The 7 worst pregnancy symptoms you can experience
Poor Kim Kardashian. I don't mean that sarcastically at all, I actually feel really bad for her. It's hard enough being pregnant when you're not under the spotlight--every pregnant woman is scrutinized, judged, and critiqued at some point--"She's gaining too much weight", "She's gaining too little weight", "I can't believe she's wearing heels", "OMG did she just eat fish?"--it gets old real fast. I can't imagine having the entire world watching, and this woman has been ridiculed for everything from traveling too much to wearing the wrong dress. And now, I've seen a picture of her sad edema-ridden legs and swollen tootsies squeezed into a pair of clear, plastic heels, and I can't help but cringe.
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Thankfully, I didn't suffer from any swelling during my pregnancy, but it is a very real and uncomfortable symptom for a lot of women, not just celebrities who can't seem to hang up their high heels. In fact, pregnancy is generally rife with unseemly, discouraging and frankly, painful side effects. Here are some that had me literally aching for my son's safe arrival:
1. Spotting. I spotted for an entire month in the early part of my pregnancy--you know the trimester in which the risk of miscarriage is highest? Yeah, for me this scary spotting was a daily occurrence from weeks 6 to 10, and after two emergency ultrasounds and countless after-hours phone calls and emotional breakdowns, by the Grace of God my son was proven to be safe and sound.
2. Weird veins. Practically before the pee was even dry on the pregnancy test, I had tell-tale bluish-green veins glowing through the skin on my chest. I don't think too many people noticed, but my husband and I constantly found ourselves marveling at just how much extra blood must have been pumping through my body for the veins to be so pronounced.
3. Acid reflux. I didn't just have heartburn, I had full on acid reflux every single day for months and months. It seemed that even things that were supposed to alleviate it made it worse. In fact, all I had to do was think about chewing to get searing pains all up and down my esophagus.
4. Constipation. We're totally going to get TMI on this one. One of my first pregnancy symptoms was constipation, and despite taking daily stool softeners, I would go days without relieving my bowels, and let me tell you, it was not pretty when I was able to successfully go.
5. Round ligament pain. When I was around 15 weeks pregnant I had to drive someone to the airport and back--in total it was about two hours. By the time I got home I was cramping and experiencing shooting pains all around my lower abdomen and back. I continued to ask about these awful, nearly constant pains at every check up during my second trimester. Of course, it also meant that I couldn't walk without wobbling from pretty early on.
6. Intense Hunger. Sure this might seem fairly normal until you find yourself ugly crying and swearing at a stop light at 11:30 in the morning because your hunger nauseated you so badly that you could not make it to lunchtime before you darted out of the office on a desperate hunt for food. Or you know, woke up at midnight dry heaving until you scarfed down some pretzels dipped in chocolate pudding.
7. Back aches. It doesn't matter whether you are on your feet all day or sitting at a desk all day, when you're pregnant, your back will ache and ache and ache. When I asked what could help ease the pain I was told to take acetaminophen and to use a heating pad if I had one, but that I should expect it to get worse as my pregnancy progressed. And it did. By the time my son was born, it was a project of epic scale to get in and out of bed without writhing in pain.
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