So I am now 31 weeks pregnant. I’m in single figures in terms of weeks until he’s going to get here and as someone who always used to think she’d never have a baby, this has been a real learning curve for me. Here are the things that Wes and I have learned over the last 31 weeks or so that have surprised us either pleasantly or not so much.
1. ‘Flutters’ are not fun. A baby kicking can be downright hell.
Seriously. I remember my first flutter. I was lying in bed getting comfortable and all of a sudden I felt what I can only describe as my eye twitching. Except it wasn’t my eye, it was my stomach. It made me cringe! My Mum had previously said how wonderful it felt to feel your baby move inside your belly for the first time… it was all lies.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice feeling to know the little guy is okay in there and I’m thankful every time I get that reassuring boot in the midsection, but it is far from ‘wonderful’. So when he started kicking me, which he now does with some ferocity in the evenings that made me feel as if I was on a rollercoaster. It’s not nauseating as such; it just feels weird and is something I really won’t miss when he’s here. It’s almost worse than pain… almost.
2. Your Mum WILL forget that medicine has advanced since she gave birth to you.
I love my Mum. I love her advice and her random musings about me having a baby. She’s as excited as I am, but I often have to tell her that times have changed since she last had a baby (back in 2000) and that whilst I appreciate her telling me what is best for me when I’m in labour, there may be alternatives that she doesn’t know about. I have it planned in my head what I would like, I’d like to not have an epidural, I’d like to be able to do the whole birthing thing with as little assistance as possible but I know that things do not always go to plan, especially where babies are involved. We learned more about it all at our antenatal classes, which you can read about here and here.
So whilst I’d love to simply stay upright, have nothing but gas and air and get the little bugger out in a couple of hours, I also need to face the reality that it may not happen. My Mum however? She will stick with her theories until the bitter end knowing she will never have to physically go through it again.
3. It will seem like everyone you see is pregnant. Everyone.
Facebook is a killer for this. I see them everywhere, weird and wonderful ways of announcing babies are on their way. I told everyone at 12 weeks who should know, i.e. my family, and left it at that and the news petered out from there. But it’s not just people you know. You start noticing them in shops, on trains, in cars… everywhere. I don’t know if it’s a hypersensitivity to other Mums or you just assume everyone is pregnant rather than fat, but the entire world including me, is pregnant.
4. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will need to resist the urge to buy your new baby an insane amount of clothes.
I like to think I’m sensible. But the amount of times Wes has had to say ‘Amy, we have the basics and he will get loads of clothes as gifts. Please put the Disney onesie down and step away from the baby section’ have made me realise that even Queen Sensible can get carried away. I have known babies who I have never seen in the same outfit twice and I always vowed I would never be like that. But that said, I can see how it happens if you aren’t careful.
5. I am the most boring pregnant woman on the planet.
Sorry, that’s not what you wanted to hear from a blogger but it’s true. I’ve been sick once, when I had a bath that was too hot. I’ve not had any kind of drama. I don’t have gestational diabetes, even though I took that wonderful test. My scans have been wonderful, the little man has been a dream to carry and I’m sure we’re all good to go in two months. I haven’t got a pregnancy horror story… or even many stories to tell you (well, there’s one, but it’s not the baby’s fault). No hormonal rages of note, no baby brain moments, no meltdowns of any note. I’m just the same – just a bit fatter.
6. ‘Cravings’ are a lie.
Well… not a lie. But they’re an excuse for pregnant women to make unreasonable demands of their partners, eat crap and use the baby as their get out clause. Every single pregnant woman I have encountered more than just in passing has told me how they are craving one of two things (or both if they’re greedy) and those things are crisps and ice cream. These are not cravings, these are just junk foods you want to eat with an excuse. I crave McDonalds, but it’s sure as hell not because I’m pregnant. Suck it up, tell the world you feel like having a fat day and eat your Ben & Jerry’s without adding stigma to the tiny human inside you!
7. You can still do basically everything you did before you got pregnant.
Nobody believes you, but you are still able to function for the most part as a normal human being. Just like you were before you got pregnant. My mother in law will not let me lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee. People at work will not let me rummage through my filing cabinets or crawl amongst the wiring on the floor. My parents will allow me to cook a meal… but I have to sit down for the rest of the day.
It’s a little frustrating when your pleas to allow people to treat you normally fall on deaf ears. Then there’s Wes, who will happily let me help him lug furniture into the baby’s room and basically live like a normal person. Without this, I’d probably go mental.
8. Most people do not care about your baby until they’re born. AND THAT’S FINE.
I remember getting a little annoyed with my sisters, posting baby items on social media and commenting on how cute they would be on OTHER kids they knew. Even though they’d known for months that I was expecting. I’m not one for being the centre of attention, but it got my goat that their future nephew wasn’t as much of a priority as their distant acquaintance’s new baby.
It look me a long time to realise that unless you have a deep connection with the baby inside me, then it’s difficult to attach yourself to them until they’re here to wear the pramsuit that looks like Chewbacca or you’ve had your first cuddle. Once I understood that to most people, I was just pregnant and that baby was clearly coming but not here yet, it made these niggly little things much easier to handle.
9. You’ll say you’re not hormonal. You probably are.
I wasn’t ready for the torrent of emotion that being pregnant brings. I really wasn’t. I’m pretty emotional anyway – I’m not one to lock stuff inside. Recently I’ve been getting waves of self-doubt or worry about what’s ahead. Stuff that, when I have my logical head on, I know I’ll be fine with. That is me being hormonal. I’ll have a bit of a cry about how much like a whale I feel and then figure out later that the baby has shifted from a sideways position, to the birth position – meaning my tidy bump at the bottom of my belly is now a much more elongated thing that makes me feel like an elephant seal that’s stuck in the mud. But I will cry about it before I make that connection and there’s nothing you can do about it.
10. It’s okay to worry, but make it productive.
I have never done this before. I remember absolutely nothing about my littlest sister being a baby 15 years ago. I’m a complete beginner and hearing my Mum tell me how not confident she was when she had me scares the crap out of me. If you’re not worrying about things, you’re not caring enough. So it’s fine to worry about what the future brings, what to do, how to feel. But don’t just worry and keep worrying. Worry and do something about it – you have the internet, so do some research! Get some advice from your midwife or other Mums or whatever you feel you need. You have an army of information at your disposal. Get yourself prepared but realise that only when the bundle of joy is here will your instincts kick in and you’ll be a kick ass parent.