It was a long time since I was pregnant, my daughter is now 14 years old, but I still can recall a few significant and memorable facts about that experience. First of all, I had no idea that I was actually pregnant for about two months. My unusual feelings of dizziness, weakness, and vertigo I attributed to some deadly disease, which luckily I did not have. Imagine my total shock when I found out that I was not sick, but pregnant!
When the shock of surprise finally settled, I wanted to acquire as much information as possible on the subject of pregnancy. The only book I read was What to Expect When You’re Expecting (America’s pregnancy bible) by Heidi Murkoff. To be honest my husband forced this one on me. Personally, I did not want to see any gruesome pictures of the childbirth or the child being inside the womb. I was not physically or emotionally ready to face the truth about the pregnancy, and frankly did not want to. I did not have a choice in the matter, though, and I had to familiarize myself with the idea of being pregnant and its final result – a baby.
As a first time expecting mom I really did not have a clue of what to expect; everything was a novelty to me.
Here are the surprising facts about pregnancy I can relate to:
1) The normal and healthy position for a baby in the womb is to be up side down.
When a baby is born, her head comes out first and then the rest of her body, otherwise, the birth would be classified as complicated or abnormal.
2) A baby can hiccup, burp, pass the gas, sneeze, and pee while in the womb.
While all the above are true facts, each woman experiences them differently. I was and still am a naturally petite woman (5 feet, 90 pounds) and I did not have much room for my baby to be too comfortable; she had to make a room for herself by pushing my internal organs around. I could feel her hiccupping, burping, farting, sneezing, and peeing as early as three months into my pregnancy.
3) Feeling like an alien with a growing, kicking, independent, and out-of-control life inside me.
Those feelings vary from women to women. Some women thrilled about this experience; some don’t. I did not like it. I felt like I lost my identity as a person. I spoke and thought about myself in the plural sense. I felt like I lent my body to someone else without being asked for permission. It seemed to me that a baby called the shots and was in control of my body entirely: I could not lie down on my stomach (the baby would kick me hard for that) and I was not allowed to put a book on my stomach (the baby would try to raise it up so it was uncomfortable for me to read).
4) It was absolutely impossible for me to have sex while I was pregnant.
Even in the early stages of my pregnancy when I was still reasonably slim, I could not be intimate with my husband. When we tried to do that once, I had a weird feeling of having sex with two people at the same time (my baby would start moving rhythmically to pace up with my husband.) It was funny, ridiculous, and completely unacceptable in my case.
5) The baby can grow very long nails while in the womb and make your life quite miserable.
I felt my baby’s longest growing nail especially hard at the end of my pregnancy (three to four weeks before the due date.) It was a very uncomfortable experience for me, because the fingernail reached as far as my pelvis and made it difficult to sit down or go to the bathroom. When the baby was born, the first thing my husband did is to cut her nails.
6) The baby can open the rib cage to make a room for herself and sometimes can break a few of your ribs.
I was lucky my baby did not break any of my bones; she just moved a few things around and opened my rib cage as far as she could to make a room for herself (She was a big baby: 21 inches and 7 pounds and 4 ounces).
7) The baby can lie down on your bladder while in the womb, which can cause a rupture of that organ or make it difficult for a woman to urinate.
My baby was nice enough to me and did not rupture my bladder, but prevented me to pee for about two weeks before her birth.
8) The instant bond between a newborn and a mother is a myth.
Some women bond instantly the moment they give birth to a baby; for some it takes a long time to actually bond with a baby. Don’t panic about it, this is absolutely normal. It took me a year to really bond with my baby and feel like a real mom, not just a babysitter who does her job of feeding, washing, cleaning, changing diapers, and taking care of the baby.
I hope I unveiled some of the surprising facts about pregnancy; I am sure there are many more to discover.