Wednesday, 24 April 2013

five pregnancy myths debunked

I remember during my first pregnancy with Benjamin, back in 2008, how amazed I was at the sheer volume of people that would stop me and offer their well-meaning advice, tips and insider information. As soon as I announced I was expecting, everybody from the woman-next-door to the lady in WHSmiths had something of the utmost importance to tell me - it got to a point where I'd lost track of the amount of sheer guff I was hearing.

Apologies for the dreadful photo quality - courtesy of an incredibly old camera phone!
As I've now officially put my child-bearing days behind me (the Husband: "I'd rather take a hammer to my nuts than go through that again"), I feel it's sort of my duty to pass on some of these snippets of hilarity. So here they are, my top five pregnancy myths, in all their tosh-y glory.

1. The morning sickness always stops at the end of the first trimester.
Does it? For who? I guess this might be possible, but I've yet to meet a woman who got to week thirteen and suddenly sprang out of bed in the morning, large as life (no pun intended) and full of beans. During my first pregnancy, it eased a little at around the fifteenth week, but it certainly didn't stop - I had endless, grinding nausea for the entire time. Same again the second time around - I was only ever sick once, but the nausea grated on me like nails down a chalkboard. And as for the myth about ginger biscuits helping, well, I'd rather have eaten a turd, quite frankly.

2. You'll feel instantly closer to your boyfriend / partner / husband.
I suppose this could be true - but for me it certainly wasn't. I'm a terrible patient when I'm ill, and even worse when pregnant; hormonal, rage-y, irritable and tearful. The person that got me into this situation was the Husband, so in all my oestrogen-fuelled fury, it made sense to make his life as miserable as humanly possible. Particularly if he did any of the following:
1. Rustled packets or clanked cutlery.
2. Left splashes of water on the floor.
3. Left crumbs on the kitchen worktop.
4. Forgot anything.
5. Disagreed with me about anything.
6. Didn't think to buy me flowers.
7. Wasted money buying me flowers.
8. Bought the wrong chocolate, despite me telling him to choose for himself.
9. Stayed in.
10. Went out.
I also remember early in my first pregnancy, I found the smell of his face physically nauseating. And yet still he married me.
Leggings ahoy - pregnant with Daisy 2011-2012
3. Dressing during pregnancy is simple now there are so many great maternity clothing brands.
Two words: maternity jeans. Probably the most irritating things in the world. The under-bump ones, unless skin tight, feel like they're about to sink to your knees at any moment, while their over-bump friends make you feel like you're wearing a gigantic nappy. Seriously, how is it possible that anyone could think a woman is going to want to wear jeans with a huge piece of lycra attached, designed to reach their armpits?
I'd like to add a side-note to any clothing designers that might be reading - pregnancy does not necessarily equal huge knockers. Yes, lovely clothing company, I would have loved to have bought your comfortable-yet-stylish looking maternity dress, but unfortunately my shortcomings in the boob department mean that the top half is as limp as a wind sock on a calm day. Trust me, Isabella Oliver, nobody is more disappointed than me.
My tip? Buy leggings. Leggings with jersey dresses, leggings with tunics, leggings with your other half's tshirts. Leggings, leggings, leggings. Those, and pyjamas.

4. Pregnancy gets easier each time you go through it.
Piffle. During my second pregnancy, I was anaemic, suffered from nausea for the entire time, had sciatica and SPD, looked after a three-year-old, and worked up until week thirty-three. The first time around, I spent a lot of time whining and taking naps. Go figure.

5. You'll be desperate to keep the house clean towards your due date.
No you won't. You'll be desperate for someone else to come and clean it for you. Presumably because you'll be too busy sitting in your leggings, eating biscuits and berating your partner. Ahem.
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18 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Haha, I'm hoping I haven't scared off anyone thinking of having babies!

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  2. Great post although I have to say my experience wasnt all bad. In case there are any women reading this who are thinking of getting pregnant or just become preggers, here's my scorecard (for what it's worth):

    Pregnancy 1 (aged 30):
    3 months of pretty bad nausea but no sickness. After 3 months it did miraculously stop and I genuinely felt great for the rest of the time.

    Pregnancy 2 (aged 33)
    Nausea not as strong but low-level throughout whole pregnancy. Felt pretty good for 2nd trimester. Bit of sciatica at the end.

    Pregnancy 3 (aged 36)
    Least great pregnancy. Felt tired, nauseous and achey most of the time but put that down to my age and other 2 kids.

    Pregnancy has its ups and downs. Maybe I was lucky. When it was good I honestly loved it. When it was bad I hated it. Bit like life really xxxx

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    1. Isn't it funny how everyone experiences it differently? It really is true as well - different baby, different pregnancy! I didn't mean to put anyone off - but I really feel like there's a certain pressure on women to feel like they have to love being pregnant, even if they're miserable and want to spend nine months lying on the sofa, weeping. It's fine to not enjoy being pregnant - it's the baby you're after, not the stretchmarks and puking! xx

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  3. Yep, that's about right! Mind were some time ago now but you're spot on x

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    1. I still haven't got back to normal after being anaemic for so long. Never again. Ever! x

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  4. Ha ha, this is funny cos it's true! I never really enjoyed being pregnant - what's so great about not being able to bend over and put on your own knickers? And waking up every time you need to roll over in bed = annoying!! I thought I was the only one who found the smell of their husband nauseating and I had the same 'windsock' issues with maternity clothes too.

    Great post - keep em coming, you've made my week :-)

    Michelle x

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    1. Aaahhh, yes I had forgotten that - because of my sciatica, I got completely stuck in bed one night, and the Husband had to manoeuvre me off so I could get up and go to the loo! Glad you liked the post - I've got loads like this just waiting to make an appearance! x

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  5. haha I found Tom's face smelt SO strong and horrible! How bizarre, glad it wasn't just me x

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    1. It wasn't until I wrote this post that I discovered other women had felt the same way, ha! x

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  6. Nothing like being pregnant to make you feel like public property. I never had any nausea at all or hormonal snappiness (although I did cry at the X Factor because they were all trying so hard but they couldn't all go through) and I loved maternity jeans but thanks to SPD and a displaced pelvis I still can't put on my own tights three years later, which is joyous.

    I hear you on the pressure to 'glow' and be super-grateful for the unwanted, often out of date or downright dangerous, 'advice' including being told that "a sailor will pay you for the afterbirth so make sure a midwife doesn't steal it". Er maybe in the 1700s, yes? What the what?

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    Replies
    1. Did somebody actually say that to you?! I swear, I have never heard that - who in their right mind would suggest such thing?!

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  7. The most annoying one - when I was pregnant second time round, with twins, 'You'll soon be blooming.' Blooming? Blooming fed up with looking like a barrage balloon on legs, with not being able to get in or out of the bath, car, chair or narrow doors. Blooming sick of being knackered dragging what looked like, and weighed the same as, a small family sized saloon-car tucked under my boobs - just blooming sick for the whole eight months of the duration of the pregnancy. My hair looked like an electrocuted grizzly bear, fingers like pork sausages and I was about as sociable as a rattlesnake - so no, I never actually bloomed! (But I did have 2 bonny, bouncing boys - making a trio with their (slightly) older brother and despite what I've said, it didn't put me off, cos I went on to have a fourth - a wee girl! Glutton for punishment me. Hate being pregnant - love the end result)

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    Replies
    1. Aahhh yes - the 'blooming' phase. It never happened to me either! (But like you, I was more than happy with the outcome ;-) )

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