What to REALLY expect…

I am apart of an awesome group of ladies that are all due with their babies in the Spring months (not really, the dates are from Jan-June)..

I asked them to help me with my next article for the Huffington Post.. here are the questions I asked, and their responses..

I will post the article here when its complete.


1. What are (up to) three things you weren’t told to expect during pregnancy, that were NOT pleasant?
2. What are (up to) three things you weren’t told to expect during pregnancy, that WERE a pleasant surprise?
3. What is something that you were expecting and anticipating to happen during pregnancy that didn’t happen, or was nothing like you heard? Explain.
4. What frustrates you most about other non-pregnant people since being pregnant?
5. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Can I touch your belly?” from a stranger?
6. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you walk into a drug store during pregnancy?
7. What did you think would be common practice with your OB/GYN that either never came up, or wasn’t as common as you thought it would be? Explain.
8. What has been the rudest comment you’ve heard from a family member, a friend, or a stranger? (Feel free to say all three if applicable.)
9. Did/Have you signed up for any freebies that are offered to pregnant women? If so, what are they? And, what program have you benefited most from?
10. What would be your brutally honest advice and tidbits to a newly pregnant friend, now that you know what they’re about to go through?


Chelsea Ann:

Lightning crotch! No one ever tells you about lightning crotch!
It literally happens out of no where. like a stabbing feeling or needles poking at your uterus. Anything can trigger it, sitting or just walking. Also the round ligament pain, which happens at anytime also but mostly triggered by sudden movements.
Charlie horses in the middle of the night too! (Excruciating ripping of muscle tissue. ) Brings tears to your eyes in a split second!
And everyone tells you about constipation during pregnancy. But they don’t warn you about the opposite. ( diarrhea)


Brooklyn Milliner:
Due 5/10/16, 20 years old

1. The absolute crippling fatigue, the constant need for food even though it makes you sick and the extreme shooting siatic nerve pain that never really seems to go away.
2. I wasn’t told how much Better I would really feel in the 2nd trimester. My fatigue vanished and food didn’t make me nauseous anymore!
3. I was expecting my life to continue as normal, as if pregnancy would have no effect on my life. I was extremely wrong. In the first trimester, I couldn’t function. Between being exhausted and extremely hormonal nothing got accomplished. In the second trimester, I started gaining weight like a mad woman and though I had extra energy I still couldn’t get anything done because the access weight drug me down. Now in the third trimester I’m getting to the point where I’m tired of being pregnant and I still have 13 weeks to go. I don’t feel normal and can’t wait to be able to actually do things again.
4. The comments of non-pregnant women make me so upset. There is no “etiquette” when it comes to speaking to a pregnant woman. People say things like, “you’ve gained so much weight,” “you’re huge for only __ weeks!” “Are you sure there’s only ONE!” Watch what you say, we still have feelings. If anything we have MORE feelings.
5. Hell no. Don’t put your grubby hands on me.
6. I avoid drug stores at all cost.
7. I thought she would talk more about the changes going on with my body and what I was to look forward to. Instead, our visits to the doctor have been short and sweet. She listens to the heart beat, asks for a urine sample and says see you next time. I would prefer to know what’s really going on with me and the baby instead of only hearing his heartbeat. But I feel comfortable with the doctor herself and I am afraid to switch because I might not like the next doctor’s personality.
8. Family member: at Christmas time I took a photo with Santa. My dad made the comment “I couldn’t tell your ass from santa’s.” I was only 20 weeks and had just begun to show.
Stranger: while walking a state park with my husband, a park ranger came up to us and said “don’t have that baby here I’m not certified to deliver babies.” Again, I was only 23-24 weeks.
9. The only freebies I’ve gotten have been the free kit from target for starting a registry (bottle, soap, lotion, coupons, pacifier, diapers and wipes.
10. Don’t dwell on what’s going wrong, keep the big picture in mind. Pregnancy sucks sometimes, majorly and I wouldn’t want to do it again BUT it only lasts at the most 42 weeks. It’s a small price to pay for something so precious.
Eat whatever the hell you want to and don’t listen to other people’s negativity.


Ekaterina Shreffler:
Due 3/17/16, 19 years old

7. I thought Vbac’s would be a common practice but it isn’t as common as I thought it would be.
8. Are you going to get your tubes tied after you have this one… Since you will have one of each gender? I hate that.


