Early Symptoms

So as a women, I somehow feel I should naturally be equipped to deal with anything that this mad stomach dwelling beastie throws at me. Aided by One Born Every Minute, films like Knocked Up and of course a little help from Google – I feel I should be ready and armed with the most exaggerated stories of pregnancy then surely mine can’t be quite as bad.

Truth is there is no method in the madness.

Building a mini human is one amazing feat. True.

Everyone experiences differering symptoms. True.

People that say they enjoy pregnancy? Gotta be a bullshit right? Or at least for the first few months anyway!

The nausea & exhaustion:

Is indescribable. It’s like having your head in a continuous hangover cloud. I don’t even think 5 shots of tequila, 2 dirty pints, a few rounds of ring of fire and a strawpedo of wine consumed at uni would put me on a fair playing field as pregnancy nausea. I would take drinking a shot from the dirtiest pan in the kitchen at uni than taking a nausea battering and trust me that’s no easy feat considering the way my student life was conducted.

It’s like doing the stay awake at school as a kid and pretending to be functioning well to your peers and friends to look cool and tough but all you wanna do is curl up in a ball and wish you were back at home staring at your glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. If only life were that simple!

You gain irrational hatred for even the simplest of tasks – chopping Garlic. Simple task no question. It was like I had been asked to prepare a Michelin star meal. The mini tantrum going on in my mind was unreal. I had reverted back to a 3 year old self in protest, all over a bastard clove of Garlic. I’ll never look a garlic bulb in the same way again.

Exhaustion was probably one of my hardest early pregnancy challenges.

Peeing:

I mean, pre pregnancy I was always partial to a toilet trip. If nothing else but to squeeze every last drop out so I can enjoy a glass of gin and orange that bit longer without interruption! As a kid I always loved going to see other people’s thrones – quite an odd fascination considering. What is it about the lavvy that kids get so magnetised towards?

Pregnancy peeing has taken new extremes.

I have become accustomed to peeing in the wilderness – don’t worry I don’t work in an office and actively opt for the local park rhododendron for a pee.. my work is outdoors. Meaning, yet again, my genuine leather and beautifully crafted Dog Walking bumbag can now play host to toilet roll and savlon. Toilet roll for the obvious and savlon for when you get caught by the bastard sneaky nettles in an area you were so sure you had scaled and deemed as a threat free zone. Savlon helps soothe the pain on your little lady sandwich.

Sneezing and laughing. Never an issue and yet in pregnancy never so often have a peed myself during these activities.

I recently visited home for dad’s 60th. I was designated a simple task.. get the desserts out the packaging and place on the table. Now, I can’t take full blame for this, my auntie was also party to the downfall of the Citroen tart. Out of the box it came, straightforward. Next it had to come out of the tin foil, again a slightly intoxicated version of myself could still achieve this. But what did baby brain think was the wisest idea? To flip it upside down supporting the whole tart with only 5 finger tips and give it a shake. By the time it was served up there was only a biscuit base to feast your eyes on. The lemon counterpart had long departed and was dispensed on the side in a suspect looking pile. The laughter was uncontrollable, probably only fully appreciated in the moment, but we were in stitches. All well and good until pee seepage got the better of me and I whaled with both hilarity and shock that “Christ I’ve just wet myself!” Thankfully my family and I all find it oddly natural to discuss toilet habits.

Whilst I’m at it – constipation. Jesus. The one little segment you do manage to shit out after a full weeks gorging is like the golden nugget that you want to worship forever. There’s no quick cure in my opinion for this, drink until you’re flooded inside out and eat fruit like it was a kinder bueno. Want the toy? Each the chocolate at pace. Want a shit? Eat fruit at pace. The concept is simple.

Still after all this I don’t think I can quite commit to panty liners. They will forever and always remind me of rummaging through my grandmas cupboard when I first started my periods in search of anything that will help stem my embarrassing monthly woman de- shedding. Reaching out for help was not my forte!

Nipples:

Something I had never really paid attention to, except perhaps for them odd stray hairs that sometimes have the audacity to rear their ugly heads.

Pregnant nipples are a whole new ball game.

Not only do they expand beyond what is seemingly possible and resemble a Mc Donald’s McMuffin but they also develop lumps and bumps that even the blind would be able to interpret. I mean I know they’re going through some stuff at the moment but I’ve even thought about naming them and drafting a dot to dot puzzle they’re taking that much of a front Seat!

I also have one, namely the right, which has decided to shed a layer of skin. Christ I’m a human not a bloody reptile. What on Earth is all that about!? If it was a caterpillar into butterfly scenario perhaps I would endorse it, but I can’t see my nipple metamorphosing into anything more than just a milking udder. Shame really.

The worst, however, is the pain. The slightest touch or drying of the towel would trigger an instantaneous yelp of “shit me!”

Talking of towels, I went to Italy for my brother in laws wedding a couple of weekends ago. My beautifully wonderful mother in law asked if I was going to breast feed. I answered, if I am able then yes of course I would definitely breast feed. The simple response was advice I will never forget “well I would start roughing them up now. Take a rough towel to them after your shower to get them prepared”. Well I don’t think I’ve ever been so mortified and amused all at the same time. What a comment! Brilliant. I mean I’m all for preparation is the key to success but turning my nipples into pumice stones may well just tip me over the edge. That little theory is going to remain untested.

In the end, every woman experiences pregnancy differently. For me, I think I got away with it all pretty lightly. I still went about my day to day with minor hinderance but even I needed a little bit of support and this came in the form of my wonderful friends and mum. See you can read all sorts on the internet about every symptom under the sun and whilst it does help you understand the physical changes, it was having those that are closest to me for reassurance and emotional support that pulled me through the most. So my best advice is accept what is happening to you, listen to your wonderful friends and family and don’t be afraid to indulge in a siesta whenever and wherever you need one. Sleep is also a hell of a cure.

Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, so long as you remember your body will constantly be howling a big FUCK YOU at you! Pregnant woman with symptoms no matter how minor or jeffing awful, I salute you all.

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