Pregnancy: What does it mean?
Aside from the obvious of course – You get fat for 9 months and a stork delivers a bundle of joy to your doorstep.
At first, pregnancy for me meant daily vomit, a dose of a purple prickly rash on my face and continuous munching on packets of ginger biscuits to combat the nausea. As the summer approached, week 12 offered reassurance in the form of a healthy looking scan and the warmer weather brought me more energy. Sharing our news brought positive associations with pregnancy akin to celebrity status and a chorus of “Don’t you look well!” Strangers would rub my belly like Aladdin’s lamp and I’d think steady on, it’s just my dinner in there; there’s no ‘bump’ yet.
At home, pregnancy means that I still do my day to day jobs and life carries on as normal but I’m lucky to say, I get the occasional back rub and extra cups of tea. As my body changes, I’m actually enjoying the bump coming on, even if it means that my clothes don’t fit any more. I’ve been fortunate enough to be given some maternity clothes and advice from friends and family which is a good job because the maternity wear offerings leave something to be desired; many retailers are also opting to sell online which makes choosing a tent to wear even harder. The odd outfit still makes me feel like myself as I negotiate the transition between fashionable and frumpy.
At work, pregnancy means well-meaning fussing about how I shouldn’t move tables, carry books or lift things. It’s overwhelming how kind people can be and their generosity is humbling. But it also means that I have been staying later in an attempt to get more done, trying to prove that pregnancy doesn’t make me a shirker. I’m aware that this can be self inflicted but when you’re a worrier, you’re a worrier. You are who you are, right? I wonder if other pregnant working women have felt the need to still prove themselves capable.
When I’m alone (usually in the bath), pregnancy means bonding with my unborn baby and I’m surprised to find myself talking and (dare I admit) singing to the bump. Who would’ve thought it? In the car, she’s further subjected to my eclectic musical taste and yes, we do know it’s a girl because we found out at our 20 week scan (and any comments about a surprise being the best, can be kept yourself; it’s simply down to personal preference).
Pregnancy has brought me feelings of excitement and fear all rolled into one. The pregnancy pendulum swings between ‘this is going to be amazing!’ and ‘oh shit, what am I going to do?’ But I’ve seen many new mums and dads manage just fine and I’ve come to appreciate the ones who tell it like it is, ‘Yes, we do applaud any bit of poo our angel does in the potty’ that kind of thing. As a realist, I don’t mind the truth about perils of parenthood.
The ripple effect of announcing a pregnancy was surprising; grandparents, family and friends, friends of friends have already sent gifts which is overwhelming really. It’s taken a while to realise just how excited people actually are for you.
During the last few weeks, I have felt my baby’s movements and that’s pretty amazing. Hearing her heartbeat is pretty amazing and I guess when we meet her, it’ll be pretty amazing too. Let’s just hope that when she’s born, we don’t forget her and accidentally leave her at the hospital.
I’m now approaching my third trimester and have plans to attend antenatal classes, a daily (almost hourly) craving of chocolate and an expanding belly which has been likened to a pumpkin. I’m full of nervous anticipation, curiosity and excitement about the future. It can’t be that hard, can it?