Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unusual Pregnancy Symptoms

We all know the typical pregnancy symptoms that you read about in generic pregnancy books; I'm talking nausea, bloating, sore boobies, ummm. . . emotional-ness. These are all well and good - well, maybe not good - but I'm here to talk about weird pregnancy symptoms that sometimes occur, but aren't mentioned in most books. Just like the big kahuna symptoms listed above, the more obscure symptoms vary greatly from one woman to another. They can even vary greatly from one pregnancy to another. Don't think these symptoms aren't so much unusual as they are less commonly known about.
I'm going to start with a weird one that was my first pregnancy symptom with my second pregnancy- A small twitch in my calf. Do you ever get an eye twitch when anxious? Or an arm muscle twitch when you have over done it at the gym? That is what I was getting in my left calf muscle on December 27th 2009. I was sitting on the couch watching TV when I felt the small, involuntary tug. I barely took notice. A few minutes later it did it again. I was a little annoyed, but I quickly forgot about it again. Once my show was done, I got up and I felt a tiny twinge again that disappeared as soon as I started walking.

I walked into the kitchen to prepare my son's breakfast. I grabbed a clean bottle from the dishwasher, turned on the faucet, and waited for the water to run luke-warm. As I stood there, bottle in hand, impatient for the water temperature to rise, I stepped slightly to the left and my calf grazed the dishwasher door that was still open. It barely touched, but it got me thinking about the twitches I had felt earlier. They were small little twitches that were barely a bother. . . so why was I still bothered by them? I thought about it further and realized that they reminded me of the leg cramps that I got when pregnant the first time around.
At this point, we had been trying to conceive in a "just let it happen" fashion. I had several negative pregnancy tests the couple of weeks prior, and I was convinced that I just needed to wait for Aunt Flo to come so that we could try again next month.

The twitch got me thinking though, could this be a pregnancy symptom? It sounded like a long shot, but I had a stash of dollar store pee sticks in my bathroom cabinet, and I wasn't shy about using them. I was rather unconvinced still; I was just testing for good measure. Those pee sticks in the cabinet were burning like fresh allowance in the pocket of an 8 year old. I peed, and walked away to tend to my baby. I don't know exactly how long it took me to get back to the bathroom, but it was at least 10 minutes. When I finally did, I think my eyeballs tried to jump out of their sockets when I saw that faint pink second line.
So there you have it, I knew (ok, suspected at best) I was pregnant because of a small twitch in my calf. Definitely unusual, but I think these kinds of stories are common amongst mommas who have been pregnant more than once. Leg cramps are a more common pregnancy symptom in later pregnancy, but I hadn't yet heard of small muscle twitches being the little red flag of impending motherhood.

Here are some more potential pregnancy symptoms that are less well known:
  • Drooling in your sleep - From increased saliva production and also hormones that cause your muscles to be more relaxed (relaxin).
  • Snoring - Relaxin again
  • Hip pain from sleeping on your side - This can pop up way before baby is big enough to put any pressure on you physically. This is once again an effect of hormones. I suggest getting a thick body pillow to put between your legs at night ASAP.
  • Gas - This is a more common one, but it bears repeating because it can be jarring if you aren't expecting it.
  • ACNE - Hello puberty
  • Blood on toothbrush - Gross I know, but your body ramps up blood production while preggo which makes even healthy gums much more susceptible to bleeding.
  • Metallic taste in mouth - The technical term is dysgeusia and it is caused by changing estrogen levels that affects your sense of taste and smell. 
  • Craving non-food items like paper, chalk, or soap - This condition is known as pica and it is also a well-known pregnancy symptom. Some research suggests that pica can be associated with low levels of iron. I actually found myself wanting to nibble on paper a few times - so weird.
  • Depth perception issues - All the extra blood flow going on causes your blood vessels to dilate which can cause dizziness, vertigo and decreased depth perception. My parallel parking skills became a hot mess during my 2nd pregnancy. I *may* have caused a dent or two in someone's license plate.
  • Smell cravings - We all have heard of food cravings such as the cliche pickles and ice cream, but preggos can also experience smell cravings. It makes sense since both taste and smell are highly connected. During my 1st pregnancy, I craved the smell of my cat Mia (but not the other cat Spike). She really didn't smell like much being a relatively clean cat, but I felt the need to go sniff her frequently. That didn't happen the second time around.
  • Food aversions - This is a relatively well known symptom, but I don't think women are necessarily prepared for how strong these can be. Many women don't have all that strong a food cravings, but have crazy food aversions. They might last all pregnancy, or they might change from day to day. They might be weird obscure foods that you never normally eat, or they could be your favorite food of all time.
  • Food intolerances - I have always loved eating eggs, but whenever I get pregnant, my stomach can't handle them. It isn't so bad that I can't have anything with egg in it, but if I eat a whole egg while preggo, my stomach hurts the rest of the day. I'm sure these intolerances vary for everyone; for me, it lasted a few months post partum each time.
  • Crazy vivid dreams - Lots of women report dreaming way more during pregnancy than ever before, and being able to remember vivid details. These dreams are often emotional in nature which makes sense since everything is more emotional in nature while you are pregnant.
  • Irrational freakishness - This anxiety goes hand in hand with the emotions department. The best way I can think to describe this is with my own example. Whenever my hubby and I went somewhere together and he drives, I usually have no issues with it; he is a rather good driver. When pregnant and he drives, I hold on for dear life and freak out internally (and sometimes externally). Every time I think he is going to hit or get hit by something my heart starts racing. . . and that is roughly every 30 seconds. Some women have anxiety issues to an extreme where they actually get panic attacks during pregnancy.
  • Overwhelmingly emotional - Yeah ok this may be the most classic symptom next to morning sickness, but I don't know if I was prepared for the randomness of it before actually experiencing it. I cried at commercials on TV for goodness sake. I'm not talking particularly sad ones like the childrens' fund in Africa stuff; I'm talking a random Charmin commercial or diaper commercials. I remember a pregnant friend of mine started bawling one Christmas season when The Cristmas Shoes song started playing. Yeah it is a sad song, but she started crying before any words were even sung.

