10 things you only notice when you're pregnant

10 things you only notice when you're pregnant

Surely nothing shocks the smartest girls about town? You'd be surprised…

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We all know about the extreme tiredness and the nausea that happens when you find yourself pregnant but Angela Buttolph reveals all the other wonderful things you have to deal with that no-one ever talks about...

1. Maternity bras are the ugliest, most depressing things ever created...

I'm lucky enough not to have had any pregnancy blues, but I did hit rock bottom the first time I laid eyes on a maternity bra. Seriously? You have to wear these? What is the point of finally having major boobs if they have to be put in something that looks like it was designed for the servants in Downton Abbey? And don't get me started on the 'silhouette' – smooshed monoboob anyone? And this at a time when wrap dresses are about to become a major wardrobe staple…

2. Three months is an unbelievably long time…

Pregnancy tests are so hi-tech now that you basically know you're pregnant before you've even pulled your knickers back up. Brilliant! Now pretty much everything in your life needs some kind of tweaking, from your diet to your living arrangements. This is major news. And yet nobody can know. For three months! I am an averagely impatient woman, but I found this period of time agonisingly slow paced. It got to the point where, once we could tell people, I was sort of over it, it was such old news.

3. Your life will never be the same again…

You know this because everybody you meet during the next nine months is going to say this to you. Even people without kids. The assumption here is that your life is so amazing that this will be a problem. As if you haven't already considered that a baby is like throwing a hand grenade into your current lifestyle of choice. The only way to respond to this is by looking alarmed and saying 'But what do you meeean?'. It's childish, but fun.

4. You actually can function without caffeine…

Like, why would you ever need to know this under normal circumstances? Probably the only time you have had to survive without coffee is a limited and temporary blip in your otherwise smooth-running life. Yet beyond the brain-tumour withdrawal headaches, you come out the other side almost entirely unaffected. You can even produce (quite good) work in a decaffeinated state. Like many things in pregnancy (though not maternity bras), it's another great lesson in 'And Yet Somehow Life Goes On'.

5. There are no loos, anywhere…

Ask an average woman what percentage of stores and cafés have loos, and she will probably say about 70. Ask a pregnant woman and she will shriek 'none of them'. Gone are the luxurious days of 'I went before I came out'. Now you must develop a mental GPS routing system that takes you via strategically sourced 'rest stops' at 45-minute intervals. Department stores have never seemed so appealing.

6. You care much less about urinary incontinence than you'd think…

All it takes to fight the threat of runaway pee-pee for the rest of your life is five minutes of Kegel pelvic floor  exercises a day. You could be doing them right now and nobody would even know. And yet do you get round to them? On a daily basis? Or indeed, ever? You do not.

7. Sticking your belly out is about as comfortable as sucking it in…

If, like me, you've rocked up at a wedding four months gone, knowing you just look like you've had pasta for lunch, you too may choose to spend the day thrusting your tummy out to prove you're actually expecting. Having never needed to push my stomach out – rather than suck it in – for photos before, I was genuinely surprised how equally hard work this is.

8. There is such a thing as a babymoon

The 'babymoon' is a final holiday for the two of you before your baby arrives. I'd never heard of this and I'm someone who would happily mark Kwanzaa if it meant special food, gifts or some kind of holiday. But this wasn't even on my radar. 'Push' presents, yes, babymoons, no. The husband and I now endlessly discuss the options for this holiday the way prisoners on Death Row probably talk about their last meal – as if there will never be anything after this, ever, ever again.

9. You'll worry! For the whole nine months…

Let's face it, until you're holding your healthy baby, you are basically holding your breath with anxiety. In my head, thanks mostly to advertising, I thought the whole pregnancy period would be spent smiling serenely and stroking my stomach. Apparently not. There is a lot of panicking: are those cramps OK, is that spotting OK, was that sandwich OK? Hubby's favourite panic phone call so far was a post-hairdresser one, with me worrying that the heat lamp that had been applied to my roots, might have boiled my baby (it hadn't). By the way, in case you hadn't worked it out already: all the other pregnant women are freaking out too.

10. Your belly button doesn't suddenly pop out one day like a jack-in-the-box…

Oh. Was it just me that thought that?

 

Written by Angela Buttolph.

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