Pregnancy, life’s greatest miracle. How insane is it that a woman can single-handedly (okay, with some sperm) grow a baby in less than a year? That’s less time than it takes me to recover from a minor running injury. But with great miracles also come some very strange side effects. How is it possible to grow a human in nine months? By experiencing things like nausea, mood swings, lightning crotch (definitely the funniest term for a pregnancy symptom), and loads of heartburn.
We’ve rounded up some of the weirdest symptoms that you may be lucky enough to experience should you decide to take a go at life’s greatest miracle:
Think you’ve experienced crazy, vivid dreams before? Wait until you’re pregnant. Don’t be surprised if they are riddled with underlying themes of anxiety—I think it’s the baby’s way of preparing you for not being anxious ever again. You may also encounter some incredibly detailed sex dreams, because the increased hormones can surprisingly ramp up that sex drive.
Discharge can also change quite drastically throughout your pregnancy, and you may become obsessed with it as you approach your due date. There’s something called your mucus plug (did we expect to find a phrase more gross than moist?) that starts becoming, well, unplugged as you get closer to delivering. With a bowling ball-sized child crushing your insides throughout the third trimester, you will probably consult Dr. Google daily in hopes that some discharge you noticed may be your body’s way of getting ready for birth.
Of all the things that I expected during pregnancy, one thing I definitely didn’t expect was all the random skin changes. At ten months postpartum, I still have linea nigra (a dark line down your stomach), which is apparently caused by hormones. Varicose veins may also show up, which resemble the veins on that bodybuilding bro you dated in college. And you may go through stages of the worst acne of your life, followed by the freshest, clearest skin you haven’t experienced since you were eight.
We all know hormones cause pregnant women to cry, but what we don’t talk about enough is that it also often causes them to fart uncontrollably. The hormone is called progesterone, and it slows digestion so that your baby can steal all your nutrients like the little vampire they are. Other GI issues, like diarrhea and constipation, are common as well, in case there wasn’t enough for you to look forward to.
Ah, there’s nothing like feeling like you’re the size of a house to get you in the mood. But really, pregnancy hormones do some weird sh*t to your libido. One day you may want nothing to do with your partner, and the next you may quite literally dream of the next sesh. I think most guys agree this is the best symptom out there when it swings in their favor.
A pain that is commonly referred to as lightning crotch deserves the top spot on weird sh*t that happens to pregnant women. Unfortunately, the name is also a fairly accurate description of how it feels. Most people describe it as sharp, shooting pain in their vagina that appears suddenly, and usually is felt in the third trimester as the baby is putting greater pressure on muscles and nerves. You may experience round ligament pain anywhere in your pelvic region because your muscles really don’t understand how the hell they’re supposed to deal with all that pressure.
The most twisted part of all this sh*t pregnant women deal with is that each pregnancy is different. You may have no clue what lightning crotch is, but definitely puked for nine months straight, or vice versa. Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones with minimal symptoms and took spin classes until birth (no one wants to hear it if so). If you are crazy enough to get pregnant again, you may have a whole host of symptoms you didn’t experience before, because with each new life comes new hazing techniques.
The only thing you are guaranteed not to be is rational, because again, hormones. Whatever symptoms you get #blessed with, remember you have a nine-month pass to make other people do sh*t for you, so take advantage.
Images: Ömürden Cengiz / Unsplash
We all know astrology is kind of bullshit. I mean, we’ll buy cute stuff related to our zodiac sign and blame mercury in retrograde for all of life’s problems, but when push comes to shove, we all know that the position of the stars at the time of your birth has nothing to do with the person that you become.
…Or do we?
A new study out of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (say that five times fast) suggests that the season in which you were born actually does have an affect on your personality. Wait, so you’re saying all those times my college roommate tried to justify the fact that she blacked out and got a face tattoo (again) by saying that “Scorpios are naturally attracted to transformation,” she might have actually been onto something? Well, not quite. But also like, sure Amanda, whatever makes you feel good about that star above your eyebrow.
In the study, researcher Xenia Gonda asked 366 university students to fill out a questionnaire targeted at “four kinds of temperments they most personify.” She asked them to identify with statements like “My mood often changes for no reason” (yes, especially when watching reality television) and “I love to tackle new projects, even if it’s risky” (does giving Tai a makeover count?) and “I complain a lot” (ugh I hate how people are always asking me questions…) and then correlated their answers to their birthdays. Turns out, Gonda found a legit connection between the season during which you were born and your ability to be a functioning human in society. So next time you see your parents, be sure to mention that their inability to wait until August to bone is the reason that you need such a heavy Adderall prescription. That’ll go over well.
Specifically, Gonda found that people born in the summer had much higher instances of “Cyclothymic Temperment,” meaning they’re more likely to have mood swings, even when they’re not on their period. Both spring and summer babies showed a tendency toward “Hyperthymic temperment” which basically means being excessively positive, so I guess most nice girls were born in the spring. No wonder they’re always wearing so many colors. Disgusting.
People born in the winter were significantly less suceptible to mood swings, which is a pretty good tradeoff for the fact that nobody ever comes to your birthday party because your friends are all cold AF and suffering from seasonal depression. Fall babies, by comparison, “show significantly lower tendency toward depressive temperment than those born in winter.” So next time your friend with a September birthday tells you she’s upset, tell her that’s fucking impossible and switch the convo back to your own winter baby problems.
Jokes aside, this is a pretty huge discovery. If this turns out to be true, next thing you know your cousin who can’t stop talking about how she and her husband are “trying” (Just say “fucking,” Amberly…) will be coordinating her ovulation cycle with the seasons to ensure that she has a non-psycho child. All the more reason to go to your local Planned Parenthood, ladies. Because the only thing worse than having an unwanted child, is having an unwanted child mid-summer so that it ruins your beach bod and the rest of your life because it’s psycho.
But it’s not all bad, summer babies. At least now you have a foolproof, scientific justification for the fact that you ruined beach week because you saw a photo of your ex and some girl on Instagram and drove your car into a sand dune. If you were a winter baby and did that shit, you’d have no excuse.