Where do all the pregnant ladies go to dance? There are a lot of words that are used to describe pregnancy. Magical, exciting, scary… and it is all of those things. But most of all, it’s personal. None of the many websites designed to guide women through gestation can cover all the bases.
The rainbow of emotion is a vast spectrum and at times it’s hard to vocalise whereabouts upon it you are. Yellow days are great, blue days are par for the course, and then there’s the indigo hued ones… eeeshh. Personally I try to get through at least 5 shades per 24 hours. I’m not going to try and pre-empt or prescribe your journey. However, here are the top ten things I have discovered, that I wasn’t prepared for…maybe you’ve felt them too?
1. Some days I feel like Jabba the Slut; a huge, meandering mass of blob occupying far too much space. The exhaustion far outweighs any desire to get up and get moving. Because pregnancy tiredness is like none I’ve ever known, and it seems so inexplicable. Cravings, sickness, mood swings are all to be expected but the fatigue creeps up and hits you like a smack. If you’re lucky, there will be an appropriately positioned chaise longue nearby at all times so you can make like you’re in an Oscar Wilde play and feign some sort of swoon to get all the right kinds of attention. (The kinds of attention that end up with ripped underskirts and flushed cheeks suit me just fine, thank you Sir)
2. Other days, of course, you feel normal, and that can be dangerous. At one point I tried to suck in my almost 6 month bump when strolling past a hottie. I wish I could have seen that in playback. If only for the look of shame that must have washed over my face when I realised what the fark I was doing. I shudder to think of the look on his…
3 People are idiots. Chances are you know this whether you are up the duff or not, but somehow it seems to come into sharp focus during this magical time. I have a pretty low threshold for bad manners at the best of times, but these days? Nada. It doesn’t help that during pregnancy your body becomes considered public property, open for running commentary. Here’s a helpful hint to anyone holding a conversation with a preggie – try to avoid phrases like “wow, you’re so big already” and the like. It’s not polite to comment on anyone’s weight gain, ever. “You’re barely showing”, isn’t exactly safe either, as this may send us into a panic about whether or not the unborn is growing at an adequate rate. Stick to the old tried and tested “You’re glowing” or “Gosh, you look great – pregnancy suits you” and no-one gets hurt, k?
4. People are also lovely. You’ll be smiled at, offered seats and never refused a toilet while you grow your mini-you. An extra large helping of fro-yo was a recent kindness to be extended my way. Happy. Days. But more than these things, it’s the joy that you’ll feel from random strangers, friends and family that restores your faith in humanity, just a little.
5. Why doesn’t he understand for christs sakes? If you have a male partner, or male friends, or colleagues, or even a male pet for that matter, there will be times when you can’t understand how they can’t understand. But the truth is that men’s and women’s bodies are just built differently. No-one can fully understand the challenges you’re facing, but other women at least have a bit of a head start.
We’ve been dealing with all the bullshit that goes with the female body for a decent amount of time, and we can (usually) empathise with odd sensations and unusual creakiness. A male person has to make a much mental bigger leap to put himself in your shoes, so try to count to ten before going into full on tantrum mode. I’m still working on this one.
6. Hence, I think it’s pretty important to keep your best girls close – you will need them to talk to, and bounce ‘what if’s’ off. Whether it be your Mum, sister, cousin, bestie or maybe just someone you get to know at some pre-natal class or another, make the effort. A pal of mine started up a facebook group for a few mums to be she knows and we talk all sorts of drivel on there, and share useful stuff too. It’s comforting to know you are not the only person having crazy thoughts.
7. Nothing fits. Ignore all clothing sizes, or you will feel bad about yourself. This may be the only time in your life where having a large, round belly is a positive thing, so embrace that bump. Just try some things on (ordering online is great for preserving dignity), and go with what feels and looks good to you. Floaty smocks, boho, low slung, elasticated or body-con – if you feel great, you’ll look great.
7b. I firmly believe every pregnant woman deserves an Isabella Oliver tank dress. Google that sh*t, there might even be a bargain one on eBay. Mine is instant confidence, just hanging in my wardrobe.
8. It’s ok to cry at nothing. It just is. I’m not explaining this one.
9. Where do all the pregnant ladies go to dance? On one of your aforementioned great days/moments, you may suddenly have the inclination to shake your thang. Nightclubs don’t really feel appropriate anymore so could someone please hire a room where a bunch of bumps can bump n grind? Please and thank you.
10. YOU’VE GOT A VERY SMALL PERSON IN YOUR TUMMY. How freakin’ cool is that? Mind-bendingly weird, yes, but also…just mind-blowingly awesome.
“What’s your superpower?”
“Oh, I grow humans”.
Bask in the glory of that, ladies. You rock.