Pregnancy is an incredible time for everyone involved. Bringing new life into the world, and doing it with ease and grace, just like in the movies is exactly how it’ll be, right?
HAHA – Well I was that naive girl.
I totally thought that MY experience would be exactly that. Especially with my fondness for yoga, meditation, generally keeping my body and mind running smoothly and relaxed, I’m bound to have the easiest pregnancy and any hardships that others have gone through, I’ll totally pass them by without a care in the world. How wrong I was.
The beginning of my pregnancy with a bit of a fucking nightmare! The horrendous cramping, which had me keeled over in work, unable to move until it passed, the major bloating and puffiness, and not to mention the constant nausea. Just a bad period I thought. As soon as I put two and two together, it came to me.
It shouldn’t have been such a surprise, we were trying, but we’d only been trying for 5 weeks, I hadn’t even had a proper period yet, after having my implant removed, so it was quite a shock, but an incredible one. I cried tears of joy when that little line came up. I then jumped in the car with the dog and zoomed over to boots to get a Clearblue test, just to be sure, and there it was, ‘PREGNANT’.
The following month was much of the same, and people at work began to suspect. It was hard to hide it, working in the small environment of a cozy Fish and Chip shop, especially with the constant air of fried food, which didn’t appeal to my growing baby at all.
Enough said about that. When I think back to those times, It still gives me a queasy feeling.
As time went on, the symptoms came and went, and then came back with a bunch of new symptoms, which have seemed to have generally gotten worse as time has gone on. (Now I don’t want any sympathy, luckily all of my aches and pains have been generally hormonal, and nothing too serious. There are many people out there that aren’t as lucky, and go through a horrendous time during pregnancy, and I commend those woman, you’re so strong.)
Fast forward to 35 weeks, browsing my instagram, and a lovely lady at 27 weeks, asked me how I’m managing to not be miserable, especially with this summer heat. I’m amazed that, even with the tough times I’ve shared openly on social media, that someone still asked me how I’m staying so positive. So I thought about it, and realised that there is a lot that I’ve done to enjoy this time (even with the chronic TMJ, Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder!).
- Start that Maternity Leave. For me, this was the best thing I could’ve done. I’ve suffered with terrible SPD, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, and it was literally breaking me down a little more each day. To the point where I’d become a different person. I have never been in so much pain before in my life, and I didn’t realise how much it can affect you. You can see in my weekly bump photos of when I left…the colour in my face returned (Week 23) and unfortunately, I really wasn’t left with much choice. Now, I don’t condone this if you’re managing ok at work, taking Statutory Maternity Pay early, is not easy and I understand this isn’t an option for everyone. There are many things that your employer should do to make your life more comfortable, and if you have a good HR team, they should support you throughout and make adjustments. Check out the Gov.uk website for all the info, if you’re having a tough time. You’re legally covered now more than ever.
- Read and listen to as many books, audiobooks and podcasts as you can. Getting yourself mentally prepared for pregnancy, birth and motherhood, has been an incredible way to keep my mind focused, especially when I’m having a bad day. So far, I’ve read/listened to and highly recommend these books; Mindful Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher, Parenting the shit out of life by Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka, It Worked for Me by Holly Willoughby, Mumboss by Vicki Psarias, What to expect the you’re expecting by Heidi Murkoff, and of course, all the Harry Potter books, beautifully read by Stephen Fry.
- Find a new interest or passion. Going through my piles of leaflets that I received in my Emmas Diary freebies, (check out my Freebies post here) I came across a voucher for Gousto. Now, I’ve never been great a cook, and I put that down to working abroad for 5 years without access to a kitchen, but there’s probably more to it than that! Even so, we thought we’d give it a go, and I must admit, I’m loving it! I’ve learnt loads of new cooking skills, plus it makes planning our dinners every week a doddle, we’re not wasting as much food and we’re eating healthy balanced meals every day! (If you fancy trying it, and want 50% off your first two boxes, check out this link, there’s no obligation to carry on, and you can cancel at any time). I’ve also found a passion for writing, and blogging (obvs!) and so this has been a great way to put down what’s on my mind, and hopefully help others going through the same things.
- Take part in Aqua natal classes. I have been going to an aqua natal class since week 15 and I love it! It’s a great way to meet expectant mums, plus you get a little exercise (which you can make as easy or as intense as you like) and you get to float around in water, feeling weightless, which, lets be honest, we could all do with now and again (especially since putting on two stone!). Here in Plymouth, we have a great Active Mums scheme set up through the council, which provide vouchers for mums and mums to be, so the class only costs £2 a time, rather than £5.45! The vouchers can be used for loads of different classes, even for classes when the baby’s here…I’m quite looking forward to mum and baby spin class! Check out the website here, and give them a call today, you’ll save yourself a pile of money and have fun doing it!
- Decorate and start nesting. As boring as that may sound, I’ve found a weird satisfaction in sorting out the house. We’ve cleaned top to bottom, decorated the little ones room, and sorted through and thrown out anything that we no longer need. Yes, it was time consuming (especially as my other half had 3 HUGE boxes of random paperwork that he was convinced needed shredding…most of it did, but I also found the most recent MOT Test certificate and a bunch of other stuff that we really needed to keep!) but oh so satisfying. I made wardrobe dividers for the babies room and labelled them up in ages / sizes, and Marie Kondo’d the fuck out of his drawers of clothes, and loved it! I ended up doing our wardrobe too, and discovered that our little bundle already has more clothes than both of us put together! Little monkey!
- Don’t waste your days. I try to stay away from wasting hours on Facebook, (Instagram is a different story!) mostly because I’ve signed myself up to so many mums to be groups, which I just tend to find quite depressing! I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve read of woman on maternity leave listing every Netflix series they’ve watched so far and what they should watch next. Oh my god….seriously?! Don’t sit on your butt all day in front of the TV, you will over eat and regret wasting this time off work. This is the longest time you will ever have off, do something for yourself, become a better you, you’ll find a great sense of achievement, and feel so much better for it! I’m not saying I don’t have those lazy days, trust me I do, but you should always try and do something today, that will make your life better and easier tomorrow.