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10 untruths about pregnancy…

1
While I was pregnant it felt like everyone wanted to share their wisdom with me, whether I asked for it or not. Here are 10 things I heard that simply weren’t true: 

1. ”You look great! You’re blooming!”
Of course I didn’t, and no I wasn’t. Truth be told I gained so many pounds while pregnant that I couldn’t keep count. I was bloated, I was washed out, I had no energy and I was wearing XXXL size men’s track pants and t-shirts because they were the only things that fitted me. My friends uttered these cliched reassurances out of kindness but

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they didn’t fool me for a second.

2. ”Lucky you! Now you can eat for two. You have free licence to eat whatever you want!”
Yes, sadly this wasn’t quite true either. Of course I frequently (and happily) played the ’I’m eating for two’ card even though much of the expert knowledge I read advised against this, in order to justify munching my way through some really quite large amounts of chocolate, crisps, biscuits and sweets. However the day soon came when baby was out (and had been for quite some months) and I was still wearing my XXXL size

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3
men’s track pants. My misplaced dietary liberation rapidly turned to despair when I realised that those extra pounds weren’t just going to melt away post partum.

3. ”Get as much sleep as you can before the baby is born. You’ll be glad you did!”
Yes I did do that. I slept a lot. Well, as much as you can sleep when it’s impossible to lie on your stomach and it’s uncomfortable to lie on your side without a mountain of pillows, and all you can do is lie there, flat on your back, rather like a beached whale until someone comes along and thinks to

SelfishMother.com
4
give you a helpful pull to get upright so you can resume your gorging on chocolate once more without fear of choking. However, this plentiful pre-birth sleep really didn’t make much difference. In no way did it stop me from feeling an instant, all encompassing physical and mental exhaustion from the very moment that baby was born until, well, to be honest it hasn’t quite stopped yet. I continue to live in hope that one day I will wake up feeling refreshed, rested and ready for the day.

4. ”The way you’re carrying the weight, you’re definitely

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5
having a girl!”
Apparently (if those tale telling old wives were to be believed) the way I carried the weight all around my middle during pregnancy hinted almost conclusively at the gender of my unborn child. I was told that the fact I preferred sleeping on my right side while pregnant was also a sure indicator of the sex. As was the fact that my face got fuller and the fact that I suffered from extreme nausea. When my skin broke out and I supposedly experienced wild mood swings (although I’m still unconvinced I actually suffered these at all) it was
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deemed an indisputable truth.

”Buy pink things!” advised my worldly wise and excited friends, ”You’re having a girl! The old wives are never wrong!”

But they were.
I had a boy.

5. ”Ginger tea. That’s all you’ll need to cure morning sickness. Don’t worry, it will all disappear after 12 weeks.”
From the first week of pregnancy to well into the 8th month of pregnancy I was trapped in the hell of extreme morning sickness. I vomited constantly. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink and I could hardly stand. I was admitted to hospital and put

SelfishMother.com
7
on a drip. In those rare times that I wasn’t vomiting, I was crying in despair of this nightmare ever ending.
”Try ginger tea, that’ll sort you out” suggested a friend.
So I dragged myself to the shop and bought some ginger. I painstakingly peeled the ginger, I carefully chopped up and brewed the ginger, I optimistically drank the ginger and then I instantly threw up the ginger. Several times. Quite violently.

No. That one wasn’t true either.

6. ”Your hair and nails will grow faster and they’ll look healthier. You’ll get the pregnancy

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8
glow!”
Just at the point when I had ballooned to such a size that I felt so unbelievably unattractive and my self esteem couldn’t possibly sink any lower, the skin on my face broke out in a bumpy, spotty rash that caused my cheeks to take on an unsightly red, blotchy, lumpy appearance. On top of this my hair was limp and devoid of any hint of shine and my finger nails kept splitting and breaking. I think it would be safe to say that the pregnancy glow completely passed me by.

