Often there is an unrealistic expectation of pregnancy. An attitude that we should be grateful and happy and enjoy the wonderous miracle of life. Well, I am grateful, beyond happy but unbelievably miserable. I was first pregnant with A in 2013 and hated near enough every minute of it. Now, pregnant again, the experience is once again less enjoyable than having a tooth pulled. I don’t suffer too badly in comparison to others but the limitations pregnancy puts on you drives me round the bend. I do get pretty rotten morning sickness and the usual aches and pains. The fact that my consultant said to me last month, and I quote, “My dear, you are not suited to pregnancy,” pretty much says it all. I hate being pregnant and find very little in the nine months, bar the joy of a new impending arrival, to make me excited about it. I know for a fact that this will be my last pregnancy and I’m so thankful. I would find it very difficult to go through this again. Pregnancy is not easy. There are women who take to it like ducks to the inevitable water. The mother earths of our world. I am, by no means, a mother earth. My body does not take happily to the state of pregnancy. It bites down on the hardest part of this natural state of motherhood and makes for a miserable nine months.
Don’t get me wrong. I am overjoyed and excited at the thought of growing a beautiful baby inside me. I am proud that my body will actually allow me to do it. I know how utterly blessed I am to be able to conceive and give birth. I know that there are women who are desperate to be in my position. Women who would relish the pain, the discomfort and the months of suffering.
But the fact of the matter is, that the nine months are difficult, over their varying stages and trimesters. They are very difficult. A woman’s body goes through a horrendous amount of change and upheavel to grow a small bean, from nothingness into fully fledged human.
Why do I dislike being in my current state? Oh well, let me tell you.
I will never excuse myself from saying that I hate being pregnant. I hate the entire nine months. The emotional and the physical changes are exhausting and tedious. The symptoms change rapidly and no pregnancy is the same. But no pregnancy is easy. Even those that relish in being a baby making machine must suffer. Mustn’t they? From breast pain, round ligament pain, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, unable to sleep, constant punches and kicks to the bladder, infections, tests, invasive prodding and poking, depression, back pain, leg pain, swollen ankles, being told what to eat, what to do, what not to do. The list is endless.
What they say: Morning Sickness disappears by the second trimester
What I say: Hahahahahahahahahahahahah
On A, morning sickness decided to be my house guest for the full nine months with a two week reprieve at 28 weeks. Other than that, the bathroom was my best friend. It started at five weeks and lasted until they whipped A out of me on the operating table. I became quite inventive with ways to hide my nausea on the bus commute to work but was unfortunate with losing a few handbags to early morning vomiting. I learnt how to be highly discreet, a skill I never wanted to need again. But I wouldn’t recommend bringing an expensive handbag to work if its your only method of stomach evacuation on your commute.
I was dreading suffering the same this time round, especially when the sickness kicked in at six weeks and was a hundred times worse. I was crippled and bed bound with severe morning sickness. Thankfully, my consultant, knowing how sick I was last time, decided to put me on meds and I have to admit I’d be lost without them, unable to manage a full day.
Since eight weeks, I take one nausea tablet a day which keeps me going. Because of the awesome invention of Baby Brain, I’ve forgotten to take my tablet on occasion and boy have I suffered! Morning sickness is rotten. It completely disregards the morning part of its name and lasts all day. Morning sickness can be a long and tedious complaint of pregnancy. It’s nasty, pure and simple. I’m lucky that I didn’t need a hospital stay on either pregnancy yet due to morning sickness and my heart breaks for anyone who suffers so badly with extreme sickness.
What they say: Relax and be pampered
What I say: Relax? Pampering? What’s that?
Perhaps on your first but certainly not on any subsequent kids. Fair enough, naps and constant lounging on the couch watching Friends reruns is pretty much my memory of being pregnant on A. Pregnancy was a great excuse to take to the bed early or binge watch Netflix. But I needed all that relaxation and rest … within reason – see my next point. I suffered morning sickness for the full nine months on A. I was perpetually sick and sore and tired. B was fab and doted over me, keeping me comfortable and well fed and watered. But I was miserable and absolutely hated the experience.
This time round there’s very little in the way of relaxation and rest. And pampering, sheesh what’s that? We have a three year old to chase after, a lovely commute for work and a house with endless piles of laundry and cutlery to be put away. I am on my feet most of the day when I’m not at work. I’m exhausted and sore. Worn out to the point of a coma but I have to keep on going. My sister has four kids. I don’t know how she coped on her last pregnancy with three kids, one being a toddler, to chase after.
There is very little in the way of rest and relaxation for a pregnant mum. And generally, the consensus would appear to be, first pregnancy – everyone is wildly enthusiastic to help, second and subsequent pregnancies – everyone disappears and you go it alone.
What they say: Don’t lift and rest
What I say: ehhh oops
I’m an organiser, a planner, I like to get things done. I find it very difficult to sit back and wait for someone else to take the lead with my “projects”. And I’m constantly reorganising, arranging and sorting our house out. Case in point, the baby’s room. I have a plan on how to get the baby’s room decorated and organised. I have boxes of clothes and blankets to sort and go through. Even though we have another 20 weeks to go I want it done now or at least, very soon. I’m in the midst of sorting out wallpapering. I have a trip to Ikea planned after I clear the room of all its contents. I can’t wait for someone else to do this.
Today, I managed to guilt B in helping me lug the Christmas decorations into the attic which found their way into the baby’s room. They’ve been in there a week and I want to start clearing the room of toys and junk so we can start decorating. I have plans! They won’t get done without me.
