What They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy

As soon as I found out I was expecting, I did what most women do; I researched. I scoured website after website, book after book, reading as much as I could to know everything I could about what was happening with my body and the growing one inside of me. From “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” to “Mayo Clinic: Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy” and all things BabyCenter.com (live by this website!) as well as other websites, I’ve read them all!

Almost eight months now of research, and there have been so many “not a big deal” items that have popped up during this pregnancy, I will never use the phrase again. I have learned that any time a complication is listed on any form of self-education I read as only 20% of women will have this condition or only one out of ten women experience this, I will ultimately end up with it.

Placenta Previa: Placenta previa (pluh-SEN-tuh PREH-vee-uh) occurs when a baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the opening in the mother’s cervix — the lower end of the uterus that connects to the top of the vagina. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding before or during delivery. (BabyCenter.com)

Placenta previa occurs in one out of 200 pregnancies.
University of Maryland Medical Center

My experience with this condition was early in my pregnancy and, thankfully, resolved itself as my baby grew, and we entered the second trimester. This “simple explanation” was definitely anything but simple to me; it was scary! The number one thing that a woman is not supposed to experience during this time happened, and there was nothing anyone could have done about it other than put me on bed rest and wait for it to stop. One highlight from this involuntary undertaking was the chance to have multiple sonograms to make sure my baby was still with me; I have her heartbeat practically memorized now, and it was amazing to see her grow week by week!

Subchorionic Bleeding: Also called subchorionic hematoma, subchorionic bleeding is the accumulation of blood within the folds of the chorion (the outer fetal membrane, next to the placenta) or within the layers of the placenta itself. These bleeds, or clots, can cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall if they get too large, if they develop in a bad spot, or if they aren’t eventually reabsorbed.

A good 20 percent of pregnant women will experience some kind of bleeding early in pregnancy, though it’s often hard to tell what’s causing the problem. (What to Expect When You’re Expecting)

This one kind of snowballed with the previa, occurring during the same time frame. A three millimeter pocket had formed within the folds of where my daughter latched on causing some blood vessels to pop, bleed, and form the pocket. The bleed had stopped, but the remnants were present and attributing to the complications associated with the previa. Another “nothing to worry about” and “it’ll resolve itself” later, the pocket reabsorbed after being monitored by multiple more sonograms.   

Gestational Diabetes: This is a type of diabetes that some women get during pregnancy. Between 2 and 10 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems of pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant, hormonal changes can make your cells less responsive to insulin. For most moms-to-be, this isn’t a problem: When the body needs additional insulin, the pancreas dutifully secretes more of it. But if your pancreas can’t keep up with the increased insulin demand during pregnancy, your blood glucose levels rise too high, resulting in gestational diabetes. (BabyCenter.com)

This new, lovely, “not a big deal”, “not the worst thing that could happen” condition has been a pain in my posterior (pardon the expression). After failing the first one-hour glucose tolerance test and almost passing out/getting sick from the second three-hour test, I had to meet with an endocrinologist. They put me on a controlled diet that feels eerily similar to the diet I was on when I was losing weight before I got pregnant, but this time, calories are way more flexible; carbs, not so much. The first week was rough; my blood glucose numbers were all over the place and nowhere near the desired range. I am now entering the second week trying to control my blood glucose levels, and just over the past two days, my numbers have finally started to stabilize and be in the range I need. I had to add a bit of exercise to the end of each meal, but just ten minutes of walking and finally getting a hang of how much of what I can have, I am starting to feel a bit more comfortable with it.

My only words of advice and my initial reason for posting this blog is to let other women who are expecting know that no matter your condition, big or small, no matter what the doctors or nurses say, or even those around you, it is OK to worry. It is OK to feel frustrated, to be sad, or to just be upset. Whatever you are feeling isn’t wrong to feel. I cannot tell you how many times I cried from frustration and aggravation during all of these “simple explanations”, these “nothing to worry about’s”, and these “not a big deal’s”, and at the time, it was what I needed.

When you are first affronted with something that you have no control over, anyone’s initial reaction is to be upset, so be upset! As you make your way through and learn what you need to, you will eventually find peace and learn how to deal with it, but in the meantime, if it is a big deal to you, then let it be!

This too shall pass.

64 days until I meet my daughter which will make it all worth it!

*Disclaimer: if you feel that you need help getting past something that has occurred in your pregnancy or even in your life, don’t sit on it and let it develop into more worry. Ask for help from your family, friends, and/or doctors. You can be upset, but human nature is to learn to deal with it, so if you find yourself sinking further into your emotions, ask for help!

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