7. ”As your due date gets closer you’ll start obsessively cleaning the

SelfishMother.com
9
house. That’s the nesting instinct!”
I could barely find the energy or the inclination to move so there was hardly going to be much energy going spare that I could use to clean my ’nest’. However I did find myself cleaning out the hamster’s cage on the morning I gave birth, all while enduring painful and increasingly more frequent contractions. However, this was actually due to me neglecting to do this some days earlier as I had planned, not wanting to bring my baby home to a smelly hamster fragranced house, as opposed to a rather more literal case
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of the nesting instinct.

8. ”You won’t remember the pain. Believe me, once the baby is out you’ll forget how much it hurt.”
This one was definitely not true. Yes the relief at baby’s arrival temporarily took my mind off of the excruciating agony of my no-pain-relief-at-all-not-even-a-whiff-of-gas-and-air birth, but even watching my beautiful baby being cleaned, weighed and bundled up in an adorable little babygro just across the room couldn’t quite erase the haunting, wince-inducing memory of glimpsing a flash of the glinting, surgical scissors

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11
just before they performed the ’no warning, just snip’ episiotomy. Nor did it offer any notable relief from the pain of being stitched up for what seemed like an eternity afterwards.

I still remember it vividly today.

9. ”Breast feeding will burn off all that baby weight. You could eat Mars bars while you’re feeding and you’ll still lose the weight!”
Yeah, I tried that. It didn’t work. It’s a nice idea but it was as fictitious as ”Oh, you’ll just ping right back into shape! Trust me!”

10. ”You’ll suffer mood swings. It’s the

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12
hormones.”
I didn’t suffer mood swings. Not at all. Honestly, I didn’t, and don’t believe what anyone else may tell you. I remained perfectly calm and level headed for the whole, entire nine months. Really I did. Never once did I …….oh ok, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little here. Perhaps there might be a tiny bit of truth in this one!

Motherhood is different for all of us… if you’d like to share your thoughts, why not join our Network & start posting?

SelfishMother.com
Marianne Hill

By

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- 9 Dec 14

While I was pregnant it felt like everyone wanted to share their wisdom with me, whether I asked for it or not. Here are 10 things I heard that simply weren’t true: 

1. “You look great! You’re blooming!”
Of course I didn’t, and no I wasn’t. Truth be told I gained so many pounds while pregnant that I couldn’t keep count. I was bloated, I was washed out, I had no energy and I was wearing XXXL size men’s track pants and t-shirts because they were the only things that fitted me. My friends uttered these cliched reassurances out of kindness but they didn’t fool me for a second.

2. “Lucky you! Now you can eat for two. You have free licence to eat whatever you want!”
Yes, sadly this wasn’t quite true either. Of course I frequently (and happily) played the ‘I’m eating for two’ card even though much of the expert knowledge I read advised against this, in order to justify munching my way through some really quite large amounts of chocolate, crisps, biscuits and sweets. However the day soon came when baby was out (and had been for quite some months) and I was still wearing my XXXL size men’s track pants. My misplaced dietary liberation rapidly turned to despair when I realised that those extra pounds weren’t just going to melt away post partum.

3. “Get as much sleep as you can before the baby is born. You’ll be glad you did!”
Yes I did do that. I slept a lot. Well, as much as you can sleep when it’s impossible to lie on your stomach and it’s uncomfortable to lie on your side without a mountain of pillows, and all you can do is lie there, flat on your back, rather like a beached whale until someone comes along and thinks to give you a helpful pull to get upright so you can resume your gorging on chocolate once more without fear of choking. However, this plentiful pre-birth sleep really didn’t make much difference. In no way did it stop me from feeling an instant, all encompassing physical and mental exhaustion from the very moment that baby was born until, well, to be honest it hasn’t quite stopped yet. I continue to live in hope that one day I will wake up feeling refreshed, rested and ready for the day.

