Pregnancy -- a time of joy, of blooming.
A time to be waited on hand and foot, to become serene and at one with nature and to positively glow from the inside out in a way to show the rest of the world, without words, that yes you are expecting.
The Joys of pregnancy!
Ahhh, how lovely, how joyful.
How, well, a bit untrue really in my case.
I was looking forward so much to being pregnant, to developing a nice neat bump, a rosy pink flush and always getting the last seat anywhere.
There are some things I didn't quite bargain for though -- the weird things NO-ONE tells you about.
Did they forget about these the moment the baby arrived?
Were they trying their best to not put me off getting pregnant?
Or worse still, am I the only one to have experienced these things?
Luckily, Dr Google confirmed to me that I'm not alone but I thought I'd share some of these odd changes of pregnancy with you too -- if at the very least to make you thankful that you didn't get them.
1. Peach Fuzz
That's what they call it.
It's a reaction of the pregnancy hormones and I was warned I might get a few light hairs on my baby bump.
A few hairs? Fine. Fur? NO. A light brown furry tummy. Peach Fuzz? More like Bear Hair. My (kind but lying) husband told me it was in my imagination and he couldn't see it which made me feel a bit better until after the baby when it thankfully disappeared.
2. Thick, glossy hair
Again, the pregnancy hormones. It seems their main mission is to turn you into a furry beast and this did not stop at my head hair, which was lovely during pregnancy by the way. Another hairy growth area was my eyebrows. My already naturally bushy eyebrows.
Thanks pregnancy hormones, because I want to spend time Every Single Day plucking half my face off.
3. The Mask of Pregnancy
"What is this?" you ask.
Is it The Pregnancy Glow? The blooming? The rosy cheeks?
It is not.
It is one or more patches of darkening skin on your face. For no reason. Because every paranoid preggo is desperate for another reason to feel under-confident and ugly. And why not add hormonal acne into the mix too? Because despite having spent 30-odd years trying to minimise it, apparently I want more.
Particularly swelling of the feet. I expected some water retention, I was warned by my doctor. I was not expecting to grow a half foot size and for that to not reduce again after the birth. If I wasn't already paranoid about my huge UK size 7 feet, Mother Nature thought it would be hilarious to add another half size to it. I point blank refuse to buy bigger shoes.
Am I destined for a life in stretchy slippers? Perhaps I wouldn't mind that actually.
5. Big Boobs
Yes yes, this might suit a lot of ladies. But when your own "ladies" are already big and bothersome and the pregnancy lower back pain is killing you, it's the last thing you want.
They did not go down after the birth or after breastfeeding. By the time I'm 9 months with the new one I'm going to resemble the late Lolo Ferrari.
6. Bump Touchers
Now I was somewhat warned about this but I still wasn't quite prepared.
I don't mind my female friends and family touching my bump at all -- it's affectionate and lovely. However, I do not want males who I barely know to reach over and not only touch my bump, but to give it a shake. WTH?!
This happened only once and trust me, the second grabber would have ended up with two broken arms but why WHY did he feel the need to not only invade my personal space but to then shake it about as well?
Men, be warned: 1. Ask before you reach, 2. Limit touching to a gentle pat followed by at least two compliments, 3. Just don't risk it and keep your mitts off any woman's bump that isn't half yours.
Now, putting the annoyances of above to one side, I had a quite enjoyable pregnancy over all.
The bigger my (fairly neat) bump got, the more my confidence grew and this was possibly down to the lovely compliments I got from friends, family and strangers.
The acne went away to reveal lovely clean and glowing, albeit hairier, skin. I enjoyed always getting a seat on the bus, having thick and glossy hair, strong nails and within reason, to eating a (little) lot more than I normally would have done.
Every day and certainly after my baby made her appearance, all these things faded into the background and upon becoming a mother, I realised that I'd happily grow a 10 inch beard if it meant I could keep her forever. So whilst these weird and wonderful things are not forgotten, they are all well worth it and have clearly not put me off having another.
Now, where did I put those tweezers?