Getting pregnant can be a wonderful, amazing and incredible experience. It can also fill some with dread. It can be a moment of hopelessness, or how did this happen? Finding out I was pregnant a month after miscarrying I felt sick to my stomach. I knew I didn't want to have a baby at this point in my life - I had learnt this the first time. While my miscarriage was a harrowing experience, I felt at peace with it and calm that this was how it was meant to be. Then finding out I was pregnant again... This wasn't how it was supposed to be. In my mind anyway. I was so grateful though. I had seen both my sister-in-law and my best friend go through pregnancy but I can tell you the next nine (10 honestly) months shocked me in ways I could never imagine.
- The fatigue.
The fatigue is so real. In the first couple of months I would be so tired I would fall asleep while writing an email. It would just rush over me and I physically couldn't stay awake. People say pregnancy fatigue prepares you for newborn fatigue. Personally I think they are so different - when you're pregnant your entire body feels tired, coffee, caffeine or a cold shower can do nothing to help. You're just exhausted. Maybe the second trimester was better but then entering the third the fatigue came back in a big way. You can feel your body working in overdrive to keep you going, to keep the baby going and to get you through the longest slog of your pregnancy.
- The first kick
Wow that was weird. I had been talking about whether or not I was feeling him kick or just a weird movement. Theorising what it would feel like or if I had already felt it. I was lying down on my lunch break watching some TV when suddenly I felt a little thump. I froze, staring at my belly. Then again another little thump and my stomach jumped up slightly. I rushed to call anyone I knew who'd care even in the slightest. It's funny to think about that first time knowing that at 39 weeks I was yelling at my belly because he'd never stop kicking me while I was sleeping.
- The lost friends.
This was a really hard one to grasp, to come to terms with and even now 7 months postpartum something I still cry over. Maybe it's because I'm so young but I lost pretty much my entire friendship group. They wanted to go out drinking and I couldn't. They wanted to go to live shows and concerts and I would feel too sick or too tired. We would try and make plans that didn't include drinking and it felt like that was almost impossible. I started to get uninvited to events, to parties and to gatherings because they thought I wouldn't enjoy going and not drinking. For me I wanted the choice - I wanted to tell them whether I was up to going or not. I didn't want to be uninvited. Reflecting now I know that it wasn't their intention. When you haven't had a baby or even been around people in that stage it can seem so foreign and can cause such drastic divides.
- All the little annoyances
There are so many little annoyances that go along with being pregnant. The small pains, bumps, issues that no one talks about. The lightning crotch, the discharge the thrush! I would get to the point I'd be sobbing at the dinner table because I was in so much pain outside of general pregnancy pains.
- The hormones
Everyone tells you about the pregnancy hormones but no one could have prepared me for how completely insane I was! At one point my partner and I had a fight and I started packing a bag to leave. Mind you this fight was over him leaving too much water in my two minute noodles (my craving of the time). I was shouting and packing a suitcase to leave when I remembered I was pregnant. So I started shouting that I was too pregnant to leave. I unpacked my bag and then began packing his. Telling him all the places he could go and stay tonight. The man to his credit just took it. He sat there and watched me throwing clothes around the bedroom, attempting to drag a suitcase up the stairs and into the car. No one can prepare you for how completely crazy and unhinged you can become at the drop of a hat.
This is like a nah duh one. Of course no one can prepare you for labour! But I'm a planner, and what couldn't get my head around was how would I know I was in labour. As I previously mentioned there are so many aches and pains during pregnancy. I'd feel a sharp pain and my partner would ask "are you going into labour?" I would almost always respond "how tf am I supposed to know?" Because how are you supposed to know what labour feels like? Every pain I got from about 36 weeks I would wait to feel the impending contractions. I would pack my hospital bag and prepare myself to head on in and nothing would happen. I ended up going in at 41+5 (41 weeks and 5 days) and getting induced due to extenuating circumstances. So I have nothing for you - I still don't know what it feels like to go naturally into labour.
- The love
Honestly there is nothing like it. Like seeing and holding your baby for the first time. I thought my entire pregnancy that because I didn't want it I wouldn't enjoy being a mum. That I wouldn't love him. That I wouldn't be able to feed him and I would let him down. It plagued me for the 10 months he cooked away. But the moment I saw him it all went away. I felt like the Earth came to a standstill and everything was right. He completed me perfectly.
It's not been an easy couple of months. There have been times I've sat in front of the bassinet or cot and cried with him. Times I've had to put him down and lock myself in the bathroom to gather myself together because I was scared I'd hurt one of us. But there is nothing more special than going through all the crazy, scary stuff with your new best friend. It's something I have welcomed so freely and honestly the best part of this whole journey so far.