Sound Off! What Surprised You About Pregnancy?

04/28/2009 at 11:00 AM ET

Jimmy Lenner Jr.; Richie Buxo/Splash News Online

There are a lot of things we expect during pregnancy: A growing belly, crazy cravings, morning sickness and more. But as almost every woman who’s ever carried a child for nine months will tell you, there’s always more you wish you knew, but were never told. Nancy O’Dell just penned a book on the topic, sharing she wishes people told her that nipples are more erect during pregnancy! And singer ThalΓ­a recently told CBB she wrote her book to uncover the myths of pregnancy, which she dubbed a “secret society.”

So here’s your chance to Sound Off! Tell us what surprised you about pregnancy.


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Showing 54 comments

Ashlee on

I expected to be tired but I was surprised that I needed 12-14 hours of sleep during my first trimester and I still felt exhausted. I also didn’t expect my allergies to be so horrible!

Stella Bella on

I wish someone had told me that pregnancy could include joint pain that hampers your mobility. I expected to be tired, but I didn’t expect to be in severe pain… The hip pain in my 2nd trimester was almost beyond what I thought I could handle!

ErykaWynter on

I hear you Stella Bella! I am only five weeks along and the pain of my uterus stretching has been almost as bad as menstrual cramps. I even went to my doc becuase I got so scared but luckily everything is fine.

dlock on

I agree Ashlee, I was really tired in my first trimester, unfortunately I can’t tell you about the 2nd or 3rd trimester, because I lost my little angel in the first trimester. But the time that I had, I enjoyed. And when the Lord blesses me again with another little angel, I will take everything in stride. So, to all that complain about all the aches and pains, enjoy it because there is an amazing gift at the end. πŸ™‚

CC on

How my abdominal muscles would separate and I would end up with an umbilical hernia.

ErykaWynter on

Very sorry to hear, dlock. But you make a very good point. Thank you for putting that into perspective.

j on

How annoying the question “how are you feeling???” would become. Um, “the same, but fatter, thanks.” Duh.

aurora mia on

I was suprised that I wasnt sick one day. Aside from my obvious showing, I wouldnt have known that I was pregnant. The last four weeks were marred with terrible blood pressure and the terrible hemmoroids!

morgan on

I was suprised how blunt and rude people can become. I’ve had random people ask me flat out how much i weigh. Also the whole “You think youre tired now? Just wait!” comment.

Ella on

I didn’t know that you can’t sleep during the nights but fall asleep during daytime. I spent my nights bright awake and felt dogtired the next day. And that morning sickness in may case would be all-day-long-sickness. Like you, dlock, I lost my baby in the first trimester. And I promise I will never complain about anything if I ever get pregnant again…

DivaStar on

I didn’t know my breasts would get as big and sore as they did. I cried when I took a shower cause I had to take my bra off. I couldn’t even hold my baby, and forget about laying down…

Amber on

During my third trimester I lost the ability to sleep at night. Anything and everything woke me up. I chalked it up to my body preparing myself to waking up in the middle of the night with the baby.

But the worst symptom nobody tells you about is the constipation! I had to take prescription prenatal vitamins because my morning sickness was so severe, and they also helped with the constipation. I ended up having to take a stool softener as well.

Kelsa on

That there would be no relief for the uncomfort in that last month. Hurts to lay down, sit, stand and the swelling of the feet that used to dissapate when you put them up in the 7th month, now is permanent. The back acne, greasy hair and face, moles and skin tags popping up everywhere, stretch marks that look like an animal attacked you….this is all nothing to having a c-section without any pain meds (epidural wouldn’t take).

sil on

I thought that with my second pregnancy i will give birth to my daughter on time (i mean 40 weeks or before) everybody told me that with the second is faster (my first was born 40 weeks + 6 days) and now I’m 40 weeks + 2 days…and still waiting! πŸ™‚

CharlieB on

I wish someone had told how emotionally tough pregnancy is, not to mention the tiredness and morning, noon & night sickness! I’m currently 11 weeks and my moods are so up and down – I’m so moody with my hormones and the tiredness, and feeling very overwhelmed at the prospect of becoming a mother. It’s wonderful and exciting, and an amazing feeling to be pregnant, but I never realised how overwhelming the prospect of becoming a mother would be.

