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A Few Words on That Healthy Pregnancy Glow…

Previously Jessica shared her honest reactions to getting a positive pregnancy test. Now she’s sharing all of the weirdness that’s going on with her now that her shock has subsided—and the physical symptoms have set in!


Everyone knows that pregnant women have beautiful, healthy, glowing skin, right? And their hair becomes silky and shiny and smooth enough to be in a shampoo commercial, of course. Well, I’ll have you know, a good 12 weeks into this ordeal and not a single person has commented on how nice my skin or hair look. In fact, it turns out that acne is just as common as gorgeous skin during pregnancy and that nice, shiny hair is the result of excess oil production.

So here I am with more zits than I’ve had since I was 16, and hair that looks greasy less than 24 hours after I wash it. It’s really not terrible, all things considered. But it sure is disappointing to have a splotchy broken-out face when I was expecting to have a beautiful mommy-glow. And it would be nice to skip a shower every once in a while when I’m feeling especially yucky in the morning and am running late to work. Who am I kidding? I have definitely skipped the shower on non-workout days. My coworkers have just been kind enough to not point out my slicked-back ponytail look.

While I’m talking about the less-than-glamorous side effects related to the head, here are a couple more. First, my eyesight is getting worse! Apparently nearsightedness is common during pregnancy—so much so that you’re not supposed to get a new prescription from your eye doctor while you’re pregnant. One of my pregnancy books said that the pregnant body produces so much more fluid that the shape of your eyeball actually changes and affects your vision. And I’ve totally noticed it already. I feel like I have to work so much harder to focus on things that are any distance away, and my eyes get tired much more easily, which means my sit-and-stare-at-a-computer-all-day job is even less fun than usual. My contacts are cheap enough that I’m actually considering going to the optometrist to get a “pregnancy prescription” to get me through the next few months. Not sure if he’ll go for that, though.

Next, I’m constantly congested. In fact, in the first couple weeks of the pregnancy, I started taking allergy medicine assuming it was some sort of pollen causing my problems. (Not to worry—it was only a few days before I realized I was pregnant and stopped taking the pills immediately.) But let me tell you that hanging out in a downward dog position (and really doing yoga at all) is much more challenging when you can’t breathe through your nose. And trying to fall asleep when I can only lie on my back with my head elevated on pillows is not that great—my husband is missing our pre-sleep snuggles.

On top of dealing with the stuffiness, I’m also surprisingly short of breath at even the smallest bit of physical exertion—like climbing a single set of stairs or doing a few squats or shoulder presses. I’m sure there’s a good medical explanation for this—like I’m breathing oxygen for two—but it really just makes me feel really out of shape when I know I’m not.

For now, I’m just trying not to let these little inconveniences get me down, and I keep telling myself that my body is doing what it needs to do in order to grow a healthy little human inside of me. —Jessica

Good thinking, Jessica! Tune in next time for Jessica’s tales of morning sickness and total lack of energy. I can totally relate…Erin


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