Things no one told you about being pregnant

What surprised you most about pregnancy?When you're pregnant, friends, family, and even strangers shower you with health tips and parenting advice. However, there are some things no one may have told you about being pregnant. When St. James's Palace announced Kate Middleton is pregnant, she probably did not expect to be hospitalized so early in her pregnancy. The Duchess of Cambridge was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum, or extreme morning sickness, thought to be caused by higher levels of the pregnancy hormone, hCG.

When I was pregnant, there were plenty of things that no one told me. Even if you read the prerequisite parenting books, track your pregnancy with a calendar, and ask as many questions you can at your prenatal appointments, pregnancy comes with some surprises.

Mommy brain strikes early - Early in my pregnancy, I suffered from severe morning sickness and nausea. The doctor offered me a prescription medication to help with the symptoms. I was not drinking coffee or eating any artificial sweeteners, and I did not want to take anything besides my prenatal vitamins, so I suffered through. And so did my work. I made a lot of mistakes at work and was called into my supervisor's office because of it. Because my physical condition was affecting my accuracy, I had to reveal my pregnancy earlier than I had planned.

Sleep comes when it wants -

I was never a napper, and I was a late sleeper before I was pregnant. During pregnancy, my active baby did not let me sleep too late. Sleeping at all was difficult, because it felt like he never stopped moving. This didn't seem to affect my new-found ability to nap before dinner, though. In hindsight, I realized I was tired while working two jobs, and sometimes I just needed to rest, even if it was 4:30 p.m.

Deena Blumenfeld, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and a Registered Prenatal Yoga instructor, tells Yahoo! Shine, "Hormones also bring extraordinary fatigue during the first trimester. I find that women sometimes aren't prepared to stay in, get some sleep, and take a break from extra activities. There is a distinct 'slowing down' that occurs as a woman's body begins to grow a baby."

Premature birth - The biggest surprise of my pregnancy was giving birth to a premature child. I never considered that this could happen, and it was never mentioned at any of my (normal and healthy) prenatal exams. One out of every eight babies born in the U.S. is premature, according to the CDC. I have never felt less prepared for anything in my life. I was lucky that my baby boy, born at 31 weeks, was a full 4.5 pounds and in good health, besides being underweight. Today, he is a taller-than-average, happy, smart, and generous child.

Your body image changes - At the beginning of pregnancy, I was wearing my regular pants and thought, "Hey, I can do this." Then the buttons would not button, and I realized my waist was disappearing. My belly did not truly pop until half way through the fourth month. I finally looked as pregnant as I felt.

"Body image is another issue that can arise. Most women don't 'look' pregnant in their first trimester. So, that feeling of being bloated, not fitting well into their pants, but also not having a round belly, can be disorienting. It's a transitional period both physically and emotionally. Coping with a changing shape and perceptions of beauty can present a challenge for some mothers-to-be," explains Blumenfeld.

Blurry vision - This was not one of the surprises pregnancy brought me, but changing hormones can create blurry vision. "We have a lot of pregnant women that come to our office seeking help for blurry vision during and after pregnancy as the hormones are changing. Often, this blurry vision is normal and, most of the time, temporary. This can happen during the first pregnancy, other pregnancies, all of them, or none at all. This is usually common and not severe," says Dr. Kurt Hofeldt, OD. He advises women still have it checked out to rule out higher blood pressure or diabetes.