So you don’t fall into the trap I did, of thinking everything would be hunky dory, and you’ll feel, and more importantly (at least to those amongst us who are vain) look amazing, I thought I’d cut the crap we’re peddled and tell you the honest truth. FYI, it doesn’t consist of picture-perfect preggos, manicured to within an inch of their lives. These mystical creatures are consigned to the pages of Vogue and Cosmopolitan. But just in case you are, or happen to know a unicorn, please let me know. And then divulge all your secrets.
Disclaimer: These are my realities, and they may not be everyone’s. But I’ve got a feeling they may well be.
Myth # 1: Everyone will know you’re pregnant from the moment you find out, thanks to that magical ‘preg-aura’ you exude.
Reality: If anyone has worked it out before you’ve rammed the news down their throat either in person, on social media, over the phone, in letters, through carrier pigeon, or any other medium at your disposal, it’s because a) you’re puking your guts out at work, b) you’re clutching your bloated 5-week belly (this was me), or c) they’re your mum.
Myth #2: You will cry at everything. Especially cute [insert: puppies, kittens, your other half…you get it].
Reality: You will cry at everything you’re not screaming about. Except when the store doesn’t stock ingredients for the meal you had planned. Then you will cryscream. Think a cross between heaving snotty sobs, and snarling.
Myth #3: You’ll vomit loads, and that proves your pregnancy is healthy.
Reality: Not everyone suffers from morning sickness. These lucky people (I was one), are already panicking they’re doing something wrong, so please refrain from gloating in between sick burps that vomiting means your pregnancy is on track.
Myth #4: You’ll pee a lot.
Reality: You’ll pee non-stop. You could power a hydroelectric plant with your pee, and then some. Woe betide (get the pun?) anyone that breaks that dam.
Myth #5: Your bra size will go up a cup or two.
Reality: Your boobs will expand to a gargantuan size, beyond human-sized proportions (it’s all relative right?!), and you’ll yearn for your flatter-chested days, in between grieving for the flawless territory those monstrous blue veins now occupy.
Myth #6: You will crave chalk and/or dirt. Or you know, just start snacking on gherkins dipped in ice cream.
Reality: The craving for non-comestibles is actually known as pica, which is a) pretty rare, and b) rather dangerous. As for the gherkin-eating, I’ve been known to eat straight from the gherkin jar (not an innuendo) on the walk home, post gym and pre-pregnancy, but not since. On the one occasion I a) had a proper (marked only by its weirdness) craving, and b) marvelled at the ingenuity of aforementioned craving, I was devastated to learn that a bacon, marshmallow and peanut butter sandwich, is in fact known as a Bacon Fluffernutter, and hence I was not indeed a nutter.
Myth #7: Your lustrous locks will grow so long, and so thick. “Rapunzel? Is that you?”.
Reality: Your prince could scale a tower with that mane. That’s if the barrel loads of grease didn’t loosen his grip.
Myth #8: Your nails will grow longer, and stronger than ever before.
Reality: You could enter the Guinness World Records with those armadillo claws. And for those ridges. And for those cuticles (is it normal for them to cover half the nail?!).
Myth #9: You will glow.
Reality: You will (definitely) sweat buckets, and (potentially) develop cystic acne to boot. Oh, and unlike during your teen years, you won’t have toxic chemicals/medicines at your disposal. So say hello to your new zit friends, they’re here to stay.
Myth #10: Cometh the second trimester, cometh the new (old) you.
Reality: Weeks 13-24 you’ll be waiting for your metamorphosis. Weeks 25-27 you will feel like the old you again. That’s it, you’ve had your lot. Move on.
Myth #11: You’ll don a ‘Baby on Board’ badge, and the sea of Londoners will part.
Reality: You got yourself into this mess, and your fellow commuters aren’t about to get you out of it. You will still be tackled to the floor when boarding the tube (non-Londoners should substitute tube for metro or subway) for prime position by the pole. Especially by chippy, middle-aged men. Their taxes are already funding your embryonic brat don’t you know?!
Myth #12: People will treat you with the respect you have rightfully earned from getting yourself up the duff.
Reality: You will be treated with disdain, especially by aforementioned chippy, middle-aged men.
Myth #13: Everyone you know will be as delighted as you are about the bundle of joy you’re cooking, and want to join you on this magical journey.
Reality: Some friendships will fall by the wayside. But don’t despair. These weren’t the Thelma and Louise bonds you thought they were. Plus they’ve got nothing on your new mummy friends.
Myth #14: It’s 9 months of joy.
Reality: It’s 9 months of joy, stress, panic, excitement, happiness, and everything in between. However, you wouldn’t change it for the world. Only the baby that comes in its place.
If I learn of/remember (reality #1: baby brain is real) some more myths to be debunked on my crazy, wild journey, I will be sure to share these with you in due course. Just in case you’re under any illusion, I love (most of the time) pregnancy. And I especially love (always) my baby boy growing inside me.