I do understand that not everyone will agree with this but I think that pregnancy is lonely. I think that society paints a picture of a woman falling pregnant and instantly revelling in green tea gossip dates and blissful pregnancy yoga classes with her new clan of glowing soon-to-be-mums. I think this is what I expected but this is not my experience.
As it turns out, all those people you knew before are busy getting on with life from morning till night whereas you’re suddenly triumphant if you make it to elevenses without a granny nap.
The first trimester, for me, was pure shock and exhaustion which I don’t believe to be uncommon. In many cases you’re throwing up said elevenses from dawn to dusk and so socialising doesn’t really come into it. Add to that you’re probably trying to hide the fact you’re ‘up the duff’ from work and any social and booze related activity with ‘The Team’ is way out of bounds. You’ve almost certainly lied that you’re on antibiotics for a quite contagious affliction and shut yourself away so that nobody questions you about anything at all until that long and desperately awaited 12 week scan. You’re in isolation. Lock down. Solitary.
Months 3-6 for me consisted of desperately wanting a big, bulbous bump to show so I could assure myself that I was indeed pregnant and therefore justify to myself why it was I could not go out and get drunk and stumble home well past the witching hour which is all I wanted to do. You see, everyone else is still at it aren’t they, all smug and getting dressed up and dancing and going out and being ‘sociable’ and it’s just not that much fun to watch. The second trimester finds you with a new surge of energy and a desire to do things, things you can’t do because you’re ‘not allowed’ and have to ‘take care’. This is also the time when the invitations start to phase out. It’s assumed that you’ll not be up for an all dayer in the pub, for a nice long walk in the country or for that afternoon at the new indoor golf thing place which is pretty spot on but wouldn’t it be nice to be asked?!
The third trimester. The home straight. Now we have the bump. That f’ing heavy bump. And now you can’t walk up the stairs without pausing for a breather, you can’t leave the house without tissues for knicker emergencies and you can’t lie in a comfy position let alone sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time so you’re back to the exhaustion of the first trimester and if anyone thinks you’re going anywhere or doing anything they must be fucking mental. You’re happy at home on your own and if you want to visit me book it in please as I’ll have to make sure I’m dressed and have washed my face and probably won’t be up for it anyway.
Of course, you do make new pregnant friends but they’re in the same boat as you. All I can say is that I have just met a ‘new pregnant friend’ at the pub and we sat in the sun, ate fish finger sandwiches, drank lemonade, assured each other that all of the grim, hilarious and undignified shit is not just us and we laughed so hard that one of us really did wet ourselves which was in turn so hilarious that it set us both off again. This is a good kind of ‘new friend’ in my book.
So, this lovely idea that we’re all hanging out at the pool doing ‘AquaPregnAerobics’ or discussing the merits of herbal teas and hypnobirthing with our newfound rabble of mums-to-be in eager anticipation of our new arrival is bollocks, in my experience. But, when you can drag yourself away from the sofa and that hideous nightie/dress it may well be worth investing some time into those who really know where you’re at, leaving the house and having a laugh. Just not too hard.