Being pregnant is beautiful.
It’s beautiful, surreal, uncomfortable and frankly disgusting at times: full of all sorts of surprises that you didn’t know were coming – with a lifetime of those surprises yet to come.
Before falling pregnant, I had often imagined what it would be like to actually be pregnant and after suffering from one miscarriage after another, after another, those imaginings became stronger having had a glimpse into the reality. At 6 months pregnant the best was yet to come (oh boy, don’t I know it!) but I'd already come across some things that I didn’t know about and wasn’t expecting.
4 things about being pregnant that I didn’t see coming
There are SO many things you can’t do
Of course, we all know that once those little lines appear on the stick, smoking, drinking and hard-core partying are out the window, but I didn’t realise what a minefield it is out there of all the things that once pregnant you’re not allowed to do.
From having to research every ingredient listed on a herbal teabag (most of which it turns out may or may not be safe), to having to abstain from a nice relaxing bath when I most need it, the list of no-go products, ingredients and activities is never ending. I’m a big proponent of natural, organic cosmetics too (which are still by far the best option for your and your baby) but suddenly even those safe ingredients became a source of fear – essential oils are best avoided, so does that include the essential oils in my shampoo or deodorant?!
I suppose this must get better with practice and perhaps I’m extra paranoid because of the miscarriages, but everything is tainted with fear. What makes it worse is that for so many things, there is no definitive answer as to whether it’s safe or not, but always best to err on the side of caution, eh?
The terrible wind
TMI warning, but I’m afraid that being pregnant made me give zero fucks about bodily functions and talking about them in great detail.
Now I would like to point out that normally, I’m not a public farter; I have been with my other half for 7 years and until I fell pregnant I just couldn’t bring myself to parp in his presence (other than that one time when he forced me to do a tiny Tommy Squeaker in the bath). But now that I had a baby to think of, holding it in just didn’t seem right.
On a day to day basis, it was fine; at a normal, human level; but there was a month there where the threat of the most appalling, non-stop and seemingly never dispersing rotten egg farts was very real. I know I’m not alone in having had the most shocking wind during pregnancy (because I Googled it) so I hope that this reaches those of you that need reassurance – what the hell is up with that?! I mean, seriously. No-one warned me about this – I was sure that there must be something very wrong. But for those of you reading this, rest assured that there is nothing wrong and it is apparently very normal. Good old relaxin playing games again!
Waddling is from pain, not from weight
Sure, the waddling does get worse as you get bigger, so bump weight and size plays a part here, but I noticed myself waddling at the 5 month mark not because of the weight, but because of the goddamn, crippling pubic pain. Good God baby, what are you doing in there? Because it’s not comfortable.
Pressure in the pubic region and a lovely, spiky barbed wire sensation in the groin was the bane of my life. I know that not everyone experiences this, but for those of you who do, I feel your pain.
The discomfort of this, plus the incessant back and hip pain of course equals no sleep and to be perfectly honest, you do need to get as much sleep stored up in the bank as is humanly possible before launch date.
I put off getting myself a fancy pregnancy pillow to sleep with for a while. Eventually I caved and got a Dream Genii, but this did nothing to help whatsoever, much to my dismay, so I went back to using all the pillows in the house, only to still be extremely uncomfortable. However, my saving grace came in the form of a gift from Scandinavian company BBHugMe, who sent me a full body pillow designed by 3 female chiropractors in Norway. The tiny microbeads cuddled around my body offering perfect support and the lovely soft, bamboo cover keeps me nice and cool. If you can afford to splash out, get one before you need it!
It’s not how you expect it to be
Whilst looking at my ever-expanding stomach from across the room, my partner said to me “pregnancy is not how I expected it to be!” and he’s quite right.
I mean, in some ways it is just as you might imagine, but in others it’s not. Perhaps we thought there would be some kind of huge shift in the cosmos the moment we discovered we were expecting or maybe I thought that being pregnant would somehow change me, but it didn’t really. And as it turns out, neither has motherhood.
In this, pregnancy can be quite tough because whilst you’re still feeling the same (aside from the aches and pains) you’re suddenly being viewed quite differently. I loved my bub from the first momeny I knew he was around, don’t get me wrong and I didn’t for a second resent the love and attention he got, even in utero, but I couldn’t help but struggle with the feeling of losing my identity and this feeling continues today.
When pregnant, it felt as though I was merged with my baby in everybody’s eyes and all they could see was my bump and its apparent gravitational pull. I actually really enjoyed the extra care and attention from the general public (it’s quite refreshing to have strangers be gentle with you) but it’s the people I’m closest to that I miss just being ‘me’ with. I never wished that I wasn’t pregnant and there isn’t a moment that I don’t feel totally in love with my bub, but there’s no denying that the transition into motherhood can be a challenging one, but the greatest challenge you will ever undertake.