If pregnancy came with one of those drug commercial disclaimers, it’d go a little something like this:
Pregnancy. Side effects may include nine-months of bloating, tender nipples, vomiting, vaginal discharge and the irrational need for a Costco-sized Twizzler package at 3 a.m.
Hasta la vista, human race.
Because real talk: some scary stuff goes down after you’ve eyeballed that positive EPT stick. Sure, you’ve got the usual suspects: nausea, food aversions and weird cravings.
But that’s nothing. (Ok, the nausea’s definitely something.) It’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a little (head) trip, shall we?
Welcome to Maternity Metropolis. Population: You.
And your butt mole.
Yep, butt mole.
Point of interest #1: Speaking of moles
You can thank the same hormones responsible for that infamous preggo “glow” for an increase in the amount of skin tags popping up on your body and a rash of rapidly growing moles. I’ll take one for the team here—I had a harmless skin tag on my butt that grew into what can best be described as a gelatinous cremini mushroom. Overnight. Needless to say, it had to be surgically removed. You know what’s a good time? Spreading your butt cheeks wide open for your dermatologist while 6 months pregnant. Yep. Good. Times.
Point of interest #2: Bleeding gums
Even the softest toothbrush is no match for your sensitive little gummies. And we’re not talking a trickle here. Oh no. As one mommy so eloquently stated, “It looked like my toothbrush was a tampon.”
I think that’s all there is to say about that.
Point of interest #3: Changing nipples/areolas
Those suckers get huge. Some appropo metaphors crowdsourced from fellow mamas: pancakes, Oreos, genoa salami, hamburger slider patties. And much like your favorite Hypercolor t-shirt (hello, 90s!), they change color. It can range from a dusky maroon to a Hershey’s syrup brown.
Fun fact: after you’ve given birth and wrapped up breastfeeding, the pigment starts to peel off like dried glue. “Fun” is completely subjective here.
Point of interest #4: Facial hair
Actually, just “hair.” Everywhere. And in flowing abundance. Great for those lustrous locks you’ve been trying to grow out on your head not so great when you’ve got 60s-era Cher growing on your upper lip, stomach and chest.
Point of interest #5: Vaginal discharge
Ok, so this happens whether you’re pregnant or not. Except when you’re carrying a kiddo, the amount leaked out requires the use of a pad. Bucket. Waste management truck. Whatever.
Point of interest #6: WTF
The title here is pretty self-explanatory. I mean, really.
– PUPPS: an itchy rash of welts and lesions that bloom all over your abdomen toward the end of pregnancy. Google it after dinner.
– Geographic tongue: red lesions that form, heal and then migrate to different areas of the tongue. Like a map that’s constantly changing its borders. In your mouth.
– Umbilical hernia: a bulge that pops out around your belly button area. Because apparently, your intestines have decided that chucking up some deuces and vacating through a hole in your abs is a great idea.
But when it’s all said and done, that little bundle of coos and gurgles makes the struggle 100% worth it. 110%, even.
Just keep an eye on that butt mole, will ya?