If you read my May in a nutshell post then you will be aware that I announced the birth of my daughter. As she was born right at the end of May she was very much a brand new newborn when I completed that post, and as a result I was still a bit all over the place and unable to really put how I felt into words. I promised to write a more in depth blog about it so here is one of them. I say one of them because I have decided to break it down into three posts; one about my pregnancy, one about the birth and one about life as a new mother. Why? Because I felt/feel so differently about the three aspects that I thought it best to separate them rather than try and sum it up in one post. Plus it would be a super long post and I’m sure you don’t have time for that!
So, it’s time to talk pregnancy. Firstly, I’m going to be completely upfront from the beginning and admit that I did not enjoy it! It’s quite difficult to admit that, there is a fear of judgement for sure, however, I’m all about being realistic and providing a little comfort to somebody else that feels/felt how I did during pregnancy.
So, yes, I didn’t like being pregnant.
Mainly because I felt completely vulnerable. I’m a fiercely independent person that does not like to feel as though I am relying on anybody and this of course changed during my pregnancy. I was conscious of the fact that I had to protect this precious life that was growing inside me and as a result I had to be more careful than I was before and accept that I would need a little bit of help with certain things that I wouldn’t have needed before. This was a tough adjustment for me, and to be totally honest I’m not 100% sure that I mastered it but I certainly tried my best.
There are other reasons that I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy as well. I struggled with the new difficulty of being able to bend down, turn over in bed, being mindful of what I was lifting/carrying, keeping a close eye on my diet and struggling with basic tasks like putting my socks on! This may all sound trivial but believe me when it is all day every day it can get you down pretty quickly! To make matters worse I suffered with the most awful mood swings towards the end and that only served to make how I felt about the above even worse.
Also, at the risk of going off on a tangent I wanted to share a few things that I found really hard to withstand from other people whilst I was pregnant. Firstly I hated that it was suddenly acceptable to comment on my size, to determine I was big or small or carrying in a particular way. Secondly, my baby suddenly became the business of everybody else, as in, it was necessary to remind me almost constantly that I was pregnant and therefore I should be careful/take better care of myself etc.etc. Thirdly, staring at my bump or worse yet reaching out and touching/holding it. You aren’t touching my baby or bonding, instead you are just making me feel weird and uncomfortable and desperate to run away. In my opinion touching my stomach is reserved for me, my partner and the medical professionals.
If you have had a child, did any of these points annoy/upset you? Or were there others that I haven’t included that were the things to grind your gears? I would love to read about them in the comments!
It wasn’t all bad though, feeling my daughter move around and seeing her at the scans…they were the most magical moments and don’t misunderstand me, I would do it all again from the start if I had to in order to have her. I’m much happier now that she is here though! Pregnancy really was a means to an end for me, an increasingly uncomfortable waiting game.
I was lucky though, I had a textbook pregnancy, right up until the final couple of weeks (more on that when I write my birth post). There were no health concerns for me or the baby. I needed iron tablets at 28 weeks and that was it, apart from a huge amount of heartburn tablets…that was pretty much constant in the final few months. My daughter was born with a lot of hair…and we all know the heartburn = hairy baby argument so maybe there is some truth in it, or it’s just a coincidence, who knows?! But yes, it was totally straightforward right from the beginning, it just wasn’t for me. I thought it would be not drinking that I struggled with, I do love a glass of wine! But that didn’t bother me, it was everything else that I hadn’t considered that ended up being difficult. It wasn’t unbearable however, and now that it is over I realise that it didn’t actually drag as much as it seemed to at the time and it was all worth it for the reward at the end!
I just wanted to take a second to acknowledge that a lot of women struggle to fall pregnant, a lot of women are seriously unwell throughout their pregnancies, a lot of women have immense stress relating to their baby being unwell during pregnancy…the list goes on. What I am getting at is that I am aware that there are people out there that would give everything to experience the pregnancy that I had and so, even though this post can come across as me just complaining, I’m really not. I appreciate that I was so lucky and far more fortunate than a lot of women and not at any point did I take that for granted. That being said however, it doesn’t change the fact that, as I explained above, pregnancy just wasn’t for me.
I spoke to a lot of women that have had children when I was carrying mine and I found there to be a pretty even split between those that loved every second and those that were counting down the seconds until the birth (like me). And that is why I wrote this post in this way. Because I know I am far from being the only person that will have struggled. I know there will be people who will read this and be able to relate to it. I felt like I had to be careful who I admitted to that I wasn’t enjoying the journey because I would potentially be cast in a negative light as a mother. I’m not so afraid to be honest now that she is here, instead I feel brave enough to be completely honest.
If what I have written resonates with you and makes you feel a little better then I’m glad I could help a little.
I suppose what I have learned from the whole thing is that every pregnancy is unique. Yes, there are things that every pregnant woman should do to ensure her baby gets the best start but equally there is a lot that is individual to the pregnancy and therefore it is okay to somewhat just go with it and do what you think is best.
With that being said, I do want to briefly talk about what pregnancy means for the partner. There were plenty of times that I felt sorry for myself (not just when my feet became so swollen that only one pair of shoes had any chance of fitting) but I also really felt for my partner. I can appreciate that the partner feels helpless. Yes, they don’t have to suffer the fluid retention, lack of mobility etc. But they also don’t get to feel the baby moving around and kicking either. I know which I would prefer (goodbye ability to walk properly)! Seriously though, I do think the pregnancy journey can be difficult for the partner. They want to help but perhaps they don’t know how. They want to be able to switch places with you so that they can feel what you feel and also give you a break but that’s impossible. What I’m trying to say is that it is an adjustment and a rollercoaster for them as well and I do think that they get forgotten about sometimes because the focus is firmly on the mother and baby. They deserve recognition though, a thanks and a round of applause so…here it it…my gratitude to all of you.
Has your partner had a baby? How did they feel during the pregnancy? Did they feel forgotten about?
To close this off on a positive…the reward at the end is quite simply the best gift that anybody could ever receive and as cliched as it sounds, it makes it all more than worth it. My daughter is still so young and yet, the pregnancy already seems like a distant memory…that is probably because I already struggle to remember life without her. She has changed everything for the better and I’m so thankful for her!
What are your pregnancy stories? Did you love it? Hate it? Or do you fall somewhere in between?
If you haven’t a baby yet then please, I hope that this hasn’t put you off!
Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!
Until the next time…Jess x