For anybody who has been pregnant before, you’ll know that it isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Sure, for some women pregnancy is a joyous occasion. For many of us, those 9 months feel like they are dragging on forever, and even the pain of childbirth isn’t deterring you from wishing the time away. Having been pregnant three times, I have put together a little tongue in cheek post about the stages of pregnancy. If you’re currently pregnant, hats off to you, it’s not quite the bed of roses the movies suggest.
Whether the pregnancy was planned or not, it is still a bit of a surprise when you take that all-important test and it comes up positive. Who knew peeing on a stick would be such a magical moment, and that you save said stick for the baby’s memory chest. Yes, I have done this, as I’m sure the kids will cherish them when they are older...
I was fortunate enough not to throw up throughout any of my pregnancies. I did, however, feel incredibly nauseated for the first couple of months each time round. Ginger biscuits helped... a bit. What doesn’t help is that you are generally trying to keep your pregnancy secret at this stage, especially when the foods you used to love now make you gag, and even the slightest whiff of something can set you off without warning. Who knew the pregnancy glow they talk of was actually the sheen of sweat?
Baby Showers, for one, can be a fun event to help keep your mind off how slowly pregnancy seems to go, but big elaborate pregnancy announcements can be an added stress. However you plan to let your loved ones, and those on your social media, know about your impending arrival, remember that it doesn’t need to be fancy or unique. Why not go old school and just take a shot of that pee stick you kept hold of?
Once that all-important 12-week milestone has passed, and the cat is out of the bag about the pregnancy, it’s quite normal to want to head to the shops and stock up with everything baby-related in sight. I remember how excited I was going out to get my stroller with my first baby.... and then how annoying it was maneuvering around that big box for the next six months. Top Tip - hold off on buying the big-ticket items until you’re a bit closer.
Ok, I know not everybody chooses to find out the gender of their baby in advance, but just like over the top pregnancy announcements, big fancy gender reveals are also gaining popularity. The 20-week scan is probably my favorite pregnancy milestone. I have found out the sex of each of my babies, as I was just too impatient not to. It also gives you an excuse to go shopping again and buy all the clothes and nursery decor in garish blue or pink, if you are that way inclined, which I totally was.
It is at around the six-month mark that I actually started enjoying pregnancy, for a brief time. You have had your anomaly scan, found out all is well, and potentially found out whether you are carrying a boy or a girl, and your bump is big enough now that people are confident you are pregnant rather than just harboring a generously sized food baby, so you are offered a seat on public transport and smiled at by strangers. Don’t get too comfortable though, this stage is luring you into a false sense of security before that bump gets a whole lot bigger, and you start wishing strangers would go back to ignoring you.
I love a good baby shower, I’m not going to lie. They are brilliant for a bit of light relief when your ankles are swollen, you have an ache in your lower back that just won’t go away, and you have started to struggle to maintain your lady garden in the shower. I’ve found the optimum time to have them is at around 30 weeks, when you are big, but not unable to move big, and the end still feels like a distant dot on the horizon so you need something to keep you going. Top Tip for those organizing - Don’t involve more than one glass of alcohol for guests to avoid the mom to be having an emotional breakdown about the fact she is not allowed to have the Prosecco, and keep the games involving fake baby poop to a minimum, yuck.
As the due date approaches, it can feel like everything is aching. There are so many minor ailments in late pregnancy that are common and nothing to worry about but still aren’t much fun. Especially hemorrhoids, those are an utter bitch. It can feel like this stage drags on and on without scans to look forward to, and everyone you see asking how long you’ve got left. Hold tight, and remember to use your size to your advantage by demanding as many foot rubs, snacks and bubble baths as you like.
Some people are lucky and don’t go overdue. I am not one of those people. Two out of three of my kids were overdue, and the third only came on his due date after a last-minute emergency inducement. Let me tell you, as much as you know deep down that your due date is not a guarantee, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you reach that date and nothing happens. At that stage of pregnancy, every minute feels like an hour and every day like an eternity. Going even a few days over that date can feel like hell. Top tip to friends and family - no, asking if you’ve had the baby yet when you clearly haven’t is not funny, and neither are horror stories about labor. If you don’t have chocolate/ice cream/a family-sized bag of chips with you, please leave us to wallow in our own hugely pregnant self-pity alone.