My Pregnancy Experience
Now, let me start this one off by saying this will be a very honest blog about my pregnancy. Maybe too honest for some, but I started this whole thing wanting to be as open and honest about my experience as I could so here it goes. You might want to read the “finding out we were pregnant” blog first to understand a few things which I’ll talk about – you know the drill!😉☕️🍫
The day I found out I was pregnant was the most euphoric & heart wrenching day. I’ve never felt such a rollercoaster of emotions. I’d gone from being the happiest girl on the planet to the saddest in 8 hours. So, my pregnancy didn’t really get off to a great start, I felt what was supposed to be the happiest time for us I now couldn’t celebrate. My head was a complete mess, I will talk more about my dad, but I feel like it’s for another separate blog which I will get around to. I had been a long term smoker right up till we found out I was pregnant, and although It did take me a further 2 weeks to kick the habit I’m happy to say I did and I haven’t smoked a cigarette since which to this day is 1 year 1 month & 12 days! That was the best thing I ever managed to do!
I was (and still am) overweight when I fell pregnant, something which I didn’t want to be. Ideally, I would have been at a normal weight for my height (4’11), but we were blessed that I was able to conceive naturally so for a bit I didn’t think about it. It’s always been something which made me feel really self-conscious, I also knew I was going to struggle throughout the pregnancy as I got bigger – which I did. My sickness wasn’t too bad to be honest; I think I only properly had it from week 10-13. I’ve got friends who had it really bad and throughout their whole pregnancies, so I counted myself lucky.
Me & Matt got an early scan done at 7 weeks which confirmed the pregnancy, then told the world after my 12-week scan. One of the things which I wasn’t prepared for was bloating. I bloated so badly right from the early days, anything I ate made my tummy go huge even if it was only something little. This wasn’t good for me, especially with my feelings towards my weight already. People would comment saying “oh your massive” if they happened to catch me after id eaten and looked ALOT bigger. It really hurt my feelings, I didn’t in the slightest find it uplifting. I really struggled with the bloating, id try and wear baggy clothes to make sure I had the room after I’d eaten without it showing too much. I remember the one day, me & my best friend actually got into an argument. She’d kept on and on about how big I looked, and although I’d told her it was because I was bloated she still continued to comment on it, to the point where I snapped and asked her “how would you feel if someone told you every day how fat you looked”. Ah – probably not the greatest choices of words but I didn’t mean in it the way it was taken and how it sounded, I was just trying to point out how much it offended me.
12 weeks in and I was completely sick of my pregnancy – but obviously I never told anyone this. I’d sit in my car & cry wondering if we’d made the right decision. I was still grieving for the loss of my dad, that still didn’t make sense to me. I’d had to sort out his funeral, that’s something you don’t think you’ll be doing at the age of 27. My mum was amazing, I was so lucky she was on hand to help. I used to look on social media and see everyone posting photos of their bumps and at the beginning I couldn’t think of anything worse. We got a private gender scan at 16 weeks, and found out we were having a boy, we were both over the moon! We didn’t mind either way, there was never any preference just along as the baby was happy & healthy that was the main thing. We did a gender reveal with our parents & friends and that for me was probably one of my highlights of my pregnancy, it really brought a buzz of excitement.
As we hit week 20 that’s when I really started to struggle, I was by this point getting big, bigger by the day it seemed. And the comments kept rolling in, every single day like “oh look how massive you are!” Seriously, there is a way you can say these things without causing offence. Maybe I was just super super sensitive, but I hated when people said that to me, especially people I didn’t know.
