4 months of being a gestator and I can finally say that I’m enjoying it! It’s not what I expected, there’s no rush of energy, or pregnancy glow that the books tell you about, but is that even a thing? Now that I have energy to actually do something on my screen other that try not to spew, I’ve been reading a whole bunch of stuff about pregnancy (naturally) and it’s mostly “10 things you never knew about pregnancy” bla bla and none of them ever tell me anything I wouldn’t expect. Maybe I’m just a research nut. Maybe I listen to too many podcasts. Or maybe I’ve just probed too far into the experiences of all my mother friends (sorry if I’ve come across as a bit TOO interested in your labor stories)! Instead, here are the ACTUAL things I didn’t expect:
Things move. Inside. All the time. It’s like an cacophony in my abdomen.
I knew to expect some ahem, gas, and potentially some baby kicks around this time. But what I didn’t expect is the non-stop movement that goes on in your stomach. I DID however envision pregnancy being sort of similar to those scenes in Alien. Luckily this isn’t that. I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of round ligament pain, organs moving and the uterus stretching, but there’s never a moment where there’s not something twinging, spasming, popping, stretching. It makes it really hard to discern whether or not its the baby, gas or just my organs. Let’s go with baby.
Morning sickness made me depressed
I’m sure it’s not this way for everyone. And there are levels of sickness. But until this point in my life, when I’ve gotten sick, it’s usually for a couple of days and then your immune system kicks in and you’re good to go! No matter how intense it is (I’m talking gastro, influenza, knee surgery, whatever) it will only last a few days, maybe a week or two at the most before you have relief. The worst part about morning sickness (all-day sickness more like it) is that it lasts for MONTHS! Holy fucking shit what a nightmare! I was sick from week 5 until week 15. 10 whole weeks of having no relief of wanting to vom constantly. I’ve never experienced depression, and I don’t think this was as bad as some people have it, but it’s the closest I’ve ever felt to being depressed. And now that I’m on the other side of it I feel like a whole new person, and that I’ve been asleep for all of 2019. I hope I can forget how horrible it was, and I try not to whinge too much, but I would not wish that kind of torture on my worst enemies. Thank fuck it’s gone (please be gone, please don’t come back and bite me on the arse!). Ladies who have hyperemisis – I don’t know how you do it. And I don’t know how you willingly go back for round 2. Respect.
Boobs change colour
Sorry TMI. And again, everyone’s different. But my lovely pink nips are now huge and brown and ugly. I haven’t gone up a cup size much to the husband’s dismay (give it time mate!) but they look like someone else’s boobs. And I’m ok with that. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to not put any value in the way my body looks (or how different it looks to that of others) and I’m in a good place with it. I’m more focussed on it doing it’s intended job and being healthy & happy, rather than what it looks like. Which is good, because it’s going to change.. a lot! Bring it!
I started showing way earlier than I thought
All the books/forums etc told me I wouldn’t show until 13-16 weeks. And maybe it’s just my physique. But from about 8-9 weeks I had a proper solid belly. Like there was a grapefruit just under the skin. It just looked like I’d eaten a burger, but it was a belly that wasn’t there before, that’s for sure! My jeans stopped buttoning from 8 weeks!
I am no longer able to brush off unsolicited advice
Going into this I always though “I’m chill, I can handle advice with grace. I did it with my puppy when everyone told me she would be a nightmare when she was little, I can do it with a kid”. But noooooo. Maybe it’s the hormones preventing me from taking the tactful approach. But I find it so hard to just say ‘Ok, we’ll try that’ and move on. And it’s really hard to take in all the negative comments about how hard being a mum will be. I’m scared enough as it is, I don’t need people telling me how shit my life is about to become! I really need to figure out how to deal with these comments without getting angry though, this is just the beginning and I’m sure it gets worse when you have actual offspring.
I have forgetten all about my fertility struggle
Like, completely forgotten. It seems like a lifetime ago that I was getting blood drawn almost every day and injecting myself with crazy-bitch-synthetic-hormone. It doesn’t even seem like it was that big a deal anymore. Totally wiped from memory. I guess that’s what happens with labour too? If only!
Showers have increased in value 100-fold
I never really did see the joy in a hot shower. When people told me it’s really hard to shower when you have a baby, I was like ‘Sweet. Means I have an excuse now’! To me it’s all about getting in and out, getting clean in as little time as possible. But for some reason I totally look forward to showering now. I love it. I stand under the water not moving for up to 20 minutes. It’s not like I have a sore back or anything that it’s relieving, it just feels bloody good. Maybe it’s because I have way more blood flowing around my system and its affecting my nerves? Dunno. But our water bill is going up!
My husband has turned into the best guy ever
I mean, he was already the best guy. But now he’s a better guy. He has been genuinely upset to see me so sick and has done everything in his power to make me feel better. He’s taken on ALL of my chores (ALL of them!), sat through my hormonal outbursts, gone out to get me chicken burgers when it’s all I feel I could stomach and everything he’s said to me makes me believe he’s going to be a really great dad and an equal parent. He’s even suggested we try cloth nappies from birth and that he’ll do ALL the nappy changes when he’s home (!), will do night feeds on weekends, will do majority of the baby shopping (because I hate shopping) and will do his best to make sure we parent in the most equal way possible. He wants his daughter to grow up like I have, independent & strong and knows in order to do that he has to set an example. Let’s see how it goes when he’s sleep deprived, but so far the intentions are fully there and I’ve fallen even more in love with him.
And that’s it! Other than that, I kind of feel like women do this all the time, it’s so normalised to me. I don’t really see any wonder or amazement in pregnancy. It’s all a matter of hormones, good timing and statistics. I respect how well the body kicks into gear during this time, but I almost walked out of a yoga sesh the other day because all they did was rub their bellies and chanted to Buddha/The Gods/Yoda or whatever about how magical the gift of pregnancy was. I don’t think it’s magical. I think it’s very practical. Hormones are great at doing their job. And I just trust that my body will get me through, without whispering affirmations to my unborn (and currently oblivious) unborn child. I don’t mean to sound cold-hearted, I’m just a practical kinda gal and I don’t want any special treatment or excuses. I don’t want a baby shower or for people to give me their seat on a bus. I just want to be myself, grow a human and be the best mum I can be, without compromising my true self. Good luck with that you say…