Also, I never realised how annoying it is to be asked how I’m feeling by everyone 20 times a day! :).

j on

… my typical response to the “how are you feeling?” question … “Good, and yourself?”

babyboopie on

That the last few weeks are so uncomfortable, like the feeling of being so incredibly bloated and the baby’s just kicking you painfully at night when you’re trying to sleep. Oh, and the amount of RUDE people who don’t even offer you a seat on the tube or let you through in shops or even offer to hold your things while you waddle up stairs!

mmh on

This was right after pregnancy, but I was surprised when my milk never came in — evern with nursing and pumping. I had no idea this could happen. I would have liked to have known that, just to be prepared. I was devastated… And no less than 10 family and friends have since said the same thing happened to them… Where was that info BEFORE giving birth??!!! Come on ladies!!! Let’s help each other out!!! =)

Danielle on

I was surprised by how long a pregnancy is! I mean, I knew it was 40 weeks/10 months but I felt like I was pregnant FOREVER. The first few months were especially long because I had this wonderful secret I couldn’t share yet. And in the end, I got so tired of people asking if I was going to have that baby yet, especially since Anya was almost two weeks late. My answer was, “She’ll come when she’s ready!”

Lorelei on

I was surprised at the tiredness of the last month. I was miserable with PUPPS. I was also surprised at the pretty severe cramping afterward – No one really talks about it.

Sunflower on

Definitely the hormonal ups and downs – especially after having had the baby, a permanent weeper at the smallest thing now! And also piles- no-one really mentions how they sneak up on you too and can never go away! Also curious was how your homones change other parts of your body – I breastfed for 17 months then stopped as my eyes had dried out so much from hormonal changes that I had to stop using my regular contact lenses, and that your relaxin hormone keeps your pelvis from closing again so that doing breast stroke swimming was always a bit strange…crazy side effects! but all worth it as I love my daughter madly, more more more!!

Adele (UK) on

On my 2nd child I was only 22 carrying her & no-one told me that I could get SPD out of the blue at such a young age.I was diagnosed at 23 weeks, on crutches by 32 weeks & could no longer walk at 36 weeks.

The pain was worth it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

angelika05 on

That you could go into labor and not know. Granted I went into labor 3 weeks early so I didn’t think it was “time” but I just thought I was getting the tummy flu.

The hormones are brutal – everyone needs to be aware of that. I have never been a crier and I cried every day for the first 5 days after he was born. Couldn’t.stop. I was a hormonal basket case!

braxandlanesmama on

I was never told that it was OK for everyone and their second cousin to touch me without asking so rude!!! Have some freaking manners people!!!

dlock on

Thank you erykawynter. And sorry to hear that ella. I know we all complain and cry about all the things we go thru when pregnant, but all women know what a beautiful gift you get at the end makes it so worth it.

But for the most part, pregnant women deserve to complain a “little”, cuz we go thru soo much. When I lost my baby, I realized how precious life is and we shouldn’t take that for granted. Pregnancy is a gift from God and a miracle in the making. So, when you are “constantly” complaining think about how many women that can’t have a child or who has lost a child would gladly take your place to have that gift in the end??!! Just food for thought, I hope I haven’t offended anyone? πŸ™‚

Lah on

This is embarrassing…When I was pregnant with my first child, during the last trimester I discovered a dark purple lump like thing on the inside of my labia.I panicked, went to my doctor saying that I thought I had gotten cancer and showed her the problem.
She smiled and explained to me very sweetly that it was a blood vessel that had become enlarged due to the weight and the pressure of the baby.
Now I knew that you could get varicose veins in your legs, but on the inside of your lady garden? No one had told me that.
It went back after the baby was born though.

Lorelei on

Oh, I forgot something. The tons of hair that falls out after the pregnancy. I was surprised to have my hair thicken then fall out. Those hormones again. Even though I could probably come up with a ton more ‘surprises’, none of the symptoms diminish the blessing and miracle a child is.

Angelseyez on

I knew you could get stretch marks so I put cream religiously on my stomach. Don’t have a single stretch mark on my stomach but no one ever told me to put the cream on the inside of your thights and butt as well because I look like a road map now!!

Te'a on

Well I have never been pregnant but I want to thank all you ladies here for all this important information. Thanks so much!

amy on

The heartburn! i couldnt go anywhere without my anti acids, and couldnt drink juice. That and the rib pain. It really does feel like forever, i was over two weeks late and I was convinced in my tired hormnal state, that it was never going to be my turn.

erin on

I agree with another comment.
“You think you’re tired now – just wait”.
The most frustrating/annoying thing that people constantly say to me! Not a good thing to say to a walking raging hormone! πŸ™‚

jessica on

This is really going to gross everybody out, but hey we all do it…but the constipation is terrifying! Mine started from the beginning and never stopped, I don’t know if it’s or what but it was awful. When I was labor and started pushing I realized that the 9 months of constipation was only practice and warm up in comparison to what it feels like giving birth:) Also, if you have to get stitches I suggest taking stool softeners after you give birth because it’s really tender for a few weeks and applying pressure anywhere near the area is really painful! I read that your bowels slow down or stop during labor and it takes awhile to get them moving again.

em on

I was surprised by how HUNGRY I was. Hungry down to my bones, and I think I could have killed something and ripped it apart just to eat it! Soooo hungry! Unlike anything ever.

