When I imagined being pregnant, I was that barefoot woman, possibly doing some gardening while wearing a flowing, floral smock dress. My bump was neat and honestly, it was the prettiest bump you ever did see. I was glowing, the most beautiful I’d ever been, there was just something about me, you know? I was glorious.*
The reality was very different.
My bump appeared almost on conception. It was remarkable. I started vomiting immediately. I couldn’t get any glow going because I only wanted to eat salt and vinegar crisps and those weird small processed Babybel cheeses. I grew rapidly and felt gross, always. I felt guilty for not thoroughly enjoying being pregnant when it had taken me five years to conceive. My mood swings were volcanic. I cried a lot. It was like my body was turning against me, up in arms against a tiny invader. In my second trimester, my libido was savage but because I was being so hateful to my husband, sex was just not going to happen.
Did I mention my bump was almost comically large?
I grew, and I grew, then I read a lot of books about having a baby. Every book in the history of having a baby, even the weird 70s ones with graphic, over-sharing illustrations, I read those books. All of the books. I listened to mind-numbingly boring recordings, trying to hypnotise myself into a sense of calm. I even put evening primrose oil up my vagina at the end (that’s an actual thing). I planned a home birth. How the Gods laughed!
Nothing went as planned. Not even one thing.
*Disclaimer: There are many women who do pregnancy really well. I’ve seen them up close.