The bump is officially here y'all. I really debated whether or not to post any pictures of my expanding body but as I've already put a picture of my uterus on the blog I figured why not. As you can see, I'm well on my way to becoming a whale. I asked Sam to make me look skinny in this picture but he obviously ignored me. It's amazing because I've only gained two pounds so far, how is this possible? I am constantly eating. You know how Bradd Pitt always has food in his hand in the Ocean's movies? That's me. I have a mini pantry in my purse--I'm never more than 2 feet away from an assortment of snacks. I guess it's all down to how your metabolism speeds up when you're preggo, I just wish it would stay that way when I'm not so I could continue being such a pie eater and only gain 2 pounds in 4 months.
4 months! Yikes. Let's see, what have I learned in these past 18 weeks:
-First and foremost, it's really unfair that pregnant women aren't supposed to drink. This is the time in your life when a gin and tonic would come in handy the most. Instead you get to go home from a stressful week at work and kick back with a nice glass of cranberry juice. Hot dog.
-There are a whole slew of gross and unexpected pregnancy sympotms that no one tells you about before you're with child. I would have known had I added "What to Expect When You're Expecting" to my reading list prior to when I was expecting but why the heck would I do that? So it all came as a bit of a shock. But I wont go into details because I think my Dad reads this blog.
-I appologize to all of my friends and acquaintances who I previously thought were being wimps when they complained about morning sickness. It really is That Bad. And it's not just in the morning. They should really change that term to "24/7 sickness" or "you will lose the will to live before this is over sickness".
-Everyone and their mom (literally) knows a horrifying labor and delivery story that either happened to them and/or their mom (literally) and they will tell it to you in unnecessarily graphic detail and then say "But don't worry, that wont happen to you". It's probably good for you to hear these stories though so you can prepare yourself for all of the eventualities.
-If you are pregnant and skimming through your copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" skip the section on episiotomies. It's for the best.
-I've not really spent much time thinking about a "birth plan" and I secretly snigger whenever I hear that term because so far I've not heard of a single person who's birth plan panned out. But I have made a rough draft of my own: GET THE BABY OUT.
-I'm incredibly blessed to have Sam through this process, he has been amazing. He's picked up the slack in the cooking, cleaning and buying me snacks departments and even rubs my feet when I get home from work. He also reads up about how the baby is developing each week and tells me things like "Did you know the baby has fingerprints now?" I'm clearly spoiled and also probably undeserving, but then again I am hosting his child inside of my body. If only I could figure out a way for him to be the one to give blood when we visit the midwife.
-You receive a lot of advice when people find out you're pregnant, whether it's friends or family or the woman behind the lottery ticket counter at Tesco. And almost all of it will be contradicting.
-There's a heck of a lot of baby equipment out there, I haven't figured out a single thing about that yet.
-Maternity bras. My boobs got big quick and I needed to do something about it. I went into a shop that was recommended by my sisters in law and had no idea where to start. Maternity bras are similar to those worn by women in their 70s and 80s. They're ugly, they're big and they're ugly. So I asked the woman working in the bra section (who just so happened to be in her 70s or 80s) to recommend a few and she kindly brought me a selection of ugly large ugly bras and then proceeded to grope and adjust my boobs inside of them until she found some that she approved of. I didn't really end up having much say in this whole process, I just wanted to get out of there. And really, the ones I ended up getting weren't that bad, and my boobs are a lot happier now. But I did make Sam promise he wouldn't leave me before I showed them to him.
-If you live in England and you are seeing a midwife for your antenatal care she will most likely ask you if you are interested in having a home birth. If you are like me you will snort and say something like, "Do I look totally insane to you?" I think it's great that some people are into that sort of thing, but when I imagine myself actually squeezing a human being out of my body it's in a hospital bed with trained medical professionals nearby and the option to be medicated if I so choose, not lying on a tarp in my living room with Sam boiling water and tearing sheets. We have light colored carpet.
-It's easy to get distracted by the many details and worries that surround becoming a parent, so it's important to set aside some time each day to spend talking to your baby and praying for it and imagining all those lovely things you will do together as a family. It's really an incredibly special time and it's going by so fast. It's amazing how much love I feel for a little creature that's the size of an avacado. Mmmm avacados...
So there you go, what I've learned about being pregnant in 18 weeks. I'll write another list later on. And of course I have no idea what will be on that list at this point, probably stuff like how to get yourself out of bed when you're a beached whale and what to clothe yourself with when you're a beached whale. Until then...