I had a bit of meltdown after posting my last post on this blog. I didn’t think what I was writing was a) any good and b) being ready by anyone. Some lovely people on social media told me to sort it out and get on with it and they really liked to read my stuff and I would like to say to anyone reading this now, if you took time to say nice things then thank you so much as it meant so much more than you realise. Perhaps I could equate my feelings to being very heavily pregnant (not 32 weeks pregnant yet) at the time? It seems easy to blame feelings of lowness and doubt to my condition. However I have always been quite precious about the work I create and how it is viewed and the post being about maternity leave guilt was a real airing of feelings that I am not normally comfortable with. However it did focus me in a big way to make sure that I remain to be a blogger that writes well and talks about funny or challenging ideas and not hoof the same old shit at you. Hopefully that will continue…
It’s been a few weeks since then and I feel much better after a bit of break and a focus on my day job. I’ve also been trying to look after myself and sleep more, eat better etc. I’ve spared you dear reader from the typical weekly blog breakdown of pregnancy progress that my peers like to do. I don’t even take weekly bump pictures. I am lucky that I love photography and the camera is always snapping in our household so by the time I compile Baby #2’s “First Year” baby book (after the customary 2/3 years it seems to take) there’ll be a few pics of me looking ginormous to shove in it. However I would like to give you a summary of what it is like to be 32 weeks pregnant so those that don’t know know what to expect one day or at least understand why their wife, girlfriend, partner, friend, colleague isn’t the normally joyous soul to be around…(yeah yeah and let me caveat this with the fact that this is MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE…not all pregnancies are the same blah yada blah)…
Yes I am really big at 32 weeks. Much bigger than I was expecting. It’s slowed me down like you wouldn’t believe. Last pregnancy I gained MORE WEIGHT but was SMALLER. How can that be? I’ve heard it all by now, that the second one “pops” out much more. I wasn’t expecting this size until around a month to go if I’m honest. If you tell me how big I look then you are not making a statement that is original so consider that in our idle chit-chat conversations or you may just get a withering stare OK? (…and yes that includes statements like “sure it’s not twins?” as I won’t be taking your medical guidance over my healthcare professional’s as you work behind the counter at the Post Office and haven’t been to medical school. No offense).
Toddlers Make Pregnancy Hard Work
So I imagined that having a toddler around during the pregnancy would be hard but I naively thought that I could start to train her to fetch the TV remote and get mummy a drink from the fridge to help take the pressure off a bit. WRONG. So far she’s only learnt how to turn the amp on that powers the sound to the TV and put her own rubbish in the bin after repeatedly shouting at her to do it for 20 minutes. She’s 2.5 and will still have a full on tantrum face-first on the floor of the bus as we are trying to get off the bus because she doesn’t want to get off the bus. There I am carrying a MASSIVE BUMP (see above) with a writhing toddler under my arm and various coats and bags off the bus to the pitying looks of the other passengers who didn’t give up their seat but think it’s Ok to have a free show. I walk, lift and generally run around X10 more than I did in my first pregnancy at this stage and I have to remind myself why I am so tired all of the time.
However in the evenings when we are cuddling up doing bedtime stories and she starts talking to the bump and reading to it, then giving it a kiss, it makes all the stuff that happened in the day disappear like magic.
You Forget You’re Heavily Pregnant
I forget I’m in the condition I am in. I couldn’t reach up high enough at work last week to stick a post-it note on the walk and so used a small toy chair I had brought in (long story…) and managed to put my foot through it when I used it as a step because of the weight (see above again). I totally expected to be able to go on a night out with some friends until I realised that I can’t stand for longer than 20 minutes now without a pain appearing in my hip. I did some twerking in the front room at home during a Friday night Club Living Room dance off that we had before toddlers bedtime to cheer her up and had to go and have a warm bath afterward to ease the pain.
The most frustrating part is that I can’t rely on coffee anymore when I am tired. I got diagnosed with anaemia a few months ago and haven’t been able to bring my iron levels up successfully enough to guarantee my birth choices so have decided to give up caffeine as a last-ditch attempt to absorb iron better. Now, only NOW am I having to remember very clearly that I am heavily pregnant and need to start acting like it. This means watching everything that I eat to ensure no last-minute weight-gain, getting as much iron as possible, no caffeine, accepting lifts to work (from my husband who is a BLOODY GOOD EGG), going to bed at early times and generally putting my feet up.
During my first pregnancy I didn’t really acknowledge big parts of the pregnancy until a few months to go as was so busy with work and also both me and my husband had to get our heads into a space where we weren’t the young nightclubbing souls of the old days and prepare for long nights and nappy changes. We had decided that going to an NCT class would help get us in the right frame of mind and it really did help. This time I know what to do but I just don’t feel the need to start preparing yet. I had loads of time to go shopping to buy tiny baby clothes and then wash then twice and fold them carefully and put them away. I had loads of time to prepare and pack my hospital bag, agonising over long checklists – this time reckon I could do it in an hour. So now I am getting to the point where the midwife is asking “how do you want to give birth to this baby” it’s all starting to get a bit real, especially when knowing I might not have long to make that my own decision with my iron levels being low. There’s not much time left. I really had better get those baby clothes down from the loft and start having a sort soon!
Overall it’s been a much more tiring pregnancy than the last but I’ve had more to do and needed to be more active than ever so it’s amazing to see me pulling an energy reserve from somewhere I didn’t know I had. This is smugly making me think that when new baby comes along I will be able to handle the sleepless nights but I have got to stop kidding myself on that front. Right now I wake twice in the night for a wee due to my bladder being squished this way and that. I’m up for 5 minutes and then back to sleep again. I’m going to miss that in 8+ weeks times (or before!) I’ve got a few more weeks to pretend it’s not all happening and then will be taking this whole birth thing VERY seriously. Wish me luck!