The Motherhood Conspiracy: The Bizarre Pregnancy Facts No One Ever Told You About
is a conspiracy going on, probably around the world, but at least around the
United States. Human pregnancy
is not just about morning sickness, people patting your belly, and picking
out baby names. It’s also
about a whole host of completely bizarre occurrences no one ever tells you
don’t tell you about this weird stuff because it would freak you out so
much, you might seriously reconsider joining the ranks of the gestational
gender, and forget about having babies.
This would deprive these Motherhood Conspirators of the sick pleasure
of watching the uninitiated join their ranks.
Sort of a maternal hazing, if you will.
before you read on, take this brief quiz to see if you’re part of the
conspiracy (in which case, you can skip the rest of the article since
you’re already in on it), or if you, like so many others (like me), have
been kept in the dark for far too long.
makes your feet get bigger.
sickness happens only in the morning.
you have the baby, bunches of your hair fall out (before the stress
of parenting even kicks in).
dark pigmented line running down your belly shows the doctor or midwife
where to look for baby as he/she grows inside of you.
fathers fear the impending loss of freedom (and sleep) and increased
responsibility the baby will bring.
- If you answered TRUE, you are correct.
This unpopular change seems to be a flattening (thus, lengthening) of
the feet as a result of the added pressure and strain of the extra weight of
pregnancy. At least that’s
this author’s theory. No one
seems to want to talk about this one. It’s
a highly confidential conspiracy factor.
– This one is a resounding FALSE. Morning
sickness can happen in the mornin’, in the evenin’, ain’t we got fun?
It can also happen anywhere in between, or during all of the above.
It’s a sign that the hormones needed to make a healthy baby are
working right, but that can be small consolation when your insides feel like
mush and you’d give anything to feel normal again.
– TRUE, believe it or not. You
are likely to lose large amounts of hair shortly after baby arrives, due to
changing hormones, but it’s not a substantial loss in the long run since
you probably weren’t losing as much hair during pregnancy as you usually
do. However, the stresses of
parenting probably start kicking in even before baby is born, as you start
to dwell on how you will handle various parenting responsibilities, so maybe
that’s a factor too.
- TRUE, mostly.
This one is really wacky. The
dark line down your navel really does appear, but there is no medical
evidence to prove that it’s to help the medical professional find the
baby. That’s just sort of a
funny coincidence. It’s
probably really just another goofy hormone thing.
– FALSE. Moms can be equally
stressed about the impending life changes, and this one is not just due to
hormones. Birth of a baby is
one of life’s major stressors, so it’s not realistic to expect all
feelings related to the experience to be positive ones, all the time.
how’d you do? If you
correctly answered two or more of the questions and have not shared your
knowledge with a potential mother-to-be, you are one of the CONSPIRATORS!
Shame on you! If you correctly answered less than two questions, you better
read on. You deserve a crash
course on the dirty details of this magical thing we call pregnancy.
of the foundational bits of knowledge you need to come to terms with is that
pregnancy is not neat, clean, and sweet up until the moment your water
breaks, as you may think it is. It’s
actually a fairly messy business all along.
From the potential puking of “morning” sickness, to the “mucous plug” coming out, this experience is not for the
faint of heart.
to begin? Perhaps working from
the top of the anatomy down will be most efficient.
Just remember, the experience is always different from woman to
woman, and even from pregnancy to pregnancy (another thing that may be a
surprise to you!).
there’s the hair loss thing. Then,
many women have odd pigmentation and other skin changes that make their
faces blotchy and funny looking. Thank
goodness this one is temporary!
somewhat more serious seeming change is in eyesight. Many women find their vision off-kilter during pregnancy, so
don’t run out to get a new prescription if your eyeglasses seem to not be
meeting your needs while you have baby in tow.
the same general vicinity, even after the morning sickness subsides,
heartburn may persist for the duration.
Some don’t experience this till the bitter end (i.e. month nine),
but others deal with it on an ongoing basis.
Those little TUMS become mom-to-be’s best friends!
A good side effect of this one is the extra calcium those supplements
the outside of those inside aches, your breasts are likely to feel more like
lead balloons than sexy swimsuit enhancements.
For some, a sore chest is the first sign of the new life inside,
making your front super sensitive even before exhaustion and tell-tale
morning sickness kick in (if these symptoms happen at all).
already talked about the pigment line down the belly, but other changes to
the belly may be more commonly known. Stretch
marks, itching, growing so far out you can’t see your feet.
