The pregnancy symptoms no one talks about

20 Feb

When I finally got pregnant, the last thing I was worried about were pregnancy symptoms. Like any infertile, I was of the opinion that any and all symptoms as the result of a growing pregnancy would be a joy to experience. I pictured myself puking with a smile on my face and definitely uttered the phrase “bring them on!” more than once.

Then persistent, all-day nausea and frequent barfing knocked me out up until about the 18th week of pregnancy and I stopped thinking pregnancy symptoms were the best thing ever. That said, now that my nausea is finally gone and I can operate and eat more like a normal person again, I find myself feeling like I can tackle any other symptoms that come my way. And of course at now 23w4d, I’m dealing with lots of symptoms.

You know all the regular ones: swelling, check. Hunger, check. Tiredness, check. Stretch marks, double check. These are ones I was expecting and really, could not mind less.

But there are so many other things I’m experiencing that I had NO idea were coming. The things no one seems to talk about, or at least that I never heard of. So, not in the interest of complaining, but for the purpose of informing (for those yet to become pregnant) or even comparing (for those who are or were), I’m going to get real up close and personal on some of these unexpected, unpleasant and frankly, embarrassing symptoms.

First off, boobne. That’s right, acne on my boobs. I never experience this before and it’s very different from facial acne or even backne. Boobne is its own special form of acne. The bumps are very small red bumps that appear all over the tops of my boobs and lower chest. I sometimes have to watch how low my shirts are to hide the boobne which I just find downright unattractive.

Speaking of boobs, you hear about how they get bigger, more sensitive and how they get criss-crossed with deep blue veins. I’ve got all of that loveliness going on. And you also hear about nipples darkening, but have we been talking about nipple widening? Because that’s happening. As in a dusting of dark pigment flecks now surround the perimeter of my already fairly large nips, effectively blurring the line between nipple and boob. Lovely!

And we know how some combination of pregnancy hormones and prenatal vitamins can make your hair (on your head) grow longer, thicker, shinier (none of that has happened for me btw). But I am experiencing record hair growth in other areas! For example, my chin. Where I used to have one lone black hair that I’d take care to keep plucked. Now there’s an army setting up came there. And my “happy trail” has come in full blast. My belly is covered with hair, actually, and along the trail, they’re long, black and oddest of all, STRAIGHT! I’ve got some down there hovering around two inches long or more. Same goes for the nether region. Long and straight and more of it. Very odd.

BO is a big problem. You might have heard how during pregnancy you have frequent “discharge,” for lack of a lovelier term, down south. What no one told me is that it can get quite smelly. I have to wash my few pairs of maternity leggings all the time, as in after just one wearing (I used to go two or three wearings between washes, easily). Underwear must be changed daily, if not multiple times per day. I do my best to manage this by going commando at home and to bed (airing things out) and also buying some odor-killing feminine wipes to keep as fresh as possible between showers but it ain’t easy. I’m getting concerned for delivery, whether I will smell down there and if the hospital staff and my OB will judge me.

And deodorant is MUST now, whereas before I could easily skip a day and no one would be the wiser.

Again, not complaining here, just looking to inform and maybe get some reassurance that I’m not alone! As much as I’ve watched with shock and horror as my body has shown me a side of itself I never knew possible, I’ve also gone through it knowing it will be so worth it and more to have a baby at last. Bodies are temporary and ever changing anyways. That’s not to say it isn’t hard watching these changes, no matter how long it took to get here. I really struggle with feeling sexy and confident during our ever dwindling bedroom times. I hate seeing the scale climb to new highs every time I step on. I worry about how I look at work and how I will look on the day of my shower.

Overall, my self confidence has definitely taken a hit. And that goes directly again the gorgeous, glowing, ever confident images of pregnancy we see portrayed in the media and by celebrities (damn you, Gisele!). The truth I’ve learned the hard way is that pregnancy can be ugly, unseemly, and downright repugnant at times. But it’s still a rite of passage and one I’ll never take for granted.

