthy I was, I always gave birth to tiny babies – even my singletons. Perhaps it was my severe aversion to food or the fact that I’m petite and I couldn’t eat more than three bites of food before becoming stuffed. Maybe being as small as I am and making room for two babies and food was just too much for my body. I don’t know; but they were small. It wasn’t amazing.

You get What you Get

I knew we’d have a girl the first time. I was right. I also knew I’d have a boy the second time. I was wrong. I KNEW I was having a boy when we decided to have our third and I got pregnant. I was half right. We had a boy and a girl. You get what you get, no matter how certain you are or how much you want one sex over the other at any given time (though after two miscarriages and the fear I felt in my second pregnancy, I didn’t actually care the third time around as long as it was a healthy baby).

Not all Labor is Awful

It hurts. It sucks. It’s painful and it’s awful and you will feel as if you are dying. Nope; not true. I had four kid – all naturally but with the help of that amazing epidural – and I never felt a thing. I was told to push, and I pushed. Bam, babies came out the first or second time each time. My contractions came out of nowhere each and every time two minutes apart or five minutes apart but never hurt. Labor was easy. It was great; I did it four times, you know.

Epidural is Amazing

It’s the best thing ever. I mean, ever. I don’t care how other people give birth or what they want to do when they have their kids, but I will never understand why someone would choose to feel the pain of a child coming out of their lady parts when they could just lie back, enjoy their husband holding their hand and telling her she’s beautiful and amazing while the doctor says push and you push and don’t feel a thing. I’ll never understand it. I mean, I never broke a sweat. I look back at my labor photos and my pre-hospital makeup was still perfect each time. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?

You can Lose the Weight Quickly

I was terrified that I would never lose my baby weight the first time I was pregnant. Everyone said it’s not possible without doing unhealthy things like not eating and working out before the doctor cleared you to do so at your 6-week checkup. Everyone told me it was impossible. Everyone. What did I know? Nothing; I knew nothing. But I did what my doctor told me to do. I ate a healthy diet. I continued moderate exercise, prenatal yoga and walking daily. I was healthy. I gained the correct amount of weight. I took care of myself. And I breast fed for a few weeks before my supply dried up. Imagine my surprise when I realized I’d lost all the weight in the first week after our daughter was born. Good genes? Maybe. A healthy diet and exercise and never using the “I’m eating for two,” excuse to pig out was probably more like it.

From my experience with my own pregnancies and those of my closest friends and family member, these are the things I’ve learned about pregnancy. Of course, other people know differently. The moral of the story is to simply go into your pregnancy with a good attitude, good health and no expectations.

Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images


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