Admittedly, I’ve learnt my lesson. When I was pregnant on A, at 8 months when my maternity leave started, I moved furniture around, cleared out junk and did all sorts. Nesting? Nope, just me unable to wait for someone else to do it, or not wanting to explain why I wanted something done. So, maybe I haven’t learnt my lesson. Before Christmas, I moved all of our sitting room furniture around to accommodate the Christmas tree.
I find resting on my laurels very, very difficult. Sitting and waiting is not my cup of tea. I’m proactive. Ok, I’m impatient and pregnancy doesnt help this in the slightest.
Being pregnant, I’m supposed to rest when I can, leave the heavy duty workload to others which drives me nuts. Waiting is like an itch under my wrist that won’t go away. I will try my level best to refrain from heavy lifting especially considering the subchorionic haematoma I suffered in November. But really it’s not in my nature and pregnancy is a trial for me to pause and rest.
What they say: Eat what you like
What I say: F**k that, here’s the list of no go foods. Stick to it or suffer
Well right now, and especially all over Christmas, I would love some paté, some soft, smelly, mouldy cheese. I’d love to chomp on a pepperami or a massive big tuna melt. I’d love my chicken tikka wrap from the deli in work. I seem to want everything I’m not allowed have. The list is long enough. And coffee, dear God I am missing coffee and coke and anything with caffeine. How am I surviving at all?
And everything they say I am allowed to indulge on – because who cares about the pounds while growing a tiny human being – either turns my stomach or gives me heartburn. I spent all Christmas with nauseating acid burning me as I sank into the Roses, the Heroes and the Celebrations. It was Christmas after all, aren’t we meant to over indulge regardless of the consequences? And I’m a mother. Don’t we eat the chocolates when the little ones go to bed to save their sweet tooth? So I ate and suffered because my insides are squished beyond reason causing heartburn. Chocolate causing heartburn really is a cruel joke for a pregnant woman.
*FYI I haven’t mentioned alcohol because I don’t drink so I’m not missing this one but thats another one to add to most peeps lists*
What they say: Pregnancy is uncomfortable
What I say: No shit Sherlock
Everything hurts. Everything.
I sneezed in bed last night and the pain in my side was so crippling that I grabbed B’s arm and left nail marks that can still be seen today. From sneezing to coughing, to simply standing up from a sitting position, everything is painful and uncomfortable. Turning in bed can be excrutiating if, at 3am you forget you’re pregnant (happens a lot to me) and you turn too quickly. Besides that, every angle and postition you try to sleep in is simply not right. Can’t lie on your back or your front and your hips are killing you so you rotate around the bed and not in a Wahey sort of way
But hey, it’s not like you’re going to get any sleep with Little Bean using your bladder and intestines as punching bags. You’ll spend half your night in the loo or tossing and turning.
Your body is stretching and pulling in every corner. Everything is growing and pulsating. Everything hurts. Did I say that already?
What they say: With our beautiful maternity range
What I say: Maternity clothes suck
I learnt from last time that maternity clothes are not all that appealing. And expensive. This time round, I will be living in my two pairs of maternity jeans and leggings. Feck it if I’m going to spend hard earned dosh on clothes I won’t get my moneys worth out of it. Pairing with my jeans, I have plain tshirts under cardigans and loose flowing shirts. And that will be me for the rest of this pregnancy. Sexy huh?
I have not found a maternity clothes range that I like yet. I’m not a dress person and besides I am absolutely not fashionable. So, simple and comfortable are my go to for the next year. I am desperately missing my comfy, perfect fit, skinny jeans, all eight pairs of them, especially my black jeans. I didn’t get to wear a single Christmas jumper this year because my bump oozed out under them making for a not so nice look.
Ok, so this is a petty reason not to enjoy pregnancy, but it’s a reason non the less and related to my next point. Dressing well and feeling like me, makes me feel good. I don’t necessarily feel like myself when I’m pregnant because I have to alter my clothes, fit into a “mom style” box which doesn’t apply to me. I feel awkward as I try to dress the bump which doesn’t help my sel esteem any.
What they say: Pregnancy hormones are inevitable
What I say: Pass the tissues, just leave the box
I have cried at the most stupidest of things while pregnant. Christmas ads ruined me as I howled at near enough every single one of them.
I have cried at the thoughts of maternal guilt as I will have to divide my love and time between two. I have cried because I’m so tired. I have cried and cried and cried.
Pregnancy is an emotional upheavel. It leaves you ecstatically happy and heartbroken in a matter of minutes. It’s uncontrollable. You can’t help it, you can’t explain it. You look like an idiot and no one understands. Isn’t it wonderful?
Postnatal depression has become widely acceptable and supported in this age, thankfully. Antenatal depression is just as real but not as widely known. I’m on the lookout for signs that I may be suffering from depression again and will get support as soon as I can if necessary.
With any impending arrival there is anxiety and fear which often outweighs the anticipation and excitement. We planned both our pregnancies but that doesn’t mean that we have spent countless time doubting ourselves, feeling guilty, feeling pressurised, worried and anxious about how our lives will change and how difficult it will be to adapt to a family of four. Throw in pregnancy hormones and what do you get?
Shall I go on? Because I can. There are plenty more things I hate about pregnancy. The waiting for one. Nine months doesn’t seem that long but when you’re pregnant it feels never ending. It doesnt help that everyone consistently asks how long left… I can tell you how long left down to the hour because trust me, we’re counting.