On holiday I was ok with being pregnant. It was inconvenient at times, especially when morning sickness hit, but most of the time it was just there in the background. We were so busy exploring Europe and hitting a city per day that we didn’t really have much time to think about it. I did a little research at night on my iPad using hotel wifi, but that was pretty much it. I figured I had plenty of time to come to terms with it, research and make plans when I got home.
Getting home was a relief. The holiday had been wonderful, but long and I was missing my own bed. It was even good to go back to work, hang out with my friends and enjoy the spring weather in Perth.
But, I was pregnant. This changed everything.
My mother has always talked about how much she loved being pregnant. How good she felt and how much she enjoyed it. Without realising it, I’d bought into the happy pregnant glow ideal. But that wasn’t what I was experiencing. From early on my breasts were SORE. As long as I’d had them, my breasts had pretty much been inert lumps of meat on my chest. They weren’t sensitive and I was fairly indifferent to people playing with them. Suddenly they hurt, especially when taking off my bra. Now my tummy was also feeling weird and painful. It was tender to the touch and I couldn’t bear to wear any pants with zippers. At night even having a sheet resting on it could feel quite uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be touched most of the time, this was very hard for Craig who likes cuddles and wanted to be part of the experience, but it was just too uncomfortable for me.
Also, I’d always imagined myself bonding with a growing baby inside of me. Singing to it, caressing my belly, all of the clichés, but that wasn’t happening either. I didn’t really feel anything for it yet. I thought about it a fair bit and I started reading books (Up the Duff etc) but I didn’t feel the maternal glow I felt I should be. I tried singing to it a few times but I felt a bit silly. I started to wonder what was wrong with me.
Then there was the research side of things. I found out that when I got back from our holiday, 8 weeks pregnant that I was already lagging behind. If I wanted an obstetrician (I don’t), I was probably already too late. The birth options that I thought would be straightforward really really weren’t and a lot of things I cared about were out of my control (a topic for another blog post). Even buying things for baby was a veritable minefield. I got Craig to take me to a nearby baby warehouse to have a look. We left feeling bewildered and overwhelmed. There were so many options and so many things I hadn’t even heard of before (a bin which seals each nappy in a separate bag!) I was beginning to wish someone could just give us a list of the essentials, especially with the strict time limit that we couldn’t change.
Work was another problem. I love my job, I’m very passionate about it and it takes up a lot of my life. Suddenly I had a big secret that I had to keep from most of my friends at work (only my best work buddy and my boss knew at this stage). Also, work was taking so much of my time and headspace that all of the pregnancy research and questions were getting pushed aside and clamouring at me in the small hours of the night. I didn’t want to make any phone calls to hospitals etc from work in the fear that someone might overhear. Even doing internet research was hard in my open plan office. Having only two people at work I could talk to about all of these changes, was really difficult as well (fortunately those two were fantastic). It was doing my head in. Eventually, they persuaded me I should take a day of personal leave to sort some of this stuff out. I was very grateful for the suggestion.
So, I’m still feeling weird about being pregnant. I’m hoping that I will get some glow as I enter into my second trimester and begin enjoying the pregnancy a bit more. I’m honestly feeling guilty that I’m not. I wanted this and looked forward to it, now I feel ungrateful that it’s not what I expected. Still, I’m very thankful that I have so much support from Craig and my friends and family that do know. That makes a huge amount of difference.