So, I’m about to pass into week 16 of carrying a small being around inside me and this heralds the start of the fourth month. I’m not really sure why pregnancy is referred to in weeks, rather than months, but it seems to be an unspoken law that doctors, nurses and pregnant women sign up to the second a baby is conceived. I think it makes me sound like I’m on a military expedition of some sort for the next six months.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the stuff I’ve learnt in the last four months and it’s quite a lot.
1) Even if you sort of know you’re pregnant early on (as I did- I twigged after a couple of weeks and no amount of denial was really working), it’s still a massive shock to see a line on a pregnancy test. I was so gobsmacked (and cheap. I’d bought the cheapest test in Boots) that I ran out and bought a more mid-price test and was gobsmacked again. Also, lesson of this story: don’t spend £12 or whatever on a stick you’re just going to pee on. No point, even if it does have fancy actual letters- you’ll still get the same results.
2) You become aware of carrying something quite early on. I’ve felt like I’m carrying a grapefruit for at least the last four weeks. Alas, it will not stay this size.
3) Travel sickness bands help with morning sickness. Or, in my case ‘Occasional Waves of Nausea That Led Me To Shower My Husband With Recriminations.’ You can get them here. I managed two four hour journeys in a car with no problem when wearing them. They’re not glamorous, mind. Consider stitching sequins on them for a more Lady Gaga look.
4) The Internet is both bad and bewildering. Many times have I stumbled upon horror stories and then convinced myself that my child will be born with no head because I forgot to take my supplements the day before. Recently, I panicked after regularly using tea tree facial pads in case I had done harm. If pregnant, I implore you to avoid messageboards like the cliched plague- not only will you scare yourself silly, but the spelling and grammar is really rather awful. Also, there are strange, hysterical women on some of them and I’m strange and hysterical enough as it is, thank you very much.
5) You’re promised all sorts of nice things after the initial queasiness of the first three months has ceased- shinier hair, better skin, more energy. These things do not happen overnight, if at all. My hair looks OK and I suppose my energy is creeping back, but my skin is NOT GREAT. Sigh.
6) Cravings are a pain in the bum. You can desperately want one thing one day and then hate it the next. Example: I usually think that Oxtail soup is vile. It’s salty, it has an odd texture and it’s named after a bit of a cow that sits near its bottom. But for a week, all I wanted was said soup. I had some, enjoyed it and immediately afterwards was disgusted. It’s not great. Also, I think Benn thinks I just want Turkish Delight (my current obsession) just because I want sweets. This is not the case. Normally, I don’t really care about it, although I like the occasional Fry’s. But at the moment, I have a raw, visceral need for a sweet that really only comes out en masse at Christmas. I can’t help it. If it was up to me, I’d crave healthier food. But nope, little cubes of sticky, pure sugar is all I want. It’s a miracle that I’ve made the one box I’ve found last three days. Benn is being sent out for more tomorrow.
7) You sleep. A lot. Don’t fight it.
8) I have gradually come to accept that I am basically carrying an amphibian. What else am I to think about this small thing that’s currently living in a load of fluid?