I remember the heart stopping excitement of finding out that I was pregnant like yesterday. The total anguish every month when I found out that I wasn’t. The flutter in my tummy every time I pee’d on one of those (very expensive) little sticks. The leaving it on the side and waiting anxiously for one whole minute, that felt like hours whilst it decided to reveal it’s little blue line.
Then one day, stomach in my mouth, the blue line was in the place I’d been longing to see.
My sister-in-law, mother of 4 sent me a text:
I’m so jealous of your first pregnancy. Enjoy it. It’s the only one when you get to pamper yourself.
She was so right. But amidst the continuous feeling of nausea, the getting on with life, I forgot her words and just adapted to being pregnant and to hulking my massive bump up and down the stairs.
Years later, I recalled her words as I sat heavily pregnant for the second time. I sat at the top of a flight of stairs, waiting patiently for my toddler to decide that he was ready to get in the car.
It was easier to wait. I didn’t have the energy to “encourage”. During my second pregnancy pampering meant having enough time in the toilet by myself without little hands “helping” me.
I know that pregnancy is no walk in the park. It’s no meander through dappled trees whilst sniffling the roses. Well, not always. It is physically exhausting and frustratingly you can’t sleep well.
Much like parenting.
With all 3 of my pregnancies, I was guilty of what many women are…Wishing to get the baby out. Wishing to stop being pregnant and to start getting on with the new phase of their life and meeting the new member of the family.
And I get it. I really do.
The ginormous bump. The not being able to sleep. The swollen ankles.
And I had it easy. None of my pregnancies were complicated (other than by the fact that as I love a bargain, my last pregnancy was “two for the price of one”.)
For my last pregnancy, I was particularly guilty of wishing to get the babies out. As you can image with twins, I was the size of a whale.
One day on the beach, a group of girls asked me if I was expecting a boy or a girl. A polite way of asking if it was twins. When I told them it was one of each, a cheer went up from the group behind them. They had obviously been discussing exactly how large I was and that you could clearly fit two babies in my mammoth girth.
Thanks guys. You sure know how to make a gal feel good about herself.
At 36 weeks my obstetrician told us that it was safe to “have relations” again after weeks of being forbidden due to the risk of premature labour.
We had a green light.
She had given us the key to “get the babies out”. Did it work? Sure did. I awoke in a puddle of water thinking I’d wet myself.
The babies arrived, a little early, not much by rights, but Sebastian still had problems breathing and had to go on a CPAP machine.
How guilty did I feel that I’d been in such a rush to get them out.
I have learnt my lesson now.
I have learnt, but it’s a little late for me.
When I was younger, my mother used to say to me.
Don’t wish your life away.
Wise words indeed.
If you are pregnant now and thinking about all those things that you can do to move things along…from having sex to castor oil, I would say to you.
Don’t wish your pregnancy away.
Now I am sitting on the other side. I have an amazing family. I love my family and I love our family life.
But that pregnancy time has gone forever.
I won’t ever be pregnant again. I won’t ever breastfeed again. I won’t ever have another tiny baby latched on to my consciousness.
As I get older, I have learnt to relish every moment, every phase of parenting. And although I enjoyed pregnancy, I didn’t exactly relish it.
I can’t have my time again but I can tell you, from one mother to another mother-to-be, that your life changes entirely when you have kids. It goes into fast forward and time just starts to fly past. Life cranks up a gear and suddenly your baby is a toddler, then 5, then 8. Before you know it, they’ll be packing their bags and leaving home.
For you pregnancy may not be a stroll in the woods, it may be a hike up a sheer mountain face, but you know what? The roses and bluebells are still there, you just have to bend down to notice them.
Just remember to bend at the knees and keep your back straight, otherwise you’ll never get up again.
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