How Being Pregnant is Like Going Through Puberty

I am 33 weeks in to my third pregnancy and one of the things I noticed early on this time around is how similar pregnancy can be to puberty. Your body takes on a mind of its own driven by your racing hormones and the awkward feelings come flooding back. 

If you've been pregnant before I know you can relate and if you are thinking about having a baby here's fair warning: things get weird when you're pregnant. But just like puberty there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it's a character building experience. There's nothing like peeing a bit every time you sneeze to help you learn not to sweat the small stuff.
  • Wait, that hair wasn't there before. We are all aware of what appears during puberty, but the pregnancy hair growth can be a bit of a surprise. The dark line of hair in the middle of your belly or that new hair that sprouted on your lower back? What? Why? Seriously? At least you can cover it up with clothing and mostly pretend it's not there. Cue the beginnings of feeling like an awkward teenager who is not in sync with her body.
  • Boobs and extra poundage. This happens at a different time and speed for everyone and in some cases it happens FAST. For me this was much more pronounced during pregnancy than puberty. I am buying bra sizes that weren't even on my radar prior to being knocked up. Same with pant sizes. My butt and hips grow so quickly that wearing regular clothes at 6 weeks pregnant is not a thing I can do. Having to procure a whole new wardrobe while you're already feeling self conscious is the pits. 13 year old me just wants to flop down face first on my bed and crank up my stereo because I just can't deal. Ugh. The only difference is that now when my mom wants to take me shopping for clothes that fit I jump at the chance. And when I receive new underwear at Christmas I hear a Hallelujah chorus in my head instead of the disappointed trombone. 
  • What's that smell? During puberty you begin to use deodorant. During pregnancy you begin to question if your deodorant expired or lost its previous ability to keep you smelling fresh. Did I forget deodorant this morning? Nope. My hormones are just cranked up to high which means more sweat and more smell. I assume no one else notices until my husband tells me otherwise. Thank God for the blunt communication in our relationship in times like these. You don't want someone sugar-coating the real reach of your body odor to the nostrils of the public at large.
  • Oh the mood swings. My parents may recall it differently, but I would say that my pregnancy mood swings far outweigh the teenage ones. As a teen it was more of a broody thing, as a pregnant lady it sways from tears to rage in a nanosecond. Don't look at me funny if I'm hungry or tired or stressed. Because I will stare daggers at you or potentially even yell. Or cry because I'm mad that I'm so angry for no good reason and am obviously the worst mother ever since I can't even stand to put my kids to bed because I swear they are impossible sometimes. Why did we decide to have another when I'm such a horrible mother?! SOBS!
The wonderful thing about all of this? Just like puberty, the worst of this too shall pass. Your body may not go back to what it was before, but at some point in your postpartum future your hormones will level out and you'll at the very least get your sanity back. Until your child or children rob it from you in different ways. But all the awkward moments and weird smells are totally worth it once you hold that new baby in your arms for the first time. Just don't try that logic on yourself when you're in the hormonal throes of pregnancy because I can tell you from experience it won't likely help.

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