Pregnancy – The Pros and Cons
To some of you this will come as a surprise, but for most of my readers: namely my twitter peeps, facebook flock, and my mum – you guys already know!
I am so proud and excited to be announcing this news – this little one will complete our family, and balance out the genders too! We are expecting a boy, much to our delight. OK- disclaimer – we would have been delighted either way – but it is nice to have a pigeon pair.
I’m now 22 weeks pregnant and it’s interesting to observe how my second pregnancy is panning out in comparison to the first. I’ve also been thinking of all the great wonderful things that an expectant mother can experience, but there is also a whole lot of annoying or interesting things that happen too. This isn’t a whinge – just a log of a few things I’ve noticed along the way. It might also help new expectant mothers too.
For me, having children is a very instinctual thing. I feel an innate, deep seeded urge to have children. I have never spent much time around kids, was never a girly girl and didn’t play much with dolls. But to rear and raise my own children is a delight and challenge. I feel like being pregnant and raising children is a beautiful life opportunity. For me child rearing is an experience as close as you can get to the real, true base needs and desires we have as humans.
Being pregnant makes you feel really womanly.
Your breasts look fantastic, your belly is round and full – women’s bodies are made to do this! I am very proud to be a mother and a woman, and being pregnant only emphasises this.
It brings the family closer together
A child is a true, physical bond linking the mother’s family to the father’s clan. They belong perfectly in the middle of a wide-branching family tree – being loved genuinely and wholeheartedly by each grandparent, aunt and uncle. When we have told our parents of our news they have always beamed with pride and happiness. Our parents are very supportive and an integral part of our daughters life. There is no adage more true than “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Feeling the baby kick
This is the first true physical interaction you will have with your new child. I know some women find it annoying or creepy having an alien, parasitic creature bump around in their belly – but I treasure each movement. A wave of calm and happiness flows across me each time I feel a kick, a bump or a hiccup – the hiccups are my favourite. Often when the bub is moving I’ll tell my husband and he’ll touch my belly with his eyes closed or simply watch it jump and flicker with each movement.
It brings you closer to your partner
I love the feeling that I am carrying my husband’s son inside me, within me. It’s a very special and personal feeling to carry the child of the man you love. Of all the things you can share with someone – this is the ultimate.
Increased sex drive
Hormonal and bodily changes play a part in this, and I have a theory about why this occurs – it brings the expectant parents closer together prior to the birth so once the baby comes along there is still a closeness, even when each moment of those first few months is filled with nappies, breastfeeding and sleep deprivation. In the mean time it’s also rather enjoyable.
Every single conversation you will have is about pregnancy or babies
The belly is right there in front of you. It’s a baby-story beacon. We know we’re pregnant, but we’re also interesting individuals that have life experiences away from pregnancy. If you are talking to a pregnant lady challenge yourself to ask them something non-baby related! They will thank you for it!
People will tell you about their best friend’s miscarriage or their harrowing 436 hour-long birth story.
Birthing is pretty full on. It’s scary but also one of the most amazing experiences a woman could ever have. When you speak with other mums they may use this opportunity to tell their story, quite often they need to talk about what happened to them, especially if it was a difficult birth. But it can freak out a new expectant mum. So I suggest to smile, nod and let it wash over you. Try not to listen too hard to the scary ones - every birth is different.
Everyone will give you advice
That’s because they want to help – but sometimes it can get overwhelming, especially if it conflicts with other advice you’ve been given. My advice (see, I can’t help it either! ) is to listen to it all but file it away and forget about it – then simply use the advice that suits your needs. You might be surprised at what advice you end up using!
Your body is public property
Anyone can and will comment on your changing frame, suggest you might be carrying twins because you’re so damn huge and will touch your abdomen without asking for permission. I have no problems with people touching my belly - I know that it is a wonderful thing to touch, I do it often! But please ask first!
Rolling over in bed can HURT
The pelvis is made up of 4 bones that are connected with strong ligaments. Hormonal changes will soften these ligaments ready for birth. This can cause an ache and sometimes a shooting pain in your pelvis. Not pleasant. Being slow and gentle and engaging your core muscles before you make a move can make a huge difference. My pelvic pain went away within about 3 days after the birth.
Falling over like a little kid and scraping your knees
I have only fallen twice in my adult life – both times when I’ve been pregnant. Your centre of balance is slightly out of whack, so if you kick your toe on the pavement, you might not be able to right yourself! It’s important to be a little more observant of your surroundings. The baby is nicely protected in there, but if you hit or graze your belly when you fall, double check the bub is ok.
Hormonal skin changes
Both of my pregnancies I’ve had major hormonal breakouts. Last time it got so bad all the midwives were quite worried it was something more serious! This time I visited a naturopath that suggested I take a strong antenatal vitamin supplement and fish oil, mainly for the baby’s brain development. It seems to have also made a difference to my skin tone. Hopefully this continues!
Being exhausted all the time
You may have noticed the lack of blog posts? That, my friends, is exhaustion kicking in! I sleep at pretty much every opportunity I get. If I have a day off, I’m in bed. When I get home from work, I lie on the couch. Our current domestic situation is my husband does everything and I make a baby. All your energy is being siphoned off to make another human! I’m very lucky to have a wonderfully supportive husband that helps out at every opportunity, and doesn’t whinge when I lie in bed all day!
So, to the mummas and pappas out there: what would your pros and cons be? or perhaps interesting observations? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!