I never thought I’d get to a point where I’d look back on being pregnant with rose tinted glasses, but time it seems, is the ultimate anaesthetic. It somehow has the ability to dilute the pain and unpleasantness you might have felt during a past situation. Indeed, most of us have uttered the old phrase, ‘oh we’ll look back on this and laugh about it one day,’ and pregnancy (and even labour!) it seems, is not immune to times charms either.
But let’s face it, most of us find at least some part of pregnancy uncomfortable and as I thought about my nine and some months being pregnant, I started to count up all the side effects I had to put up with and as I did, I realised that time had already begun its work, because I distinctly remember going through much more than this!
PUPP rash that left me scratching my entire body as if I had fleas. Horrendous.
Indigestion so bad that I’d polish off a huge bottle of Gaviscon in a week.
Drooling! Dear God the drooling! Why did no-one mention the drooling? My pillow would be drenched with drool every night!
Constipation. For a time Fybogel became my best friend.
Insomnia and extreme tiredness.
Getting up to pee several times a night, which didn’t help with the above.
Craving so much cereal that one night I had a huge bowl of cornflakes, finished it, let the dogs lick the bowl and then decided to have a second bowl, but forgot the dogs had licked the bowl until halfway through the second helping!
Forgetting everything… see above!
Flare up of old back and knee injuries, leaving my pregnancy waddle in full duck mode.
Stretch marks akin to Freddy Kruger’s face.
Sweating like some kind of farm animal.
Being able to smell someone smoking a cigarette 10 gardens down.
Being just a tad irrational and crying at the drop of a hat, or carton of milk, which left me wailing like a banshee one evening.
Er, wasn’t this supposed to be about what you missed about being pregnant?
Quite right, I digress.
As like most women, my pregnancy side effect list is pretty vast, but when I started to think about all the bad stuff pregnancy did to my body, strangely I started to miss lots of things about that time. Like rubbing my tummy. I don’t know about you, but the act became both comforting and habitual for me, so much so, that for some time after I’d given birth I continued to do it unknowingly. Part of that was routine, but also I think it was missing the feeling my baby move inside me, which he did all the time. From about 16 weeks all he did was move around in there and I just adored it. He’d move and I’d rub my tummy. It was our special connection to each other and I loved it… that said when the little blighter danced on my bladder or kick me in the vag, that I did not miss!
Eating with wild abandon! Okay, I know we’re not supposed to perpetuate the myth that you are eating for two when you’re pregnant, but I really made the most of my time with an expanding belly. I had a voracious appetite and let’s face it growing a tiny human is hard work, so I ate. I ate pretty much what I wanted, when I wanted and it was great! I didn’t look on that biscuit with horrible guilt. I regularly ended up in a carb coma and always, always, always went for dessert. Like a lot of women, I’ve been watching what I eat for my whole life and have always felt under pressure to look a certain way, but the unshackled feeling of being pregnant and letting my belly stick out was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever experienced.
I also missed feeling special. Yeah, I know that sounds pretty trite and twee, but I did feel a little bit special when I was pregnant. People made a fuss of me, which normally I hate. My idea of hell is being the centre of attention, but I must admit I loved it when someone held a door open for me, or a complete stranger asked me when I was due. Before I was pregnant, I’d often go through days feeling like I was invisible, people would elbow me, not return a smile or brush pass me as if I didn’t exist, but when I was pregnant, it was as if people saw me for the first time. I know we laugh especially toward the end of pregnancy when people keep asking if there’s ‘any news?’ or ‘anything stirrin?’ But I must admit, I never minded people texting me to see how I and the bump were doing.
Finally, what really floored me was when I shared my baby news with family and friends. It was a terrifying moment, because you worry when is the right time to tell people, but when I finally did, the sheer joy, genuine happiness and sincere love I got back in return was incredible. It’s as if their guard dropped and they allowed themselves to be completely open and unpretentious. I mean we all share good news with people from time to time, be it an engagement, a new job or a new house and while for the most part people are happy for you, sometimes they can be masking other feelings, but when it came to sharing my pregnancy news, it was complete unadulterated joy.