Am I really pregnant? Has the past 3 months free of Aunt flo just been a coincidence and did those two pee sticks actually tell me the truth? These are the questions I was asking myself for the best part of 12 weeks pregnant with our now 19 week little onion (please don’t make me cry like they do once your here little one – I’ve already signed up to something I got sold at my front door and lost the plot over an omelette due to the raging emotions you’ve caused me already).
Most women spend the best part of 12 weeks trying to hide their pregnancies through all sorts of excuses and suddenly the mate you rely on to head out for bottomless brunch is on antibiotics fighting glandular fever that conveniently lasts for months. People don’t talk about it because its a pretty scary time, ultimately meaning that there’s elements of those weeks whereby you are really unsure of what should and/or shouldn’t be happening.
Of course, everyones experience of being in the pudding club is very different, I’m one of the lucky ones that can say I don’t know what it’s like to experience morning sickness or nausea, however, I do think that all first time mum’s have at least one thing in common; the ability to actually believe you are pregnant. I am aware this sounds slightly exaggerated but I mentioned this to my sonographer at our 12 week scan, who laughed and reassured me that everyone expects her to find nothing but a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome and in fact the tissues at your bedside is for when reality hits that a little wriggling, thumb sucking and judo-flipping human is in fact working on pushing your intestines as high up into your chest as possible and you can relax that you haven’t been going crazy over the excess gas you’ve been producing.
The difference in couples’ faces from the waiting room before and after you’ve had your scans is almost hilarious. Prior to the scan, your surrounded by a (hectic) room full of all stage bellies and soon begin scouting out the ones with hardly any bump to compare yourself with; do they look as anxious as I feel? I’m pretty sure she’s fake laughing with her boyfriend to make it look like she’s super chilled but she’s slowly feeling last nights dinner come up into her gullet? Why is nobody else drinking a litre of water to try and help prepare them to find anything that might be hidden in that stomach? It’s official, I’ve gone crazy. Versus after the scan: the waiting room is almost empty, the volunteers come around offering you the ‘fruit of life’ which comes as free water and apples whilst you wait to make your next appointment and you suddenly catch the gaze of those couples you spotted beforehand – gazing into each others eyes with the biggest cheesy grin, before looking down at a black and white print out of the first thing that is officially split 50/50. I’d like to say we were the same, however my husband was too busy making trips to and from the fruit trolley and I was too busy making sure nobody could see the multiple scan print outs in my bag I had cheekily been back-handed because ya’ know staff benefits n’all that (We went out for lunch soon after so the coo-ing and gazing into each others eyes could commence over a vir-gin cocktail).
So that’s number 1 – the fact it is actually very normal to doubt any hard evidence you have that you are pregnant until you can see it with your very own eyes.
Sometimes we simply forget to tell the world how bloody scary it is in the stage of ‘not knowing’ although I’d be lying if I said I was in a state of anxiety for the first 12 weeks because I really wasn’t. This was something Jason and I had talked about for years and were prepared for should it happen as soon as it did so the majority of time (providing you are nausea free) is in fact roses and butterflies imagining the development of a baby and how you can’t wait to start preparing this and that.. but the days whereby hormones are not on your side and fear does kick in, it’s nice to understand that your not alone.
Personally, another mute subject which must be a very common question among mums to be is how big should I actually be by now? You kind of long for something to compare yourself too in order to feel like everything is brewing in the right way. Your app will tell you how big the baby is in comparison to a fruit or bizarre object, but c’mon, who buys fruit thats all the same size? The truth really is here, all baby’s grow and deliver at completely different weights or sizes and women show pregnancy in hundreds of different ways. It’s just that this one will take you a few weeks to accept and during those first 12 weeks your very much in the dark about whether you’ll be that active mum with literally a football attached to your abdomen or the one barely able to walk because of excess swelling over the whole body and theres nothing you can do about it. Either way we can’t deny it’s beauty and we feel so so lucky to be heading on this adventure!!