1. I thought one of the “perks” of pregnancy was avoiding PMS symptoms for 9 months.
Boy, was I wrong! I was never much of a hormonal person before getting pregnant, so my hormones seem to be pretty mild during this time, too, but I have been surprised by how often I feel cramps! The cramps are always mild, and were very brief during my first trimester, but they are more common now that my uterus is growing in the second trimester. It’s exhausting!
2. I expected to have a noticeable pregnancy bump by the “halfway” point. I really had no idea how gradual the growing process would be!
At 21 weeks, most people still can’t tell I’m pregnant just by looking at me. I definitely look thicker in the middle, to the point where maternity jeans are more comfy than my buttoned-jeans, but the round bump is slower to develop than I expected. I’ve gained 7 lbs at this point, which my doctor says is right on track. Apparently the last half of pregnancy is when the pounds really pile on! The aim is to gain 1 pound a week from here on out (or an average of that), so if all goes according to plan, I should gain about 27 pounds, which falls into the suggested 25-35 lb weight gain.
Of course, I’ve heard that it’s easy to pile on 60 lbs in the last half of pregnancy, so it’ll be interesting to see how things really go!
3. I had no idea how tired I’d be.
The first trimester is exhausting. I needed 10+ hours of sleep a day! Apparently, growing a human is a lot of work, even though you don’t have to think about it much. I had heard that you get a “burst of energy” in the second trimester, but that hasn’t really been the case for me. I still crave daily naps, and can still easily fall asleep early each night.
4. You seriously have to pee all the time.
It’s definitely not some pregnancy stereotype! I knew I’d have to use the restroom more often, but I had no idea how early those urges would start. I think by the time I was 12 weeks, I had to start waking up to use the bathroom at least once each night. By 16 weeks, I was waking up twice each night! The baby isn’t even that big at this point, so it’s amazing how much pressure he or she is placing on my bladder.
The strangest thing? As you finish peeing, you already feel like you need to pee again. Sometimes I can only go 10 minutes in between bathroom trips! It’s crazy. It also makes my daily 2-mile walks with my dog a challenge, not to mention running errands or planning social evenings. I’m willing to go anywhere, as long as I can plan a good bathroom strategy! I have a feeling I’m going to really appreciate having a normal bladder in the future, when this is all said and done.
5. I’m thirsty all the time.
To make the previous matter worse, I feel like I’m thirsty all the time now! When I wake up to pee, my mouth is always parched. So, I have to keep a large glass of water by my bed all evening, and another one by my desk all day long. Now that green juice sounds appealing again, it’s especially helpful in this department! Hydrating fruits, smoothies and juices all sound amazing now. Baby must need a lot of liquids!
Reader Feedback: Anything else that has surprised you about pregnancy?