There comes a time for every woman when you’ve just had enough of being pregnant. This point came for me some weeks ago and now at 8 days over the misleading and cruel ‘due date’ hours feel like days and days feel longer than the 40 weeks already surpassed.
Rather than just feeling generally fed up and slightly unhinged I thought I’d try to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes this potentially relaxing time not so relaxing.
Here are the signs and behaviours which may tell you ‘come on now, enough is enough.’
Your glow is well and truly extinguished. Unsure whether it’s just because you can’t really remember when you last performed your beauty regime or indeed what that actually was, skin turns to scales, eyebrows grow unkempt and hair lies itchy and matted with dry shampoo (what a revelation!) . Bump is now boulder and the ‘nice’ comments about your blooming appearance become expressions of pity at your size and air of desperation. It’s fair to say that the glowing stage is well and truly behind you.
You wish to be in solitary confinement. Not just because of the lack of glow but it’s such a bloody effort to be pleasant and sociable. You can no longer smile through the ‘aaah, it’ll happen soon enough’ comments. ‘Soon enough?’ It’s been 287 days for God’s sake! Also, you have four more seasons of The Good Wife to get through before, well, possibly this evening.
You couldn’t ‘nest’ if you were a golden eagle. Anything below waist height requiring cleaning is out of the question and well, baby won’t be inhabiting the nursery for months anyway. It’ll keep. And I have stuff to watch.
You are practically beached. Having ruled out bending forwards many weeks ago you are now laterally challenged too. Sideways and twisting movements are severely limited. Reversing the car? Pah! Sitting always requires artfully arranged back pillows and transition from sitting to standing calls for the ‘bum shuffle and pull up’ manoeuvre. Sleeping is in a semi-upright slouch position to avoid ‘suffocation-by-bump’ and ‘drowning-by-acid.’ Two common pregnancy related causes of death.
You embrace the waddle. That pregnant waddle you promised yourself you’d never give in to? It’s the only way to move with this obstruction/stiffness/couldn’t give a flying unicorn what I look like… Also, my shoes hurt my massive feet and the momentum of the waddle helps to propel me forwards.
You’ve not eaten a meal in weeks. Your mum’s advice of ‘a little bit of what you fancy does you good’ is taken literally at all hours of the day. It’s all about the snacks. No room for meals. And there’s less washing up.
The supermarket shop becomes a day trip. The procurement of such an array of snacks takes planning and an uncanny amount of time. No such thing as a quick supermarket dash nowadays. Also, once that basket is filled with the days delights you then have to review and revise before paying as you can’t possibly carry that much beige, bread based barf all the way home. And the waddle is not the speediest nor the most energy efficient mode of transport.
You regress to teenage years. Not only the binge watching tv/box sets but the pubescent self doubt of a teenager returns. ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Will I ever be thin enough?’ ‘Do my friends still like me (even though I’ve not been out with them forever)?’ I feel sad and will cry for no reason and slam some doors and not do the washing up…for a bit. Until I have to.
You live in a perpetual time warp. So hang on, before maternity leave you had the time to work full time, shop, cook, wash, tidy, dress, socialise, converse, exercise and sleep on a daily basis. Since maternity leave it’s sleep + 1. Max.
Everything seems so damn unfair! You forget entirely about the fact that you are delighted and grateful and oh so lucky and rather feel like throwing toys out of (empty) prams in protest as to what’s happened to your suddenly much valued body, the fact that everyone around you has produced their child early or bang on time and the fact that you’ve been pregnant for longer than anyone else on the planet ever.
At risk of sounding negative (ha!) it must be said that the greatest frustration is born of an overwhelming desire to meet your baby and get on with being a Mum. Remember ladies, we cannot be pregnant forever, this too shall pass and white wine will again be drunk in copious and flowing quantities. Amen.