The 5 Biggest Surprises of Pregnancy (1st Trimester Edition)

Pregnancy has been full of surprises… one after another. I thought I’d document a few here so the rest of you can let me know if I am completely crazy, or if this stuff surprised you too. Also, for anyone who is not preggo yet, here’s a heads up so maybe you can be more informed than I have been when you are!

1) Maternity clothes

I have been saying for years that maternity pants have to be some of the nerdiest, least fashionable articles of clothing ever invented and yet, the time has come for me to wear said pants. To say I have been resistant is an understatement – not because I have any personal experience with them or can vouch for their quality, comfort or style from a firsthand perspective. My concerns have to do with the big elastic waistband and not much else. I never thought I’d be an elastic waistband kinda girl. The problem is, for the past week or two my regular jeans and work pants have gotten increasingly tight. They dig into my stomach when I am sitting (which is 99% of my life these days. I laugh in the face of physical activity) and after I eat, when my stomach puffs out like a helium balloon. So I borrowed a bag of maternity clothes from a friend of mine and in it was a pair of maternity leggings. They are a pair of cotton wonderfulness, bunchy in all the wrong places (especially because I don’t fill them in completely yet) but full of heavenly comfort in all the right places. They are my new favorite pants and I even went online yesterday to look for more. I have a feeling I will be living in these the next six months. And I am not sure if it is my new found tolerance for maternity waistbands or if I misjudged them to begin with, but I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that maternity clothes are not as bad as I thought.

2) I can’t drag myself off the couch to save my life

Speaking of my lack of physical activity, that’s been another big surprise. I have always fancied myself pretty active, but times have changed ever since I saw the blue “pregnant” result on that stick in mid-January. In fact, I distinctly remember the last day I really worked out, like hard. It was MLK day and I remember it because I went to the gym at noon, something I am not usually able to do. Stick turned positive the next day and my dreams of a toned summer bod went down the tubes. The exhaustion you feel while pregnant is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. It is worse than jet lag, it is worse than any all-nighter I pulled in college, it’s worse than the worst kind of tired. I am not exaggerating.

3) Unsolicited advice from friends who have never been pregnant

When you get pregnant, people suddenly have a lot to say about what you should and shouldn’t be eating, doing, thinking, feeling… the problem, for me anyway, is not so much the advice itself, it’s the fact that some of these well-intentioned people have never been pregnant before! (The irony of all of this is that one of my hubby’s pet peeves about me is that I “act like an expert” when talking about subjects I know nothing about. I guess I see where he’s coming from now when he gets frustrated). I get it though. I do. I thought I understood pregnancy before too because it seems that almost everyone I know has 1, 2, 3, or 4 kids with the hopes of a fifth. But I had no idea. I still have no idea what’s to come. All I know is that the past few months of been full of bizarre feelings like being pinched in my lower abdomen, stretched in my upper abdomen, wanting to puke at the thought of lentils (excuse me, I just gagged) and all kinds of other foreign physical sensations. Not to mention wanting to cry at the drop of a hat and fall asleep when stopped at a red light. It’s too unpredictable to understand when you’re in it, let alone when you’re not. And for those of you who endured my unsolicited advice giving the past, oh I don’t know… 10 years, I just want to say thanks for being so forgiving.

4) The first ultrasound

My hubby and I were both surprised about this next one. You know how in movies and TV, they show couples having their first ultrasound appointment and weeping over the beauty that is their bundle of joy? They sit for what you have to assume is at least half an hour listening to the heartbeat, watching the little guy or girl move and marveling at the miracle they created. Well, in real life the first ultrasound is way faster and less romantic. I glanced over at my husband just as it started in an attempt to have a special ultrasound, eyes-locked, omg-we-are-looking-at-our-baby-for-the-first-time-moment and by the time my eyes made it back to the screen, we were halfway done. I would advise (now here I go with the unsolicited advice) that you go into your first ultrasound expecting less romance and more clinical so you are not disappointed.

5) Pregnant besties

Finally, I was surprised and ecstatic to find out that three of my closest friends are on this journey at the exact same time as me (due within days of each other no less)! This has made a huge difference in the not-feeling-alone department. We text daily and ask,”have you experienced (insert weird feeling)?” Sometimes we are going through the same thing and other times we are completely opposite but there is an overall feeling of camaraderie between us soon-to-be-moms and I am hoping it will continue once the babies come too.

What surprised you during your first few months of pregnancy?


  1. preach, sister. yes! each and every one of these things. totally agree.

  2. I love it, Angela! And I totally relate. Enjoy the ride, girlfriend, and CALL ME whenever!

  3. Aunt Susan says:

    Thankful I got the two-pack because my husband didn’t think I did the test correctly the first time when I showed him the “blue” stick!!

    • Haha! We actually got the five pack this time (thinking we could use them in future months) but ended up using them all as backups this time! We didn’t believe it until five tests confirmed it!!

  4. Aunt Ruth says:

    I remember the end of that first trimester….I started doing the “rubber band fastener” technique on my pants! Finally switched to maternity clothes and actually had a hard time giving up a pair of maternity shorts once it was all over. Wore them way longer than I should have!!

  5. Love this post, great job! I have felt the same way!

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