Since my parents passed away before they could give me any pointers on what to expect during pregnancy, everything has been quite surprising for me. What you see in TV soap operas and movies about pregnancy is not even half of the things I am experiencing. My OB and Google are my only guides now. If you're a veteran at this, you might laugh at me. But if you were in my shoes once, you may agree.
1. Nausea and vomiting. Doesn't always happen only in the first trimester. If you're one of the 20% of pregnant women out there, you may experience this even on the second and third trimester. And guess what? It will strike you anywhere. I've admittedly had it while walking to work, in the middle of the street, while working at the office, in the elevator, in the market... make sure to always carry wet tissues to wipe yourself. A barf bag (like the ones they have in commercial planes) will also be a great help.
2. The Linea Nigra. It's that dark line that starts below from your navel, your belly button and moves its way up to your sikmura
. It will happen. And no generous application of cocoa butter will stop it so it's better that you accept it. Google said it will disappear eventually anyway once the baby is out.
3. Stretch marks. Luckily, that movie Juno
taught me that applying cocoa butter will help lessen if not prevent stretch marks. But guess what? It doesn't just happen to your belly. Make sure to apply cocoa butter to your sides, breasts, lower back and thighs as well. I made that mistake and now I'm trying to catch up on the other parts of my body. Other tips that must be done to help prevent this would be hydration (drink LOTS of water everyday to keep your skin elastic), healthy diet (prenatal vitamins + healthy foods which provide plenty of calcium, protein, whole grains, and vitamin rich fruits and vegetables), and following the gradual weight gain recommended by your OB.
4. Erections. Not mine of course. But if you're having a baby boy, they can and will have erections even while inside your tummy. And sometimes you'll get to see it during your ultrasounds.
5. Edema. In Tagalog, manas
. Is not caused by the fact that you don't move around too much although you should, of course. Edema is caused by fluid retention which you need, by the way, because you're body is preparing to expand for your baby's growth and delivery. You can prevent edema by drinking lots of water, taking in less sodium and don't stay out too long under the sun.
6. Overheating. I found out about this in movies but didn't know how funny it would be in real life. Whenever I'm at home, the airconditioner is turned on and it continues while I sleep. I don't use a blanket while my husband is snuggled from a distance with our comforter. You'll miss his hugs during these times.
7. Sleeping on your side facing left. Do it for your blood circulation. It's the best position for baby's circulation too. But most importantly, it's the only position where my acid reflux doesn't hit me. For some weird and still unknown reason, every time I face right, my acid begins to wake me up.
8. Acid Reflux. It will happen. So stay away from anything that may cause it. Sour food, carbonated drinks, caffeine etc. I've mastered the art of sleeping while sitting. The pain goes away eventually and then you can go back to sleeping on your side facing left. Acid reflux can also sometimes cause you to have asthma-like coughing. This is caused by the acid or the gas reaching your lungs.
9. That Filipino belief that if you're having a girl you will glow and if you're having a boy you'll be ugly is not true. Skin pigmentation, acne and other things will happen even if you're having a girl. So if somebody tells you that you're having a boy, be insulted. Be very insulted.
10. The importance of calcium. Calcium is something I never put importance on. Perhaps because before I got pregnant, I have always had enough calcium from the stuff I eat/drink. I love yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products. But now that I am pregnant, I have to take Caltrate Plus. I'm getting heavier than I already am and my knees and back need all the calcium I never though I'd need. Plus, since my son is forming his own set of bones, he's absorbing the calcium I used to use for my own body. I missed taking Caltrate twice and I experienced gum pain. Google said that my teeth may fall off if I don't get enough nutrition. So here I am. Taking pre-natal vitamins, 100 mg of vitamin C, calcium and more vitamins.
More discoveries will be shared as they come along. :)