I have to admit that I have not particularly enjoyed being pregnant. It feels awful and terribly negative to say so, but it’s true. It feels awful as I really do know how very fortunate I am to be pregnant and to be expecting a child particularly as, in line with medical opinion, this was never to be for me. So, ungrateful I am not. Honest, I am.
I can’t pinpoint why it is, what I have struggled with so much as I have been well and healthy and it’s been pretty smooth sailing really but I think that perhaps I’m just not very good at it. Is that ok? To be bad at being pregnant?! Should it set off alarm bells for what’s to come? Do some women really enjoy this? Is pregnancy really the good bit rather than the part we must endure to get to the good bit?
Isn’t it strange that given all we know, all that is so in-your-face obvious about what afflictions and ailments pregnancy brings entails we are supposed to revel in this ‘magical’ and ‘happy’ time? Of course, the production of a mini-me as the climax to 40 odd weeks of discomfort will make it all worthwhile, but does that really make those 40 weeks enjoyable?
I suspect that something changes once you are through it. A mighty and mystical force swoops down and infiltrates the memories of new parents. A force driven by the love for their new child and a force designed by The Gods to trick you into thinking it was alright really, over in a flash and that you’d be well up for doing it again. No worries.
A regular contender in my ‘why am I so shit at being pregnant’ conundrum is this:
‘Oh, it’s the most wonderful time. I know you’re heavy and you’ve had enough but just rest up and enjoy it’.
Is this actually what you remember from the later stages of your pregnancy? It being ‘the most wonderful time’? Or is it just that you now reflect back on what it was like when it was just you, before you had someone demanding everything you have to offer and more at every waking hour, which is seemingly most of them, and in comparison pregnancy was the more enjoyable experience? Or am I just shit at being pregnant and should I in fact be loving this?
The most frightening thought is that if this is the healthiest, most relaxed and well rested I’m going to feel for years, just how clueless and unprepared am I? All these experienced and frankly amazing mothers cannot be wrong. Pregnancy cannot be that bad in comparison if these champions of the human race deign to do it twice, three or four times. I clearly have no idea what’s about to hit me.
It got me to thinking that perhaps the effects of pregnancy are physical and mental preparation for motherhood. A few examples of which may be as follows:
Pregnant: Inability to get comfortable and therefore sleep for more than two hours at a time.
Parent: Inability to sleep for more than two hours at a time.
Pregnant: Restriction on how far you can be from a toilet without an embarrassing ‘episode’ (you)
Parent: Restriction on how far you can be from a toilet without an embarrassing ‘episode’ (child)
Pregnant: Embarrassing public ‘episodes’ brought on by sneezing or coughing.
Parent: Embarrassing public episodes brought on by child meltdowns/tantrums/comments about odd/hairy/scary people.
Pregnant: Caffeine restrictions.
Parent: Inability to drink any hot drink before it goes cold.
Pregnant: Booze ban restricting alcohol intake.
Parent: Fear of ‘parent hangover’ restricting alcohol intake.
Pregnant: A newfound lacklustre attitude to appearance/fashion/pride. Anything comfy goes.
Parent: So long as it has pockets, isn’t white and is wipeable, it’ll do.
Pregnant: You pee so frequently that it has now become acceptable to do so less privately than before.
Parent: You’ll never pee alone again.
Will I miss being pregnant? In a few days I guess I’ll find out and most likely eat my words, yearning for this sleeping, restful and undemanding bump and you can all tell me how you told me so.