You’ve probably heard that you pee a lot when you’re pregnant. Like me, you may have assumed that this happens as baby grows and puts pressure on your bladder. Perfectly logical. Logical, but so not the whole story. This happens, for sure, but you will also have to pee a ton almost as soon as you’re pregnant when the baby is literally the size of a poppy seed. And when you tell people how much you are peeing at this stage, they will give you the side-eye and say things like, “but the baby isn’t even taking up room yet!” or “already??!” or, the thing you will hear most often in pregnancy: “just you wait!”, and you will want to punch them in the face. When you should be using your valuable energy for falling on your knees and praising the gods every single time a first trimester urge hits and you get to enjoy a long, productive, satisfying piss.
Because in those early days, needing to pee a lot is a fact. In later days, it’s more of a maddening illusion. I’ll explain. In pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body rises until you have almost 50% more than normal (fun fact: if you gain 30 lbs in pregnancy, 4 lbs of it is extra blood). And in the first trimester, hormonal changes cause all this blood to flow more quickly through your kidneys, making them produce up to 25% more urine – which obviously fills your bladder more often. Apparently, this increased urine production peaks somewhere between 9 and 16 weeks and then settles down. So yeah, you legitimately have to pee a lot at first. And it’s a little annoying, especially if you’re not used to waking up at night to pee, but it’s really not so bad. Then you get a lovely little most-of-the-second-trimester break (seriously, the second trimester is magical in a number of ways).
And then somewhere around 25 weeks or so (or more specifically, I’m guessing, whenever your belly actually pops) you will begin to feel like you have to pee a lot again. But – here’s the kicker – you don’t actually have to. You will sit down, pee 3 drops and then stand up and feel like you have to pee again. And repeat. All fucking day long. You will start to stubbornly hold your pee in (because you are wise to your bladder’s tricks by now and will not be a slave to it) forever (30 minutes max), feeling like you are going to pee your pants every time your foot hits the ground when you walk, before finally giving in and peeing 6 drops. You will begin to look forward to the first pee upon waking because it is the only time all day that it will seem worthwhile actually flushing the toilet. And in fact, when you are home alone, you will flush only every 4th or 5th pee because all that flushing is crazy-making when the toilet water is still crystal clear. There will be eye-rolling when you tell your husband that you have to leave Sears NOW because you really need to pee, and no you can’t just walk ALL THE WAY DOWN THE MALL to the bathroom because walking is torture, and yes, sitting in the car and waiting until you get to the restaurant makes total sense even if it makes zero sense to him.
Suffice to say that there is needing to pee a lot and then there is needing to pee often and desperately, but not a lot. The former beats the latter in any pissing contest.