I was also surprised by the hair that started growing on my stomach. Yuck!

And the constipation. How the human body can go 14 days without, while eating up to 3000 calories each day, I will never understand!

Still Life in South America on

Thank you so much ladies. I have to decide on babies soon, and my body is screaming “yes!” at this point in my life.

All of your comments are soooo helpful. Why don’t women talk about these things more often?

So on the constipation question: can you eat something in particular rather than taking pills? I’d rather treat myself naturally when my body starts acting up.

Again, this is so good to hear. Blessings!

dawn on

The only thing that surprised me about pregnancy was how severe the cravings could get,How bad the heart burn could be, and How sleepy I was in the beginning. I can’t fall asleep in weird places but when I was pregnant, OMG! it was hilarious.

Kim on

Lah, I’m ROFL at the term “lady garden”. Also, I’m surprised you could still see your labia! LOL

The thing that really surprised me were the intense calf cramps I got in the middle of the night. I would wake up from a dead sleep in excrutiating pain! My m/w told me that it was common and to try eating more bananas (which was just GREAT for my constipation…UGH) and stretching my calves before bed. The bananas didn’t work, the stretching did.

Zaida on

lol..gosh,what surprised me about pregnancy?? Well, to start off, becoming pregnant in the first planned, but definately worth it. I would have to say I agree with the people coming up and molesting your belly, and the “gee your getting so big, are you sure it’s not twins” totally the WRONG thing to say to a woman who’s body has changed so much with hormones and all..I found I got really hot all the time, and forget about sleeping at the end..I found the only way I could sleep was in a lazy boy chair. Also the “you think your tired now…” Well, I now have a 5 month old, and yes I’m tired, but I find it’s a different kind of tired..because when you see your little one light up when they see you..all the uncomfortable nights, hot flashes, constipation etc totally worth every second!! πŸ™‚

Mrs. R. on

What has surprised me both times is how much fun it is. I thought as I grew I would be self conscious or feeling ill, or I would just feel weird, but instead it feels incredibly natural, I feel more beautiful than I ever have, and it is just pure pleasure!
It’s such a happy time!

Janie on

I always thought I would have 3 or 4 until my first – hyperemesis gravidarum. So sick, long hospital stay (2 different picc lines), until after my first trimester was over. It took me five years to recover from the first pregnancy to try again, and the second was worse! 3 different picc lines and I ended up with a central line and was told not to have any more children. So I am grateful for my two but not only do I wish I had known of such a possibility, but many nurses and doctors don’t have enough experience or education to help a patient through the difficult times.

Jen on

I was surprised by the intense orgasms.

Nylah on

I was surprised that instead of the typical constipation that most pregnant women get; I had diarrhea. Along with that, I had severe headaches, and morning sickness throughout my first two pregnancies. Now that I’m pregnant with #3 and #4, I only suffer from extreme exhaustion.

Tiffany on

I never knew pregancy was longer than 9 months! You always hear… 9 months… NOT TRUE!

Sarah on

As for someone who just found out she’s pregnant, I want to thank all of you for scaring me half to death about the next 7 months! At least I know what to expect =D

TDC on

The thing that surprised me about my pregnancy was inflamed cartilage and muscles around my ribs! I do lifting and throwing at my job and the pain was unbearable! I really thought my daughter’s feet were stuck in my ribs, but my doctor said that it “was normal”. I never new how annoying the words “oh, thats normal” were! It may be normal but that doesn’t make it feel better! Loving being part of the mommy club though! πŸ™‚

Jess on

I have to agree with the others on constipation. I had no idea how common it is. And pre-natal vitamins make it worse! A lot of times my terrible back pain was actually because I was so backed up. By the time I finally was able to go, the toilet would clog! I also have to say it was hard enough trying to wipe yourself, because you’re so damn big and its hard to maneuver(I recommend using baby wipes, it’s faster & cleaner). The only thing that definitely helped move them along was walking, even just going grocery shopping and being on foot for around 30 mins or so absolutely helped.

