10 Good Things About Being Pregnant

Hey, so I’m currently in the last trimester of pregnancy, and there is such a raft of “terrible symptoms of pregnancy”, moans, aches and groans out there, so I thought I’d share with you some of the unexpected benefits (or side-effects) of being pregnant!

  1. Feeling feminine! 
    For the first time in my life, I actually feel like a ‘grown up woman’! (But in a good way.) I feel feminine. I have curves (proper ones, the ones women are meant to have). Growing up as a tomboy and never feeling particularly ‘girly’, I now definitely feel more womanly and dressy because of my new-found pregnancy style. As someone who likes the odd bit of dressing up, but generally being more of a ‘t-shirt jeans and trainers’ active gal, I now like the fact that I am wearing dresses and tights more often! Most of my size 12 trousers I finally relinquished at about the 16 weeks stage, and since then I haven’t really needed to buy anything specifically maternity-wear-wise, I have just sort of…migrated…into comfortable stretchy dresses and woollen tunics. Like!
  2. No longer having a pot belly! / Having an excuse for it
    This follows on from point 1, about my rapidly-changing body shape. Let’s be honest: my stomach was never my strongest feature. I have always had what is called a ‘straight up and down’ body shape – not hourglass, not pear, no wide ‘child-bearing’ hips, no wide curvy boobs and tiny waist. I have always had the opposite – slenderish arms and legs, broad shoulders, no wide curvaceous hips and therefore NO clearly defined waist. Oh and a pot belly! I have always had this, since I was about 9! This makes me look (unfairly) fat. Because it is all a matter of proportion, and my proportions were always ’round in the middle’. But now I no longer have to endure my mother telling me to “pull your stomach in!” Now I finally have something to ‘fill’ that ghastly pot belly! Now I can just let it all HANG OUT – legit! And since giving up jeans and trousers (muffin-top alert) I feel better for it!
  3. Not having hangovers!
    Speaks for itself really. People say to me, “Oh, how are you going to cope giving up the booze??” – but the fact is, even before getting pregnant, the occasions where I was going out on a bit of a booze-binge were becoming increasingly rare. I just can’t be bothered feeling that bad after a bottle or more of wine anymore! I’ve done all the binge-drinking I need to do in life! (And believe me, I’ve done enough to see me through a lifetime!) Yes it’s fun to go on the odd night out for a genuine celebration, party or something, but really, the occasions of every weekend regularly getting word-slurringly plastered have, over the past few years, rapidly diminished. Don’t get me wrong – I still love wine. I still love whisky. I still love real ale. (Don’t tell the midwife…) – but I drink all of these during pregnancy (in small amounts). But I have learned that it is more about appreciating the ‘taste’ – not glugging till the point where you feel sick, out of control and too knackered to scrape your makeup off! I like getting up at the same time every day, weekday or weekend, feeling exactly the same! – Not rough, not tired, not ‘that Saturday morning groggy feeling’ that puts you back for the entire weekend.
  4. Feeling hot!
    Wow, the human body must, during pregnancy, be akin to a thermonuclear reactor. You are cooking a bun in there after all! For the first time in my life – EVER – I actually feel TOO HOT! It is autumn now, and even though the leaves are turning on the trees and the air is getting increasingly nippy outside, I am finding the whole flat too warm (this NEVER happens EVER with me usually), and the duvet is too hot. Even with the bedroom window open every night and no radiator on, I still wake up toasty warm (too warm) and praying for a single sheet! Even in October I am still taking cold showers! (My current insomnia/sleeplessness, a fact of later pregnancy, has also meant the need to reinstate my morning “cold plunge” into ice cold water, just to stimulate some vigour back into my skin and make the blood start pumping again!)I actually feel the need to strip off in the flat to just shorts and a vest, even though it is nearly winter. Normally I have blue hands and feet, have a ridiculously low pulse, and am wearing woolly cardigans, hats, scarves and boots by this stage, and am constantly sneaking away to the thermostat to turn it up while the other half is not looking 😉 – Now it is HE, the hard man, that is going, “Brrr, it’s freezing in here, I’m shivering!” while I lie there palpitating thinking I am in some Mediterranean villa in the middle of August. Whoop-whoop for baby bump heat! I thank you!