Now, pass the perfume and the razor!


14 Responses to “The pregnancy symptoms no one talks about”

  1. Keisha February 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    It’s funny how things can be so different with pregnancies. I never had to shave my legs because the hair just stopped growing. I did have the boobne, though.
    As for the sweat, mine got infinitely worse after the baby came. I still have terrible hot flashes and I have to use super strength deodorant to combat my epic BO.
    I found myself saying, “why didn’t anyone tell me this happens??” a lot. Lol.

  2. Bear February 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    I know all about the BO and extra hair growth. At 38 weeks pregnant it has become nearly impossible to shave, pluck, and wax certain areas and I’ve about decided to just let it go. My OB assured me that there is nothing she hasn’t seen before and I’m sure when labor hits I’ll have bigger things on our mind than if I “missed a spot.”

  3. Kitten February 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    “I pictured myself puking with a smile on my face and definitely uttered the phrase “bring them on!” more than once.” –> That’s me! I’m sure I’ll eat my words one day…. I hope.

  4. Jenny February 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    The change in discharge has been the biggest shock for me and at times it has horrified me. Along with the increase, mine is also sometimes a rather unnatural colour. My doctor has checked me for infections and there’s nothing, so all I can do is chalk it up to pregnancy weirdness.

  5. Karaleen February 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Oh goodness…I can relate. I had all of that plus a increase in skin tabs and moles that was downright unsightly!!!! I seriously thought my skin was going to grow another person on its own there were so many additional tabs everywhere. They did mostly go away after the baby was born…but geeze….not pretty. As for the southern territory….I brought in the professionals….I had my girl groomed…regular waxings and a close trim helped a lot with the heat and moisture and smell factor!!! It isn’t for everyone…but I could NOT handle all that additional foliage down there. Luckily I had a really great relationship with my estetician.

    So have you experienced the leaky boobs yet? Not everyone gets it…but at about 28 weeks I started getting the let down tingles and my boobs would leak. EEEK!!!


  6. Courtney February 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    The discharge this time is way worse than last time. I have been shocked – SHOCKED – by it… and its um… odor. Not happy over here in regards to that. I feel like a stinky fish and I’m not kidding. I’m horrified by it myself, which makes me wonder how old B is feeling about it. Sigh.

    I just had a touch of the boobne you’re talking about – and I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one! Again, don’t remember this from last time. But what I do remember from last time was the swelling boobs and veins, and I don’t have that this time. I guess every pregnancy is different.

    Oh.. and extra hair growth… um yeah.. that too 😉

  7. dspence February 21, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    I totally feel you on the underwear situation! I started wearing panty liners daily (and changing them a couple times per day) when I was pregnant and haven’t stopped since!!

    • Kate February 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      I second this! Odor control ones, if possible- and 24/7. 🙂 (You’re not alone)

  8. chon February 21, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    Uh huh yep. To it all. I had visions of being stunning but I so wasn’t.

  9. sams February 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m with you! I’ve experienced a whole list of pregnancy symptoms that I’ve never heard any of my girlfriends talk about!

  10. Amy February 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Yep, yep, yep, and yep. I was just looking back at my shower photos the other day, and I’m still a bit horrified by my double chin. But I was smiling, and clearly very happy, so….fuck it! Enjoy what you enjoy and try to ignore what’s unpleasant. I’ve learned that it’s better for my mental health to let as much go as possible, or I start obsessing and worrying about things that just aren’t worth it and that I can’t control anyway.

  11. Aly (@breathegently) February 23, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    I love this post. Don’t be like me and think, in a random preggo crazy fit, that shaving the belly hairs will help. I HAVE A SNAIL TRAIL. It’s not pretty.

  12. JustMe February 23, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    Ohhhhh boy. Thanks for the exciting and colorful descriptions of what I have to look forward to!

  13. alloallo February 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    oh yes indeed, crazy chin hairs, horrible BO and all…

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