Wait! This one’s
misleading! Most people can
easily see their feet at any point during pregnancy, just by leaning over
far enough. Touching the toes
may be another thing, but even that is not unrealistic for someone who
started out fairly limber. What
you CAN’T see, once baby protrudes out a fair amount, is the vicinity from
which baby was, um, created, and from which he or she will come out. The bikini line becomes a distant memory for anyone short of
contortionist skill levels.
we’re in this area, another misleading point is the “pregnant woman
running to the bathroom every five minutes” thing.
Sure, you have to run to the bathroom every five minutes, but it
isn’t necessarily because your bladder is full.
It’s just that your bladder becomes compressed as flat as a pancake
by your growing uterus, so when you have to go (even if it’s just a teeny
teaspoon), you have to go NOW or it will eek out when you least expect –
or want – it to. For example,
when you sneeze, cough, laugh, move too fast, whatever.
Also, when you do make it to the toilet, it comes out rather like
water out of a garden hose, when you’ve placed your thumb over the spout
to make it spray more intensely. This
one can be almost amusing, if thought about in a twisted-humor sort of way.
just a couple more. Are you up
to it? Everybody knows about
the significance of the “water breaking.”
You know, when the placenta ruptures and the amniotic fluid escapes,
signaling the impending arrival of Junior.
Everyone’s fear is that this will happen dramatically, in front of
a crowd, at work, or in some other equally embarrassing situation.
Did you know that just as commonly, your water doesn’t break but
contractions begin, in which case (and for various other reasons), the
doctor or medical professional comes at you with a long tool with a curved
hook, pretty much exactly like a crochet needle (but sanitary, we can
assume) to manually break the “bag of waters.”
This is really much less awful than it sounds, since the placenta has
no nerves, so no feeling, but it’s never comforting to see a tool like
that being directed toward that part of your body.
before concerns about water breaking arise, pregnant women are told to be on
the alert for the “mucous plug” to dislodge.
Blech! This one even
sounds gross. The mucous plug
is pretty much what it sounds like, a plug of mucous at the entrance to the
cervix that basically keeps things hygienic and safe for baby’s little
world while he or she grows inside of you.
Before labor begins, the mucous plug comes out; thankfully not with a
champagne bottle type pop, but more with an unceremonious, silent slip. This is somewhat related to the generally increasing
“stuff” that comes out of you as labor nears, and things start shifting
around. ‘Nough said on this
one. Ask your medical care
professional for the gory details on this if you want to know more.
more for now (this does not, by any means, exhaust the complete list).
Hemorrhoids. During and after pregnancy, many women learn first hand what
these things really are. All
that extra pressure and the pushing of delivery mess with parts that
aren’t really even related to the reproductive system.
They’re just more unsuspecting victims of your body’s massive
transformation to accommodate the new life being formed during pregnancy.
might think from this disgruntled sounding exposition that pregnancy isn’t
worth it. Absolutely not true.
Even with all of these odd, sometimes really uncomfortable side
effects, pregnancy is a miracle from the moment of conception.
True, some of the details could be shared with high school assemblies
as an effective means of birth control, but it’s a miracle nonetheless.
it made your skin turn purple and your hair turn green, it would be worth it
to feel the little guy (or gal) swishing inside you like a happy fish, then
later knocking on your insides like a mini-carpenter as he or she gets too
big to do flips. Then there’s
the freedom of watching your belly grow well beyond its typical boundaries,
and being comforted that it’s a sign that the baby is growing (instead of
worrying about adjusting your diet, like you would at any other time of your
life). Plus, your fingernails and hair grow at exponential rates,
you don’t get your period (although you do sort of make up for that later,
with postpartum “lochia”), and people express concern for you like never
is not even to mention the first time you hear the heartbeat, or see an
ultrasound picture that makes it all real.
If the sheer amazement doesn’t take your breath away, it will
likely bring a tear of joy to your eye.
Indeed, pregnancy is a blessing – albeit full of challenges –
that cannot be taken for granted, no matter how many women have experienced
it or how many years it’s been happening over the course of history. When it happens to you, it may as well be the first time
it’s ever happened in the world, because that’s the kind of impact it
has on your life. And that’s
even before the baby is actually born!
So there, Motherhood Conspirators. The secrets are out!
Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
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