When you first become pregnant, people are quick off the mark to tell you all the fabulous things that come with having a baby and get you dead excited about the little human you're growing but no one really seems to tell you about the other things that come with being pregnant. You can read some bits about what to expect in your first trimester here, but it's not all shopping and scans, unfortunately, being pregnant definitely has as many downs as it does ups but they're not to be dwelled upon – take them all with a pinch of salt (or sugar, if that's what you're craving) and remember that every pregnancy is different.
Let’s jump (if you can!) right in to the first 'problem' no one really tells you about when you're pregnant... Dribble. Yep, I'm talking mouth dribble, or even the other sort of dribble. Apparently, when you're pregnant, your salvia glands produce more saliva, thus meaning waking up in the middle of the night not only for wee number 4 but with your pillow covered in dribble. Yum!
Number 2... You may be pre-warned about this by midwives or other people who have had children and a similar symptom but you turn into a bloodhound when you're pregnant. Not literally, obviously, but your nose will definitely come close. The heightened sense of smell will make it difficult, if not impossible to open the fridge, bin or walk past your local butchers. Mmmm... Raw Meat! Said no pregnant lady EVER!
Talking about food, you will want all the food but will you be able to eat it?! No. Whether it's heartburn you're having to fight through or the fact your stomach has halved because baby is taking up all the room, you'll find that you're cutting your portions down but eating double the amount of meals in one day. You decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing...
At number 4, you better get your sleep in the first 6-8 weeks because as soon as your uterus starts growing, the sleepless nights will start. Yep, you'll be without a full nights' sleep before baby comes – whether it's down to all the weeing, restless leg syndrome or cramps, hot flushes or simply just not being able to get comfortable, you can bet that you're not going to have a full night sleep from around week 16/17 right up until baby, or child, starts school. YAY!
AND, along with not sleeping, when you do, prepare for the weird, weird dreams or even nightmares! Whether you've watched a freaky film before bed or you've been talking about random stuff in the day, you can bet that your dreams will beat both of those.
A lot of people, on average, find out they are pregnant at around 4-6 weeks but think about it. Another 36 weeks to wait when you've just found out you're expecting is a really. long. time! Think about the wait between Christmas and Christmas... shorten that by just 3 months and you have the entire span of your pregnancy. No one is that patient so if you haven't already reached that point, be prepared to get extremely impatient.
Now, it might be a myth to some (hands up if you're a part of that some) but baby brain is real. Whether you're putting milk in the washing machine *ahem* or you leave your car keys in the boot, most women whilst pregnant are so tired/ busy/ distracted that baby brain really does take over and it's fair to say, doesn't ever, really, leave you.
Number 8 is a harsh reality but you will lose friends. If you're a new Mum especially, but you'll soon start to realise who your true friends are and it isn't the best of times to realise it (thanks hormones) but the friends who do stick around will be friends for life. Promise. It just takes people who don't have children, longer to understand what has now become priority in your life and sadly, it isn't them.
Contractions are real. You will know when you're having one because they hurt. Fact. No matter what other people say, they come with pain regardless. So good luck with those...
… But, following on from the bluntness that is the pain of contractions, some day, in the far (or near future) no matter how painful or annoying or long your pregnancy has been, you will want to do it all over again someday. Whether it's for a new baby or you just miss being pregnant, the end results makes all of these things bearable and you'll want to do it 10x over (ok, maybe not 10).
Written by Emma Bradford of www.notyouraverage.co.uk