Pregnancy: The Good, Bad, and Everything We Forget in Between

I am wrapping up my third pregnancy in a couple of weeks and it feels bittersweet, mostly because I am pretty sure that it will be my last one. Cue the tears … So of course, I have been reflecting on this pregnancy and trying to soak in every last minute before this baby gets out of here. I have been blessed with pretty great pregnancies, and this one has been no different. But no matter how great your pregnancy is, everyone essentially has a lot of the same experiences; there are even a few that I have completely wiped from my memory.

The Good 

  1. No one could ever explain what it feels like to feel your baby moving around inside your body. No. One. It is a gift and something that should never be taken for granted. I have found with each pregnancy I have felt the baby move earlier and earlier in gestation, which is a tiny little gift just for me.
  2. Baby hiccups. Need I say more. What is cuter or more amazing than a baby with hiccups? This baby only gets hiccups at night while I am trying to sleep, and I am ok with that.
  3. Thick hair and clear complexion. There really is a glow to pregnant women. We may not feel it all the time, but it is there so make sure to embrace it.
  4. Strangers smile at you. Seriously, they do; everywhere. Everyone loves a pregnant woman and will always encourage and congratulate you.

The Bad

This list is a little longer than the first …

  1. Charlie horses in the middle of the night. With your first pregnancy, it will take your husband a couple of minutes to realize what you are screaming about. But no worries, he will catch on quickly.
  2. Nasal congestion. When you reach a certain point in your pregnancy, you get short of breath just talking and it does not help that you can only breathe through one nostril for 75% of your pregnancy.
  3. Increased. Circulation. Everywhere. It is really the worst!
  4. Pure exhaustion at all times. This only gets worse with each pregnancy because you have more responsibilities at home and less time to rest and nap. I fall asleep on the couch with the kids every chance I get. #sorrynotsorry It hits you like a ton of bricks in the first trimester, you get a short break in the second trimester, and then boom it is back for the third trimester. Only you are ginormous in the third trimester and can’t get comfortable at night to get a good nights rest.
  5. Carpal tunnel. This was the worst with my first pregnancy and for the last two, I have worn a wrist brace on both hands at night to sleep. This helped me avoid the excruciating pain during the day but did not help me sleep better at night.
  6. Sneezing and coughing are your biggest enemy. I go to the bathroom every chance I get; not because I have to go really bad, but I am scared that at any moment I could cough or sneeze and find myself in a very serious predicament. Welcome to stress incontinence my friends; you can try Kegels, but I personally do not find they help. True fear …

The Things We Forget About

  1. Rubbing every square inch of your body with lotion in hopes that you will not get stretch marks. Every. Single. Night. Two more weeks to go. Prayers accepted.
  2. Sciatic pain. This is something that I do not struggle with often, but I will randomly get a shooting pain down my right buttock and thigh in mid stride. Super awesome.
  3. In the last month of pregnancy, your belly button will start to poke out. My kids think it is amazing and push it on average 100 times a day.
  4. I am no longer smaller when I turn sideways. This is something that I struggle to adjust to. I cannot tell you how many times I have turned sideways to try and squeeze through a small space and awkwardly rubbed my giant baby belly on someone. So embarrassing.
  5. The unprovoked comments from strangers. “You are about to pop!” and “Trying to walk that baby out?” or “Are you sure it isn’t twins?” No kind stranger, I actually have 5 weeks left and I am only going to get bigger. Thanks for making it super awkward. I only need you to tell me that I look amazing. That’s it.

Pregnancy really is a special time for moms and the good things will always outweigh the bad.  Enjoy every second of it while you still can!!

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.