4. “The way you’re carrying the weight, you’re definitely having a girl!”
Apparently (if those tale telling old wives were to be believed) the way I carried the weight all around my middle during pregnancy hinted almost conclusively at the gender of my unborn child. I was told that the fact I preferred sleeping on my right side while pregnant was also a sure indicator of the sex. As was the fact that my face got fuller and the fact that I suffered from extreme nausea. When my skin broke out and I supposedly experienced wild mood swings (although I’m still unconvinced I actually suffered these at all) it was deemed an indisputable truth.

“Buy pink things!” advised my worldly wise and excited friends, “You’re having a girl! The old wives are never wrong!”

But they were.
I had a boy.

5. “Ginger tea. That’s all you’ll need to cure morning sickness. Don’t worry, it will all disappear after 12 weeks.”
From the first week of pregnancy to well into the 8th month of pregnancy I was trapped in the hell of extreme morning sickness. I vomited constantly. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink and I could hardly stand. I was admitted to hospital and put on a drip. In those rare times that I wasn’t vomiting, I was crying in despair of this nightmare ever ending.
“Try ginger tea, that’ll sort you out” suggested a friend.
So I dragged myself to the shop and bought some ginger. I painstakingly peeled the ginger, I carefully chopped up and brewed the ginger, I optimistically drank the ginger and then I instantly threw up the ginger. Several times. Quite violently.

No. That one wasn’t true either.

6. “Your hair and nails will grow faster and they’ll look healthier. You’ll get the pregnancy glow!”
Just at the point when I had ballooned to such a size that I felt so unbelievably unattractive and my self esteem couldn’t possibly sink any lower, the skin on my face broke out in a bumpy, spotty rash that caused my cheeks to take on an unsightly red, blotchy, lumpy appearance. On top of this my hair was limp and devoid of any hint of shine and my finger nails kept splitting and breaking. I think it would be safe to say that the pregnancy glow completely passed me by.

7. “As your due date gets closer you’ll start obsessively cleaning the house. That’s the nesting instinct!”
I could barely find the energy or the inclination to move so there was hardly going to be much energy going spare that I could use to clean my ‘nest’. However I did find myself cleaning out the hamster’s cage on the morning I gave birth, all while enduring painful and increasingly more frequent contractions. However, this was actually due to me neglecting to do this some days earlier as I had planned, not wanting to bring my baby home to a smelly hamster fragranced house, as opposed to a rather more literal case of the nesting instinct.

8. “You won’t remember the pain. Believe me, once the baby is out you’ll forget how much it hurt.”
This one was definitely not true. Yes the relief at baby’s arrival temporarily took my mind off of the excruciating agony of my no-pain-relief-at-all-not-even-a-whiff-of-gas-and-air birth, but even watching my beautiful baby being cleaned, weighed and bundled up in an adorable little babygro just across the room couldn’t quite erase the haunting, wince-inducing memory of glimpsing a flash of the glinting, surgical scissors just before they performed the ‘no warning, just snip’ episiotomy. Nor did it offer any notable relief from the pain of being stitched up for what seemed like an eternity afterwards.

I still remember it vividly today.

9. “Breast feeding will burn off all that baby weight. You could eat Mars bars while you’re feeding and you’ll still lose the weight!”
Yeah, I tried that. It didn’t work. It’s a nice idea but it was as fictitious as “Oh, you’ll just ping right back into shape! Trust me!”

10. “You’ll suffer mood swings. It’s the hormones.”
I didn’t suffer mood swings. Not at all. Honestly, I didn’t, and don’t believe what anyone else may tell you. I remained perfectly calm and level headed for the whole, entire nine months. Really I did. Never once did I …….oh ok, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little here. Perhaps there might be a tiny bit of truth in this one!


Motherhood is different for all of us…
if you’d like to share your thoughts, why not join our Network & start posting?

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Marianne Hill

Marianne Hill is a primary school teacher who, in those rare, quiet moments when she is not surrounded by children at work or at home, can usually be found either writing articles or blog posts, reading, listening to music or posting on Facebook. Alternatively she could be out running or cycling around the Estepona area of the Costa del Sol of Spain, where she lives with her children Sam, 7 and Henry, 5. Twitter - @marianne4373

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