I put my hands up, I did not like being pregnant. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the fact I was pregnant. Loved knowing inside me there was a little life forming and growing into my very own child. A child I loved from the very 1st moment I saw those blue lines on my pregnancy test and then a little more with every wiggle and kick until I eventually fell absolutely head over heels in love with him the moment he was placed on my chest. Yet physically being pregnant was horrid!
To begin with I thought there must be something seriously wrong with me, everyone kept telling me how much they loved being pregnant. How it was such a lovely time in there life and every minute of being pregnant was a joy when all I could think was seriously, you have to be kidding?
After a while I realised that most people sugar coat pregnancy, I think somewhere they feel if they say they didn’t enjoy it even slightly that it somehow makes them a bad mother. I don’t for one minute think there aren’t aspects of it to enjoy but overall I found it to be pretty crap.
Here are my reasons why:
1. Morning sickness: Oh and afternoon sickness and evening sickness, actually in general I pretty much felt sick all the time. Luckily it didn’t last for my whole pregnancy but for the couple of months when it was present I found it quite debilitating. By no means was it hyperemesis gravidarum but feeling nauseous all the time is hard going. I genuinely think this is under played and people don’t quite realise how crap it can make you feel if you have it leaving a lot of women feeling guilty for taking time off work because they can’t stand up or sit down with a wave of nausea sweeping over them.
2. Weight gain: Although I carefully watched what I ate so I only put on baby weight, I piled on the pounds. I gained just under 3 stone in weight despite being “good”.
Look at those bingo wings and swollen legs!
3. Hip pain: I’ve always had weak hips that click and clunk for no apparent reason. This was a million times worse once the hormones had kicked in to loosen up all those muscles. Constant hip pain started at around the 4 month mark and lasted for a while after I’d given birth.
4. Sciatica: Shooting pains up and down my thighs and back were another ailment present for a lot of my pregnancy. Something to do with baby pressing on the sciatic nerve apparently.
5. Water retention: My feet and hands swelled dramatically, long gone were those gorgeous heels and even my comfy Toms no longer had space for my enlarged extremities. I resorted to wearing sandals and flip flops with everything.
6. Trigger finger: The water retention got so bad in my hands I also got trigger finger and towards the last few weeks of pregnancy I could hardly grip anything, peeling a potato and tying shoelaces was a mission impossible.
7. Hormones: Man was I a bitch! I’m surprised Ant hadn’t left my by week 20. I was awful. Everything pissed me off and I would have been much happier spending the whole of my pregnancy alone
8. Spots: With the hormones came the teenage skin, I didn’t glow, not even for a week
9. Anaemia: Iron deficiency in pregnancy is quite common and left me feeling drained and exhausted.
10. Uncomfortableness: Once the bump gets a certain size comfort is a thing of the past, no longer can you sit without having an elbow or a foot sticking out or your hips or ribs being battered by an overactive baby.
11. Lack of sleep: Along with the uncomfortableness comes the inability to sleep. Also adding to the bitchiness!
12. Heartburn: Doesn’t matter what you eat or drink it comes all the time. I had a constant supply of gaviscon which eventually I used to just swig out of the bottle.
13. Boobs: For those who are fortunate enough for an increase in bust size this to be a bonus, I envy you. For those of you who, like me need no help in the breasticle department it’s a nightmare. Trying to find nice bras to house the basketball like boobs is a task in itself but then the bras cant be wired as they dig in but still need enough structure to actually support those bad boys. Then when your milk comes in before you’ve even had your little sproglet, well that just adds to the fun.
14. Anxiety & Worry: I worried from the day I found out I was pregnant. What if I miscarried? What if there was something wrong with the baby? What if I wasn’t a good mum? Then people love to tell you awful horror stories, why?? I don’t want to know about your cousins, friends, aunties, hairdresser who had a scary and traumatic birth. I’m shitting myself enough thank you very much.
15. Itching: I had Obstetric Cholestasis, a liver condition where the bile salt levels are raised causing you to itch. I don’t just mean a little scratch here and there, I mean itch to the point where you think you may just tear your skin off if it will stop it. It’s awful. And even when you don’t have OC your belly and boobs itch as they stretch to make room for the ever growing bundle of joy.
On the bright side I was lucky apparently, I never got piles, I didn’t poo myself giving birth and my scar from my 3rd degree tear is lovely and neat. Only in pregnancy and labour are these seen as compliments which tells you how dignified and graceful it all is.
If you are thinking of starting a family and reading this, by no means let you put this off. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for pregnancy I absolutely 100% would do it all again in a heartbeat and strangely missed being pregnant for a while. And after an awful day feeling fat and waddling around all is forgotten in that moment when your laid in the bath and your little one starts having their own little party in your womb. There is nothing else like seeing them wriggling around all toasty and cosy in there cooking away.
The prize for sticking it out for those 40 weeks (ish) is like no other. The feeling that over comes you when you first lay eyes on your child is indescribable and being a parent is simply the best job in the world, getting there not so much.