By Amy Gear

We all know the excitement the word ‘pregnant’ brings. Whether you’re going to become an aunt, uncle, grandparent or, best of all, parent to that little bundle of joy, words cannot describe the magical feeling in your heart; the wonderful news that often brings a flurry of emotions, happy tears and lots of hugs and kisses. 

On the other side of happiness are the day-to-day grievances that crop up, which we don’t often talk about during the nine-month waiting game for our little bundle of joy. 

Early Worries

Myself and my partner were beyond delighted to be welcoming our now 5-month-old into the world. It seems so long ago now! The anticipation of the 12-week scan, hiding it from our friends and families as best we could so as not to ruin the surprise. 

Being the control freak that I am, I wanted to be prepared for everything. I spent the first few weeks reading ALL the pregnancy books. 

I took for granted that everything would be ok; thankfully, it was. You know you have to eat healthily and get some exercise. Still,  no one tells you about the panic that sets in the back of your brain early on, worrying about the problems that could arise during pregnancy or abnormalities that the baby could develop. Things that no amount of kale smoothies can prevent. 

Baby Body Bumps 

I didn’t feel much change in the first few weeks. My body looked and felt the same as it always did. About five weeks in, I had sudden cramping that lasted for a few days. Panic. Checking my underwear every ten minutes for signs of a bleed. Doctor Google was consulted, and I quickly learned that it was all normal. 

As the weeks and months went on, there were further changes. As a small chested, fried egg-like boobie kind of gal, I struggled greatly with my boobs getting bigger and sore, bouncing up and down even when walking. Some advice: invest in good bras. Hats off to you big boobed ladies; I don’t know how you carry those around every day.., be careful what you wish for, eh?

I was always a weekly weigh-in kind of girl until I got pregnant. Initially, I thought I would struggle with getting bigger each week. At the first signs of a bump growing, my jeans started getting too tight. Not wanting to tell everyone until I was 20 weeks pregnant, I was paranoid that people would think I was just gaining weight as many did during this pandemic. My bump was too small to really look like I was carrying a baby.

As the weeks went on and the bump got bigger, ironically, it was like a weight had been lifted. I had stopped weighing myself altogether, and I couldn’t believe how at ease I was with my body. I was so in love with being pregnant. Each day I looked in the mirror with excitement rather than trepidation, enjoying watching my belly grow. 

Luckily I had an easy-going pregnancy for the most part. In the third trimester, I did find it difficult to function due to the lack of sleep. I was a belly and back sleeper, so I had to learn to sleep on my sides. This became difficult with sore hips. My poor partner had bought me every kind of pillow imaginable to try to ease the pains at night. The poor guy could barely fit in the bed!

Emotional Rollercoaster

Aside from back pain and big boobs, your hormones also take a hit. Sometimes I wouldn’t even realise it. Literally crying over spilt milk one day, to snapping at my partner for him leaving a dirty teaspoon on the sink’s draining board. (Patience of a saint he has!)

The emotional rollercoaster doesn’t end when baba arrives either! Both my sisters and sisters-in-law had babies in recent years. I couldn’t help but feel guilty about how useless I had been to them during the first few weeks of their babies being born. Sleep deprivation and the baby blues brought on a week or two of tears that no one talks about.

In the months after, my partner joked that it was like an airport goodbye every day. I couldn’t help but cry, even when I was not sad or upset. You feel stupid for doing so, but you can’t help it. Knowing it is a normal part of your hormonal change helps a little. 

The real truth is that no matter how complicated or easy your pregnancy is, none of it matters once that tiny human screams its way into the world. You’re filled with unimaginable joy and a love like no other. If you are pregnant or thinking of having a baby, you’ve got this. Women are strong and resilient, and we can face anything! Good luck!