Still Life in South America on

Good to know, Jess! Thanks. πŸ™‚

JJ on

Pregnancy is NOT longer than 9 months (even though it can feel like eternity). It’s really more like 8 months anyway because you start the countdown from the first day of your last period – which means when you find out you’re expecting, you cannot be less than 4 weeks along already. More or less.

Anyway, what surprised me was the lack of sleep I was able to get! It’s so uncomfortable for stomach sleepers especially. And how ANNOYING people giving advise would be, including “get your sleep now before the baby comes” (can’t, but thanx), and “you can eat whatever you want” (I ate/am eating so much better during pregnancy than when I’m not pregnant because I am eating to nourish my baby).

Kathryn on

At this point I’m just surprised at how long it is taking to GET PREGNANT.

bsandoval93 on

I guess I am one of the lucky ones. First pregancy was a breeze until the end, c-section. Second one, was sick for 5 months, didn’t think sickness could last that long! I say lucky because when people would say are you getting any sleep at night, I’d reply sure am! Both babies slept through the night when we got home, I actually woke up in a panic asking myself is this normal? Enjoyed every minute, sick or not, was well worth it.

ash on

Heartburn, heartburn, & more heartburn! & that going n2 labor doesnt happen like n the movies. i envisioned my h20 breaking, my husband rushing me 2 the dr. speeding the whole way 2 the hospital, pushing while my hubby held my hand, & being handed a screaming slimey angel baby while my hubby & i cried.

n reality, 17 days after my due date & 3 seperate days of failed pitocin-cervadil inductions, i had 2 have a c-section due 2 my extremely high blood pressure. i spent the three hours after the birth of my child trying 2 scratch the skin off my body after having an allergic reaction 2 anesthesia & was 2 busy vomitting 2 kiss or hold my newborn after he was pulld out. my husband had 2 give him a bottle of formula while i suffered n the recovery room 4 hours & then i could never get him 2 latch properly to breastfeed. so i spent the next 6 months attatchd 2 a breast pump so i could provide my son w/ ‘liquid gold.’ some women had troubles of milk not coming n, mine came n so much & so fast if i didnt pump every 3 hours my breasts would engorge so bad i would cry. i STILL have milk n my freezer, & my son is 17 months old & i stopd pumping when he turned 6 months old.

would i trade it 4 nething or take back even 1 of those expierences? never. i would so do it all 10 more times just 2 c my son smile @ me & say ‘Mama.” women r strong resiliant creatures, thats why God gives us the gift of childbearing. it is up 2 us 2 cherish & appreciate it no mattter what!

Gabrielle on

The lack of an immune system, the leaking nipples in the FOURTH MONTH, Oh, oh! And the Hair growth! In weird places. I’ve always been a fuzzy person with this fine blonde hair allll over my stomach. It is no longer blonde, nor short, so I should probably think of trying out for Pregnant Austin Powers.

And I wouldn’t change any of it.

Katherine on

Heartburn relief, Dr told me to take Zantac and it works
Constipation relief, Benefiber works for me
Headaches off and on throughout b/c of sinus issues and Tylenol doesn’t work for me
Finally feel good once I hit the third trimester
I know this will all be so worth it when I give birth, but don’t think I’d put myself through it again, but glad I did

Corinne on

I was prepared for any pregnancy symptoms as I had learned about them in med school but how annoying people can get, that they don’t teach you. Seriously, a lot of people thought it was appropriate to touch my belly and say things like “you look like you’re about to pop” when I was only 7 months along with my son. I was huge and I really didn’t enjoy people reminding it to me over and over again! I am now pregnant again with twin girls and I think I might isolate myself from the rest of the world ’til my due date!

KelliGirl on

I was surprised at how despite some medical challenges in my pregnancy, that it really is attitude that triumphs over everything or anything.

Nothing can upset you without your permission. Ignorance can be overcome by education. 99% of all people can successfully breastfeed if they really want to and have good education and support. 95% of all people who quit breastfeeding will tell you that it is impossible. Yet, if they lived in India where it means life vs. death, they’d find a way to succeed, wouldn’t they?

I empowered myself, and now I empower other women to succeed. If you want to, there is nothing that can stop you. Find another lactation consultant. Find better support. Find people who can help you succeed before the baby is born, and follow up with them.

If 99% of Indian continent women can breastfeed, what kind of genetic defect mysteriously appeared only in the U.S.? I’d say, just formula advertising and well-intended onlookers telling you that some women just can’t breastfeed. Some women are born with birth defects too, but most aren’t.

The thing I learned was: whatever the challenge is, I can do it!