Pregnancy Isn't Always Pretty

Holy hemorrhoids
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
All images by Bettina Bhandari via Getty Images

I’m in the final stretch of pregnancy number two. With my first one having been eight years ago, I almost forgot (read: blocked out) a lot of the disgusting things that happen to your body during pregnancy and labor. And it’s a lot.

Of course the “idea” of pregnancy is amazing. Downright miraculous. You’re creating a life inside of you and that is nothing to scoff at or take for granted. But ladies, c’mon, cut the shit. We ALL know there’s a dark side, and I’m not just referring to your areolas.

One of the best parts of social media is crowd sourcing. So I took to the “streets” with an informal poll on Facebook, asking people to share the disgusting things they wished they knew going in. Oh and did they share.

Since sharing is caring, I’m going to bestow some of the best ones on you. Let’s band together and embrace the grossness, instead of keeping quiet and pretending we’re not all experiencing at least some of it.

I don’t care how uneventful your pregnancy is…nobody gets out completely unscathed.

1) Nat Geo Nipples.

You know what I’m talking about. Those perfectly proportional areolas turn into flying saucers about 10 shades darker than they were. It’s hard not to stare at them in disbelief wondering how the eff they are attached to your body and wonder when your normal ones will come back. And just when you think the weirdness is over with those bad boys, you see the little white dots invading your actual nipple (aka colostrum), and you contemplate calling your doctor to ask how long you have left to live.

2) Why is there Hair There?!

You know what’s super fun? When all of a sudden, in addition to the black line that suddenly appears down your entire baby bump, you see there’s also hair growing on your stomach. Like, why?!?!?

3) I Can’t See My Vagina

No seriously, I can’t. You know when you reach that point…you can’t see your feet or anything below that bump. And if you can’t see your vagina, how are you supposed to tend to it? You can continue with your regular waxing. You can do the “feel around” method to assess the spots you may need to hit with the razor and hope for the best. Or my favorite, you can call in your husband for reinforcement (guilty).

4) Careful When You Cough

Or sneeze. There’s no avoiding it. One robust sneeze or cough and you pee your pants like a preschooler.

5) Like, Gag Me With a Spoon Toothbrush.

That’s right! Mundane tasks like brushing your teeth become less insignificant when you feel the need to puke while that toothbrush is in your mouth. And while we’re on the topic of puking, nobody tells you that in addition to general nausea that may occur during pregnancy, you will also reach a point where you burp or hiccup and throw-up just a little in your mouth. Good times.

6) Holy Hemorrhoids

I don’t even feel the need to expand on this.

7) Petrified to Poop.

After you have a baby, the idea of that first poop is terrifying. You just squeezed something out of your vagina that doesn’t feel like it should be humanly possible, or were sliced open while your organs were actually removed to take the baby out. Either way, the idea of anything else coming out of any opening is just frightening. And when it does happen?? Holy Shit! (pun intended).

8) You Had to Stitch Up My What?

So if you have a vaginal birth, it might come with a little gift called an episiotomy. That’s where your fearless medical professionals literally have to sew your nether regions back together like an effing Build-A-Bear, after you tore from labor. It’s also one of the many reasons I prefer my husband to stay above the waist and look lovingly into my eyes while I use my eyes to shoot daggers at him until the kid is out.

9) Constant Vagina Check-Ins

Whether you deliver vaginally or via C-section, you will be treated to the everlasting enjoyment of nurses coming in your room regularly to check out the damage and clear any debris. Modesty is gone as strangers basically dutifully sweep up the remnants of birth from your hospital bed, that just keep coming out.

And while we’re on that subject, why don’t people talk more about all the stuff that comes out of you? Because it’s a lot. After my first child, when I got up to pee the first time (which btdubs, is not so different from the paralyzing fear of the first poop), I literally called the nurse in because I was sure I was dying. There was too much blood to be normal and I was sure we needed that yellow murder tape to section off the bathroom.

Speak up, sisters, and save others from the unknown; and give them a heads-up as to why their hospital bathrooms are stocked with giant sanitary pads and heavenly ice packs. And oh yeah, the water squirter thingy.

So there you have it folks…a small sampling of my primary research about the stuff nobody talks openly about.

Instead, people throw up their obligatory maternity pictures with flowing dresses and hair blowing in the wind, while their partners cup their bellies (like that would ever happen naturally) and paint a picture of perfect pregnancy.

Let’s keep it real, and instead, after we post those gorgeous professional pics, where it seems our babies will magically float out of our vaginas into the arms of a unicorn, talk about how many times you peed your pants during the shoot and were popping Tums for the debilitating heartburn. Keep it real, ladies.