Women are supposed to enjoy being pregnant.  When you think about how many people struggle to get pregnant or who lose babies, it becomes almost a moral imperative to enjoy being pregnant.  However, sometimes you have to acknowledge that gratitude and active enjoyment are not the same thing.  There are a number of things about pregnancy that are no fun.  This my list of things that I’ve enjoyed the least:

1) Puking.  At my antenatal class at the weekend, there were disappointingly few women who’d actually vomited during their pregnancy and I was the only one who’d kept it up all the way through.  I think everyone has a vomit limit and I absolutely have reached mine.  When I’m tempted to whine about sleepless nights, I will remind myself that at least I’m not puking.

2) Waking up in the night worrying that the baby isn’t moving, or indeed worrying that the baby isn’t moving at any time of the day.  My father commented at the weekend how much harder my baby belly is than my mother’s was and indeed, it is as tight as a drum whenever I’m not reclining.  The internet is full of mothers who talk about how painful kicks are, about seeing actual little hand and foot shapes pressed against their skin, no one talks about what happens if your thick muscles keep a lot of movement contained, so you don’t feel much.  The nearest you get are horror stories about death in utero.  This makes for anxious bouts of attempting to make the baby move.

3) Worrying about the position I sleep in.  You’re supposed to sleep on your left hand side.  Have you tried to sleep in one position all night?  I swear it’s impossible or certainly the cause of a large amount of third trimester sleeplessness.  You wake up uncomfortable, roll over for just a minute or two. Fall asleep, wake up worried that you’ve been sleeping in the wrong position, roll back and repeat…all night until you wake up for the loo.

4) Gas and hiccoughs.  Belching comes from taking in too much air with your food.  Pray tell how being pregnant has so drastically changed my mastication habits that suddenly I seem to have enough gas to fill a hot air balloon a couple of hours after every meal?  And why all the damned hiccoughs?  What evolutionary purpose do they serve?  I have felt like crying over my inability to comport myself like a civilised member of society.

5) Heartburn and acid reflux.  They tell you to avoid large meals and certain food triggers to control this but my heartburn has never been bad straight after eating.  It comes on a couple of hours later when the gas comes on.  Every belch or hiccough brings up fresh acid.  Sometimes it’s actually worse when I’m running on empty, not that acid in any way encourages you to want to eat.

6) Worrying that something could go wrong, or be wrong, with the baby.  Everytime someone asks after the bump or the baby I tell them, ‘okay’ or ‘all good…I think’.  There is no viewing panel, no way to know for sure until the baby is here and eating and drinking and reaching developmental milestones.

7) Worrying about what I can eat.  As time goes on you get more used to this but I still sometimes feel a bit low when ordering in restaurants.  Can’t have those because they all come with a soft poached egg, or that because it comes with Parma ham, or that because it comes with goats curd.  I never order my first choice anymore.

8) Worrying about everything else that I put in or on my body.  You can’t so much as put some cream on a mosquito bite without checking the Internet or with your midwife to make sure it’s okay.  That doesn’t sound like a big deal until you have an ailment that’s getting you down, like a bite or a stuffy nose, and there’s nothing at all that you can do about it.

9) Coughing and congestion.  Did you know that pregnancy can make you stuffy nosed and increase mucus production in all areas of your body?  Neither did I.  Acid reflux can give you a cough too.  Waking up coughing like I smoke fifty a day is something that I will not miss.

10) Tiredness or a mixture of tiredness and fatness.  As much as the weight gain of pregnancy is perfectly natural, it’s hard to get excited about piling on the pounds.  Society has conditioned us to fear and loathe it.  While some sources are full of encouragement when it comes to shedding baby weight, others will tell you to expect never to lose it all.  When you’ve spent half your life on a diet, the prospect of never losing it all is a miserable one.  Lugging the extra weight around can make you tired too, that on top of the tired you get from being pregnant anyway.  You can spend a lot of pregnancy feeling tired.

So there you have it, in no particular order, ten things I will not miss about pregnancy.  I will read through these when I’m tempted to complain about early motherhood.


Comments are closed.