Pregnancy: a NO-GLOW (moan) zone.
‘You’re glowing,’ said no one to me during my pregnancy, ever.
I don’t know what I expected. It’s like when you’ve had children - you can never really understand what life is going to be like until it actually happens. Same goes for pregnancy. Yes I knew what was going to happen to my body biologically, but I had no idea how much it would change on the outside, how it would feel mentally, and whether I'd be one of those natural 'this is so easy' pregnant women, or the one who complains all the time and wants it over with. I was the latter, obviously.
I don't want to upset anyone with this post. I was thrilled to fall pregnant, especially after having a miscarriage the year before. I felt lucky and couldn’t wait to meet my baby. I simply did not enjoy ‘the change’ and I’m sure many of you can relate.
It all started with morning sickness. The nausea began at around nine weeks. I know most women suffer with it and the ones that don’t are just annoying. When you’re in that dizzy, similar to motion sickness state, it really is HORRENDOUS. I didn't feel anything like those poor expectant mums who suffer with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I have written stories about women who suffered the condition so badly that they were bed-bound or hospitalised for their entire pregnancy, with some even going so far to abort their babies because they couldn't bear it any longer. No. It wasn’t THAT bad. But it was bad enough. I didn’t just feel a bit icky in the morning and feel fine by lunch, it was day after day of clinging to the toilet bowl vomiting and not wanting to eat ANYTHING. Not even crisps. I know.
I had to take weeks off work - not ideal when self-employed - and all I could do was lie in bed, willing the nausea to bugger off. These days I dream of lying in bed for hours doing nothing.
Anyway, the sickness ended at around 16 weeks gestation. And because of the no-eating, being-sick bit, I lost half a stone in weight. Before I piled on the other three.
A BIT FAT. AND BRITISH.
Once the sickness had passed, I was in the ‘in-between’ patch. You know, where you just look a bit podgy. I covered up in baggy tops and winced if anyone put their hand near my ‘bump’ (flab).
Fast forward to when I was ballooning nicely - that's when people started treating me differently. I didn't like it. When I was on the tube, travelling into central London for work, I actually removed my ‘Baby on Board’ badge and used my massive (faux) fur jacket to hide my bump. I didn’t want people giving up their seat for me. I didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone (isn't that standard ‘British’ behaviour?), let alone make them give up their seat.
Back home, I’d say to my husband Greg: ‘When the tube stopped suddenly I went flying and nearly fell bump-first’. Cue him saying something along the lines of THEN JUST TAKE SOMEONE'S SEAT AND SIT THE **** DOWN. I knew he was right, but I just didn’t want to be ‘that’ person.
* I still always took my badge with me so that I could put it on when working, so that fellow colleagues didn't mistake the baby inside me for a KFC family feast bucket.
* I'm a complete hypocrite because yes I do give up my seat for pregnant women.
NO ABS HERE.
The whole time my stomach was becoming more and more like an overblown space hopper, I couldn’t help thinking what I was going to be left with after giving birth. As I slapped on obscene amounts of Derma Mum stretch mark cream, I wondered what was going to happen to all that skin. Where was it going to go? WAS it going to go? The thought of losing my flat (ish) stomach was a real bummer. Vain much?
I could go on forever. Those who know me, particularly Greg, know how much I can moan. If moaning were a race I could run a moanathon without even breaking a sweat. But I’ll sum up.
I didn’t glow.
I didn’t enjoy chatting about being pregnant with other women.
I didn’t enjoy people touching my bump without invitation.
I didn’t like always needing the toilet.
I didn't like not knowing whether I'd ever be able to hold my pee successfully ever again.
I didn’t enjoy having ‘big’ boobs.
I didn't like being uncomfortable ALL THE TIME.
I didn't like having to slow down.
I didn’t like not being able to sleep.
I didn’t enjoy having baby brain.
I didn’t like not being able to drink.
I just didn’t enjoy it and I don’t miss it.
BUT, meeting that mini human I'd carried around for nine months in my big, fat, stretched space hopper? That, I definitely DID enjoy. Awesome. And SO totally and utterly worth it.