The truth about pregnancy - what to *really* expect when you're expecting

pregnant woman and partner laugh on sofa

Cast those rose-tinted visions of pregnancy 'glow' aside for a minute – the reality is, some things you'll experience during pregnancy and childbirth aren't quite so glamorous. Mumsnetters give you an honest perspective on what to expect in the coming weeks.

1. Hormones will make you cry at everything

We really do mean everything.

1. Hormones will make you cry at everything

“I just cried at Paul Hollywood making scotch pies and how lovely Scotland looked on the show. Howled.”

“My husband got me a lemon and herb chicken in a pitta in Nando's. I always have medium. I was 40 weeks pregnant and just sat in front of my chicken and sobbed.”

“The donkey sanctuary adverts. I don't even really like donkeys.”

“The Chris De Burgh Christmas spaceman song.”

“I remember crying that my husband wouldn't let me buy a dead Christmas tree.”

2. You will eat some weird stuff

No, you will not find yourself suddenly hankering for chia seed pudding. Resisting your weird and wonderful cravings is futile.

2. You will eat some weird stuff

“I craved Ready Salted Chipsticks. My God are they hard to find. I think the sales assistant in Home Bargains must have thought my husband was a bit odd when he bought 48 packets – their entire stock.”

“Washing powder. I used to suck on the clothes when they came out of the machine.”

“I licked the side of a matchbox once…”

3. You simply won't believe the size of your breasts

Prepare to be flabbergastered by your F-cups.

3. You simply won't believe the size of your breasts

“My husband just told me I've got 'massive boobs' that are as 'big as your head'. Thanks, pregnancy!”

4. Strangers will feel the need to fondle your bump

For reasons unknown, strangers will abandon their reserve and lunge towards your stomach. You don't want this. Who would want this?

4. Strangers will feel the need to fondle your bump

Mumsnetters have some icy retorts at the ready to discourage – ahem – more tactile members of the general public:

“If you didn't put it there and you won't be the one getting it out of there, don't touch it.”

“With strangers I'd just judo chop their hands away.”

Taking preemptive action works well too: “My resting facial expression is Death Stare.”

5. Labour is undignified. Deal with it.

Get ready to get seriously, seriously blasé about bodily fluids. You are having a baby, after all.

5. Labour is undignified. Deal with it.

“I know a lot of people poop but I pooped a little bit at almost every contraction for six hours. Watching my husband fishing around the birthing pool with his wine sediment sieve with a horrified look on his face was brilliant.”

“I gleefully told my husband 'At least I didn't poo all over everything,' after my son's birth. He agreed, and told me again how proud he had been of me. Unfortunately, his face clearly told me that I had shat all over everything, but been blissfully unaware of the fact.”

6. Your partner may experience collateral damage

No one can pretend that childbirth is a laugh a minute, but there's got to be some value in seeing the funny side

6. Your partner may experience collateral damage

“During the final antenatal appointment with the obstetrician, he turned round to my husband and said 'you do know to offer only two fingers don't you?'

After much mouthing of 'What?' and 'Don't know!' behind the obs back, the obs finally said 5 minutes later; 'Because I've seen men have their fingers broken in the delivery room.'

In the car park my husband said to me, 'Glad we sorted that out. Not read it anywhere but I thought he was advocating fisting my wife.'"

7. Things might get a little trippy

Or a lot trippy…

7. Things might get a little trippy

“I was out of it on gas and air asking for a dog instead of a baby. Also talking to my husband's dead dad.”

“I believed that the nurse trying (and failing) to take blood from me was in fact… Gail Porter (on some kind of sabbatical from her TV work) and later said to my husband, 'Gail Porter is rubbish at taking blood, they should send her for special training. He just nodded wearily.'”

8. But at least you're not this midwife...

8. But at least you're not this midwife...

“My worst experience as a midwife was having to listen to Celine Dion (as someone's chosen birth music) for an entire shift, on repeat. This was an endurance test like Prince Harry and his South Pole expedition. My heart literally could not go on.”