Pregnancy and beyond

The Joys of Pregnancy (from somebody who just didn’t get)

I’m not trying to be negative. Pregnancy is amazing. The fact that you grow a human inside you for 9 months and then he/she comes out and grows into a big human is incredible. I just did not have that “oh I love being pregnant so much” feeling.

I found out I was pregnant and that was great. We were happy. It was planned. I was a bit tired but not affecting my day to day life tired. I didn’t really have morning sickness (the first episode was my first scan because I drank too much water).

At seven weeks I joked to my best friend that it was twins, I was visibly pregnant. This was the first sign that I wasn’t going to be that glossy glowing pregnant person I had imagined I would be. So we waited for our first scan to see whether I was harbouring a baby elephant.

The scan came a bit early and I can still remember it vividly:

“You haven’t had a scan before”

-me thinking this is code for there is something wrong

“There is one heartbeat”

-should have clicked then that number two was coming

“There is another heartbeat, it’s twins”

I don’t think this sank in for months. On the way home I was sick again, through what I can only imagine was shock.

So we were having twins!!! We were still happy, slightly shocked but happy as we are both so practical we thought:

  • efficiency – we wanted two children, job done
  • if it had been a single pregnancy it may have resulted in an only child as I was not taking to pregnancy well
  • How hard can two babies actually be for somebody that has never had any interaction with any baby in their life?

Then it all started…

“You will glow” they said

“Your hair will be amazing” they said

In my case “they” couldn’t have been more wrong. I didn’t glow, I just expanded. My already thick hair got even thicker and more uncontrollable. I had many of the “look how big you are” comments (thanks), and then my feet swelled up and up and up. I couldn’t even get Ugg boots on. Sad times.

There are absolutely no photos of me from pregnancy which I now regret. At the time though I couldn’t think of anything worse than having my appearance documented. I knew what was happening was amazing but the change in me didn’t feel quite so magical. I missed what I was before pregnancy, I missed my clothes and all the outdoor things I couldn’t do. My horse had to be sold when I was 10 weeks as he was a total liability and not worth risking my pregnancy over, I couldn’t run after 4 months, couldn’t cycle after 6 (my astonishing bump got in the way and I kept kneeing it) and I finally gave up walking the dogs at 35 weeks. I would get jealous that my husband could still go out running and cycling whilst I stayed at home. Being a taxi didn’t bother me, being the only sober person amongst the drunks did. How annoying are drunk people??!!

People were actually really lovely but I wasn’t. They would offer to help me but were always met by “I’m pregnant, not ill” or “I am perfectly capable of carrying/doing that”, “No I do not need to sit down” I was truly undesirable.

I didn’t have many strangers touching my stomach moments but there was one situation of groping I distinctively remember. A lady I worked with went to touch my stomach. In my eyes she was lunging at me, arms outstretched ready to go in for the kill and I froze. I couldn’t even speak. Even after the episode was over I stood there in shock and couldn’t answer her questions. I am not good at physical contact, I really do not like a hug, if people touch me it can cause me to physically recoil in horror or stand like a plank of wood as I don’t feel the need or inclination to touch or to be touched by people (amazing I got pregnant!). I may not have reacted so badly had the lady in question asked to feel my stomach, the answer would have been an awkward no though.

Apart from major anxiety on my part regarding the babies, and numerous trips to hospital, the pregnancy went well. I just didn’t really take to it like some people. I think in the general excitement that everybody has they forget that the pregnant woman is the one that worries on a daily basis whether they are eating correctly, drinking enough water, taking the right things, doing too much/little, constantly focused on baby movements ( have they moved yet, when did I last feel them move/ are they moving as much as normal) and the list goes on. It is the pressure that if something goes wrong it is your fault. Well it was for me anyway.

I think there are varying degrees of pregnancy joyfulness ranging from skipping through the fields with butterflies, singing your happiness to the world to the general Ice Witch that can’t be pleased.

It’s ok to love being pregnant, shout about it and glow with your gloriously glossy hair but its also ok to be the grumpy swollen footed Ogre with thick uncontrollable hair.

Personally I think that the pressure and expectations I put on myself caused my dislike for pregnancy. I genuinely thought I would be happy, I imagined I wouldn’t change physically apart from my stomach. I also spent way too much time reading about pregnant celebrities and not knowing why they looked so perfect (I clearly wasn’t bearing in mind that their bank balance may have had something to do with this).

Don’t pressure yourself to be Perfect Pregnant Patricia who had the best time ever that she just wants to do it all again right away. It’s not healthy or realistic to be who you are not.

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