#1 When you think about being pregnant, you probably think about your stomach expanding like a cute little watermelon. For about one in every four hundred of us, that is exactly what happens, and you walk around sporting your cute little watermelon bump and people say lovely things to you like “Ooh, from the behind you wouldn’t even know you were pregnant,” and you sashay around with your cute little watermelon bump like the sassy pregnant lady that you are.
For the remaining three hundred and ninety nine of us in every four hundred our entire body physically inflates. It is like someone has taken a balloon pump and inflated us to approximately 250% of our usual size. There possibly is a cute little watermelon bump going on, but we can’t tell under the twelve inch layer of melted lard which is now coating our body. When I was pregnant my feet got fat. MY FEET. People kept asking me if I was looking forward to wearing lovely stretchy maternity jeans, and all I was worrying about was the fact that I couldn’t get my shoes on anymore.
#2 On a similar subject, prior to to getting pregnant you probably harbour dreams of some kind of on trend capsule maternity wardrobe. This is before you realise that:
A – Maternity clothes cost approximately 186% more than normal clothes, because apparently pregnant ladies are secretly loaded.
B – You get to revel in finding the perfect pair of bump-supportive maternity jeans for a maximum of one and a half weeks, because after that you will have grown out of them, because they are only designed to accommodate a growing bump, not a growing arse, which in my case grew at the same rate if not faster than my stomach, and have to start the same torrid search process all over again.
C – It is just far easier to opt for the alternative to the on trend capsule maternity wardrobe, which is a pair of stretched and fraying leggings and your husband’s old pyjama collection.
#3 People will tell you that the hormone surges might cause you to feel emotional. This is not true. What the hormone surges will actually cause you to feel is RABID, and ELATED, and DISTRAUGHT, sometimes all in the space of a single sentence.
#4 While you’d think Mother Nature might give you a break on the sleep situation, given what’s to come, in fact you’re going to spend most of the nine months being absolutely shattered yet not able to sleep a wink. Which might go some way to explaining #3.
#5 All of your family and friends will come and congratulate you on your pregnancy. The words coming out of their mouths will be something along the lines of “Such wonderful news, congratulations!”, but you know in your sinking heart of hearts that what they are really saying is: “This is proof positive that you have had sex. And couldn’t even get your contraception sorted.” In the case of your parents, this is likely to slightly yet irreparably alter your relationship for ever.
#6 Nine months is a really really really long fucking time when you can’t drink alcohol, consume pate or eat blue cheese. (I have never in my entire life wanted to eat blue cheese, until I was pregnant, when I wanted to just because I’d been told that I couldn’t.)
#7 It is possible for you to feel a frequent sensation like someone is shoving a red hot poker Up There, and this to be apparently a perfectly ‘normal’ side effect of pregnancy. I can tell you now, there is absolutely NOTHING normal about feeling like someone is attempting to lacerate your left ovary with a pair of chopsticks.
#8 On the subject of Up There, or, indeed, Down There… the pregnancy books will go into some detail about what it feels like when your waters break. They don’t mention the fact that for most of the nine months prior to that it feels like someone’s left a tap on down there.
#9 From the moment your bump starts showing, there is apparently an unwritten law that it becomes public property. Elderly ladies will start coming up to you and stroking it as though it is a wayward Jack Russell, and random strangers will come up to you in the street and announce that you clearly must be having twins, given the size of you, and you will have to physically restrain yourself from stabbing them in the eye with a fork.
#10 Everyone will keep telling you allegedly well-meaning but actually designed to scare the crap out of you stories about childbirth. You will convince yourself that they are over-exaggerating. Regrettably, in less than nine months’ time you’re going to find out that, if anything, they’ve actually under played it.