Pregnancy: looking back

It’s exactly a year since I first took the positive pregnancy test and I thought it might be nice to look back on my pregnancy. I had always thought I would love being pregnant. I did, sometimes, but a lot of it was actually a bit shit. I also don’t think you can ever appreciate how bloody long 40 weeks is (I think that’s closer to 10 months than 9, personally) until you’re expecting a baby. It was a strange time; in some ways I have never felt more attuned to my body or more aware of the amazing capabilities it has. Equally, though, it felt out of my control; I was a host. Hollie McNish has written a fantastic poem about how women’s bodies change and one particular line really resonated with me “I turned into factory, a life support and cooker.” You should check it out: Megatron (Transformers).

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The first scan! Nicknamed ‘Bloblet’.

 

There’s a lot of pressure on pregnant women about what they should eat, how they should behave, whether they should work and everything else you can imagine regarding your lifestyle. Advice is thrown at you from all angles. All of a sudden, everybody has an opinion on how you live your life and the way you treat your body. It really surprised me how strangers, acquaintances, friends and family members suddenly asked impertinent questions ‘Was it planned?’, made potentially rude comments about my body ‘you’re big, aren’t you?’ and how everybody felt like it was their place to tell me what I should be doing. I really think people should just back off a bit and let pregnant women (and their partners and health professionals) make their own decisions and live their lives without so much judgement or interference. I’m sure if this happened that women would be able to relax a bit and maybe even start to enjoy the journey without constantly feeling pressured and under scrutiny.

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I was about 20 weeks, here.

 

Anyway, like I said, I didn’t love pregnancy quite as much as I thought I would. The tiredness was something I never predicted, my skin became plagued with spots worse than I had as a teenager and the mood swings were irritating. I also randomly became a lot less sociable! I just hardly ever felt in the mood to see people or go places (which is entirely unlike me) and when I did go out I was much quieter and withdrawn than usual. Having said all that, I was lucky and didn’t have much sickness and I avoided heartburn and varicose veins. I did have some serious swollen ankles by the end though and all the usual backache and difficulties getting comfortable.

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As everyone delighted in telling me, I was pretty big. This was with two months still to go!!

It certainly wasn’t all bad; knowing that our child was growing inside me was the most amazing experience. Feeling kicks and movements is so special and the fact that my body is capable of creating and sustaining a life is, frankly, astonishing! It was so exciting and I do look back on it fondly.

My body now; well I’m a bit in awe of it to be honest. What an amazing thing, to have grown and birthed this life and now to be able to give him everything he needs just from me! I could do a whole post about labour (I don’t know if I ever will though) but let’s just say it’s fucking hard and leave it at that. Yes I am covered in stretch marks but I like to see it as earning my stripes! I try to be positive about it; my body’s achieved this incredible feat, so I should proudly bear the ‘battle scars’ that tell the story. Hollie McNish mentions this in the Megatron poem, too:

“But the saddest thing of all is that I’m told these marks are bad. But they’re the only few reminders of this process we all have…

The only thing our body is given…is a pot of sodding stretch mark cream to try to hide the signs.”

And I’m not going to worry about these stretch marks or the fact my body is a lot wobblier than it used to be. I brought a gorgeous, happy boy into this world and that is worth all the stretch marks that can fit on my skin.

You should all read Hollie McNish’s book, by the way, because it’s brilliant and a refreshingly honest take on parenthood – Nobody Told Me.

In summary, pregnancy is not as easy or as rose-tinted as I hoped and expected. It was, however, a wonderful feeling to know that I was carrying our child.

ethannevelyn

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40 thoughts on “Pregnancy: looking back

  1. Ahh you looked beautiful pregnant, I think all women do! Embrace your post-baby body, it really is something to be proud of that we created human being! I wish that all women would feel that way! #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post. You are so positive about your post-baby body and I absolutely LOVE that poem! I’ll admit it, I cried haha (..still an emotional cry bag 3 months on..). I’m going to check out that book too. : )

    Completely agree, once everyone finds out your pregnant, all of a sudden they have an opinion about what you should and shouldn’t be doing, and then even after you have the baby …breastfeeding and what not, a whole OTHER subject that I won’t delve into. I don’t understand it. It’s a Catch-22 because it’s such a personal subject yet everyone seems to think they should have an opinion about it. What is that? It’s like telling them how they should eat or go to the bathroom…

    Thanks for linking up with #StayClassy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you! I know it’s amazing, you will like her poem about breastfeeding ‘Embarrassed’ too. It’s crazy how much people want to get involved, and when they tell you you’re big or small for your stage in pregnancy – when else do people feel it’s ok to comment on your size?! Thanks for reading, Ellen