Due 5/5/16, 32 years old

1. Horrible rib pain! Not being able to sleep and breathe! In the beginning always having to eat Bc of the nausea.
2. The constant movement. Didn’t know the extent of how often and how cool it actually feels. Oh and increase in libido! Oh my the dreams and longing for sex!
3. Hmm. Not really sure. More symptoms than I actually had I guess. Mostly had nausea really bad but otherwise didn’t feel pregnant until I started growing. Haven’t really gained much weight.
4. They don’t understand the tiredness and not feeling well. Losing a lot of friends Bc they don’t understand I can’t go out with them like they want.
5. Why?? I don’t even know you. What are you feeling for??
6. What do I need for this back pain?
7. Nothing. My OB has been very thorough. I’m there every other week to have cervix checks.
8. Nothing rude. Just friends saying I’m never around or I never want to do anything.
9. Yes. Walmart box. Free canopy cover and free nursing pillow. Haven’t used anything yet.
10. Rest! Get all the sleep you can. Dress comfortably. Always keep snacks handy.


Jillian Teske:
Due 5/23/16, 37 years old

#1 – a) the painful stretching of your ab muscles as early as 7 weeks feels like really bad menstrual cramps. b) the constant wetness “down there”. c) I expected heartburn, but this is more like a dragon made a nest in my chest and is breathing fire up my esophagus.
#8 “I knew you were having a girl because you’re getting so wide!”


Kristen Darling:
Due 4/8/16, 34 years old

1. The neverending wetness and need to change underwear constantly. Also the excruciating heartburn that can induce vomiting when bad enough
3. Contractions with my 1st child – until my doctor broke my water I didn’t have contractions. All I had was a slight pain in my lower back, like mild cramps
5. No, it’s mostly fat so you won’t feel anything anyway
8. Uncle – “Getting a little fat aren’t you”. As for strangers, you still can’t really tell I’m pregnant so I haven’t had to deal with that yet
9. I’ve signed up to anything free that I’ve heard about. Got the most from target registry, but in the long run the diaper and formula coupons will be the most beneficial
10. You can plan all you want, but nothing is perfect (1st pregnancy I had no problems, this one is complete opposite and they are both boys)


Due 4/28/16, 26 years old

1. Crippling fatigue in the first trimester, made worse by vomiting. Everyone jokes about morning sickness but nobody explained that my eyes would turn red, my throat would burn, my stomach would cramp and I would get triggered by the smallest things. Pelvic pain in the third trimester is no joke. I had been told about back pain, but the pain in my hips and groin is undeniably worse and constant. My skin has also gotten worse since conceiving. All my girlfriends said I would get a glow, but instead I have acne on my back, shoulders, chest, neck, and face.
2. My hair has gotten so much thicker and shiny. I actually broke a hair tie trying to put it up the other day. I never knew how excited I would get to see my belly grow. It becomes so much more real when you see your shirts fit tighter. Lastly, nobody told me that while I’m pregnant with this baby I’d be thinking about the next one! I’m so happy and excited to meet this little guy that it already has me thinking about how great it will be to do this all over again.
3. People told me that my relationship with my husband would change, and they were right. As soon as we found out I was pregnant he made sure everything was about me. We shared all household responsibilities pre pregnancy and we live kind of a weird life: along with the regular day to day things, we have 13 pets, and raise rabbits and chickens. He really stepped up caring for all the animals, catering to my needs, and just all around being attentive to me. I really started getting emotional in my third trimester and he’s been wonderful about not making me feel as crazy as I know I am. I’ve also gotten to see a very private side to him. My husband is an understanding, sensitive soul, but hearing him talk about our boy and what he looks forward to is just something else.
4. A lack of compassion. I don’t let being pregnant hinder my activity in many ways, but it upsets me when close friends tell me I need to toughen up about certain feelings and situations. Even those friends who have had children have made me feel bad about not staying out late or mentioning not feeling well. It has genuinely hurt my feelings.
6. Does anybody notice I’m not wearing my wedding ring? About a month ago I had to stop wearing it because it was getting stuck! Now I wonder if people notice I don’t have one on and think I’m a teen mom, because I get mistaken for being in high school all the time. I’m married and 26 years old.
7. I thought I would be getting ultrasounds all the damn time. Just based on what I’ve seen on tv I assumed I would be getting one every few weeks! Nope. I also thought the baby would look mostly like a baby a lot faster. When I got my first ultrasound pictures baby looked like a bean with little nubs. I also mistakenly thought you find out the sex of the baby pretty quickly. I didn’t realize we still don’t regularly use technology that can tell us the sex early in the pregnancy.
8. “I don’t know what else to tell you, other than man up.” – my friend when I was explaining how hard it was for me to be working, going to school, caring for my dying grandmother, and having morning sickness all day. That hurt my feelings more than anything else.
So many friends have asked me how I’m feeling or how how the pregnancy is going. When I’ve answered honestly, I’ve been told things like, “women have been doing this for years, you’re fine” or “you know, women in worse parts of the world do this and go right back to working fields and stuff after having the baby. I’m sure you can handle it.”
9. I haven’t.
10. This is the beginning of one of the strangest experiences you’ll ever put your body through. Be kind to yourself, treat yourself delicately. Until now your body has been your mind’s vessel; it now takes on a totally different purpose. Listen to what your body tells you: don’t put off sleep, going to the bathroom, food, or water if you don’t absolutely have to. Now is not the time to deny yourself of life’s necessities. It can be hard to love the changes you’ll go through, and it can be challenging to be grateful for this experience. But even though my baby isn’t born yet, I feel so close, so bonded, and so in love with my boy that everything I hate about being pregnant right now doesn’t seem so bad. I am not a sappy, emotional person, but this baby has me feeling more than any person I’ve ever met.