Another thing which I found hard to deal with, was every bugger touching my belly…. without asking. Like just randomly rubbing my belly! Again, this just might be me, but it totally made me feel uncomfortable. I was absolutely fine with my friend’s & family doing it, but anyone else it just used to make me anxious and awkward. Most people you’ll talk to have the most amazing time whilst pregnant, I wish I could tell you I was one of those people, but I simply wasn’t. I’ve had problems with my back for the last 5 years, it defiantly triggered when I put on weight, then it went away when I started to lose it. But it came back with a vengeance as my pregnant belly grew. I was in AGONY. I’d managed to find a really good chiropractor who I’d see once a week/2 weeks throughout my pregnancy, she’d given me lots of exercising and stretching to do which eased it a bit. I couldn’t sleep at night, I’ve always been a stomach sleeper, so having to adjust to your side is difficult. I would scream in pain every night trying to turn in bed, I’d have these excruciating pains shooting up my back even if I moved an inch. I would have taken Charlie not sleeping over being in pain every night any day of the week.
I didn’t have the usual baby shower, like I said I’m really self-conscious and the thought of having all eyes on me made me feel sick. I had pre-warned all of my friends & family it wasn’t something I wanted to do, just encase any of them thought about throwing me a surprise party. I knew If they had I would have had a complete meltdown! But my mum did secretly arrange for us to go for afternoon tea with my auntie and cousins, for a mini baby shower I did let her off even though my anxiety went through the roof! It’s funny because there was only a few of us and all my family but I couldn’t shake it off. Either way it was lovely but as much as I could manage.
I put on a really brave face throughout my pregnancy, not many people will know how difficult I found it, until now obviously. I was finding it so hard to sit at my desk in work, my back was really stiff and id have to get up all the time to have a walk around the office. Even with my ‘special chair’ and desk adjustments, sitting for 8 hours a day was doing me no good physically and mentally. The last 12 weeks of my pregnancy were probably the worst, my hips hurt, my back hurt & my head hurt constantly. Id put in a request to work if I could work from home a few days a week, but after weeks of chasing it had been declined. By this point my mental state was deteriorating quickly, my mood was extremely low, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, and I generally was miserable as sin. I kept thinking how amazing I should be feeling, and how lucky I was, id think about how some couples may never be able to have children and here I am with a face like a slapped ass, wishing this pregnancy would just be over. I even wished that Charlie would make his entrance earlier rather than later. I was crying every day, 9 out of 10 times it would be when no one was around. I was ashamed of myself, I felt like the worst person in the world. I’d think about how I didn’t deserve to be having a baby because I wasn’t embracing it, and how I was going to be a rubbish mum when he did arrive.
It was at this point I spoke to my mum & decided I needed to speak to my GP. After a tearful chat with a lovely doctor, who I told absolutely everything I was feeling to, she diagnosed me with antenatal depression & prescribed me anti-depressants. In a way, it made me feel better knowing that it wasn’t just me, that there was actually a “thing” out there which expectant mum’s experience. I wasn’t alone anymore. I was signed off work and this took me right up until I was due to go on maternity leave. I instantly felt better knowing I didn’t have to be in work, I wouldn’t have to fake it every time someone asked me how excited I was & how I was loving being pregnant. (Because that’s what everyone expects you to say).
It’s not all doom and gloom, I did start to feel better, as the kicks got stronger, I started to feel that mother & baby bond grow. Matt was great at building my confidence when it came to my belly growing, that helped me a lot specially towards the end because I really did balloon! I started to embrace it; I was growing a baby for god’s sake! I was doing something amazing!! And my body is incredible! My outlook changed, I started to take photos of my growing belly and feeling excited as the time drew closer to meet our son. Yes, I was still in pain but there wasn’t long left, and I couldn’t wait to meet our baby.
So, if you are struggling with your pregnancy – IT’S OKAY! – you don’t have to feel amazing every second of every day! But – TALK to someone, anyone! Your partner, parents, friends, family. I promise you they won’t think that you are a monster! Not everyone enjoys pregnancy but that’s ok because its hard going! I learnt you 100% have to look after yourself physically and mentally, 9 months is a long time to be feeling so awful,.
Would I do it again though? ABSOLOUTLEY – I now know that if we have another baby that I am strong, I have an amazing network around me, and I could do it again. I would defiantly embrace the whole pregnancy more next time around. I hope you enjoyed this blog, and found it useful 😊