5 Things To Know About Pregnancy

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

You may crave ice cream, or pickles, or carbs, or steak, or dirt.

Dedicated to Lindsey Puckett, mother in waiting.

A quick Amazon search for pregnancy books (because let's be real, how many people are actually going into a bookstore these days?) offers 52,836 results. Finishing in first place is the ever popular, What to Expect When You're Expecting, which, while holding firm to number one, is still one of my least favorite pregnancy books for . . .  reasons I haven't the time to get into here.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin, is a clear winner for me. But if Ina is just too hippie-weirdo-free-love for you, then The Healthy Pregnancy Book by Dr. William Sears is a less crunchy, but still relevant, choice. If you're not sure where you fall on the scale between Birkenstock/full armpit hair and Kenneth Cole/full face makeup, then buy both.

And while you're waiting for your two-day prime shipping, let me offer this:

5 Things Friday: Pregnancy Edition

1. "Morning Sickness"

Well this is an epic lie, if there ever was one. It doesn't have to happen in the morning, and while it doesn't always become a huge problem, some of us are left so green that we could use grass as camouflage. You may be sick in the morning, you may be sick at 7 pm. And everyone will have advice: "Have you tried ginger/lemon/mint/tea/crackers?" To which you have my full permission to say, "Have you tried to shut up?"

Try all of those things (oh, and protein too; there seems to be a correlation there), but if none of those things work, well shit. I felt like I was going to hurl for 4 months. And it's horrible. I mean it is so not fun at all. BUT it does end.


2. Food cravings

You may crave ice cream, or pickles, or carbs, or steak, or dirt. No, you may actually want to eat dirt. While working as an RN, I had a patient once who actually ate dirt. Dirt probably isn't that harmful. But maybe you want to get some organic potting soil, just in case.

When I was pregnant with my fifth child, I craved olives. Green only. Stuffed with garlic. And the horrifying liquid in which they bathe. I literally drank it . From the bottle. There is a lot of sodium in there, so I tried to drink extra water too. Everything in moderation!

3. Weird body things

This category could really be it's own 5 things, but I'll sum up the really fun ones.

First thing's first: your vaginal discharge may increase. As in, it may feel like you've wet your pants. Constantly. Also (sorry) you may literally wet your pants.

Progesterone loosens joints, so you may sort of feel like your legs are going to fall off. Also, your feet may go up a size and never come back down. You may be constipated. Really really constipated (eat all the fiber and fruit, all the time).

In short, you may feel pretty fracking miserable physically. Then again, you may also feel amazing. I've done this five times and my physical prowess has ranged everywhere from run 5 miles to lie down in front of a Mack truck. My second child almost killed me, I barely knew I was pregnant with my third, and my fifth made me want to insert an IUD during the pregnancy. Just to be safe.

4. Girth

You may be house-sized in circumference. But you may not be huge-mongous every time. It may have literally no connection to the size of your baby. People will say things. All the time. See number 1.

Also note: Generally speaking, you show earlier with each pregnancy. With my fifth, I looked 5 months pregnant before I even conceived. No, but seriously. I was wearing maternity pants at 8 weeks. (Actually, that's a lie. I never wore pants. Pants are a lie.)

5. Birth

This falls into the category of things that warrant their own 5 things, so I'll keep it succinct: The baby is going to come out. Maybe not before your due date, maybe not on your due date. In fact, it may not be for two weeks (or more) after your due date. The best way to handle this is to cry. Sob. Go ahead. And then once you've had a good session of the sads, remind yourself that the due date, like pants, is a lie. You have a due month. If you are due May 15, your baby can come May 1 or June 1 (or on either side of that). This is painful. But the baby will come out. Girl Scouts honor. Every time I was pregnant I was 97% sure I was going to be pregnant until I died. But they all came out.


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