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 have all heard about the atrocious things that happen to your body (and mind) once you get pregnant. Your bones ache as they move to accommodate the human
tapeworm inside of you. Your hair falls out. You break out into zits from your back to your butt all the way up to your forehead. You’re moody. You’re emotional. You eat everything and can’t stop. This little miracle takes over your whole body and, like a terrible tenant, leaves it in way rougher shape than he or she found it. They didn’t even have to pay a security deposit, which is so rude.
But what about all the good “symptoms” of pregnancy? Did you know you may actually lose weight? Your skin could glow like never before? In an effort to be Polly Positive, here are some of the effects you may be lucky enough to experience during your pregnancy.
1. Glowing Skin
Sure, some women will get crazy acne (and, sadly, if you’re one of those betches that experience a surge in zits around period time, you’re more likely to deal with the same situation during pregnancy). But some lucky women will experience the best skin of their lives during pregnancy, complete with that “glow” everyone talks about.
Here’s the deal. Because of all the hormones coursing through your bod during pregnancy, cell turnover happens a lot faster. As a result, it’s easier for you to shed old, crappy, dull, dead skin and show off new, radiant skin. Plus, more blood (and, therefore, blood flow) to all parts of your body means you can ditch your bronzer and blush for a bit as you’ll have a rounder face and slight flush most of the time.
2. Amazingly Thick Hair
YASSSS QUEEEEN. See, pregnancy is good for something. Thanks to that burst of hormones, your hair will get thicker, shinier, and grow a lot faster during pregnancy. My hairdresser is already tired of seeing me after just a few months (I have bangs, and they’re in my eyes every four weeks).
According to Self, “Thanks to your pregnancy hormones, your hair follicles stay in the anagen, or active, stage of the hair cycle for longer, which results in a fuller head of hair because there is much less shedding.” YAY. Because everything is going out of whack in your body, too, you may notice that your scalp is slightly more oily. The good news is that this will cause your hair to look fuller and shinier. Of course, at the end of your pregnancy, your hair will return to normal, so expect some intense shedding.
3. Tons Of Energy
The first trimester will most likely leave you drained, sick, and feeling like a big, wet pile of sh*t. But once that second trimester hits, you’ll have a surge in energy, your sick feelings will (likely) subside, and you will feel like a normal human being once again. It isn’t necessarily that you have way more energy, but that you’re indulging in actually having any energy at all, since the first trimester can leave you so fatigued.
If you are one of the lucky ones to experience the amazing surge, take advantage of it. Head to yoga, go for long walks, and start tackling putting the nursery together. Come the third trimester, you’ll just want to channel your spirit animal: a slug.
4. Big Boobs
Yes, being pregnant means your boobs are going to get bigger. First, because hormones like estrogen and progesterone are surging through your system, and secondly, because they’ll be busy filling up with milk for the baby. Initially, I wasn’t psyched about the change, but I have to say that seeing my giant tits in my bathing suit this year definitely helped distract from my growing gut.
Although you may not change in actual bra size, most women have a pretty noticeable change in terms of fuller, more tender breasts, and bigger nips. Don’t be scared, though, if you aren’t a huge fan of your new gazungas. Your boobs will deflate to their pre-pregnancy size (or a bit bigger) about six weeks postpartum.
5. Fuller Lips
Just call me Angelina, everybody. Thanks to your body literally doubling its amount of blood during pregnancy (gotta keep that baby squishy or whatever), a lot of that extra fluid is going to make its way to your face and lips. For you, that means brighter red or pink kissers, and no need for lip pumping creams and balms for a few months. Yay!
Images: Ryan Franco / Unsplash; Giphy (5)