Things I Didn’t Expect to Happen During Pregnancy

by Meghan Yost

I’m 23 weeks into my first pregnancy. For those who hate figuring out time in weeks (I was one of those people before I got pregnant) that’s just about six months.

According to The Bump, my baby is as big as a grapefruit (must be a large one), weighing in at more than a pound and 11.3 inches. Although at our last OB/GYN visit, the baby had already surpassed The Bump’s projections, so I wouldn’t be surprised if our little one is even larger.

I would say it’s been smooth sailing overall in my first pregnancy, at least so far. To be honest, I didn’t know much about what being pregnant was all about before I saw that positive test. There are definitely some things I didn’t realize would happen when my body was with child. First, the not-so-great stuff.



I’ve gotten headaches on occasion throughout my life, but they were much more frequent during my first trimester. I’ve still continued to get them during my second trimester, albeit a lot less. A little research reveals headaches during pregnancy can be due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow. While it’s considered safe to take acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.) while expecting, I’ve shied away from meds (other than my prescribed thyroid medicine). I have found I’m less apt to get headaches when I get a good night’s sleep. Also, a warm compress on the head might offer relief as it opens up vessels and improves blood flow. Of course, hydration can never hurt (more on that in just a bit). Other than that, I just wait them out.


I find that at times the “soft spot” on the crown of my head gets super sensitive to the touch. It’s similar to the sensation of wearing your hair in a ponytail for an extended period of time and then taking it down. This sensitivity happened to me before I got pregnant during certain times of the month, so I believe it has to do with hormonal fluctuations. It goes away after a while, but I do find it very soothing to rub my scalp with my fingers (or even better, have my hubby do it).


I’ve always been a light sleeper so it’s no surprise I’ve been waking up to noises (a.k.a. a snoring hubs), but it does seem like I’ve been extra sensitive to sound during pregnancy (and I sleep with earplugs!) Just about any and every noise disturbed my sleep in the first trimester. It’s almost as if my body and brain are getting ready to respond to a baby’s every waking need. One big downside is at times there’s no returning to dreamland after I’ve woken up.

On the bright side, I have taken advantage of that time by baking Christmas cookies for coworkers and reading a lot of good books (that’s for another post though).

I’ve been sleeping a bit better in the second trimester but I still wouldn’t say I’m a deep sleeper. Now, it’s my little baby waking me up with their kicks … but honestly, I can’t get enough of it. 🙂


It’s no secret your body changes during pregnancy, so naturally, you’re going to feel some aches and pains. For me, being pregnant has resulted in lower back pain since just about day one. It’s not ever-present but it does creep up often and makes getting up from the couch a tad bit difficult.

At first, I thought maybe I had a kidney infection, but I soon realized it was because I was still sleeping on my back. I find it’s not the kind of pain you can rub away, so it doesn’t seem to be muscular. However, I did discover that investing in a pregnancy pillow is paramount.

They are sooooo comfy. Your husband will probably want to steal it (at least mine did!) and you’ll be wondering, “Why haven’t I always slept with a pregnancy pillow?”

I did a lot of research before purchasing one and ended up ordering the Queen Rose 65 inch U-Shaped Pregnancy Body Pillow from Amazon. Let me tell you, the money was well spent.

So bottom line, sleeping with a pregnancy pillow on my side has helped my lower back pain tremendously.


If you didn’t know, it’s recommended that expectant mothers sleep on their left side as opposed to their back or right side (another thing I had no idea about before getting pregnant).

But sleeping on your side — especially on one side — all night long can cause hip discomfort. The solution for me has been to put a pillow between my legs so my knees don’t touch (i.e. the pregnancy pillow I mentioned earlier that I wrap my legs around and “hug” every night).

So if you’re traveling and staying in a hotel or at someone else’s house, make sure they have extra pillows on hand so you can wake up sans hip pain.


My skin was SOOOOO itchy during the first trimester. And this was not dry skin itchy I’m talking about here. Believe me, I moisturize (coconut oil while in the shower and then Burt’s Bee’s Mama Bee Belly Butter and Nourishing Body oil after I get out).

For the most part, the itchiness got the best of me at night, adding to my lack of ZZZs. I’m talking itchy calves, itchy boobs, itchy stomach, itchy scalp and just itchy, itchy, itchy. I had no idea this was a pregnancy symptom, but it is. It could be due to an increased blood supply, stretching skin etc. etc.

Being a paranoid first-time mum, I actually called my doctor to make sure it wasn’t a potentially harmful liver condition called cholestasis. Thank god, it wasn’t.

Also on the bright side, the itching did get better in the second trimester, but it’s definitely not entirely gone.


I know … they’re so weird! I’ve never had a skin tag in my life (at least one that I’ve noticed) until getting pregnant. Yet again, you can thank those crazy hormones. So far only a teeny tiny one has appeared under my armpit, but the next time I visit my dermatologist, I’ll definitely ask her to remove it.


This isn’t really a “not-so-great” thing per se, but during the first trimester, I felt a tremendous amount of thirst. My doctor told me as your body grows, so does your blood volume. In fact, the amount of blood coursing through your body doubles throughout pregnancy. As a result, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. So thirst isn’t such a bad thing as it’s signaling you to do what you’re supposed to do to keep your little one healthy.



