Things I've Learned About Pregnancy Thus Far

So, maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but there were a few things that I discovered once I was pregnant that I definitely didn’t know before. Also, please take all of this with a grain of salt and know that I have really been enjoying my pregnancy and enjoy being pregnant so much more than I thought I would — symptoms and all! :)

1. Once you hit the middle of your 2nd trimester or so, you’re advised to avoid sleeping and laying on your back. Now, clearly I knew stomach sleeping was off the table for obvious reasons but when you only have two sides to alternate on and both of your hips hurt, things get a little dicey. Thankfully, this pillow is a lifesaver and I’ve been able to maneuver it so I can get comfortable in a few different positions.

2. I never really got the pregnancy acne on my face, but my belly has definitely had a few weeks of bad breakouts. I never even knew that this was a thing — I’ll take it over facial acne any day but it was just so strange looking and definitely unexpected!

3. Your feet will hurt after standing for long (and short) periods of time. We have wood floors throughout the majority of our main floor and I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing slippers similar to these whenever I know I’ll be standing in the kitchen for awhile.

4. I recently learned that babies can cry in the womb. I was so sad when I found this out — it just breaks my heart that our little guy could cry and we wouldn’t know it or be able to comfort him. This point right here is a pretty clear example of how real the pregnancy emotions are as well! ;)

5. Not everyone throws up from morning sickness. Mine was more of a constant carsick feeling but I only threw up once and then had some dry heaving / throwing up stomach acid a couple times. I was SO thankful for this especially while working for a small company with a bathroom that was very far away from where I sat.

6. The fatigue is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before — I swear I could have slept all day, everyday. Naps were (and still are) my BFF.

7. You can literally smell EVERYTHING — people’s deodorant, if someone has smoked in an area in the last 24 hours, and anything food-related. First trimester is a little challenging when you’re feeling nauseous and food smells seem exponentially stronger than before.

8. Not everyone has food cravings — I had a couple odd ones in the first tri, but otherwise I eat my typical diet and have found I don’t really crave anything in particular.

9. Due to the added blood volume, your veins are a lot more visible than before. I have fair skin, so it looks like a map of my circulatory system all over my body which is actually pretty cool.

10. Last but definitely not least is a story I want to share because it’s something I wish I knew early on in pregnancy. Just a heads up, there is a bit of TMI shared below, so consider this your warning. :)

I wish I would have known that you can have bright red spotting and your baby can still be 100% okay. I went to the bathroom at work one morning during week 10 of my pregnancy and noticed some brown spotting — more than I had experienced in the really early weeks (weeks 5-6). I called my clinic and my doctor was on vacation that day so I talked to another doctor on call. She said it was fine as long as it wasn’t bright red; still a little worried, I went about my day when a few hours later I had red spotting. Cue the panic.

I immediately ran outside (I worked for a small company and there wasn’t anywhere to make a private phone call) and called the clinic in a panic. I was bawling and could hardly catch my breath as I talked to the nurse. The clinic was about to close for the day so she suggested going to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound. I was so freaked out and crying so hard — not wanting to go back into the office with a tear stained face, I called my creative director (I had told her about my pregnancy around 5 weeks and am SO happy that I did) and asked if she could bring me my purse and keys. She came outside, gave me a hug and helped talk me off the ledge. She also brought Kleenex, paper towels, and some water for me (seriously, she is a saint!). She offered to drive me to the hospital, but I declined and said I would be okay to drive there since Andy was meeting me at the ER. I cried the whole way to the hospital — so scared and so worried about our baby’s wellbeing. I thought for sure we had lost the baby — and was so confused because I figured we were almost in the clear at 10 weeks. 

Upon arriving at the ER, they checked me in and took vitals and I remember feeling so overwhelmed and wishing that we could do all the logistics after an ultrasound. They brought me to a room and had me change into a gown and hop onto a hospital bed saying that a doctor would be in shortly. I was so nervous and worried as we waited for what felt like forever until a nurse came in to draw blood. Finally a doctor came in and did an ultrasound — I was literally holding my breath as she turned on the machine and squirted the gel onto my abdomen. We instantly saw our little baby on the screen waving his little hand, almost as if he was saying “hi mom, I’m okay!” I immediately felt a sense of relief wash over me and I started laughing nervously because I was so tense from the afternoon. Seriously, so much weight was off of my chest once we saw him wiggling around on the screen. 

The doctor on call wasn’t an OB so she wanted me to follow up with my clinic, but said I most likely had a small tear in my placenta and that’s what was causing the bleeding. She told me to take it easy and go home to relax for the rest of the evening once they drew my blood to check HCG levels and a few other things. 

The next morning (Friday), I got to work and was bleeding more than the day before. I grabbed my bag and ran out the door — calling the clinic on my drive home to tell them I was coming in whether I could get an appointment or not. After about 30 minutes, they called me back to see one of their doctors since mine was still out of town. She did an ultrasound and baby was moving around with a strong heartbeat so she echoed what the ER doctor said about a possible tear in the placenta, told me to go on pelvic rest (aka taking it easy), and that the small tear would most likely heal on its own in a few weeks. She wanted me to see my OB once she got back in the office just for a follow up but she didn’t foresee any future issues.

I saw my OB once she was back in the office after the weekend — she performed yet another ultrasound and baby was still doing great. She told me to take it easy for the next couple of weeks until I saw her again for my 12 week OB appt. She said no running, no strenuous exercise, and to relax as much as I could until then. I remember feeling nervous every time I went to the bathroom over those next couple of weeks — scared that there would be blood, but whatever the issue was cleared up on its own because I never had any other issues after that. I passed my 12 week appt and blood work with flying colors and Little Pang has been doing well ever since!

What’s something you learned during pregnancy?
Were any of these points above new to you?