Five things people tell you about pregnancy that you don’t believe
1. That you will eat for two. This is a no-brainer. Everyone knows ‘eating for two’ is a fast-track to bidding-final-forever-farewell to your old pant size. Particularly since the ‘for two’ part is never made up of kale and carrots but malteasers and magnums. So until you actually get there, you think now way will I be so stupid. Yet, somewhere along the line (month six? seven?) I remember a ‘fuck it’ fugue coming over me as I reached for the ice cream – my body had already betrayed me so thoroughly in this expansive colonisation that it felt distinctly immaterial what I put into the occupied territory. Of course, now I’m living in my ‘active wear,’ so more fool me I suppose.
2. That there is a point where you can no longer see your feet and this point will coincide with an inability to put your own shoes on (easily). This seemed utterly absurd to me pre-pregnancy – it seemed simply impossible, even laughable, to be that rotund. But there I was in mid-December, rolling from side to side on the edge of the bed trying to tie my own laces around the inconvenience of a firm bowling ball protruding from my midsection. As none of your shoes will properly fit by this point (all of you, and I do mean all, swells like an overripe fruit) my hot tip would be to relocate to somewhere where shoes are not required. A sandy island would do nicely.
3. That you’ll be a horror to be around. I can be an unpleasant person. Generally I am aware of being unpleasant and, if I continue to be so, it becomes a deliberate act of malice (and, depending on the relationship, self-sabotage). During pregnancy I was a train-wreck of emotions and hormones, dialling from breathless sobbing to high-pitched yelling in a matter of minutes. My poor partner bore the brunt of it with my even once threatening to change the locks (I do have a predisposition to become wrapped in my own melodrama that extra hormones did not help) but I spread the irrationality, treating my sister to a sobbing breakdown in the middle of the countryside among other memorable (but best forgotten) episodes.
4. That when it (labour) happens you really wont care about anything else in the world. I think fondly of Shanae and her insistence on not throwing up and wonder how that went for her in the end. Personally I threw up twice. I remember reading in Kaz Cooke’s ‘Up The Duff’ (off putting name but least hurl-inducing pregnancy book I found) a line about how ‘you’ll cry and vomit and shit yourself and absolutely not care’ and I can distinctly remember how my lip curled in disgust. She was however totally right.
5. That pregnancy is the easy bit.