One of the things I love most about my husband is how much he makes me laugh, often to the point of crying … Like the time he recently stepped on a pair of my underwear after so sweetly folding the laundry and slipped and fell. But I digress. The strangest thing happens on those comedic occasions now though. I’ll be laughing so hard that tears are streaming down my face, but then my mind gets confused and thinks I’m crying out of sadness! It feels bizarre even while it’s happening. I’m chalking this strange symptom up to hormones.


I’ve always been a dreamer and have dreamt many weird things in the past, but my dreams as of late have taken on an even greater strangeness. They often involve a string of weird scenarios and usually bear no relation to things that have happened in my real life, as dreams often do. For example. this past weekend, I dreamt about a moose. There’s more to the story but I don’t want to bore you.



After going off birth control while trying to conceive, my skin took revenge on me. I had horrible hormonal cystic acne. At least I felt like it was horrible. I was very down about myself and at times wanted to cry when I looked in the mirror or tried to cover up my pimples with foundation. Needless to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised when my skin cleared up during pregnancy. Not that I don’t get a pimple or two here or there, but I had expected it to only get worse. I prefer to wear minimal makeup, so it feels so nice to be able to show my true face rather than hide it.


I did have some nausea and a ton of food aversions throughout the first trimester, but never once did I throw up. By the second trimester, I was back to eating the usual foods that I was turned off from early in pregnancy. But for those moms who do experience morning sickness, don’t fret too much because they say it’s actually a sign that baby is healthy.


A lot of women feel apprehensive about putting on weight during pregnancy, but I’ve loved seeing my body change and grow. Granted, I feel lucky because I haven’t gained weight in any other part of my body other than my belly. But as a girl who used to hide her belly (my ‘trouble’ area), it feels so nice to not worry about concealing or minimizing it.

I show it off with pride. I’ve also been documenting the changes with a weekly photo (you can see some of the shots above). I can’t wait to put them all together at the end of my pregnancy and see the progression over those nine-plus months.


Maternity clothes aren’t what they used to be, as many older women have told me throughout my pregnancy. Gone are the days of hiding your body in muumuus or other shapeless attire. Now stores like Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, Asos and H&M offer a selection of the cutest clothes that accommodate your growing belly. Of the three aforementioned stores, I’ve only shopped at Motherhood Maternity, but I can’t get enough of their styles and selection.

I also have a maternity subscription to Le Tote, a mail-order clothing service that allows me to rent three articles of clothing per tote. You’re allowed an unlimited amount of totes per month, but you can only have one tote at a time. So far I’ve found some cute items to wear through Le Tote, albeit sizing while pregnant has been a bit trickier. At times I find myself ordering things that are too small or two large, despite their sizing recommendations.


As you can probably tell, I love being pregnant so let me just say this: I feel so fortunate my husband and I are bringing a baby into this world. So when I say “forgetting I’m pregnant,” I don’t mean that I’d rather be without child. I just mean sometimes I forget I’m carrying around a basketball (or at this point a grapefruit) inside my stomach. Sometimes I just go about my day like my body is its usual self (other times not so much, but stick with me here).

I expected to feel so different while pregnant … like I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my normal daily life. This especially pertains to my job as a multimedia journalist, which for those who don’t know means I’m not only a reporter but also my own camerawoman (also known as a “one-woman-band” in newspeak).

I’m literally all over the place when I film: On the ground getting low shots, running after people to get those ‘action’ shots, etc. etc. I can’t say I feel 100 percent all of the time, but it’s better than I was anticipating. And let me tell you, all that equipment isn’t light!

I’m not expecting things to stay this way for the rest of my pregnancy, but I’ll bask in it for the time being!

Did you experience any unexpected things during pregnancy? I’d love to hear! Be sure to leave me a comment below.


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Donielle Lorde January 11, 2019 - 5:50 am

Congratulations Meghan. I love your blog. You are making me relive my memories all over again. It is fun being pregnant. Enjoy it.

Meghan Yost January 11, 2019 - 2:45 pm

Thank you so much Donielle for reading and the kind words! 🙂 I’m trying to savor all the moments before baby arrives.

Sonni January 11, 2019 - 6:16 am

This is such a helpful post! I also had the inexplicably itchy skin and had the doc test for the same thing. Glad it’s better now for you!! And I love reading that you’re loving being pregnant. It really is such a precious and amazing time. Keep up the good work, mama!!

Meghan Yost January 11, 2019 - 2:44 pm

Thank you so much for reading and the encouragement Sonni!! 🙂 Can’t meet to meet our little babe in May. Any motherhood advice is always appreciated.

Candice Wingate January 11, 2019 - 7:41 pm

This was such a great blog post Meghan! I’m so happy your pregnancy over all is going well. I too was a light sleeper during my pregnancy, nothing could keep me down for more than an hour. And it’s great that you’re staying active too I was a couch potato haha. Doctor visits were so fun because I could never get enough of hearing the heartbeat, made me so anxious to meet the little guy. Can’t wait to see you grow more! And congratulations again!!

Meghan Yost January 11, 2019 - 7:45 pm

Thank you Candice!!! I feel the same way about visits to the doctor… I love hearing that heartbeat too. It’s so reassuring.

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