I thought I’d enjoy being pregnant a lot more than I actually did. Not to say it didn’t have its highs (guilt-free eating, special treatment from friends and family, and that inexpiable glow), but the lows were pretty tough, especially towards the end (insomnia, incontinence, other things that being with in).
I was one of those late bloomers in terms of bump size, so I pretty much looked like a bit of a fatty for at least the first six months of pregnancy. Here’s a list of my highs and lows:
- Hot chocolate addiction with no guilt. I was never that bothered about it before pregnancy, as I’ve always been a committed tea drinker, but I went off tea in the second trimester and hot chocolate replaced a tea-shaped hole in my life – and got me through the last five months.
- Guilt-free eating. Following on from the above, yes I was one of those people who threw caution to the wind and ate a ridiculous amount of food. I gave eating for two a run for its money. More like eating for a family of four!
- Thicker, shinier hair and that magical glow that makes you about 20% better-looking but you can’t pinpoint exactly how.
- Being ‘special’. People ask you questions, offer you a seat. Plus you can say things like, “I don’t feel up to cooking tonight dear, please can we get takeaway?” or “I’m feeling a little faint, I think I need to sit down and eat some chocolate.”
- Your boobs look amazing. Mine were a fair size to begin, so they did get a bit out of control during pregnancy, but still amazing.
- You can basically do whatever the hell you want because you are growing a small person inside you and people respect that.
- The awe at what your body is capable of. I grew a baby from a few cells to a living, breathing being. That is truly a miracle. My baby is alive because of me and my body and that is pretty awesome. (A bit of credit to my husband, without whom it wouldn’t be possible).
- The dreaded morning sickness: mine was four months long, severe nausea but no actual puking. I feel for those of you who were sick every day, because that really is awful. However, for me feeling sick and like you are hungover every day and never getting that post-puking sense of release was hard work. Big up to all my girls (hmm did I really just say this? I’m not a gangster) who have gone through this – it’s soul destroying. Oh and when your pregnant friend says she hasn’t had any sickness at all and you want to punch her in her smug little face, but instead smile and say “Lucky you”. (Added bonus: I did lose a bit of weight during those four miserable months, which was a good start for the later hot-chocolate obsession). I also survived on Haribo Tangfastics for most of months two and three.
- Sleep (or lack of it). “It’s preparing you for when the baby comes” they say. Sod off. I need as much sleep as I can get before the baby comes and spoils my 10-hour stints and Sunday lay-ins. Getting up to wee in the night (at some point I will do a post about the week of wee); trying to get comfortable and never being able to; wishing your partner was not in the bed with you, but also missing them when they leave; when rolling over becomes a military operation; snoring (this didn’t really affect me as I was the one snoring, but the other half wasn’t impressed).
- Funny feelings down there. My baby’s head was very low quite early on and I used to get all sorts of funny aches and pains in my foof. Sometimes it felt like she was going to fall out. I’d be scared to do a big poo, just incase. Ha ha, if only I knew what was to come when she did come out!
General pregnancy observations
- Why do people think it’s OK to touch your tummy without asking first? “Oh hi, do you want to squeeze my boob while you are at it?” The worst thing is, I now do it to my friends who are preggers. It’s a strange compulsion, the belly rub. And then talking to their tummy in a funny baby voice, “Hello little one, you’re coming out soon. Ha ha!” Then I feel smug, as I’ve already been through labour and they have no idea about the hell that awaits them.
- I didn’t find out the sex of our baby before she was born and so we called it Peanut. Now that my daughter has come out, it feels like Peanut is a whole different person to her. In my head Peanut was male and I mostly referred to it as a he. It’s weird to think that it was actually a her inside me all that time.
- Even though I was so uncomfortable in those final weeks of pregnancy, it was so strange after the birth to look down and see the bump had gone and my little friend was no longer in there keeping me company. I missed my bump for a while. I also miss my maternity jeans (over the bump ones). They were amazingly comfy and supportive. Wearing normal jeans and having a podgy tummy/muffin top is rubbish.
- On the plus side, I don’t miss the maternity bras. They were comfortable but so unattractive. Ditto with nursing bras. Yuk. Thank god I’m back in underwire. When breasts are large they need that extra support or you end up looking like a saggy beast. Apologies to all you amazing mummies who are still breastfeeding and underwire is a pipe dream. One day it will be yours again.
To conclude, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed my pregnancy, but it is a means to an end and it so worth it when you are holding that little person in your arms. Respect to the women who had it 10 times worse than me and count yourself lucky if you had it 10 times easier. We should be proud of what we endure to create life and give ourselves a pat on the back for enduring it uncomplainingly. (Hmm actually I think I did quite a lot of complaining… but you get my point). Go us! I bet if men were the ones going through pregnancy and childbirth there’d be a lot fewer people in the world. #justsaying