The Problem With Telling The ‘Truth’ About Pregnancy

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shutterstock_34633030 (1)I know it’s not always popular, but I encourage oversharing done in the name of “telling the truth.” When I was pregnant, or struggling with a newborn, or learning the nursing ropes, I wondered all the time why no one had told me things that appeared to be common fare. Once I started to talk about it, I was amazed at how many people shared my point of view. I wanted to scream at them “why didn’t you tell me this before???” Over the five years since I was pregnant with my first born, I’ve learned why. There is no set list of universal experiences. One person’s truth might be another person’s bewilderment. Or vomit-inducer.

Like Drew Barrymore’s recent facial hair confession. She talks about her bizarre pregnancy changes to In Touch magazine:

I got a wonderful little goatee, and it was red! I also got hyperpigmentation on my cheeks.

Wonderful? To describe your goatee? With exclamation points – really? Does she think it’s cute? That never happened to me and I could have lived without ever having known that about her. Maybe she thought no one actually reads In Touch.

Other times the overshare is a mixed bag, like Lisa Osbourne, wife of Jack Osbourne of Ozzy family fame. Lisa shares 10 weird things no one told her about pregnancy with People Magazine, as she experienced with daughter Pearl Clementine.  The first three had me rolling with laughter, shaking my head in solidarity, calling out “I feel you my friend!”

1. You gag on everything in your first trimester.Well, at least I did. This includes but is not limited to: your toothbrush, the thought of whatever food is disgusting you that day, the smell of your husband’s cologne, etc. We all know about the nausea, but dry-heaving usually comes with it, and it’s even less cute.

2. You have weird dreams. During the beginning of pregnancy, it’s really common to have vivid, eerie dreams. One minute there’s a giant Brussels sprout dancing around in a mini skirt, and the next minute, you’re kayaking naked with Leonardo DiCaprio. It can be cool, so just go with it.

3. You drool more. Yes, is it true that pregnant women produce more saliva. Like, a lot more … as in three to four quarts a day. Don’t be surprised if you wake up with wet spots on your pillow. Tell your partner there’s a leak in the ceiling to divert the attention away from your juicy mouth.

Seriously, I would gag on my toothbrush every day. During my first trimesters, when I suffered from insane pregnancy sickness, it was completely futile to brush my teeth. I would just try to use my finger or swish some Listerine. And no one talks about the crazy dreams and the excessive drool. Even I forget to talk about it. Those two fun-facts get overshadowed because they fade pretty quickly and then you are busy sharing your baby-bearing news and buying maternity clothes. But it was so true for me and I loved reading about it.

After number three on Lisa’s list, the mood changed as I read.

4. You get really veiny. Have you looked at your chest lately? You can probably see a thick, blue-veined network under your skin (if you’re light skinned). Don’t worry, you’re not turning into an avatar. This is normal. Your blood flow is increased and your body is pumping the nutrients to your baby through these freaky looking things.

Ok, well I know your blood flow is increased, so I get that part, but I don’t remember thick blue veins. Maybe it’s because I’m not light skinned. Moving on. Numbers five, six, and seven didn’t hit home the way her first ones did, but it was number eight where things got weird.

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  2. Arnebya

    April 12, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Hell yes, the zinger is real! It’s like someone shocked you right in the crotch (assuming she, like I, have never received such a shock, electricity is the only thing to liken it to.) I try not to put too much stock in the grossed-out department since everyone’s experience tends to be different. But disgusting? I can’t get behind that one, even if, for her, that’s the most accurate description.

    • Carinn Jade

      April 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Wow, the zinger is real. I don’t know how I escaped it but I am glad I did!

    • Shelly Lloyd

      April 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      I never had those when I was pregnant, but I started getting them about 6 years ago. They do not happen often, but every now and then–bam right out the blue it feels like someone just hit my lady parts with an electric cattle prod. Then as fast as it came on it goes away.

    • SDA

      April 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      Oh my gosh, I hated being in someone’s office at work trying to have a discussion and one of those pains would hit. It was so hard keeping a straight face!!

  3. alice

    April 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

    My best friend recently had her first baby. While visiting her in the hospital, one of the first things she said was “how come nobody tells you that *pushing* feels exactly like taking the largest dump of your life? it feels like the baby is coming out of your ass. nobody told me that!”

    • Carinn Jade

      April 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

      I didn’t feel that much with my first, but with my second – holy cow! That is really the best way to describe it.

    • Nicole

      April 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      That’s one of the only things my grandmother ever tells me about giving birth! I remember I was about 14 and she said it’s like doing the biggest poo of your life. The only person who has ever described it to me that way too.

  4. Sam

    April 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    My facial hair is still recovering from its growth spurt. So gross, and I’ve never been able to find anyone else who experienced it.Thank God I am a blond.Zinger pains are SO REAL! And so’s the veins in the chest part too, I just didn’t notice it until post-childbirth. And no joke, I JUST put the drool thing together. That totally happened to me, I just didn’t attribute it to pregnancy.

    I didn’t love being pregnant. And aspects of it, for me, were gross. But pregnancy in it’s totality isn’t gross. Just weird. Because, you know, there’s another PERSON inside you.

    • Carinn Jade

      April 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      3-4 extra quarts a day?!? The drool thing is crazy. Yes, the weirdest part is the other human being residing inside you!

  5. SDA

    April 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    How about that your moles can get bigger, like a lot bigger. Gross. NO ONE told me that. Found that out at the OB, then she lobbed it off for me – it was terrifying (the mole, not the procedure). Pregnancy is kind of gross.

  6. ania

    April 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I was gaging, I was veiny, My lower leg in the last month was the size of my husbands, diastis recti after second pregnancy for me is horrible, plus if you had big babies(8 and 9lbs) for me, forget about loosing that loose skin and your abs ever closing… 🙁

    • Carinn Jade

      April 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      ugh, the abs closing. that ridge is the saddest thing. and my babies weren’t even that big 🙁

  7. Courtney

    April 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Most of these were true. I didn’t gag at things in the first trimester, but somethings would just disgust me. I am now 7 months pregnant and I have the veins. Mostly I think it is pretty cool my body knows how to grow this baby, but some of it is gross. I love talking to other pregnant women though, makes me feel “normal”!

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    May 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Oh yes, the dreaded zinger pains. Those were a beast.

  10. Liz

    May 15, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Thank you! I don’t understand why women with children don’t share real information! It wasn’t until I announced that I was pregnant that some women felt compelled to share. After hearing stuff about what my who-ha would look like, I began calling all my female relatives and stories just gushed out of them. Why don’t women talk about this stuff!!?

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