  5. Realising that I take my physical “vitality” for granted!
    Now that I cannot run as much anymore (baby bump at 7 months doesn’t take too kindly to being joggled around in there, and plus it brings on the need to go for a pee!), and am reduced to “just walking”, I suddenly realised how much I take my physicality for granted. While I don’t pretend that I am uber-fit (I am no Paula Radcliffe or Jessica Ennis), I do like to think that I have ‘minimum standards’ for my health and fitness and general well-being. For example, before finding out I was pregnant, I liked to work out, do the odd bit of running, play the odd bit of tennis, and certainly go on many long, fast walks. I liked to hill-climb. I’ll do anything fun, energetic and outdoorsy and with a bit of “whoo-hoo” exhiliration to it. But now I can no longer ‘get airborne’, I have realised how much of my ‘physical vitality’ and ‘sprightliness’ I take for granted in my day-to-day life.It is so nice to be able to skip down the street, or jog, or sprint, or jump, or roll, if you feel like it! It is so nice to be able to throw yourself off a cliff into the sea if you feel like it! It is so nice to run down from the top of a mountain in leaps and bounds if you feel like it! I did START doing all these things well into my pregnancy (first half of it), but now my shape is changing, I know it is no longer safe, or indeed wise, to be hurtling my expanding body into sand, sea, water or grass. I was in B&Q the other day and saw some completely rotund obese chap puffing and panting his way around the aisles, it looked like walking was a real chore because of the size of him and the stress it was putting on his joints, that I suddenly thought, “Oh I know how you feel….heavy.” But then I thought, “Yeah but I am only feeling like this increasingly over the last few WEEKS – he must feel like this ALL THE TIME.” That must be terrible, not to be able EVER to get airborne! Damn. It made me think that rather than pregnancy being an excuse to get “fat and lazy”, if anything it has made me cherish my physical “spirit” even more and be even MORE determined to get back to my old shape and ways after I give birth!
    PS. I have a morbidly obese midwife. She is FBN (fat-but-nice) or NBF (nice-but-fat), but however you look at it, it is still not a good example I think for someone in the healthcare profession to be setting. On the day of my last visit to her (at 28 weeks), I made damn sure beforehand that I got on the floor and did a set of 10 press-ups, because it makes me feel better and every little helps. Result? I have a healthy B.P., heart rate, baby heart rate and everything else internally that has been checked has come back as healthy so far (touch wood). But I miss my long walks! Somebody needs to invent an inbuilt ‘pant-catheter’ that can be worn during pregnancy so that ladies like me that like to walk for longer than 200 yards without going “that’ll do for my 5 seconds of exercise today” CAN do so without crossing their legs in the street and crying, “HELP! Where is the nearest LOO?!!”
  6. Complete wardrobe de-clutter!
    A few weeks ago one of those weird ‘nesting instincts’ (hormonal) must’ve kicked in, because I just got this overwhelming urge to run into my closet and cupboards and drastically reduce what was in there. Well, I have to make room for the new person in my life! So I began by throwing out anything that was old and ragged and threadbare, but I also felt the need to throw out even more stuff. I actually went a bit mental: I was just like, “WHY do I actually NEED all of this STUFF?! Stuff doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is the basics.” So I went through everything I have stored under the bed, in cupboards, stuff I hardly wear, stuff I have been holding wistfully onto for the past 7 years, and just went, “Clear out the lot!” I don’t know why, I just suddenly felt this urge to live in the actual “now” and the future rather than clinging onto old tacky ‘disposable fashion’ stuff I have been holding onto since I was 25. Old stuff had to go. Suddenly wardrobe and fashion wise, I just wanted to have “less is more”, and far fewer items, but more classic, long-lasting, quality pieces.Not that I was ever much of a ‘pleasure shopper’, but now I physically can’t be bothered in pregnancy traipsing round streets of shops just “browsing” for things that may or may not tickle my fancy. Most of them are just cheap and throwaway anyway! And that annoys me. I now figure: “If I won’t still love this thing in 10 years, I am not purchasing it.” Pregnancy has made me more focused in that sense, financially and common sense-ically, has given me more boundaries to “the sands of time” that just trickle through our hands as freely as we let them when we’ve got nothing better to do. I have definitely found my purchasing habits changing; finding myself researching more “investment pieces” online, and taking my time to find the ONE thing I really need, rather than just idly browsing round a tonne of vile malls and shopping centres looking at hundreds of cheap disposable things for fun. I was in IKEA the other day (had to buy just one thing – a sheepskin), I knew it was going to be hideous, but I had to run out as quickly as possible once I had what we were looking for as I just thought, “GAD! I’ve got better things to be doing with my time than THIS!”
