Wednesday, April 22

Pregnancy Diaries, Vol. II

Taking bebe to ballet at 13 weeks 

In the hardest part of my pregnancy, I read on Instagram about friends who ‘loved being pregnant.’

I could think of a lot of words for my pregnancy, but ‘like’ and ‘love’ hadn’t made the list. Even ‘tolerate’ was going too far.

Vile, soul crushing, unbearable, unrepeatable, those were my words.

It felt profoundly unfair that some have the best time of their lives, while others want to take their lives, all in the exact same process. Why did some luck out so badly, I wanted to know, just as I wanted to know all those years ago why I got chronic fatigue syndrome and Tom, Dick and Harry didn’t.

I knew I would never be able to speak of my pregnancy so flippantly. You can love your baby and hate your pregnancy, I told myself. I told Ben. I told my baby.

Two weeks later, I’m in bed with Ben at 7.30 pm, settling in for a good twelve hours of sleep, gushing over how much I’m enjoying being pregnant. I’m all cosy and happy, and tonight there is no puke on my lips, no smell of disinfectant drifting from the bathroom.

It hits me that I have now stood on both sides, having felt the desolation of sickness, and the ecstasy of being pregnant. In short pockets I would do anything to lengthen, the mystery of ‘loving being pregnant’ has been revealed to me - the women who express this sentiment no longer smug aliens with whom I could never converse. I think I know what exactly they are referring to. I think I have figured out what ‘enjoying your pregnancy’ means.

I love the knowledge, the warm thought which swims in my mind all day: there’s someone else inside me. The reality that my stodgy heartbeat is not the only one, but there is a smaller faster one pattering several times for each of mine. Maybe they’re sucking their thumb, or swimming, or sleeping, cocooned in my womb. Occasionally, it flashes into my mind that having a baby growing in me is the most bizarre sci-fi concept I’ve ever heard. I imagine too many times the moment I will pull my baby up onto my chest and finally hug it and kiss it. I am embarrassingly addicted to knowing which fruit corresponds with the size of my baby. If I don’t like the fruit that one website suggests (as in, I don’t think it sounds big enough) I will select another website which compares my baby to a larger fruit. Half way through the week (more accurately, two days in), I check what fruit it will be the following week.  It’s a lemon this week. Next week it will be an apple. I know, so big! 

I take pride in my belly, even though it has laid off 90% of my wardrobe. I’ve never been curvy, I have been angular, and I love my first-time roundness. I relish the early arrival of my bump, because there was nowhere for it to hide. I do side-on views for Ben every single night, and he has to say it’s grown, and he can’t suggest that it’s bloating, or else. One friend says it now looks like I’ve actually drunk a glass of water. I’m glad my pudge has not gone unnoticed. I put a cushion up my top the other day to show Ben what I might look like in a few months; I wanted him to understand that I will not be able to see my toes. The shape was off, and I permanently stretched my top during the demo, but it was good preparation and we could not stop laughing.

The other day I got home from an opp shopping trip with my Mum and sister, our holiday tradition. Leaving the house still fills me with joy, it’s a big event. When I got home from this trip, I was completely exhausted and made a vow not to wear boots with heels next time. My back hurt, my head hurt, my uterus hurt, and I lay on the couch under my blanket. I lay there in this cloud of bliss legitimacy: I am pregnant, I have full right to lie here for two hours with my heatpack. Long ago I had to get used to the concept of rest and relaxation for all humans, even my invincible self, but there is something extra validating about ‘being with child’ and knowing that you must rest. Somehow nurturing a child means that I am nurturing myself, with even less inward reprimand than before.

We were watching the news, a rare occurrence for us. At the end, there was a story of a man suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after his time serving in the Middle East. He wrote a children’s book, for his daughter and all other young ones who need to grasp why their fathers are not the same as they were. The last page went something like this, “Whatever happens, families stick together, and love each other.” Nothing new or extraordinary in those words, but I had tears streaming down my face and Ben was bemused. I have become a marshmallow of sentiment, crying when I see pictures of a stranger’s newborn, sobbing when I read birth stories, even before the baby has emerged. Everything-is-just-so-sweet-and-sad-I’m-going-to-cry.

If it’s a bliss-and-beautiful hour, I love it. I let myself feel deliriously happy, and savour each second of feeling well. Those times are some of the best of my life.

And when I’m stuck in the midst of an eternal day, with my endless gastro, and externally achievement-free existence, I don’t even try for glowing. I sit in the mud and nearly survive.

I have this premonition that having a baby is going to be a lot like this.

 It’s going to be giddy highs of extreme love, and soggy trench-like lows, probably all in the same day. So maybe its good the roller coaster is in motion, and I’m soaring and retching, and existing all the time. And I have zero regrets. 


  1. Oh Dee, so glad you have had some moments when you get to enjoy this journey. Hoping there are many more.

    1. I am over the moon to be finding the joy too Jan! Your masses of help on Monday definitely brought on one of those times where I could lie there and feel peace and excitement. Thankyou!! Xx

  2. This is so well-written and you you couldn't have described pregnancy more with its highs and lows,and the ride is just starting with pregnancy and eventually holding your baby. Congratulations,so happy for you,hang in there. Bringing a life into this world is worth it,so worth it.

    1. Thankyou :-) I'm glad you agree it's a roller coaster, and that it's worth it. I know that I can't understand how worth it will be yet, but before long I will.