Did you love being pregnant or did you hate it? The chances are, even if you had a reasonable pregnancy, there will have been a few weeks of struggle. I call these the ‘lost weeks.’ I am currently experiencing this stretch of time so it seems a good idea to document it first hand, for probably the last time (G wants a dog next).
The lost weeks begin…at the beginning. When, with the exception of your partner; midwife; and possibly a very close relative or friend; NO ONE KNOWS YOU ARE PREGNANT. This is not only an exciting time, but also a nerve wracking one and also a time of occasionally throwing up in your mouth. The most important rule though, is that you HAVE TO HIDE IT! As a result, you soon find yourself wishing these weeks away, to reach the holy grail of week 12.
With pregnancy number one, I was astonished at how exhausted I was after a day of sitting in an office. G would kindly cook dinner for me whilst I lay on the sofa, mumbling apologetically and quoting babycentre lines to justify why I had become such an incapable slob…”apparently baby is forming hands now, so that’s what I have been doing today whilst sorting someone’s stamp duty – creating a human beings’ hand…*pause for reaction.” Sound pretty impressive if you put it like that; and definitely justifies watching Gossip Girl whilst lying lengthways and eating hobnobs. The mornings were more difficult as there would be no one to bail me out of going into work. I would wake up and quickly stuff Jacob’s cream crackers in my mouth to relieve any sickness. This would work until I got on the Park & Ride, where I would have to put up with the odours of people around me. Generally, the population of the town where I live tend to wash in the morning, which is a wonderful blessing. However there was always one; and as a pregnant lady with a sense of smell like a bloodhound, I would soon pick it up. Cigarette smoke was bad, stale fags much worse. If someone had cooked chips the night before I could smell it on their coat. One day a disgusting specimen sat at the back of the bus and opened up a bag of cheese and onion crisps. At 8.15! Cheese and onion! For their breakfast?! I couldn’t cope. I buried my head into my scarf, gagging, my fingers wrapped around the plastic bag in my pocket just incase, and wished away the next few weeks once more.
Pregnancy number two involved about 8 weeks of being a zombie. I just don’t know how I got through. Throw an 18 month old child into the mix and you just can’t rest. Jacob’s crackers were replaced with 6am pooey nappies. I don’t think I can bring myself to go back there.
The Final Countdown…
The second stretch of lost weeks are located between week 37 and 42. At week 37 baby is known to be ‘full term’ and therefore in theory could be born any day, fully formed. I generally think the more we know, the better. However, I have now decided that the websites and books should not disclose this fact to women. It is teasing us. Week 37 also seems to coincide with an influx of hormones and a huge growth spurt of the child you are carrying: resulting in the additional extras of swollen legs and feet, an aching back, pelvic pain and a waddle.
Ok, thinks pregnant lady. I have had enough of new symptoms. If baby is fully formed now, baby can come out.
No, that’s a stupid thought. I mustn’t think like that. I must envisage being induced at 42 weeks, then anything that happens before, will be a bonus.
…That’s in five weeks time.
Ouch! What was that?!! I think I felt a twinge! A big twinge! Better lie down. Could this be the start…?
…Would be great if it was. I will just check my hospital bag and text my mum for advice.
…Mum is now texting every ten minutes saying that this is probably “it”, after all she had my brother at 37 weeks, he stuck his foot out of her, they thought it was his hand…my baby does seem to have quite long legs like my brother so the same thing is probably happening: yes, I will be in hospital by this evening.
Oh, I just needed the loo. It’s gone now.
Feeling really frustrated. I can’t believe how long it’s taking!!!
Text from mum – she has told her friends about my symptoms, they all agree it sounds like early labour so she shouldn’t go to her book club tonight.
I tell mum to calm down, and sulkily take myself to bed, doing dramatic pelvic floor exercises to help push the baby down, but end up almost wetting myself in the process.
The next morning I wake up and check my babycentre alert. 37 weeks plus 1 day. FFS.
The best way to deal with such testing times is distraction and forgetting about it. There is no alternative. You have to. If you are worried about waters breaking when you are out and about, remember that this usually happens in the movies…most women’s waters break well into labour, when you are hugging your birth ball or starting to scream at your partner.
The art of ‘keeping busy’ works wonders, until you get another twinge or symptom down there and you find yourself on the loop of the above dialogue once more.
I am 38 weeks plus 3 days today. Despite already experiencing these hopeful feelings with pregnancy one (where the little love eventually appeared at 41 weeks) it is happening again – worse perhaps, because apparently “second babies come earlier and quicker.” Oh, really. Do you know what? I don’t believe any of it now. Baby will come when she is ready and in the meantime I will try my very best to be polite and civil to anyone who enquires whether I have had it yet. I just have to update my status first so that they know not to ask…