  7. Complete aversion to pink!
    Some time before this, however, I suddenly had a ferocious aversion to anything pink in my house! It’s weird because those who know me will know that I loved pink, used to wear quite a lot of pink, indeed soft palest baby pink is one of those colours that I do naturally suit. However, all of a sudden pink anything (especially bright pink – the brighter the viler) just HAD to go! Pink in the bathroom, pink towels, pink beauty products, pink makeup, pink tops, pink trousers (yep, I even owned a pair of them! ;-)) I couldn’t stand the sight of it. There is a bottle of Corsadyl Mouth Wash in the bathroom that has a bit of pink on its label but even that is staring back at me every day, taunting me, going “I’m pink! So whatcha gonna do about it?”, so I am not sure how much longer it will last in there to be honest before I may have to change it into a different bottle. Now I don’t know if this is in any way a subtle indication of what gender the baby is going to be (we haven’t found out – don’t want to), but all I know is that if it is a girl, it won’t be wearing much pink! It will be kitted out in red and beige and grey and neutrals! What on earth has happened to little girls’ clothing? There is no choice! Does everything HAVE to be pink? When I was a kid, I don’t remember there being such a plethora / “uniform” of candy Barbie pink on the market for little girls. All the photos taken of me as a toddler are in navy, red, cream, green and brown. Girls were not marketed as ‘pink’. Sorry pink, but I have fallen out of love with thee!
  8. Developing a sweet tooth!
    Never one to have a particularly sweet tooth (not since I was 10 and my brother and I used to have biscuit-gobbling-at-dawn competitions in our PJs before the rentals got up), I now have discovered a (legit) penchant for chocolate and sweet things! To be honest, when people have asked me about cravings, I have to say what HAVEN’T I craved?? I have eaten for Great Britain since becoming pregnant. (Though thankfully this has abated slightly, as the bump pushes up into my ribcage thus feeling like I have a temporary “stomach staple” and causing me indigestion if I try to eat my usual man’s portions!) In the first instance (in fact one of the first indicators I was pregnant), all I wanted to, nay, could eat, was salt and vinegar flavoured simple carbohydrates. I CRAVED starch. The first two days before I finally took the “OK last resort pregnancy test”, I swear I just ate bags of Walkers Salt & Vinegar crisps and plates of oven chips dowsed in vinegar. I couldn’t stomach anything else or I’d regurgitate. Then I slowly moved on to the toast phase, then the cheese and coffee phase, then the cereal phase, then the ice cream and home-made rich chocolate sauce phase. Yum! Now, thankfully, I seem to have no further cravings other than for healthy fruit and salad and meat, but I still have that sweet tooth that I never had before. I’ve made biscuits, cookies, scones, pancakes at 6am when I couldn’t sleep, gingerbread that was so soggy it fell apart when you drove a knife through it, and yes, even this year’s brandy-dowsed Christmas cake! (which turned out excellent but broke the oven for a few days afterwards). I like cooking/baking and anyway it seems to to be one of the pre-requisite skills for being a mum! Green & Blacks 70% now lives in my kitchen, and in my handbag, and my husband even melted some onto some plain digestives the other night to make our own dark chocolate biscs served with a cup of redbush tea at bedtime!
  9. Realising I need to get a telly
    Now that I am in my third trimester and my usual walks and things I liked to do for fun, such as being outdoorsy and active, and going out to the pub, are starting to wind up, and the nights are drawing in, and as I get used to “lounging around on the sofa with my feet up for the next 2 months waiting for the baby to arrive”, I have realised I had better meet standard NHS guidelines for pregnant mothers-to-be, which means going out and procuring a large, state-of-the-art, the-bigger-the-better, flatscreen HD plasma screen TV, and affixing it to my nearest living room wall, so that I can have it on all day to help with my relaxation and baby-rearing. Just like everyone else. Do you know that in one of my guides (you guessed it, from the NHS), it even specifically advocates having a TV as one of the mandatory “things you will need” to commence breastfeeding? Ha-ha! I kid you not. Yep, seriously. It actually says something like, “Before you begin breastfeeding, make sure you have everything to hand, such as somewhere comfortable to sit (the sofa), a cold drink [Diet Coke can no doubt], a snack [a cheeseburger no doubt], and the TV on.” (I like the assumption there.) Ha ha ha ha ha! If you believe my point 9 above, you’ll believe anything. Put simply, since getting more cumbersome and less able to go on my regular long walks and do things, I have had to endure quite enough of iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD to remind me quite specifically WHY I DO NOT CHOOSE TO OWN A TELLY. It’s all utter GUFF!