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your pride in your body…I completely agree with that. I don’t love pregnancy but MY little old body produced THAT. Wow. My birth post was pretty veiled but called Marathon Ready and in it I express (although less eloquently) similar sentiments about how pretty awesome women’s bodies are regardless of how much someone ‘glowed’ in pregnancy or how the birth went (hence being ready for a marathon…not that I am, please don’t make me!). Big fan of Hollie McNish. Last pregnancy I had to ban personal comments in the office about my body, it really bothered me…I am not public property because I am with child. Thanks for sharing your pride, fondness and memories of pregnancy #justanotherlinky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely comment! Exactly, you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say you are not public property just because you’re pregnant. Oh I want to check out your birth story now! I don’t think I am brave enough to post mine, maybe one day. I definitely didn’t glow during pregnancy haha. And yes Hollie is wonderful. Thanks for reading, Ellen

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It was the guessing the sex comments that annoyed me! I knew he was a he but didn’t tell many people this. All the strangers saying ooo your nice and neat it’ll be a girl! Smug me knew better!

    Lovely post and if you ever do your birth story I’m sure it’ll be a good read too!

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  5. Love how proud you are in this post. So you should be as growing a human being and bringing it into the world is pretty amazing and bloody hard work! Can completely understand with the comments you get as it annoyed me – my gripe was strangers trying to touch my bump. What is it with that???? Fab post #FabFridayPost

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  6. I really enjoyed this post and I think it’s lovely to look back and capture your pregnancy this way. I also feel quote proud of my stretch marks. They’re something that I’ll be able to carry forever as a reminder of the time that my tummy held my baby before my arms were able to. We’re all tigers and definitely earned our stripes!!
    Dawn xx

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  7. Your baby bump was ADORABLE! I really really enjoyed this post. Pregnancy truly isn’t what I thought it would be. Before I got pregnant, I thought the only thing that changed was your belly. Boy, was I wrong. Exhaustion, leaky boobs, and sore ribs are only the start. Pregnancy is so tough. But, like you said, every time I look at my son I am in awe of my body. And proud of my stretch marks! Lovely post ❤

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  8. A great post Ellen. Pregnancy is amazing and also really scary, everybody wants to give you advice, as well as Google! (Tip – don’t Google anything). I don’t think our bodies will ever be same, but we brought a little person into the world – which is amazing. Claire x #bigpinklink

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  9. I was showing my kids my bump pictures the other day and they were in hysterics at the size of me! I was MASSIVE though!! I looked like a normal person from the back but from the front it was as if I’d eaten a fit ball! 😀 It was lovely reading your trip down memory lane. Pregnancy is definitely not all fun! Thanks for linking again! #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Completely agree about your pregnant body suddenly becoming something that everyone feels authorised to comment on. In fact, from the moment you become pregnant it feels like you lose the old ‘you’ forever (body, sleep, a few brain cells…). I’m still trying to get a bit of ‘me’ back! Thanks for a great post x

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  11. This is a really beautiful post, you should be proud of what your body can do during pregnancy and who cares if you have stretchmarks? It’s nobody’s business but yours and your partners about your lifestyle whilst pregnant. Since becoming a blogger I’ve read a lot of pregnancy and birth stories, my gosh has opened my eyes to what it really must be like to be pregnant! I have so much respect for women being able to be so proud about their post partum bodies , I can’t wait to be pregnant one day, but I’m definitely bracing myself for the onslaught 😉 #BloggerClubUk

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  12. I agree, pregnancy is not fun times. I was sick for the first 3 – 4 months of each of my pregnancies. And by the end it felt like the baby would never arrive. I agree people should keep their observations to themselves. I don’t see what help it is to point out to a woman that she is big! I love the bloblet nickname! Thanks so much for joining us at #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Talk about pregnancy being long-it was definitely the longest 10 (and it was definitely 10) months of my life. I would totally do it again though! #Family Fun

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Agreed!! Parts of it were absolute shit ( breaking down in Boots on the pharmacist because I could not stop throwing up and she couldn’t give me anything!!) and others were completely magical like the kicks. However, despite the highs and lows, completely worth it! xxx
    #familyfun

    Liked by 1 person

  15. People can be quite rude really – as though pregnant women are show pieces that suddenly normal social rules and etiquette no longer apply to! I also had mixed feelings about the physical impact of pregnancy but I loved my pregnant body shape and quite miss it!! Now I just have to work up the enthusiasm to loose the excess tummy!

    Liked by 1 person

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