5 Body Parts I Didn't Know Could Get Pregnant

I was pregnant from top of my head to the bottom of my swollen feet.
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Pregnant woman holding back in pain
Pregnant woman holding back in pain

The first time I became pregnant, I prepared myself for the changes I knew would be coming. I started to lather my belly with tummy butter meant to prevent stretch marks, and I bought a pack of Preggie Pops to help with the upcoming nausea. That was the change I was expecting: a baby bump and a few weeks of the pukes. I was wrong. By the end of it, I felt like every part of my body was suffering from some sort of pregnancy symptom, and most of them surprised me. I was pregnant from the top of my head to the bottom of my swollen feet. These were my top five surprisingly pregnant body parts:

1. Brain.
My previously quick-witted, roll-with-the-punches, quick-on-its-feet mind turned to mush. I found myself searching for the names of everyday objects before resorting to renaming everything "thingamajig" and "whatchamacallit."

2. Mouth.
At the beginning of my pregnancy, I decided it was time to adopt a grown-up hygiene routine that included brushing and flossing twice daily. But by week six, the thought of sticking anything into my mouth was enough to make me gag. Around the time I was able to stomach a good tooth-scrubbing, the bleeding gums took over. Flossing left my mouth looking like a crime scene.

3. Hands.
Halfway through my first pregnancy, I woke up in the middle of the night with hands that were so painfully numb I couldn't think straight, much less rest. Both of my hands felt like they had "fallen asleep," but no amount of shaking or massaging would get the blood flowing again. When I mentioned this excruciating pain to my OB, she matter-of-factly informed me that I had carpal tunnel syndrome, which is "very common" in pregnancy, and I should get a wrist brace to wear while I slept. I got two ugly black wrist braces, went to bed looking like a street fighter, and woke up with hand pain and sweaty wrists.

4. Hips.
I thought I was prepared for this one. It would make sense that carrying around a 35-pound watermelon belly would put an extra strain on the hips, causing discomfort. The thing is, it wasn't just the weight on my childbearing hips that caused the pain, but also a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin makes your connective tissue all loosey-goosey so it will be easier for your hips to stretch and accommodate the baby's girth during delivery. I appreciate my body's pre-planning, but loose hip joints are an uncomfortable way to live. The worst is pubic bone pain. Once relaxin gets involved, anything that causes one leg to move higher than the other, such as climbing stairs or even rolling over in bed, is painful.

5. Nose.
A few weeks into my pregnancy, I found myself with the first nosebleed of my life. Thankfully, these nosebleeds didn't become chronic, but the same hormones that make your nose stuffy and prone to bleeding during pregnancy can lead to snoring. Lumberjack-style snoring. Thankfully, my husband is not a light sleeper. My roommate on the girls' trip I took to California, on the other hand, was not so lucky. She was gracious, but still teased me about the noise.

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