Was there ever a time you were under the misconception pregnancy only affected your midsection? As a naive, first-time mom-to-be I was -- and the surprises seemed like they'd never stop.
First my breasts ballooned, then my hips widened. The glossy hair and strong nails weren't hard to handle, but as my belly grew so did my backside. I was pregnant all over -- from head to fat, swollen toes.
Sadly, I'm not alone. Readers of BabyCentre UK have been sharing photos of their swollen feet, ankles and hands during pregnancy, and looking at them makes my heart ache with empathy.
Who knew buying maternity clothes could include shoe shopping?
Time to elevate those stars toward the sky.
Pass the low-cut socks, please.
That last one is close to what my poor feet and ankles looked like when I was ready to leave the hospital after giving birth. I'm not a dainty person on any given day, but the combination of large calves, regular ankles and enormous feet give my legs quite the curve. But not that day. I was so swollen that calf to foot was one solid trunk. On top of that, the tops of my feet were so swollen that they were round and wouldn't even fit in slippers!
Though my lower limbs looked foreign to me, I was lucky in that I didn't swell anywhere else.
To all of you out there going through edema right now, stay strong. I know it can be freaky to look down and see a body that doesn't even resemble your own, but it will pass. I promise.
Photos: BabyCentre UK
This post was originally published on January 29, 2017; it was updated and republished February 6, 2018.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.