The Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth


Always wanted the lowdown on a whole range of birth and parenting matters from the horses’ mouths? Below is the no-holds-barred, warts and all truth about pregnancy and childbirth that the books don’t tell you!

“The total exhaustion of the first trimester.  Feeling so tired and falling asleep at 4 pm in the afternoon.”

“I snored dreadfully when I was pregnant.  I wasn’t expecting that and I don’t think my poor sleep-deprived husband was either!”

“I dribbled at night so uncontrollably that I had to turn my pillow over several times each night (I can only assume it was due to pregnancy, as I don’t do it now!).”

“I was so surprised how quickly my sense of smell became heightened.  I knew I was pregnant when I was literally five days pregnant because I couldn’t stand the smell of pies at the football match.”

“How tired you feel.  I fell asleep at the cinema whilst watching a very noisy film.”

“How acute your sense of smell can be.  I couldn’t stand strong smells.  Tar was the worst one, it made me feel really sick.  I also couldn’t bear the smell of lavender which was rather unfortunate as most of the pregnancy lotions and potions are lavender based.”

“I had really vivid and bizarre dreams during both my pregnancies.  Some were funny but others were quite upsetting and unpleasant.  It happened to a lot of my friends too so I guess it must be fairly common.”

“Complete strangers feeling they had the right to pat or rub my bump and complete strangers telling me ‘oh it’s definitely a boy’”

“Protruding haemorrhoids while pregnant making it sore going to the loo and sore for about 10 weeks after the birth.”

“Feeling so proud of my bump.”

“My friend had really bad genital varicose veins during her pregnancy, which caused her a lot of discomfort
and caused her to haemorrhage after the birth due to an internal tear – she had to have a blood transfusion.  I too had one in my groin – this is something I’d never heard of before.”

“Bad flatulence during pregnancy as your digestive systems gets all sluggish!  You don’t hear that one talked about much!!”

“My feet grew and all my old shoes now kill my feet!”

“I guess I didn’t expect to be throwing up all the way through the pregnancy.”

“How awful morning sickness can be!  I remember reading that one may feel nauseous in the first trimester, and that eating ginger biscuits could help alleviate this.  What they didn’t say was that you could be projectile vomiting at any time during the day for the first and SECOND trimester!”

“I didn’t expect to love the baby so fiercely even while inside.  I knew I would love him but it’s just something that goes way beyond our imagination.  And the most amazing thing is that my husband feels the same way.”

“As a chap, the one thing I did not expect was finding my partner so attractive the more pregnant that she became.  Previous to the pregnancy I used to find pregnant ladies rather incongruous to look at, but ever since the birth of our first, I have found all pregnant ladies beautiful to look at (makes me sound like a lech).  But I think it is because I can relate to the fact that some time soon that person is going to be holding a new bundle of life, and I just recall the thrill of holding both our children when they were born.”

“My waters broke with a sharp pain (similar to a period pain but deeper) and a gush of liquid.  What I was never told was that the body would continue to replenish the lost waters until the baby was born – in my case, 36 hours later.  I think I got through all those maternity pads pre-bought in the first day and had to send my husband out to buy some more – and then even more for once the baby was born!”

“I thought when your waters broke, everything came out at once.  Mine broke at 9.30am, completely painlessly and with a sensation like wetting myself.  Nothing like the ‘gush’ I’d been expecting.  What really took me by surprise was the fact that I leaked gradually and was still leaking as I walked to the theatre for my c-section at 2.30pm.”

“My waters trickled for 2½ days, I was expecting a gush.“

“Throwing up after my waters were broken for me (it was the first and last time during my pregnancy).”

“Falling asleep in between each contraction after being given Pethidine.”

“I didn’t expect to give birth without pain relief!  Antenatal classes are so focussed on all the options for pain relief that even now I don’t really tell people in case they regard me as some sort of weird hippie.”

“The breathing IS really useful to prevent unnecessary strain as the baby negotiates the curve.  And let’s face it, it’s the ONLY thing you have control over so covet it!”

“I was surprised – and embarrassed – at how much I screamed during labour.  I didn’t realise I was making quite so much noise until the midwife reassured my rather scared-looking husband that it was perfectly normal.  I tried to blame my sore throat the following day on the gas-and-air but my husband assured me that it was the yelling that caused it.”

“I had a very heavy ‘show’ which resulted in me being taken to hospital by ambulance and having to have the baby monitored internally for the entire labour.  I had never heard of this before but basically I bled buckets!  All turned out all right in the end despite my disappointment at not being able to move around during the birth process”

“If you don’t practice your Kegels/pelvic floor, then chances are you will leak when you laugh, sneeze, or even jump. Urinary incontinence is no joke and you may feel like you don’t need to practice your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy. I didn’t with my first two pregnancies and I’ve had my fair share of oooops moments! During my third pregnancy, I started right at the very beginning and I feel like my pelvic floor muscles have become very strong! There’s a guide from HARTMANN Direct about what urinary incontinence is and how to treat it. Don’t delay!

“Managing to have a drug free birth (only gas and air) then ending up with a manual placenta removal and a spinal – and how long it took to recover from it.  Took me about two months before I could walk any distance yet it felt like such a minor procedure in theatre.”

“A 12lb 9oz baby for my first born in foot
down breech position. I think that was the biggest shock.”

“Having numbness in my legs for almost three months after the epidural.”

“Feeling like all your bits were going to fall out after giving birth.”

“Not being able to hold your ‘wee’ (or wind!!) for a few days after giving birth!!!”

“I didn’t realise that going to the loo would be quite such an ordeal after giving birth.  A plastic jug of water was my best friend – anything to ease the stinging!”

“A bit gruesome but shortly after the delivery, in something of a daze, I got up to go to the loo and once in the bathroom a huge clot fell out of me.  It measured 500ml and fell out like a lump of liver.  I remember not having a clue what to do with it but somehow scooped it into one of those cardboard dishes they so obligingly leave in the loos. And then diligently gave it to the nurse.  She seemed unphased and keen to check the volume of it!!!”

“I think, the first time around, I was really surprised at what I felt about the little bundle I had just delivered. She was tiny, perfect, my firstborn, and yet, there was no immediate rush of love.  I felt something, yes, and the love came very fast – over a couple of days.  But the real feelings were of being overwhelmed and “now what?”  The love took a few days.  No one told me that it wasn’t automatic, or that other feelings came first.”

“The utter and overwhelming need to protect that weeny baby from everything took me by surprise.  I did not experience a tidal wave of love but certainly was overwhelmed by protectiveness!  To the extent that we had our first new parent fight when loading Ellie into the car to take her home and the sun shone into her eyes for three seconds.  I was jumping around like an idiot in case the light troubled her in any way!!!  Poor husband.”

“I didn’t expect to miss being pregnant. I spent most of the pregnancy whingeing about how uncomfortable it was, and then afterwards really wanted my bump back (not that I didn’t love the baby).”

*Collaborative feature post*

Brigid Bassindale (2 Posts)