When I found out I was pregnant, I was overjoyed. I’d been desperate to have a baby for what seemed like forever. I felt very lucky and couldn’t wait to be a mummy. For me, pregnancy was more challenging than I’d expected. I thought I’d look and feel the same, but just have a bump. This wasn’t quite the case! There were highs and lows, but all I could focus on was the end result. My baby. Here’s a summery of my thoughts and feelings…
Pregnancy… I Didn’t Realise How Hard It Would Be
Anxiety…everyday was a bit of a battle. Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be very scary. It’s natural to feel anxious and apprehensive. I suffer with anxiety anyway, but throughout my pregnancy it just became even more of an issue. I just wanted everything to be ok and felt very frightened, especially about labour and the birth. I didn’t know what to expect and the fear of the unknown suffocated me. I’d watch birth videos in the hope they’d help me overcome my fear, but they just made me feel worse. I’d burst into tears at my midwife appointments, but they were fantastic and reassured me that it was normal to feel like I did and that I could do this. One particular day when I was stressing, I went to see one of my girlfriends, who is very matter of fact and great at putting things into perspective. She listened, gave me a look and said “Well, I’m sorry, but you’ve got yourself into this so you’re just going to have to deal with it”. Ok, I thought. I’ll deal with it. And I did. I went through labour and I gave birth. Looking back, I wish I’d have tried to enjoy my pregnancy a lot more instead of worrying so much.
Morning sickness…let’s make that all day sickness. I felt sick all the time for the first three months (the best way I could describe it is feeling constantly travel sick). I went off all food, I didn’t fancy anything and would have to force a meal down. A cup of tea with some chocolate, which is my idea of heaven, was suddenly the most disgusting thing I could imagine. When I did get a craving for something, it would be for chicken nuggets, Burton’s Salt and Vinegar Fish n’ Chip crisps and really, really sour sweets. Thankfully, I didn’t have any weird and wonderful cravings like my mum’s Auntie, who went into the coal house and licked the coal. Gherkins would’ve done it for me, personally.
Fatigue…for me, it was overwhelming. It was like my body had run out of steam and it was an effort to get up off my behind. I would come home from work, eat dinner then go straight up to bed and sleep. When I woke in the morning it would feel like I hadn’t had a whole ten hours. I was still shattered. I’m used to always being on the go and doing something so to suddenly feel so drained and tired was hard to adjust to (one day I actually nodded off at work, which was slightly mortifying!)
Stretch marks…Ok, so I expected to get them. On my bump. And maybe my boobs. Not on my thighs, hips and behind my knees. Yes, that’s right, BEHIND MY KNEES. It’s taken me a little while to accept them, but I look at them now and I’m proud of my mummy stripes. They are a permenant reminder of how much I’ve gone through to get my beautiful baby girl and the journey I’ve been on.
Pregnancy aches and pains…oh the joys. Good old girdle pain. Knee and hip pain. Carrying a little human around is hard work! I never expected to feel like I’d run a marathon everyday. It was especially uncomfortable at night. My huge pregnancy pillow helped to support my aching joints, and I’d definitely recommend you purchase one. I don’t think the other half was too impressed by it though! Oh, and did I mention about the leg cramps? Just something else to add in there. Moving on…
Weight gain…my theory on this is that I was growing a human so I was going to enjoy eating for two. I had a very good excuse to have that piece of cake. And the whole bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Oh, and those digestive biscuits. What? I needed sugar! Needles to say, I’m two stone heavier than I was before I fell pregnant, and it isn’t until now that I’ve had the motivation to try and get back into shape. I feel women are made to feel pressured to lose the baby weight. But that weight gain is a natural process of growing your beautiful baby. You’re beautiful no matter what.
Puffy hands and feet…a week before LL was due, my hands started to swell and I noticed that I’d made the fatal error of not removing my wedding band and engagement ring. I tried everything to get them off but to no avail. I popped into my local jewellers, he took one look and said “they’re not coming off unless I cut them off”. I was gutted but the relief once they were removed was worth it! They are now back on and looking nice and sparkly after a clean and fit better than they did before.
Pregnancy…I Didn’t Realise How Amazing It Would Be
Seeing your bump grow is incredible. I kept a photo diary, once a month capturing how my bump had grown and changed. I’ve put all the photos together and it’s amazing to see the journey your body goes through. I think pregnant women look beautiful.
Feeling your baby move is one of the most amazing things you will ever experience. From that first little flutter (where you think “is that just wind?”) to a full on kick (however a foot on your bladder or elbow under the rib isn’t so enjoyable!) Feeling LL move made the whole thing seem more real. Hubby and I would lye in bed each night, his hand on my belly, in contented silence, both feeling her wriggling around. It was such a special moment.
Hearing my baby’s heartbeat for the first time…made time stop. It was like something incredibly magical shot through me, I couldn’t focus on anyone or anything else around me, apart from that strong, loud beating that filled the room. Tears stung my eyes and a lump suddenly appeared in my throat. It was like she was saying “I’m here mummy. I’m growing big and strong and I can’t wait to see you”. I shall treasure that moment forever.
Preparing the nursery was a very exciting time for us. Choosing the colour scheme, picking out curtains and arranging furniture. Organising baby gros, clothes and baby essentials into each drawer, placing the soft toys we had chosen on the shelf, hanging pictures and adding finishing touches all made the arrival of our baby more and more real.
My Baby Shower was a very special and emotional day. It was a tea party organised by my girlfriends and I had a wonderful time. I was surrounded by family and friends, participating in games, having a good old natter, eating cupcakes, laughing and joking, (especially about the impending birth. Thank you, Godmother, for announcing your opinion on getting an epidural,”Some people don’t want pain relief. F*** that! Have an epidural!”). It was a chance for me to relax and spend some quality time with loved ones before the baby was born.
What were your highs and lows during pregnancy? Please let me know!