I wish it were different, but I€™m not a fan of the pregnant state. During the stage when I was longing to become pregnant, I dreamt about how I€™d feel and look, with gorgeously glowing skin and a cute little baby bump. Four pregnancies in, the reality is somewhat different. Is it just me, or is being pregnant a badly designed nightmare?
I€™m tired. Not just a little fatigued after a hard night at work and a few nights of partying on the trot, but can barely wake up, could sleep all day, tired. For someone who usually has masses of energy, this is a pain. I don€™t feel like me. I can€™t do the things I usually do. Even putting the grocery shopping away can bring on a swoon. And some of the things I usually love, like, oh you know, having a social life, make me want to cry.
I€™m huge. Not that I want to be a stick insect, but in my thirty-plus (plus…) years, I€™ve worked out what suits me and what doesn€™t. Grappling with a daily changing figure has got me all confused. If it were just a growing bump, it would be relatively easy. But everything on a pregnant me gets bigger because I eat so much to combat the nausea. Chunky thighs. Wobbly arms. And boobs. No one told me dressing bazookas was so difficult.
I€™m nauseous. From about six to 20 weeks I feel sick pretty much all day and night, and usually wake at about 2.30am to either be or feel sick. I then get a respite for about eight weeks, before it all starts again. Eating constantly helps, but cramming your face with a clear conscience isn€™t as much fun as I thought it would be. Nor is smelling the yucky fridge, oven that could do with a clean, and any kind of meat or cheese product. I€™d wear a gas mask, but anything constricting my face makes me feel even worse than usual.
I€™m boring (you€™ve probably gathered that if you€™ve got this far) and have got no energy. The thought of going out in the evening is enough to ruin my entire day. I try and fail to catch buses, and Hoovering the stairs makes me want to lie down behind the sofa where no one will find me.
I€™m clumsy and can€™t make decisions. Cups of tea end up on my top, I walk into walls, and knock over stray children innocently playing on the floor. You should see the sofa I bought when pregnant with boy#3, and as for the clothes I wear €“ well, let€™s just say I wouldn€™t go near them without a bump.
What a whinger. And what did I expect? I€™d go through it each time for years if it meant one of my gorgeous boys at the end of it. A huge upside is feeling so full of beans from the second the baby appears, that I love the first six months, sleepless nights and all. And having never had a fabulous cleavage, it makes me laugh when men talk to my chest instead of to my face, something my better endowed friends tell me happens to them all the time. But I think that maternity leave should be made compulsory during pregnancy. Imagine as many weeks as you need to lie down, eat ice cream and be given daily rations of Heat and Hello! A chef to cook for the family, you and the bump. No shopping or school runs. And a party in your kitchen at about 5pm one night a week so you can catch up with friends without thinking €˜eek, 8.45pm? BEDTIME!’. If the election is going to be won at the schoolgate this year, compulsory pregnancy leave is something I€™d campaign for. Once the bump has gone, of course…
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