When does the glowing start?
As many of you may know, I suffer from endometriosis, the leading cause of infertility in the UK, so when I took a pregnancy test two months into trying I thought there was no way it would be positive. We’d geared ourselves up for a long, difficult journey. But by some miracle (and according to my husband, his super sperm) I was up the duff quicker than one of Boris Johnson's mistresses.
We were and are over the moon. I mean, how lucky are we? We are so lucky; I am so grateful; I feel like I need to put that as a precursor for everything I say at the moment. Because I see people using words like ‘magical’, ‘glowing’ and ‘beautiful’ to describe this time in their lives, whereas words more like ‘knackered’, ‘anxious’ and ‘fat’ spring to my mind.
When I say fat, I don’t mean cute-baby-bump fat, I mean 3 new chins fat. And I have been fat before, most of my life I have been at least chubby, and it really has never bothered me, I’ve always been body confident in terms of how I look. So, I find it mad that the one time its medically necessary, I feel self-conscious. I feel like I’m the wrong kind of fat. I am aware of how ridiculous this is, I am growing an actual human inside me. But the images ingrained in my mind of pregnant women are of them in dungarees with this perfect round bump looking like they’ve just stepped off a bio oil advert. Whereas with me it’s like ‘is she pregnant or has she just had 7 pork pies for lunch?’ I can confirm, it’s both. It seems silly, but it adds to the anxiety that maybe I’m doing it wrong.
It’s a terrifying time to be pregnant. We’re in a global pandemic and people are still getting killed because of the colour of their skin. Pregnancy is overwhelming in itself, but with the world falling to shit on top of it, it’s safe to say anxiety is a part of my life right now. I’ve read about how pregnancy hormones might make you cry more when you watch The Notebook or make you snap at the women in the maternity section of M&S. Nobody told me they could make you feel constantly on edge, unable to function enough to hold a conversation without fearing you will or actually bursting into tears, and keep you up at night worrying that your worry is effecting your baby.
Here’s the thing that adverts for ‘expectant mama’s*’ don’t tell you, IT’S REALLY FUCKING HARD. You feel sick, unbelievably tired and uncontrollably moody every single day for months. I think it’s OK if you don’t find that magical, it doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful that you have the ability to do it. Talking to other women who have been through it has really helped me. Even if you think those women breezed through pregnancy, you’ll find most of them found aspects of it difficult, but it’s hard to just come out with that when everyone expects you to feel ecstatic all the time. I for one am refusing to feel guilty from now on. I am growing a person in my womb, so I think it’s OK if I feel knackered and messy and like I need to call my mum 5 times a day.
*I’ll be delving into my disdain for this particular word in my next blog. See you there. x