Expect The Unexpected: What No One Told Me About Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or expecting, chances are you’ve at least been handed a copy of the book What to Expect When You’re ExpectingIt’s a classic title, now complete with a website and engaged social media to boot. I had it and referenced it. But did I really read it? Not cover to cover, no. But it certainly came in handy when the unexpected traits of pregnancy started to make their appearance. Yikes!

unexpected momentIf you’re pregnant, you’ve had them. The seemingly weird and ultra strange side effects of pregnancy that no one told you about. Some of my unexpected experiences were mentioned in the What to Expect book, but not all! I definitely learned how to have a very candid relationship with my OB/GYN throughout my first pregnancy. Being a relatively modest person, this wasn’t easy, but it definitely helped set my mind at ease when my body started doing “crazy” things that I definitely wasn’t ready for.

We’re all different, and I’d love to hear from other seasoned mamas as to what you experienced in your pregnancies. For new moms, here are my top five unexpected, no-one-told-me-about-them pregnancy experiences. Because, as the saying goes, the more you know…

The Unexpected #1
Your breasts can leak before you give birth. If you’ve never had a child before, this can be an alarming experience. Breast are designed to do this, yes, but I didn’t think it happened until a few days after the baby was born. Wrong! You can leak a little milk prior to childbirth.

The Unexpected #2
So. Much. Gas. And it can be very painful. It’s also very annoying and can be embarrassing. If this is you, be assured that it’s completely normal, albeit inconvenient. Do your best to deal with it as you see fit. Maybe tell your partner to wear a nose plug…not really, but that definitely helped make humor out of a situation that was initially funny, but sometimes a burden.

The Unexpected #3
Sleep might be really, really hard. I don’t think I slept a full night through after my third trimesters. If you’re a stomach sleeper, that’s out. If you sleep on your side, it might be really hard to get comfortable. As baby grows and takes up more room, it’s hard to find a comfortable position for sleep. My mom used to laugh and tell me that my babies were preparing me for those sleepless nights after birth. I didn’t think this was very funny at the time, but there is probably some truth in her statement.

The Unexpected #4
Morning sickness can last the entire pregnancy. This was a huge shock for me. I was fortunate to avoid this affliction in my first pregnancy. Two years later, I was ecstatic to be expecting again. But I was so sick, it was hard to enjoy the experience. I had a brief reprieve around 14 weeks, but my nausea kicked right back in and lasted until my son was born. Your doctor can help you here, especially if you’re really struggling. Hang in there, mama. I promise that it won’t last after childbirth. 

The Unexpected #5
Headaches. While I didn’t have morning sickness with my first pregnancy, I had terrible, take-my-breath-away headaches. Initially, my doctor mentioned that these might be due to caffeine withdrawal. But as they persisted, I learned that many factors were likely contributing to my pounding head, including but not limited to surging hormones, blood sugar, blood volume and circulation, stress, and even lack of sleep. Thankfully, with my OB/GYN’s help, I was eventually able to get my pain under control.

{Bonus Unexpected #6}
While I did read a ton about Pregnancy Brain, I didn’t put much stock in it. Boy, was I wrong. It’s definitely a real thing and it is bizarre! My focus level was not what it usually is. I even had trouble remembering small details about certain things – stuff I would have never forgotten before. This lasted after childbirth, too, which was completely unexpected! I wasn’t prepared for my overall mental fogginess, nor was my husband. We eventually just started to laugh about it, especially after learning that, yes, it’s 100% normal.

I haven’t been pregnant in over six years, but I will never forget the unexpected joys that I was completely unprepared for while growing my babies. I look back on them with fondness now, as part of the overall experience that brought these amazing beings into my life. But, at the time, I wasn’t so overjoyed. If you’re experiencing any of the above or more, your doctor and moms who have been through it before will be your best sources for information, and confidants. 

Hang in there, mama. You’re strong and amazing, and you’ve got this!


Previous articleHospital Bag: The Essentials Packing Guide
Next articleFeeding Your Baby: One Moms Best Tips & Tools
Welcome! I'm Courtney, Founder, and Co-Owner of Mid-Michigan Moms. I started this journey years ago, looking to connect women in their motherhood journeys with one another through sharing our collective stories. In my mom life, I wear many hats - swim mom, hockey mom, horseback riding mom, and more. Our family of five is busy, chaotic, and loud. We're also silly, kind, and a lot of fun. I challenged myself over three years ago to push past every possible fear and comfort zone to grow as a mom, and as a person. Starting Mid-Michigan Moms and being a part of leading this team has been an integral part of that journey. Our small blog has turned into a wonderful parenting resource, and I'm so proud of our amazing team! Welcome - I'm so glad you're here!