Alexis Randolph:
Due: 5/27/16, 32 years old

1. That something so mundane yet practical as brushing my teeth would make me vomit. That so many things could smell so bad and make me nauseous. That I would have shooting pain up ass randomly all the time and it’s crippling.
2. I am a kinda small woman, it was nice not to show super early that way I didn’t have to talk to every single person about it. How magical the first kick would feel. The sense of pride you feel for overcoming every crappy thing that happens during the whole process and knowing you’re a strong woman that will only get stronger when your child comes.
3. I was so paranoid that I would gain a lot of weight and so far I haven’t gained any, I am super thankful and horribly sore from working a physical job. I thought I would have more heartburn and haven’t barely had any. Also, as I was sitting here and filling this out, I told my husband what this current question was and he responded in a silly whiny voice, “more back rubs!” It is so true though, I could so use more back rubs, and butt rubs, and neck rubs, etc. LOL!
4. Their freaking laziness. How is it that I can bust my butt and get so much shit done and they have no problem being lazy and let a pregnant woman out shine/out work them.
5. I legitimately have not had a single person ask me other than family. My uniform hides it pretty well and I suppose I don’t have a huge social life right now.
6. Can’t say that I’ve gone into a drug store since becoming pregnant.
7. I don’t feel like they tell you whether you are doing a good job or are on track. I think to a certain degree they know everything and therefore they think you do too. This is my first pregnancy and everything is new and weird, no one prepares you for all of it. I get the weekly bump updates and one week will say you will have cramps in your legs. The next week it will say don’t be surprised if you get more hair. The next week it will warn against hemorrhoids. Honestly, right after you’re done being excited about your baby getting to the size of a cantaloupe you get hit with a plethora of crappy symptoms to look forward to.
8. A coworker teases me every week about not really being pregnant and instead just getting a big beer belly. A friend at volleyball told me he could tell I was getting bigger in my face, wtf is that?!?
9. The only free thing I got besides registering for my shower was at Destination maternity. It wasn’t exactly free, I think it was 3 dollars, but it came with some helpful items, coupons, and a subscription to family fun.
10. In your heart and in your head make sure you are ready. My husband and I will have been together for ten years this April; married for 5 years this June. We put off having kids for money, for careers, for stability in our relationship and probably a few more things in between. I might be a little older than most for having our first kid, but I wouldn’t change a thing. We have an amazing understanding of each other, he truly tries to take care of me and our household and is super patient with me. Having such a great understanding and unity within each other will only make the incredible blessing of a child in our lives be that much better. Both pregnancy and having a child aren’t easy; so even though being financially prepared might never come, you can put yourself in a better overall life situation. To this day we haven’t had a single fight during this pregnancy. We want nothing but the best love and care for our little girl.


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