9 Things I Didn’t Know About Pregnancy

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-lifestyle-mom-blogger-10-things-know-about-pregnancy-unexpected**Illustration by Kimberlee Watson

Hey friends! How’s your week been? I couldn’t happier that it’s FRIDAY – YAY! In other news, we got a new puppy this week (more to love around here, right?! Printy fam = kinda a circus lately and we are ALL about it, ha!). Here’s a pic from my IG if you haven’t seen her yet…her name is Lulu and we are in love…Watson isn’t so sure yet, but we have faith they’ll be best friends soon enough!

More personal news: I am 21 weeks along in my pregnancy, the baby is 11 inches long and each foot is about the size of a paper clip (!!)…and I am feeling baby kicks whenever I slow down and sit for longer than five minutes at a time. Those little kicks are completely magical and surreal! Also – I started getting charley horses in my legs while sleeping this week…OMG WHAT. Apparently this is extremely common…which brought to me write this post because I have learned SO MANY THINGS about pregnancy that I feel like no one told me beforehand. All the “you’re glowing!” comments might be true for some, but for me there’s been some rather tough moments I had no idea were headed my way. Then again, if that “glow” people see is simply happiness being emitted given a new baby on the way, regardless that I have teen acne all over my forehead, well then, I’m definitely “glowing.” Maybe in the third trimester all the funky physical things will subside and that “glow” will finally make an appearance – or at least I’ll feel more like myself and less “I want to hide in my house and wear sweatpants all day.” 😉 Until then, I am still living in comfy clothing, testing out a whole lot of concealer brands and mustering all the strength in my being to take a 20 minute walk around the block…ha!

9 Things I Didn’t Know About Pregnancy…

1. My teen acne is back: what. the. heck. I thought my days of severe insecurity – thanks to hormonal skin issues – were part of my past…but apparently pregnancy hormones can bring them riiiiight back. My first trimester was mostly a breeze and then boom – enter the 17-ish week or so portion and I’ve got a mountain range covering my forehead. I am a known pimple popper in my fam (hi, I’m gross, yes I admit it), and thus, that mountain range quickly turns into tiny pepperonis because now I’ve aggravated each one and made them bright red. Which means I go to bed with spot treatment covering my face (so sexy, I know! 😉 ). Aaand so the cycle continues! I’ve always had insecurities with my skin, but having my body drastically change (more on that further into this post) and then my skin basically just explode…damn, it’s been a struggle. What’s interesting is that the hormonal acne thing is extremely common in pregnancy (I’ve read about 50% of women will unfortunately encounter this)…and not that I could have done anything to change things, but it would have been nice to know this is a normal pregnancy occurrence so I could have at least mentally prepared in some capacity!

2. Lack of exercise motivation: maybe this is just me, but I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find the strength or energy to exercise – even in the second trimester. I move a ton throughout the day just chasing my dogs around haha, but to actually hit the gym and go full out with even a super modified workout has been a struggle. I can feel the weight of the baby (…and just pregnancy weight gain in general) causing me to get tired a lot faster and of course, as baby grows our respiratory systems are effected significantly. All that said, putting mind over matter with this one hasn’t been working… not even looking at post-baby bodies on Pinterest has motivated me enough to go for a walk around the block, haha ah!

3. My hips expanded before I had a baby bump: alright so this really was a hard one for me to accept. My body changed SO MUCH prior to “showing” and it was a total mind warp. I went up a full pant size to accommodate my new hip span within the first two months, with zero baby belly whatsoever. I didn’t even know this was possible?! Everyone’s body reacts SO differently to pregnancy, and I guess mine just went into make-room-for-baby expansion mode before my eyes. It was a weird thing to accept because my body has basically been the same for a very long time…then all of a sudden I felt like I was growing uncontrollably all over but still had no baby bump to show for it…I guess it was just a natural shift and hormones going crazy. One thing I’ve learned over the past five months is this: accept your body, love your body, give yourself grace and most importantly, do NOT compare your pregnancy journey to anyone else’s.

4. You can’t make an OBGYN appointment until you’re 8 weeks pregnant: this one totally threw me for a loop! As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I called to make an appointment immediately (I was 4 weeks along). I was quickly turned away because I wasn’t 8 weeks yet. Apparently, it’s tough to detect a heartbeat prior to that time, so really it might cause more worry than good to see a doctor that early. Not going to lie, those first 8 weeks might be the toughest because your entire life has instantly changed knowing you’re pregnant…and yet you’re advised not to tell the world (in case of miscarriage during those early weeks). Not only are your hormones causing fatigue, morning sickness and nausea, but your body is changing, too. This stage of pregnancy was hands down the hardest because I was so worried if the baby was healthy and growing as it should be. Once I finally had that first sonogram at 8 weeks and got to hear the heartbeat, I cried with relief!

