Being pregnant is an exciting time, absolutely it’s not something to be taken for granted. But at the same time, I think almost everyone (from those I’ve spoken to in real life and online) definitely get to a point where they’re very ready to NOT be pregnant anymore. Personally, I’m pretty much in that place now. With post pregnancy perks on my mind.
Right now, I feel massive. Getting comfortable is basically impossible no matter how I stand/sit/lay down. I have relentless heartburn, especially at night. I’m peeing like an old lady with a bladder problem, which means sleeping through the night is just not happening thanks to either a dose of pregnancy insomnia (hello awake from 2-5am most nights) OR multiple loo-trips. My back aches, I’m getting shooting pains in places I could really do without them. Even some of my maternity clothes are feeling a tad snug. Putting shoes on now requires a good 10minute window in my schedule and much huffing and puffing. Oh and the comments of ‘you must be about to pop’ or ‘wow look at the size of your bump’. Yeah, they’re a joy too.
I know, I know… I’m whinging. Honestly though, I am SO excited (with a healthy does of scared) for baby to arrive. I am also so happy and grateful for a pregnancy that has (as-yet) been pretty free of complications or issues so I really really know I shouldn’t want to complain. But equally, the truth is that this last bit is HARD. To sit here and say everything felt wonderful, I’m ‘glowing’ and ready to go through with the birth part would be fibbing.
Right now, I’m keen to get to the birth part as I very much want to meet the baby and I’m ready to sort of ‘have my own body back’. If that’s not too selfish a thing to admit?! Of course I’m pretty chuffed with what my body has managed to achieve over the last few months. Growing a small human – no matter how ‘born to do this’ the female form is – is no mean feat. Seeing my body change and adapt to it all has been amazing. But right now, with all the little niggles and aches and pains. I’m ready to move to the next stage.
But to try and turn these niggles and late-pregnancy grumbles into a positive. I wanted to have a think about all the great stuff ahead and all the things I’m looking forward to after baby arrives. No, not all baby-specific, but also things that I have massively missed whilst being pregnant. Like Goats Cheese.
Being able to sleep on my front. Or back. Or however I want.
Ok, so the sleep itself might be limited to fairly short bursts. BUT I am very much looking forward to being able to do so in whatever position I feel like. I’m normally a front sleeper, but since fairly early on in the second trimester I had to rule that one out so now I’m excited to be sans-bump and be able to sleep however I feel comfortable.
Being comfortable again
Right now, I feel that bump is well and truly at capacity. I can’t imagine how much more my skin can really stretch?! Which basically results in feeling pretty darn uncomfortable, most of the time. As I type baby is having a little wiggle around (which is my nicer way of saying they’re kicking my lungs inside my ribs… thanks baby). Of course every time baby does wiggle around it’s lovely, surreal and reassuring. But also, it can be bloomin’ uncomfortable. Combined with the simple fact the bump is a little like carrying a small bowling ball around on my front, I am struggling to find any position that is actually comfortable for any significant amount of time. Sitting on a sofa is awkward, laying down on my is comfortable for short periods (and only with a cocktail of pillows for support). Standing hurts my back. Sitting at my desk chair means perching on the edge because my legs/hips ache if I sit far back. Long story short. Getting comfortable is not happening and I look forward to being comfortable in future with baby in arms rather than in belly!
Like almost everything in pregnancy, there are lists and lists of things you must not touch or do. With a lot of conflicting information available online. For example, I know some people are under impression ALL seafood must be avoided where others understand any raw/undercooked seafood is off limits and others think most is fine but shellfish is off limits. It’s a confusing world and I think you could easily drive yourself nuts by googling each and every ingredient before you consider eating it.
Personally – and I do stress this is just my own personal approach – I was very restricted with myself in the first 12 weeks. But then eased off a little and just took more of a common sense approach overall. I am still avoiding some of the things that are clearer ‘no-no’s like sushi or certain cheeses, deli meats and alcohol.
Which are some of the things I’m looking forward to enjoying. Number one – goats cheese (FYI the advice on this specific cheese is really mixed saying some are fine and others not, so for me to avoid confusion it’s just one I’m passed on for the duration). Our local Italian does an amazing goats cheese and courgette pizza and I honestly drool just thinking about ordering it with a nice cold glass of wine on the side in a few weeks time. Also, bring on the rare steak, pate, unpasteurised cheese and SUSHI!
In all honesty, have I missed alcohol? No, not really. Over the entire duration of my pregnancy there have been two occasions where I’ve gone to have a small glass of wine (mostly fizz actually) to toast a celebration or similar. Both times I’ve gotten no further than a sip because for some reason it just doesn’t taste as good and I figured there’s absolutely zero point drinking any at all if it’s not enjoyable. So I’ve avoided it and not missed it (the fact it didn’t taste nice has taken edge off missing it at all – so thanks for that pregnancy messed up taste buds).
I am however, hopeful my tastebuds will return to normal and I will soon be able to enjoy a cool glass of fizz or a lovely glass of my favourite Riesling. I’ve never really been a massive drinker at all, but the idea of being able to enjoy a glass again is very appealing right now. I would also very much like a frozen margarita at some point asap.
Ok, so I’m unlikely to slip right back into my usual jeans (still sort of hoping I might regardless of how realistic that is…) but I am excited to be able to buy normal shaped clothes again. Not having to think ‘is it long enough to cover bump’ or ‘is it elasticated’. Not that I’ll be forgoing all elasticated waistbands as I have always been a fan of comfort. But I do look forward to being able to expand my wardrobe beyond pregnancy leggings and massive jumpers again. I’ve already treated myself to a couple of post-pregnancy items that I look forward to wearing. I can’t wait to have a waist again, even if it’s a tad wider or softer than it was before….!
Feeling like ‘me’ again
This is a tricky one to describe as I have no idea how having a baby is going to change how I feel as a person. It’s a new experience and impossible to predict how I’ll personally feel afterwards. But there’s a part of me that just doesn’t feel ‘like me’ through pregnancy. From the first weeks where I felt sick/tired etc but there are no outward signs of being pregnant. To now where I feel like I’m 90% bump, 10% adult human. I am in all honesty looking forward to being me again, with baby and in my new role as a mum. But I’ll still be Jen too. Sure, this might be totally different to before – but I like to think that I’ll find a nice happy medium between the mum-Jen cross over.
Above all else, I’m looking forward to meeting the baby and getting to know them. I am SO excited to see what they look like. Do they take after me or Ollie? What features will they inherit from each of us and as they grow what personality traits will they pick up from us both? It’s a strange time as I know I’m just a few weeks from a massive life changing thing happening but I have little to no idea of when or how it’s all going to pan out. Yes, my inner control freak is NOT ok with this. But for some reason, overall my pregnant self is ready to just take it as it happens (ask me again how my pregnant self feels if I go overdue…)
I feel the list of things I’m looking forward to could go on and an on and on. So I’ll leave it there. But if you are pregnant or have had a baby I’d love to know what is or was on your ‘excited for post-pregnancy’ list!