If I can be honest for a moment, pregnancy is still a scary concept to me. I mean, you're literally growing a parasite inside you — granted it will turn out to be an adorable parasite (hopefully) — but it's a parasite all the same. It feeds off your energy and the food you ingest, adds a good amount of weight to your frame, and then after nine months, it gets so big it must force its way out of you through a small, very sensitive opening. Moms, I truly don't know how you did it/keep doing it, but needless to say, I'm impressed.
Then there are these fun videos that keep surfacing that would traumatize anyone who hasn't actually been through pregnancy themselves. Every time I see one, I try so hard to remember the squirming thing under the woman's skin is actually an adorable little baby and not a soulless, sharp-fanged demon spawn. One thing that really helps is hearing the parents laughing. I mean, if they're finding the whole situation amusing, everything has to be totally cool and normal, right? Right? In this particular video, the baby must have just heard his favorite song on the radio, because he has got some serious moves.
Yep, that's a completely normal, natural pregnancy, gals. It might look like that scene in Alien right before the alien bursts through the guy's torso, but don't worry, that probably won't happen here. Babies like being inside their moms too much to do that to them, plus they don't have the necessary teeth for it.
However, feisty in-womb babies is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of weird things expectant mothers go through during pregnancy. This is the other reason I'm nervous about letting a baby rent out my uterus for nine months. I am a huge worrier, thus anything out of the ordinary — you know, besides a small human growing inside me — would have me on the phone, crying to my doctor at all hours of the day and night. So for myself and all the other hypochondriacs out there, here is a list of some of the weirdest/scariest pregnancy symptoms that are 100 percent normal.
Being pregnant means you're going to be peeing. A lot. Not only are you instructed to drink a ton of water, but there's a large, growing thing bouncing around on your bladder all day long. Chances are you will have little accidents when you sneeze, laugh, turn over, etc. Best advice: Let it happen, and be prepared with pads/extra underwear/a strong sense of humor.
Image: Nick Wilkes via Flickr
Is your partner shaking you awake at night as if he or she is trying to exorcise the demons out of you? Well, chances are you've taken up a snoring habit that rivals the largest of potbellied pigs. Try some Simply Saline spray, prop yourself up, and get friendly with a body pillow, or get used to being poked repeatedly by someone other than your growing fetus.
No, you haven't lost control of your motor functions. Just another fun symptom of having all that water in your body. Well, that and the spiking hormones coursing through you. Try drinking acidic things like lemon and reducing your carb intake for this one.
Now, while it might look like you're about to explode into the Hulk, this is actually just a side effect of increased blood flow, because your body is pumping blood to two of you now. Nothing really to do about them while you're pregnant except freaking people out by saying, "You won't like me when I'm angry." They usually start to fade postpartum.
This one would totally freak me out, because I'd be sure I was about to have a stroke, but apparently it's quite common among pregnant folk. It's another effect of raised hormone levels — unless you keep mints in your change purse, then it's just an effect of Messy Bag Syndrome.
Not only will your nipples force a hostile takeover of your breasts, they will become super dark and even sprout little bumps that can produce liquid, like tiny, gross skin volcanoes! This is an example of hyperpigmentation from hormones (again... thanks, hormones!), and some think it happens to make it easier for your baby to find his or her way to your nipple for feeding. But don't fret, they will shrink back to normal size once you stop nursing, though they might always be slightly darker than before.
If you suddenly experience a voice change like you're a boy going through puberty, don't fret. Your balls aren't dropping; you're just a woman carrying a baby. "Changes in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can cause swelling in your vocal cords, which can cause you to sound different when speaking or singing." So if you find you're suddenly a base, go out and start a blues band, girl! Work those sexy pipes!
This sounds like one of those terrible nightmares in which all your teeth fall out, but again, totally ordinary and regular in the world of pregnancy. Increased blood flow and hormone changes cause your gums to swell, get puffy and, yes, bleed on occasion. You may even notice nodules called "pregnancy tumors" (seriously, who decided on this terrifying term?) on your gums, but they're harmless and will disappear postpartum. Just be gentle when you brush, and try switching to softer brush bristles and sensitive toothpaste.
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