Wednesday 6 July 2016

10 Things I'm Going to Miss About Being Pregnant

I’m currently 34 weeks and whilst the last six weeks stretch out ahead of me like an endless desert of heat and sweating, I also know they will be gone before I know it. I hated being pregnant the first time, but this time, I’m actually really enjoying it. I think perhaps because I know it’s worth it this time (I wasn’t convinced last time), I’m not worried about giving birth and I know how wonderful newborns are now. I just can’t wait to feel that rush of love after the birth again. I’m already aware that I’m going to miss being pregnant. I can’t wait to meet this baby and see my feet again, but also I’ll be sad to not be pregnant anymore. I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again, so this might be the very last time I am employed as a human incubator. Here are 10 of the things I’m going to miss about pregnancy:

1. My lips
This one is maybe a bit weird, but I swear my lips have gotten bigger during pregnancy. I’ve been trying to work out for a long time why my face looks different, and I think I’ve worked out it’s my lips. The extra blood must have forced my lips to fill out a little. I can just about cope with the age lines appearing on the sides of my forehead, but the thinning lips is the worst part of aging for me. Pregnancy, it seems, is the perfect antidote for this unfortunate sign of maturity.

2. Being able to say I’m too tired
My favourite thing about being pregnant is that it suddenly becomes ok to say I’m too tired to do things. It’s ok for me to cancel plans because I haven’t slept for a week and feel like I could pass out at any moment. It’s ok for me to meet friends for lunch instead of dinner because I’m just too damn tired by the time 8pm rolls around. It’s ok for me to ask Ebony to get my shoes for me because the mere thought of bending over to lift them is exhausting. As soon as the baby is born, when you’re at you’re most sleep deprived, society expects you to get on with it. If you say you’re too tired then, people think you’re not coping. But, for now, I can enjoy the sympathy I get for being tired.

3. Preparing for the birth
I love birth, I really, really love it. Ebony’s birth was the single most amazing, empowering, life-changing experience of my life. You can read Ebony’s birth story here. I can’t wait to do it all again. I can’t wait to get lost in that primal experience and just follow my instincts. I can’t wait to feel like a superhero again afterwards. I’ve been looking forward to giving birth again ever since Ebony was little. I’ve spent a lot of time during this pregnancy preparing for the birth. I’ve read books about birth to Ebony, answered lots of her questions, read plenty of birth stories and spent hours remembering Ebony’s birth. I don’t know if I will ever give birth again, so this could be the last time I get to do this. I will miss knowing that another birth lies ahead of me.

4. The kicks
Is there anything more lovely than feeling your unborn child move within you? Last night, when I was snuggled up with Ebony in her single bed, the baby kept kicking her in the back. This was not particularly helpful in terms of bedtime, but Ebony thought it was hilarious and it felt like a special moment for these two as yet unacquainted siblings. I’m not overly keen on feeling the baby punch me hard in the bladder, but I like the little nudges, kicks and shuffles I feel throughout the day. The movements are getting bigger now and I can feel there’s not much room left in there, my whole body seems to judder whenever the baby moves. I’m really going to miss feeling those kicks as I lie in bed at night.

5. Laurie making me dinner
Laurie doesn’t get home until after 7pm, so I usually make dinner for us. Recently, however, Laurie has been cooking the evening meals. He is the world’s slowest cook and it means we don’t get to eat until after 9pm, but it’s been so nice being taken care of. I can’t take a maternity leave from being Ebony’s mum and I can’t start my actual maternity leave until my due date, so I’m taking maternity leave from everything else instead, and that includes making dinner.

6. My hair
Another vain one, I’m afraid. I love pregnancy hormones, apart from when they make me vom. The extra hair of pregnancy is one of the best symptoms. My hair is usually pretty thin but it thickens up nicely during pregnancy. I’m trying to remind myself that it won’t last forever and that in just a couple of months, I’ll be losing handfuls of it in the shower. But right now, it’s thick and I love it.

7. Ebony taking care of me
Ebony has been so, so lovely to me throughout this pregnancy. She is such a sweet kid and I have honestly never felt so loved. When I was exhausted in the early days, she would sit next to me and quietly play while I napped. When I was puking up in the toilet, she would stand behind me murmuring words of reassurance. And, sometimes, she would stick her head between me and the toilet bowl so she could have a peek at the sick, this was not particularly helpful. Now that I’m huge, she spends her days making sure I don’t try to bend over. She passes me everything and anything I might need from below weight height. If I finish a drink, she immediately takes my empty glass into the kitchen so I don’t have to do it. She’s just lovely. She takes such good care of me, I know she will be an amazing big sister to this baby.

8. Knitting
Knitting is so relaxing and it’s something I never have time to do. I’ve spent this week knitting a baby blanket, it already has about 18 huge and infuriating mistakes in it, but I’m trying not to let this affect my blood pressure. If my mum was around, I would definitely get her to fix the mistakes for me, but, alas, she is on holiday for the next month so I shall just ignore the mistakes and create a low-quality blanket. But it will be made with love and that’s all that matters, right? I won’t be able to knit when the baby is here. I’ll have no free hands and I’ll be too tired, so knitting will fall by the wayside again, so I’m trying to make the most of it now.

9. All the pillows
I currently sleep with five pillows. I have them all around me like a frame. It is wonderful and I take up all of the bed. Soon enough, I will have to get rid of those pillows and replace them with maternity sheets and breast pads. My bed will no longer be a place of luxury but a place of breastfeeding and always being awake. I will have to go back to having just two pillows once there is a baby in my bed, and even though I am very excited to have a baby in my bed once again, I can’t help but feel sad about the reduction in pillows.

10. The excuse to slow down
I have slowed down these past few weeks. I’m not doing as much work as I usually do, I’m spending a lot of time knitting and I’m reducing the amount of things we do outside of the home. I’m reaching that hibernation stage where all I really want to do is stay in with my family and get some rest. I know that in just a few weeks, things will be full on. There will be a baby who needs feeding, changing, bathing and loving. And there will be a four year old who still needs to be fed at regular intervals, who needs to be loved and entertained and given plenty of attention. And it will be a lot to handle. I have seen new mums of two, I know what a shock those first few months can be, so I’m trying to prepare myself for that. And I’m trying to make the most of this period of calm before the storm of shitty nappies hits.

What’s missing off this list?

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