5. You may or may not be given goddess hair: Thanks Baby P for giving me the best hair of my life!! I’ve always had really brittle, thin hair, but once I became pregnant I started noticing rapid growth, strength and shine. Once again, I have hormones to thank for this. After doing some online research, it appears I should soak up this time because post-baby, hair tends to fall out. Definitely enjoying it while it lasts haha!

6. Leg cramps: as mentioned at the beginning of this post, while sleeping this week I woke up about 20 times to some serious charley horses in my calves! At one point I even got up to stretch because they were happening so frequently. As the baby grows and weight on our legs gets heavier, leg cramps become more common. Ever since that unfortunate evening, I’ve been making sure to drink plenty of water, get my magnesium and potassium fix and to stretch throughout the day/before I go to sleep. So far, so good!

7. You can only take warm baths: hot baths/saunas/jacuzzis can create big problems for a developing baby if the temperature is too hot (over 102 degrees F). The heat can cause birth defects and deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients. So! As someone who is a daily bath taker, I am still on my regular evening bath schedule, it just gets cold a lot faster haha so I keep draining and adding water throughout. (Also…this was something I had NO idea about!).

8. I have to pee ALL the time: So I’d heard about this prior to pregnancy because of course you’d have to pee a lot more if there’s constant weight on your bladder, I just didn’t realize how quickly that whole getting-up-the-middle-of-the-night thing starts. Even in my first trimester, I was waking up at least two times a night to use the bathroom. In the second trimester, I’m up to three times. Definitely a natural way of preparing me for some sleep deprived nights ahead, ha!

9. Women really are superheroes: I can’t stress this one enough…if I wasn’t an advocate for how badass women are prior to me getting pregnant (always have been, love me some strong ladies!)…well I certainly am now because we are seriously AMAZING! Y’all…women can GROW HUMANS! Pregnancy truly is a miracle. It has taught me to love my body in a way I’ve never loved it before…for the crazy changes physically, but also for the mental strength being pregnant has given me. I feel like my life has new purpose and it kinda just makes my heart explode with love for this future kiddo. I have a newfound appreciation for women and mothers, and I am so thankful and proud to be a woman!

Are you a mom or a mom-to-be? I’d love to know what surprised you throughout your pregnancy! Everyone has such a different and unique experience… it’s such a fascinating topic to learn about and discuss! Feel free to share in the comments below. 🙂

Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend – XO!


7 Comments

  • AO says:

    I’m so glad to hear someone is still so tired in the second trimester too – all of my friends have said they’ve bounced back and I am over here like can I sleep for 15 hours straight please? Same with the acne, I am so annoyed! Thank you for sharing!

  • Amanda says:

    Hi! I’m a first time mom and 32 weeks pregnant . I’d say my biggest challenge is just learning to roll with the punches. It never fails to surprise me when when one day out of the blue, everything changes and I suddenly have a new normal. Just as you were getting used to however it was before haha.

  • Kiley says:

    I totally feel you on the changes to your body! I had this image of pregnant women and the big round belly, but I’m 20 weeks and that hasn’t been true for me. I did have a pretty horrendous first trimester, but right now It just looks like I ate too many tacos and you can’t tell that I’m pregnant. Which means this belly is going to show up in the next four months? Crazy.

  • maria fernanda robles says:

    hi Liv! i’m also 21 weeks pregnant! i can totally relate to your post (except for the acne part, which thank god i don’t have) the pee, the leg cramps, the zero motivation to do almost anything, i’m rigth there, but it’s been truly amazing, yes it’s a miracle to create life and to feel it inside you! my baby its kind of well behaved, very calmed, always sleeping and i can’t wait to feel him more often, but right now i’m just enjoying this moment, anything people tells you can’t compare with the real thing. thank you for sharing your experience! all the best for you and greetings from italy!

  • Emma Golden says:

    LOL “pepperonis” I’m a pimple popper, too. it’s so bad, so I don’t blame you for going to town on your forehead! but you’re doing amazing and I’m so excited for you and your family. can’t wait to see how much cuter you get as time goes on! <3

  • Ligia says:

    OMG I hear you girl! I just found out I am pregnant and I cannot believe I can’t make an OBGYN appointment until I’m 8 weeks pregnant. Also, I am so happy for you. I have been reading your blog for months now and to know I can also read about pregnancy here (now that I am pregnant).. it’s so comforting!

  • Sakeenah says:

    Hi Livvy, I haven’t visited your blog in a while and I just had the idea to drop by today. Before your webpage loaded, I mentally asked myself “I wonder if she is pregnant yet” I’ve kinda seen you go from BF/GF to full time blogger to married , so I knew a baby was just around the corner. I was happy and surprised to see your super cute baby bump. Congratulations! And yes, we women are miracle workers. Lots of love and blessings to you and your growing family!

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