I had heard the horror stories, trust me. I knew what pregnancy would do to my body. It’s impossible to go through a nearly 40 week process where one of your organs multiplies to 500 times its normal size (and effectively moves everything in your body to a new position), where you grow an entirely new organ as well as a very small human being, brain and all, without feeling some shock waves.
But I was not entirely prepared for the scope and breadth of just how my body would change. What am I talking about? Well, let’s address 3 major changes that literally no one told me about.
1. I became allergic to contacts.
At a certain point in pregnancy, you have so much extra fluid that your vision can become blurry. It’s incredibly common. What else is common? Becoming allergic to contacts after you give birth. Thanks, Forrest!
I’ve worn contacts since I was 14. I almost never wore my glasses out in public. And yet, after I had Forrest, every time I put in my contacts, my eyes burned, my vision blurred, and I felt generally miserable. After a few eye doctor visits, I found out the truth: my eyes were rejecting contacts. It’s all glasses all the time for me now.
2. Some pregnancy symptoms become semi-permanent.
I developed really severe carpal tunnel when I was pregnant. This is because, again, you have so much extra fluid in your body that it puts pressure on all of your joints (this is also why your ankles and knees and hips and just about everything else hurts). My carpal tunnel was so bad towards the end of my pregnancy that my hands would go numb and I wouldn’t be able to move them until I held them up for several minutes. Cool!
For about 8 months after I had Forrest, I had pretty several wrist pain. I couldn’t pick up anything heavy with my left hand or put any pressure on that wrist. It was the worst when it came to my carpal tunnel, so it made sense. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized I also now have a gigantic bone spur on my left wrist; it is so sharp you can see it through the skin. Cool! I also have near permanent carpal tunnel; some mornings, my left hand is still numb.
3. Everything you thought you knew about your cycle is now wrong.
So, I bet you thought that once you were 28 and a mom, you’d have the whole menstrual cycle thing down pat. Well, guess what? WRONG. Pregnancy does this super fun thing to your body where it basically changes everything you ever thought you knew about your cycle. Never used to get cramps? Surprise! Cramp town! Used to be incredibly regular? Psych! Never had cravings? Boom, welcome to chocolate-covered-pretzel-town! You’ll look back in fondness at those pre-pregnancy days of having at least a moderate understanding of your cycle. For the lucky few, maybe things haven’t changed that much. For the rest of us, wave goodbye.
Hey! This isn’t to say that everything about pregnancy is bad. All these things happen—the terrible skin, the cowboy walk (yikes), the saggy boobs—but you also get a baby. And that’s pretty great.