Those hormones affect EVERYTHING, no doubt about it!

What are some weird or unexpected pregnancy symptoms that you have experienced or heard of?


  1. I have a friend whose palms turn red when she gets pregnant. It is really weird because it happens really early and lasts until a day our two after she delivers. Love the list, there are a few I hadn't heard of before!

  2. I am a seafood lover, but when I'm pregnant I cant even get near the stuff. In fact that's how I found out I was pregnant with my second child was when I went to a restaurant and ordered my favorite seafood dish and could not get past the first bite.

  3. I get the twitchy legs too but after the first trimester. I did get the metal mouth like crazy and it was HORRIBLE!

    I have such a perfect 28 day cycle that I always know I'm pregnant if it goes even 1 day over. My 4 kids are the only 4 days I have fluctuated.

  4. Thanks for sharing ladies! It is crazy how differently the hormones affect everyone.

  5. Heartburn. I never had it before, but both times I was pregnant it simply would not go away, and sadly it stayed with me after the second one. I also developed an allergy to artificial sugars with my second pregnancy. My aunt developed a peanut allergy with her second child, and neither of those allergies went away with the pregnancy either. I also knew a woman whose feet actually grew a size and a half, and it was permanent.

  6. Twitching eyes that are horrible

  7. I kept having to spit up mucus ALL the time! I even had use a spit cup when at home! it lasted until my third trimester

  8. I've had a twitching eye some cramping and fatigue for a while now. The twitching eye I have had for 9 days now along with slight increase I'm breast size and lactation ( stopped breastfeeding a yr ago) I tooke 2 tests so far and both say no but I'm thinking yes..we shall see

  9. My boyfriend and I are trying to have a baby, I am only 6dpo so I can't take a test yet. But I have been feeling weird. I just got over a very bad sore throat, that lasted from the 17th of July to the 20th. I have also been having a bad leg cramp in my left leg, along with hot flashes, nausea, gas, and feeling light headed. My boyfriend told me to wait till the 30 th before I take a test which is 6 days away.

    1. I have the same problem u did my boyfriend and i have been trying to have a baby again i got pregnant for the first time in february but miscaried in april ): i had my first period on the 12 or june and i was suposed to ovulate on the 25th. Its now the 30th and i already feal like im pregnant again. After the miscarage i didnt have much of an appetite for a long time but in the past 4 days that has changed im always hungry and ciggeretts taste discusting to me again and i have to pee more often than normal and im supper tird all the time but i havnt been Ble to sleep realy for three days. And my sence of smell seems inhanced plus i wanted some ice cream earlier but then i thought about it in my mouth and the creamyness grossed me out so then i didnt want it anymore. Plus i was too tird to get up and get some anyway. I quit smoking yesterday in hopes that im pegnant again but i wishwish i could just know already but i feal i need to wait another 10 days to be sure

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  11. My immune system goes down the drain. That is my first sign. I just feel like I have a cold and am puny, for lack of a better word.

  12. I've been looking up random symptoms for days now and discovered ones I didn't even know were signs,, that I have. Along with those unusual symptoms I have the classic food aversions, I had terrible nausea and head aches for about 2 to 3 weeks. All the tell tale signs are there. I was born without a uterus. I have ovaries, cervix and fallopian tubes and from other research I've done I've found not only is pregnancy possible but has been successful without a uterus, dangerous still of course. I haven't taken an actual test yet, nor have I told anyone except a long distant friend about my belief of being pregnant. I have too many symptoms to not be. If anyone reads this and prays please pray that if I am blessed with having my own child that it be healthy. Thanks girls :)

    1. Hi, I'm curious. Were you pregnant?

      Hopeful :)

  13. ooooo a few new things I haven't read about before, I been looking at lots diff sites and the more I look now the more I think I am, getting chills and flushes a lot, sore throat and not necessarily vivid dreams as such but im sleep talking a lot to the point I wake up my other half. Cant test for another week yet so fingers crossed

  14. Hi, my husband and I have been trying to conceive for about a year now. About 2 weeks ago I started having a slight headache everyday that last for a week, then it went on to a gas feeling in my lower abdomen that is super uncomfortable and more flatulence. I have the bloating feeling and I have notice I have small white pimple looking things on my areolas (sorry for the too much info) but I heard these are a sign. No nausea or sore breast though. What do you guys think? Hopeful thinking!


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