Don’t get me wrong, pregnancy is a miracle and it’s a wonderful experience. I’m fully aware that there are a lot of women out there who can’t have children and I don’t want this post to seem ungrateful in any way or wholly negative.
But, I do think as women, we are judged into silence if we dare moan or share discomforts of pregnancy and therefore a lot of women are going into pregnancy completely blind to what could happen to them. I think it’s time we start being honest and start speaking up about it all. Not just the good parts.
So, in no particular order, here are some things that have happened to me which I had no idea would happen.
I sometimes don’t recognise my own personality
I used to be a really calm, bordering on cold, woman. It took a lot to fire me up about something and even more to make me cry. Now, I’m angry all the time. Paranoid. I cry at everything and I’m pretty sure there are days my boyfriend hates me. In the back of my head I recognise I’m sometimes being irrational (screaming and crying at my boyfriend for not running me a bath is a little extreme) but I can’t seem to do much to control it.
None of my shoes fit
I mean none of them. You always hear the swollen feet thing, but I thought that was something that happened right at the end. I’m 26 weeks (plus 3 days) and swollen feet happened to me quite early on. Heels? Forget it. Pretty sandals? Yeah the soles of your feet will scream bloody murder after about an hour. Trainers? Even they will dig into the tops of your feet the further in the day it gets. Plus, I wake up with painful soles. How does that even make sense?!
There’s something to the myth that having children younger is easier, but not just because of the physical strain, but the mental one. I’ve had over ten years of being able to do whatever I want when I want and being able to go for a drink or a night out with my friends to celebrate birthdays or just to relieve stress. Being pregnant changes that and suddenly everything changes. It’s instant. Say goodbye to that drink of wine in the bath. Say goodbye to going to a beer garden in the summer with your girlfriends. Say goodbye to joining your friends on wild nights out that create stories and memories. Friday night comes and suddenly it’s just you and the TV.
I worry about everything now. I mean, I worried before, but it’s ten times worse now. I worry about the baby’s health in my stomach. I worry about the birth. I worry about what kind of mum I will be. I worry about buying the right nursery furniture. I worry about future holidays. I worry about my relationship with my boyfriend and how it will be effected. I worry about picking godparents and arranging christenings and birthday parties. I worry about the kind of political environment I’m bringing a child into. I worry about gaining weight and losing the weight after. It’s consuming.
How uncomfortable you feel all the time
If it’s not acid reflux, it’s feeling overstretched. If it’s not feeling tired, it’s not being able to sleep because your back hurts or your legs are cramping. If it’s not sharp pains in your lower stomach when you move too fast, it’s a throbbing in your private area. Then you have the added bonus of your baby doing gymnastics in your stomach while you’re trying to have a serious conversation with your boss with your womb feeling like it’s about to fall out.
Maternity clothes are shit
They really are. And I loathe the idea of spending loads of money for something I’m only going to be able to wear for another three months. But then nothing else fits and you have no idea how many crop tops you actually own until summer comes and you have no tops to wear. You end up recycling the same outfits again and again because once you find that top or dress that fits, you’re not letting it go for anyone!
Other women always have something to say
“Oh you’re really small for your stage”
“You shouldn’t be drinking coffee”
“That pram isn’t functional”
“You shouldn’t be buying so many 0-3 month clothes”
“Buy everything second hand because they grow so fast”
“You won’t breastfeed for very long once you realise how difficult it is”
“Yeah, you just wait and see”
Why don’t you all just leave me alone?! I mean, advice is great if I ask for it. But if I don’t ask, I don’t want to hear it. Unless my midwife feels strongly about me measuring small or that I’m planning on buying a Bugaboo pram and using it as long as possible without buying a stroller, I’m not that phased. The pressure women put on one another is unbearable sometimes.
Next post, I will focus on the positives. Because there are so so many. But how about you? Any of you yummy mummies out there find anything hard?