    PS. Now I don’t know how long I’ll be able to hold out on TV-less-ness as the child-rearing progresses before it is deemed that I am breaching their human rights or social rights or before we are classed as “deprived” or whatever, but I shall endeavour! I suppose thinking back, I didn’t come from a particularly TV-focused home, and we didn’t watch it much as kids, preferring outdoor play and adventure. But then again, we were utterly spoilt rotten – we did have a beach on our front door step and miles of forest to play in. I suppose I always saw the telly as just something that old boring people did when they had no energy left. Might explain why I still get a bit bored and fidgety today watching TV – “Come on there must be something better to do!”
  10. Realising I’m Actually Going To Be an Alright Mum!
    Panic-stations set in the minute I got that BFP (Big Fat Positive) when I Peed-On-A-Stick all those months ago (I kept the stick! Is that sad?), as the dawning realisation came that I was, in fact, contrary to medical opinion and my own hunches, finally going to be a mum. “Oh my God” I think is what I said out loud at 7.25am that fateful morning. Disbelief. Then running through to the bedroom shaking going, “It’s positive. I’m not actually joking. Oh my God.” Then further disbelief and panic. Then the re-test several hours later. “It’s positive too. Oh my God.” Then reading up on the internet that “it is possible to get a false ‘negative’ result. It is virtually impossible to get a false ‘positive’ result.” Two positives do NOT make a negative! That morning I had to go out for a walk to clear my head and think it all through. I went to the park and, funnily enough, saw loads of mothers out pushing their babies in prams and thought, “Oh lordy-lordy this is going to happen to ME?? Help! Am I ready? What if it doesn’t work out? Can I do this?” But that was months ago. Since then I have met loads of different types of mum and realised it is just another ‘thing’ that can, and has to be dealt with in life. The worst thing about fear is the fear itself, the fear of standing looking at the thing you fear from the outside – rather than just jumping in, getting your feet wet, and dealing with the thing you think you cannot do. So day by day, little by little, we – both first-time parents, like most other first-timers – just ‘deal with it’. You do; you just confront bits of the challenge a bit at a time, and you deal with it.I’ve realised too that there are loads of different types of “mum” or parent out there, not just a one-size-fits-all doe-eyed type with a big label strapped above your head that says “MUM” (as the baby retail market, the media and all the baby magazines would have you believe). For a long time I had not been that interested really in having a kid, because of what I had seen, namely that to be a mum you had to be a very specific type of person; that is, a real girly girl that naturally loves all things fun and giggly and childish and screechy and goes “awww cute!” at everything baby-related. This had been my impression anyway, from what I had seen. I felt that because I didn’t feel like that about “everything baby-related”, I must therefore be destined not be a mother. It was clearly not in my hormones. But then I slowly began to realise that there were OTHER types of women out there, women like me, who had also become mothers. They didn’t shout or screech or show off baby stuff or make a song and dance about it, and it certainly didn’t hold them back from having other things going on in their lives.Me, I am not particularly loud, or in-your-face-look-at-my-BABY!, or ditzy welling up at the sight of “funny” kid videos falling over in a paddling pool (sigh), but I have come to the conclusion that I may well have other child-related skills. I am a good learner, so with older children I would be good at explaining and teaching. I don’t mind reading with children and I enjoy doing “learning” with them. I enjoy arts and doing creative things. I enjoy sport, nature and the outdoors and doing a bit of danger more than I enjoy traipsing round shops on a Saturday morning and visiting horrendous Costa Coffee with a bunch of other screaming buggy-laden mums all sitting there in a circle cackling. So all in all, I think I have other skills other than just the “Awwww cute!” bit that I had (mistakenly) thought was the litmus test of whether you could be a mother or not. I am still slightly nervous of labour (I faint at the sight of blood! what am I doing??), and the ensuing weeks after birth, but guess what? – I don’t think I will be the first, or the last, person ever to have had these worries. We’ve deliberately avoided “books on the subject” – in favour of speaking to real people who have stories to tell, and using our own gut instinct about what feels right for us. You always assume other people are so much more educated, clued-up, experienced and professional than you are. These days with the raft of information out there on pregnancy websites such as Mumsnet and Bounty and BabyCentre, it can feel as though pregnancy has become a degree subject in itself; a real “fuss”. We’ve just kept all that to a minimum and trust that nature will take its course. As my own mum said a few months ago, “Gosh! I don’t think we had much of a clue what we were doing all those years ago – we were just pretty much left to get on with it.” Ha-ha! So now they admit they were clueless. Well, I didn’t think so of any of the lovely “mums” I had look after me when I was a kid, I had confidence in them and thought they all did a pretty good job actually!

Here’s looking forward to a fun, loving, happy, intelligent, danger-action-packed, interesting, TV-less, non-screechy upbringing! (we hope!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post. Leave me a comment if you like.


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