On Being Pregnant

Being pregnant is the singularly weirdest experience of my life. How could it not be? There’s a tiny person growing *inside* me. However natural that is, it’s also incredibly trippy. I know, of course, that I am just one in an incredibly long line in women to go through pregnancy but, despite having read all the blogs, questioned all my friends and done all my research, it still feels like such an individual and strange experience. 

Before I found out I was pregnant, I was desperate for children. Or, it certainly felt that way. Trying for a baby was far more emotional than I expected; the sense of failure and disappointment each time it ‘didn’t work’ was crushing, however much I tried to stay light and breezy about it. Luckily for us, it was a relatively short process (shorter than I expected) but my heart goes out a million times over to those who are not so lucky – I don’t know how people go on that journey for years without breaking into tiny pieces. Partly, I think, my need for control was what was making it more difficult; you have no say in what your body does, and there’s no way of knowing what will happen. I suppose it prepares you for having a child, when the idea of control is laughable, at best. 

However, the moment that little window on the test said ‘Pregnant’, it was like a switch was flipped and I wasn’t so sure, after all. Of course, by that point, it was too late to change my mind, but the feeling of finding out was so overwhelming that I just burst into tears. I don’t think even now that I could pinpoint exactly what emotions I was feeling but it was a mix of elation at getting exactly what I want, and fear that I had made a terrible mistake. Be careful what you wish for, and all that. The first few weeks were definitely filled with more of the latter; I was incredibly anxious that it would all go wrong, whilst at the same time equally anxious about what would happen if it all went right. There’s no denying that parenthood, in whatever form it comes to you, changes your life beyond recognition, and certainly does a number on your body, too. I spent a lot of time worrying and crying, which is not really what I pictured for my first few weeks of pregnancy. 

As I got used to the idea and started to allow myself to get a little bit excited, that definitely calmed down. However, that was when my pregnancy symptoms hit; and, oh boy, did they hit. So many women I know talk about how they loved (or love) being pregnant, but I am definitely not getting that feeling. As I mentioned last week, it’s definitely been a rollercoaster ride of experiences that have made me feel *very* sorry for myself. Suffice to say, I am not great in the face of adversity. I’ve just not felt like myself for weeks; being exhausted and nauseous all the time has stopped me from doing a lot of the things that I enjoy, like blogging and baking, and I’ve gone from being an ‘up and at ’em’ sort of girl to a ‘let me just take a nap’ one. And there’s nothing wrong with being the latter, but it’s just not *me*, you know?

I’ve also had to face my greatest fear – blood tests. I know that no one exactly loves them, but I have been phobic of them pretty much all my life. I’ve avoided them thus far (thankfully due to good health) but that wasn’t an option. I had a small meltdown in the midwife’s office and eventually managed my first one on the third attempt, thanks to some very wonderful nurses at Chapel Allerton Hospital who I want to shower with flowers and chocolates. 

Thankfully (for me, and also for you, as this is turning into quite the essay…), I feel like I’ve turned a corner over the past week or so. A little bit of feeling faint and a sore back are still plaguing me, but it’s infinitely preferable to eating toast for every meal and napping as soon as I get in from work every day. Now that we’re into the second trimester, it also feels okay to get even more excited – to plan a nursery and think about names and coo over tiny baby clothes. The mantra I’ve been working with until now has been ‘if you’re going through hell, keep going’ but now I think I’m ready to switch to ‘it will all be worth it’. 

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  • Thanks so much for your honestly – it’s refreshing to read. I’m convinced that when my time comes, I’ll be going through that rollercoaster of emotions too – I’m also a control freak and I cannot imagine what being pregnant feels like when you are that way inclined.

    Sam xx
    asthesparrowflies.com | unsorry.co.uk

  • Jo

    This post is such an eye opener for me. I, too, desperately want to become a mum a some point, but even now, I still have that fear of not being able to go back, so I can completely imagine how scary it can be once it’s happening and thinking, “But is this *actually* what I want?”

    And to be honest, I’ve never heard about many of the symptoms of being pregnant. I know of the nausea and back ache, but I’ve always been under the impression that the nausea doesn’t last long, and the back ache comes later… but from this post, I guess I’m wrong. And no-one talks about blood tests! I am almost 30, and to this day, I am unable to go for a blood test on my own because I almost pass out every time – I need help getting home after. How many have you had so far? God. I’ve never actually spoken to anyone who also has a phobia of blood tests. I don’t know how you’re managing.

    I’m glad you’ve turned a corner now, though, and are starting to feel excited! I’m looking forward to reading your other pregnancy posts, and the ones you’ll post in future! 🙂

    • I think it’s different for every woman; some people I know didn’t have much nausea or sickness and absolutely loved being pregnant but it’s really not for me! It’s all relative – I was probably only properly nauseous for around 6 weeks, give or take, and it’s definitely lifted now I’m in the second trimester (although being on the bus still brings it on stronger than before!) but it just felt like forever when I was actually going through it. Other than that, and the exhaustion (which I think hits everyone!), I’ve probably had it fairly light compared to some people – I’m not really that achy and I’ve not had any weird cravings yet.

      Thankfully, the blood tests are relatively rare – I have to have one or two more than ‘regular’ people because my blood type is negative, but I haven’t got to that stage yet. So I’ve only actually had two – they were just a bit traumatic! There’s also a couple of inoculations you have to have, too, which aren’t as bad but still bring out my needle phobia. Thankfully, Paul has been super understanding and has been able to take time off work to come with me, even when I’ve had to go three times for one test (having chickened out entirely the first two times!), and I’m lucky that for me, it’s mostly anxiety and fear in the moment. Once it’s done with, I’m usually okay and can go about my day as usual, so going first thing in the morning has been my main coping mechanism. Hopefully that can continue for the next couple I have to have!

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