The Top Ten Worst Symptoms of Pregnancy

It turns out that we’re having a baby. I see a lot of happy announcements and sonograms in my feed, but not a lot of honest reporting of what pregnancy turns out to really be like.

Maybe this is all part of a giant conspiracy — why would anyone move forward with getting pregnant if they knew what was in store for them? I certainly wouldn’t have finally embarked on the journey with such gusto knowing that I’d be exhausted for the next four months.

Thus, I feel it is my scholarly duty to present my list of the top ten worst symptoms of pregnancy, in order of increasing terror. Each one of these was, at one point in the last four months, the worst pregnancy symptom I had ever experienced. To think I still have five months to go. Aye aye aye.

10. Headaches

I’ve learned a fair amount about anatomy and the gestational process. My belly isn’t just growing because there’s a baby in it; it’s also growing because that baby requires a lot of blood. The average woman needs to create an additional four pounds of blood in addition to a placenta and a perfect little fetus. Apparently, this requires a lot of water and leads to headaches whenever there isn’t quite enough water in the body. I have never had so many headaches. And apparently so much blood inside of me.

9. Food Aversions

I love vegetables. But for the first three months I was pregnant, the thought of eating a piece of lettuce made me want to puke. I had to hide zucchini in muffins and brownies in order to get anything green inside of me. Why couldn’t it have been chocolate and scones that made me ill?? Does this mean the new addition to our family will be unwilling to eat any veggies??

8. Itchy Nipples

What kind of physiological process is even going on in my body that would possibly cause my nipples to itch? And never both of them at the same time. First it was my left nipple. It itched continually for about two weeks two months ago. Then, no itching. Now, all of a sudden, my right one caught up and itches off and on all day. Fun!

7. Sore Boobs

This was the first symptom that surfaced. I knew I was pregnant even before a pregnancy test ever confirmed it because my boobs were so sore.

6. Exhaustion

So tired. Can’t write anymore. So much more tired than I’ve ever been. A few weeks ago I asked my husband, “Babe, did I used to be this tired at the end of the day?” I honestly didn’t remember. He replied with an emphatic “NO!” and reminded me that I used to stay up late to watch reruns of Parenthood. Now that parenthood is upon me, all I want to do is sleep.

Perhaps this is to prepare for the sleepless nights ahead? I shudder in anticipation of my future.

5. Nausea

I would say that the one good consequence of my pregnancy is that for the first time in my life I always spell nausea correctly. Heretofore I never knew how to spell it, mostly because I never really thought about it or needed to write about it. But my constant nausea was pretty much the only thing I texted anyone about for at least two months. I should note that I’m lucky to have such wonderful friends and family that they didn’t hold my constant complaining against me (that I know of).

4. Constant Need to Urinate

I have to pee. BRB. OK back. Wait, now I have to pee again. Damnit.

3. Indigestion

The second trimester, apparently, brings on indigestion. What fun that is. Just when my food aversions and nausea have subsided, now a new way for me to not enjoy food. Thanks, little fetus. Thanks.

2. Insomnia

When my head hits the pillow — no matter how exhausted I am — the nausea, indigestion and need to pee join forces to keep me from sleeping. Their goal is definitely to ensure that I’m as exhausted as possible the next day and that — no matter how many hours I allocate myself for sleeping — at least half of it is spent running to the bathroom or feeling intestinal distress.

1. Constipation

This whole list was probably TMI, but in case it wasn’t, here’s the cherry for the TMI sundae. I never thought it would be this hard to poop.

I’ve never been so excited to squeeze out a tiny little pellet of feces. I’ve never had poops that resembled mouse droppings more than they have in the past few months. I’ve never had such extraordinary pain shoot through my intestines to prepare my body for defecation. I’ve never spent so much time on the toilet.

I used to look in bewilderment at other peoples’ books and magazines piled near the toilet. Who could possibly spend so much time on the toilet that you’d need reading material?? Pregnant me, that’s who.

I now stick to a strict daily regime of tons of water, chia seed pudding, prunes and ground flax seeds to keep my system regular. If I miss a day? Ooooh, boy, do I pay for it later. In time, pain and frustration.

I thought that the #1 thing I’d look forward to post-pregnancy (besides the baby, of course) was enjoying a Manhattan again. It turns out that it’s the ability to quickly and painlessly poop. That’ll be a glorious day!!

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9 thoughts on “The Top Ten Worst Symptoms of Pregnancy

  1. Jen, You are so right on- and hilarious! You need to come in for acupuncture- I can totally help the rest of your pregnancy to be  A LOT more comfortable, though not as fun as having a manhattan;-)

  2. MarekB But Chia seed pudding is SO GOOD! If you’re ever in California, I’m going to make you some. And you’re going to like it. Unless you don’t. But either way, it might help you poop!

  3. Big congrats Jennifer-  what many western women suffer from is coming into pregnancy –with deficiencies they were powering through life prior to pregnancy-  then BOOM. — you can’t live a life expressing primarily masculine principle.  It takes it toll. Pregnancy is a time to cultivate Yin.
    They are call symptoms- but I call them ‘red flags’ – cues- that are assisting you in shifting your lifestyle to match what is going on inside your body-  There is wisdom that wants to emerge.  She lives inside you-  and when you slow way way way down-  turn off the noise and distraction of the external world.  You will come face to face with HER.    BTW-  too much water will mess up your electrolyte balance.
    If you are ready to take a deeper plunge-  seek elder guidance.  You are welcome to private message me if you are moved to take that plunge.

  4. Big congrats Jennifer-  What many western women suffer from coming
    into pregnancy are deficiencies they missed and/or were powering through life
    prior to pregnancy-  then BOOM. — Baby growing inside and your realize you can’t live a life expressing
    primarily masculine principle.  It takes it toll. Pregnancy is a time to
    cultivate Yin. 

    They are call symptoms- but I call them ‘red
    flags’ – cues- that are assisting you in shifting your lifestyle to
    match what is going on inside your body and meet those needs of deep nourishment physically and mentally(aka psycho-spiritually) There is wisdom that wants to
    emerge from the inside out.  Pregnancy is an opportunity to see what you are truly made of– and when you slow way way way down- 
    turn off the noise and distraction of the external world.  She will guide you on every aspect-level of your being that will take you on a journey that you did not even know was possible.     BTW- ” too much water” will throw off your
    electrolyte balance.If you are ready to take a deeper plunge- 
    seek elder guidance.  You are welcome to private message me if you are
    moved to take that plunge.  Practical is real-  and all spiritual matters are rooted in the real!!! Peace and Blessings.

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