Pregnancy – Little-Known Side Effects

If you’ve read my other posts, you know that we struggled for three years to get pregnant with our first and then it only took us fifteen months to get pregnant with our second child. My first pregnancy I was sick until I delivered.  Oh I was so sick – and I thought “who in their right mind loves to do this?” I know – there are those out there who actually do love being pregnant. There are those who struggle for years – way more than I and wont complain an inch when they get pregnant because they are so grateful to be pregnant because of the trouble they had to get pregnant. I commend you. I wish I could be like that. I look up to those who can. I’m just not one of those people *inward cringe*. But in reality, I hate being pregnant – or I hate the side effects of being pregnant and complications after delivery.

Let’s talk Nausea. During my second pregnancy I was sicker than I’d ever been. I could barely function – and I had a full time job. I know I’ll be judged on this comment, but it’s truly how I felt unfortunately – but at one point, while I was kneeling in prayer, pouring out my heart to my Heavenly Father I asked for a miscarriage. I’m covering my face right now, I’m ashamed to say I thought this. I was bawling to Him and I literally didn’t think I could survive another day being so sick. He answered my prayers – the next day I got the flu. Anyone laughing at me right now saying, “Ha! That’s what you get!”? Yeah, so on top of pregnancy nausea & throw up and being sick I was throwing up even more because I had the flu. I couldn’t keep anything down and when I’m pregnant, if I get hungry I throw up. Needless to say it was a very bad day with a fever on top of it. Twenty four hours later the flu was gone but I still couldn’t keep down any food or liquid and I started having contractions. I went into labor and delivery and found out I was severely dehydrated and had to be hooked up to an IV for a couple hours AND they gave me nausea medication! WHAT?! There is medicine they can give you for nausea? Why didn’t I know about this sooner? I left the hospital with a prescription for nausea medication that I could take during my pregnancy.  The Lord had answered my prayers – in the way He knew best. I’m so grateful he didn’t grant me what I was praying for. I couldn’t imagine my life without my only son, but I’m so grateful I got the flu and found out about nausea medication. Every time I got pregnant after that I got nausea medication as soon as I found out I was pregnant. So if you’re nauseated, don’t stay miserable ask your doctor for some meds! And, if one med isn’t working, tell you doctor. Zofran did NOTHING for me. I was still throwing up on it. Dicelgis took a little of the edge off, but I was still throwing up with it. So they added phenegren to that and miracle upon miracles I could function again! So apparently I need two nausea meds to help me not be sick.

Let’s talk constipation. Did you know that pregnancy and certain meds, like phenegran, can make you constipated? Yes! Holy cow, talk about painful and miserable. Now for some people, it’s fine to just up your fiber intake and you’ll be good. With pregnancy number five I was taking a double dose of your daily fiber supplement, plus drinking tons of water and it wasn’t helping. I went a night drinking cups of pineapple juice (any juice that starts with ‘p’ is high in fiber according to my dotors), downing a bag of prunes and eating almonds. All which were high in fiber. The next day I was finally able to go. But it kept getting worse. My doctor put me on miralax, 2 doses of colace a day, and double doses of fiber supplement to hopefully help and it would be three days on this regimen before I was able to have a bowel movement. I was still having issues! I was miserable and in so much pain which led me to an ER visit. Did you know that low potassium will cause constipation too? Turns out my potassium was extremely low! So I had to increase my potassium intake and after five days I finally got it up to a safe level and the constipation was finally under control. Hallelujah!

Let’s talk bladder control. You might be laughing, but this isn’t something anyone tells you about and you don’t know about it until your pregnant with your 2+ pregnancies. I worked for a university while I was pregnant with my second child. I was sitting at my desk when all of a sudden I sneezed…and PEE’D MY PANTS (or my skirt technically)! Talk about embarrassing. I litterally had to go home and change. Apparently your bladder isn’t as strong after your first pregnancy and sneezing and coughing can cause you to pee your pants. So when ever you need to sneeze or cough while pregnant you’ll need to assume the position – legs tightly crossed!  lol – I’m laughing but it’s true!

Vulvar Varicose Veins. This is one that really isn’t talked about much at all. I was pregnant with my third and was in so much pain standing up. I had to lay down for most of the day. I didn’t understand what was wrong. I got out of the shower one day and glanced at myself in the mirror doing a double take. I had a GINORMOUS bulge in my *cough*cough* genital area. I hadn’t noticed it before because my big stomach was in the way but I started freaking out. My doctor wanted me to come in immediately. I was lying on the exam bed my OB was like, “Well, I’m not seeing what you were talking about.” This surprised me because when I saw it in the mirror it was pretty big. I told her it didn’t hurt when I was laying down but when I was standing up and that’s when I noticed it too. She had me stand up and her eyes got big. She said she’d be right back and brought another doctor in. I was freaking out a little at the odd behavior. The other doctor then said, “Yup, those are just vulvar varicose veins.” And left the room. I looked at my OB wide eyed waiting for more information.

Are you wondering what Vulvar varicosities (VVs) are? They are “varicose veins that have developed in your vulva. The vulva is a woman’s external genital area. Many women experience VVs during pregnancy. This is because changes in blood flow and increased hormone levels can cause the veins in the vulva to become enlarged.”

I asked what they could do and she said there wasn’t anything they could really do for me. I would need to have my legs elevated and try to stay off my feet as much as possible. Talk about misery. I was in SO much pain standing up. Think of it as if someone had used you as a punching bag down there – repeatedly – and then scraped you over the pavement. On top of sharp pain and barely being able to move. Yup, that’s what it felt like to me. And we had no dishwasher. I was always standing up for long periods to get my kitchen cleaned. Oh, and I had a 4 yr old and a 1 year old, and I was pregnant. Who could just lay around all day? I was so miserable.

But then my amazing sister in law contacted me. She’d heard about my VVs. Her best friend had them too and they went all the way down her legs to her knees. So painful, but she found something that helped. I was all ears for that. It’s called a V2 belt, she told me it saved her friend during her pregnancy. It didn’t cure the VVs but it lessened the pain immensely so she could actually function. I found it on amazon called It’s You Babe V2 Supporter.

It reminds me of a chastity belt every time I look at it- bahaha! But I’ll tell you this – it has been my salvation. It really does work. It lessens the pain to barely there. I don’t love the bulky straps that go over each butt cheek, but I will gladly take that over being in extreme misery every day. If you’re experiencing VVs you need one of these belts. There aren’t many types out there – but this one gets the job done. Check it out – you won’t be disappointed.

I know there’s probably more little-known pregnancy side-affects, if you have any, please share them with us! Anything to help fellow momma’s is appreciated 🙂  This is all I’m sharing for now. There are Good things about pregnancy – like feeling the baby move. There are Bad things – like my VV’s – ugh! But having kids is Pretty amazing, and even though I HATE being pregnant, I’m so grateful to have been blessed with these wonderful children.

Life is a blessing.



2 thoughts on “Pregnancy – Little-Known Side Effects

  1. My feet and legs swell so badly that even though I was pregnant through June and July I wore pants and compression stockings all summer because it was uncomfortable and unsightly and if they swelled too much I couldn’t fit into my shoes!! I also had symphysis pubis diffunction.. look it up.. ouch!

    1. Lacey,
      I’m swelling up too right now since it’s the summer but I haven’t gotten to that point yet. Ugh! That must have been miserable! The things we go through for our little ones – right? I looked up symphysis pubis diffunction – girl, how did you even function!? That sounds horrible and painful and did it make delivery worse? How did you cope?

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