I am pregnant. And it is weird. Of course, ofcourseofcourseofcourse I’m also over the moon. Chris and I are platsing over the whole thing. But also, pregnancy is a full-on, bodily assault. Essentially I am now America, because my body has gone from being run by a moderately competent adult, to being completely controlled, by a child.
I am now 18 weeks, so well into my second trimester and it’s not getting any easier – yet. People keep telling me that the second trimester is when you’re supposed to get your mojo back – I don’t know where my mojo is. Also, where is my glow? Is it a myth? I want to know when I’ll start to glow!
I want to be a gracious, glowy, flowy, effortless pregnant woman!!!!
Alas, this is what I know – so far – about pregnancy.
- You don’t know exhaustion, until you’ve been pregnant. I don’t care how tired you think you are, if you’re not growing a human, you’re ALL GOOD. I look back on the me before I was pregnant, and laugh at that poor naive person who thought they knew what tired meant. I’ve had to apologise to my sister for not being sympathetic enough when she was pregnant. I didn’t know! Nothing can possibly prepare you for this feeling. I have spent four months getting home from work and going straight to bed. No dinner, no nap on the sofa and then pootling up to bed to for a proper sleep. Just sleep. Sleep disturbed by at least three wee wees. I am too afraid to take a bath, because I know I’ll fall asleep in it. And I will also need another three wee wees during any potential tub time as well. The only thing I could compare this feeling to is if you had five jobs, and then got hit by a car, and then had to go back to your five jobs the next day. Although, on the plus side – guilt free day time naps really are a beautiful thing. Cannot stress that enough.
- Everyone has an opinion – which they will tell you. And they won’t present it as their opinion, they’ll present it as fact. When it comes to pregnancy and birth, people become very open and vocal (and judgy) with their opinions, but they don’t always seem to recognise that what they believe is based on their own experiences and is not, indeed, a statement of fact. I’ve had people tell me what I should be wearing as a pregnant person. I’ve had people laugh at me when I’ve told them my birth plan – and then just say the word “no”. I’ve said I plan to have my baby sleep in a cot next to me for the first six months and been scoffed at in a most patronising manner (despite the fact that it’s recommended by every midwife, doctor, caregiver and the NHS website!). My advice (which please do disregard if you please!) to anyone else experiencing this onslaught of unsolicited opinions is to take anything you hear with a huge pinch of salt. Do your own research, all the information you need is out there. People who had children (and probably did a great job of bringing them up) 10, 20, 30, etc years ago will have amazing advice at times, but when it comes to pregnancy, birth and babies, we know so much more than we did, even up to 10 years ago. Ask for advice when you want it and ask lots of people the same question so you get a more well-rounded idea of what the actual truth may be. Some advice will be invaluable, some will be infuriating, and some will be offensive. I have a sneaky suspicion that this particular point might carry on into childrearing as well – YAY.
- There is no such thing as an alcohol substitute. Oh nectar of the Gods! How I miss thee! I’ve had a couple of people say: “Oh don’t you just not feel like drinking, because you know it’s bad for the baby?” NO. I don’t drink alcohol because I know it’s bad for the baby, this does not mean I don’t feel like drinking. I feel like drinking a bucket-full of gin martinis. Any mock alcohol drinks, or so-called alcohol substitutes are just as fizzy and sweet as each other. One glass is charming (sort of), after two my teeth are furry and I feel a little bit sick. We hosted a big, boozey 30th birthday party for my husband last weekend and my drink of choice ended up being water! If it’s not wine, it may as well be water, because there is no inbetween! My only non-alcoholic recomendation is Tonic Water, with a nice slice of lime. Veritable G&T. Preferrably Fever Tree, which always feels a little more luxurious.
- It’s good if you like your bathroom…you will be spending A LOT of time there. I go for a wee so often that I’ve invented (I haven’t) the ‘Double Wee’ which is basically when I finish my wee but knowing I’ll only be back in 10 minutes, I just end up staying there until the next one arrives. No luxury reading poo, just waiting for the next wee – the ‘Double Wee’. Some nights I’ve ended up going to the loo six times. Therefore, it would be helpful if my bathroom light worked! It tends to just turn off half-way through a visit, turning my ‘Double Wee’ in to a ‘Blackout Wee’ which isn’t half as much fun.
- Meditation and yoga is amazing. You know when you’re in those really weird moods where work was kind of mentally harrowing and you’re knackered and everything is a bit wrong including the way the wind touches your face and you know, you just know, that the only thing that’s going to level you back out to normal is two very large glasses of wine? As a pregnant person, I feel that way 85% of the time and clearly I cannot turn to wine for the answer, so for me the answer has become meditation and yoga. I don’t know if it would work for everyone and meditation was a pretty big part of my sanity routine before I got pregnant (as was wine) but I downloaded a pregnancy meditation app and it’s been a bit of a life saver. Pregnancy can be so stressful, anything you can find to relieve the pressure, do it, do it all the time, and if it’s good for your mind and body and baby then so much the better!
I think that’s all I’ve managed to glean about pregnancy so far. In the coming weeks/months I intent to talk a bit about pregnancy and mental health, the things I’m doing to prepare for birth (apart from rocking and crying) and anything else that strikes me during this intense and weird but hopefully ultimately beautiful journey!