Pregnancy Expectations Versus Reality - Baby Chick
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Pregnancy Expectations Versus Reality

Pregnancy is an exciting time. But the expectation versus reality of it might look very different. Here are some examples of what to expect.

Updated April 15, 2024 Opinion

I was really fortunate to have a smooth first pregnancy with my son. Our birth story, well, that’s a different story for another time. However, pregnancy-wise, I had a great appetite, I worked out the entire time, and I LOVED watching my baby bump grow. Then, here comes baby number two. Let’s say my expectations versus the reality of pregnancy the second time around were a lot different.

I began my second pregnancy with all-day nausea. So bad I even landed myself in the hospital. Not to mention having to care for a toddler in the prime ‘developmental/tantrum throwing’ age — yikes!

Expectation Versus Reality: Pregnancy

If you are preparing for pregnancy or may be experiencing some ‘harsh realities’ for yourself — here’s an honest list of expectations that may need a reality check!

The Bump

Expectation: Having the cutest and perfectly round bump that looks perfect in your cute new summer maternity clothes.

Reality: The bump probably won’t be perfectly round. It’s also tough to find comfy, affordable maternity clothes that won’t break the bank!

Pregnancy Cravings

Expectation: I can’t wait to indulge in those yummy pregnancy cravings.

Reality: Why in the world am I craving pickles slathered in strawberry jam?! And I just ran out of Tums for my heartburn!

Pregnancy Pillows

Expectation: I’m stoked to get one of those giant pregnancy pillows — move over, husband!

Reality: The husband doesn’t move over, and the pillow is more suffocating than comfortable.

Bring on That Pregnancy Glow, Baby!

Expectation: Looking forward to clear, soft, glowing skin for once in your life.

Reality: Your hormones are surging through your body, causing more breakouts, redness, pimples, and uneven skin tone. AHHHHH! Why is pregnancy acne a thing??

Rocking Your Bump in Public

Expectation: I can’t wait to show off this baby bump during the grocery trip. It looks so cute!

Reality: The bump is too cute! This explains why six strangers just tried to touch my belly like I’m some kind of magic genie lamp. Move it along, people; no wishes are being granted today!

Excitement to Be Pregnant in General

Expectation: I’m so excited to see that plus sign on the pregnancy test and tell my partner we’re pregnant!

Reality: Asking your partner to hold your hair while you throw up for the 12th time that day.

Planning Your Baby Shower

Expectation: You’ll have the cutest baby shower full of everyone showering you and your bundle of joy with love!

Reality: Everyone wants to be involved in decision making, forgetting that the baby shower isn’t actually about them.

Decorating Baby’s Nursery

Expectation: I can’t wait to paint the walls, put up the crib, get the cute decorations all set up, and share the nursery on Instagram!

Reality: Pregnancy exhaustion is real . . . decorating the nursery can wait till later anyway, right?

Buying Cute Newborn Clothing

Expectation: Coming home from every trip with a new matching baby outfit that’ll make everyone swoon.

Reality: You have 20+ newborn outfits that the baby will outgrow in the first 5 days . . . yup, been there!

Stretch Marks

Expectation: My mom, sister, aunt, grandma — none of them ever got stretch marks, so I’m good!

Reality: Waking up to a belly full of stretch marks . . . I mean, what in the world?!

Bring on the Compliments

Expectation: Anxiously awaiting someone to compliment how cute you look in your new maternity dress or on your luscious long locks of hair.

Reality:OMG, you’re so big now . . . when are you due?” or “Oh wow, the baby hasn’t come out yet?”

The Hormones Can’t Be THAT Bad

Expectation: Feeling nervous when expecting a baby is normal, right?

Reality: After 3 hours of binge-watching Netflix, one pint of ice cream, and lots of tears — here we all are!

The Gender Reveal

Expectation: As long as the baby is healthy, that’s all that matters!

Reality: Everyone gives their opinions after the gender is revealed — “OH NO, didn’t you want a girl?!” or “Aw, are you going to try for a boy next time?” or even better, “Oh wow, another *insert gender here*.”

Baby Registry

Expectation: Going into the store with your significant other to use the super cool scanner to scan all the cute items and add them to your baby registry.

Reality: Being too tired to find the energy to go to the store, you add everything (and I mean everything) online instead.

Getting More Sleep Before the Baby Arrives

Expectation: Now’s the time to soak in all that extra sleep before your new baby arrives!

Reality: Pregnancy insomnia, leg cramps, heartburn, having to pee every hour, and vivid dreams keep you up ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

Of course, the expectation versus reality of pregnancy will look different for everyone (and for each pregnancy!). I know I sound like a Debbie Downer, but I’m just trying to be honest. Plus, the better you can prepare yourself for some of these, the easier it’ll be to brush them off and carry on if and when you experience them. And you may not experience some of these at all! So don’t let this list hinder your pregnancy experience, okay? Use it as a fun way to brush off some scenarios if you find yourself running into them, and most importantly, enjoy your growing little bump!

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  • Author

Karissa is a boy mama who resides in sunny San Diego, California with her family - including their two big doggies! After facing many postpartum struggles with minimal support after… Read more

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