I wrote about the weird pregnancy symptoms no one warns you about. But that wasn't the end of the weirdness, and now I've got a whole new load of strange pregnancy symptoms for you to look forward to in the final few months of your pregnancy. Let me know if I've missed any off.
1. Belly Furnace
Autumn is coming along nicely in the UK, but while I'd normally be switching on the heating and enlisting the help of some wool socks and jumpers, I'm still padding around the house bare-foot wearing a vest top and my husband's boxer shorts.
My inner belly furnace is keeping me nice and toasty. Apparently, my circulation - notoriously dodgy in the female of the species - has also improved. However, what I've noticed is that my skin feels freezing on the outside but I'm too hot on the inside. Still, it's saving money on heating bills.
2. Acid Indigestion
Ah, dinner - my old nemesis! - there you are. Again.
Yes, in the late stages of pregnancy, when all your innards are squashed into an inappropriately small space to make room for your belly squatter, you get to enjoy all your meals twice over. Once on the way down, and once on the way back up. This time with added acid.
You'll soon take to swigging Gaviscon straight from the bottle like an old wino, and anything that's likely to make a particularly unpleasant repeat performance will be set aside in favour of creamy bland food. Chocolate milkshake tastes nice both times around.
3. No core strength
Not sleeping on your back is one of those pregnancy myths we covered the other week, but while it's not actually going to harm you or the baby, one thing you can be sure of: if you're sleeping on your back, you're not getting up in a hurry.
You'll lie there, legs and arms flailing, looking like a tortoise that's been turned upside-down. Sofas present another challenge, and it's worth keeping a family member on hand at all times to haul you out of your seat should you need to make yet another visit to the lavatory.
4. Line up tummy (linea nigra)
In case you ever needed to know exactly where the middle of your body is, pregnancy is happy to help out, providing you with a brown line that goes all the way up the seam of your stomach. You may think you've lucked out and avoided getting one of these - I did - but it's not over till the fat lady is in the delivery ward, so don't get smug just yet.
5. Belly button
I'm a bit squeamish about belly buttons and I admit that having an outie has been a major cause of concern for me (OK, not *that* major - even I'm that shallow). Luckily, my belly button is clinging on for dear life.
Cramp! Cramp! The universal cry of all pregnant women. Guaranteed to kick in as soon as you've dropped off to sleep, or just as you've settled in to watch a movie, crampy legs will certainly keep you on your toes. Unless your toes have cramped up too, that is.
My top tip? Eat a banana and have a glass of milk before bedtime and you should make it through the night - though obviously you'll still need to get up twice for a wee.
7. Restless Leg Syndrome
Why thank you baby, please feel free to play the nerves in my legs like you're plucking at harp strings.
My friend, who works for the pharmaceuticals industry tells me that Restless Leg Syndrome is one of those things made up by the pharmaceutical industry to sell drugs to hypochondriacs. What does she know?
My legs are - in the words of Radiohead - buzzing like a fridge, and no amount of lectures of psychosomatic illness is going to convince me that I don't need to fidget, jiggle and generally keep on flapping my lower limbs about the place.
I always thought pregnant women waddling was a cliché I could well live without, and that all it took was a concerted effort on my part to keep my posture in check and I could continue striding around with a purposeful poise.
What I didn't realise is that having a small person sitting head down in your pelvis - a pelvis that suddenly thinks it's in the Transformers and needs to move to a whole new place - makes waddling part of the job description.
9. It moves!
OK, how did I not know this? All those "come and feel the baby kick" moments where you all have to politely grope your friend's stomach and smile serenely, all the while fighting back the urge to recoil in horror, shouting "Urgh! There's a living thing your stomach, get it away from me." And yet, somehow I'd always just thought they were little kicks, with maybe the odd sharp jab thrown in for good measure.
It's like there's an alien trying to break free from your abdomen. And you don't just get to feel queasy when she jabs you painfully and repeatedly with a sharp limb, you also get to *see* it happening.
Never, in all my years of having pregnant sisters and friends was I ever aware that their stomach was moving independently of the rest of them. It's weird, it's funny-looking and it makes you feel like you're on a really lame roller-coaster - one with harnesses that poke you painfully in the ribs and make your stomach flip over before sending you on your way.
10. Braxton Hicks
It's like some sort of cosmic joke. It's not enough that you get to experience the pain of childbirth, your body wants to have a few practice runs at it.
Granted, Braxton Hicks contractions aren't a patch on the real thing (so I'm told), but they still feel weird and uncomfortable. Still, for a brief moment you get to remember what it was like during that one summer in your early twenties, after a bout of food poisoning, when you had a lovely set of rock solid abs.Related:
- Top 10: tips on coping with your newborn
- Top 10 Survival Tips for Pregnancy First-timers
- 10 Weird pregnancy symptoms they don't warn you about